So bullish is the Room Mate Hotels group about Barcelona that it’s opened its fifth property there, this time, themed around a fictitious young Catalan architect who lends his name to the hotel, Room Mate Gerard.
Architect Jaime Beriestain has turned a classic six-storey Eixample building complete with courtyard and balconies in the Ensanche district into a 66-room modernist space. The lobby, especially, feels more like the private residence of roguish young Turk with great taste than a hotel.
For Beriestain, the Gerard breaks new ground in that this is the first time he has worked with rough materials, sandblasted pine and waxed concrete especially, which might explain the calm masculine vibe of the spaces.
The lighting too is appropriately moody, especially in the bedrooms which are layered with a colour palette of black ink. All that sombreness throughout the hotel is counterpoised by sudden flashes of colour by way of back-lit stuccoed walls, grey terrazzo, Portobello marble, customised deep blue high-backed stools, blue velvet drapes and natural lights from the double-height windows.
Besides the obligatory breakfast room, bijou gym and pool, the facilities are somewhat limited, but then again, this is Barcelona and there are distractions aplenty nearby, not least Plaça Catalunya, the Gothic quarter, the Paseo de Sant Joan, and the modernist masterpiece of Casa Burés.