November 28, 2022

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Just Do Travel

Best family hotels in Barcelona

From its sun-soaked urban beach to the off-the-wall irreverence of its Catalan creative arts, Barcelona has lots to bewitch younger visitors. Yes, it’s a big, bustling city, but with the sandy shoreline and plenty of green spaces dotted around the urban sprawl, families can find places where they can run free.

The children’s imaginations will be flying too, inspired by Gaudi’s eyecatching architecture, and the vivid, visceral artworks of Picasso and Miro. With more mainstream child-friendly attractions including an aquarium, an amusement park, dancing fountains and a chocolate museum, Barcelona is one of Spain’s best cities for families.

When it comes to family-friendly hotels in Barcelona, there’s plenty to choose from. Family and connecting rooms are widespread, and with such a huge volume of properties you can select the location that suits you best — whether that’s in the attraction-packed Gothic Quarter, among the well-heeled streets of the quieter Eixample, or near the beach.

Splash out on one of the city’s luxury addresses and experience pampering for both parents and children, or settle on a more reasonable price point and you’ll find characterful stays and plenty of child-focused amenities.

Main photo: Novotel Barcelona City

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Le Meridien Barcelona is one of the best family hotels in Barcelona, Spain
Le Meridien Barcelona (Joan Valera)

1. Le Meridien Barcelona, El Raval 

Best for off-season luxury
From the moment your little ones are handed their free welcome pack, Le Meridien will treat them like VIPs. Family suites have a sofa bed in the separate living room, Wii consoles and complimentary movies and snacks, and the concierge can organise family-specific sightseeing tours. The location, right on Las Ramblas, could hardly be more central, with most sights in walking distance. The crowds outside could feel overwhelming in summer, but in winter — when you won’t notice the lack of a pool — this hotel is hard to beat.

Kids’ club N
Pool N
Price £££

U232 Hotel is one of the best family hotels in Barcelona, Spain
U232 Hotel

2. U232 Hotel, Eixample 

Best for space to spread out
Shared family rooms work for some, but for others the entente cordiale is best preserved by giving each member of the brood ample room to breathe. At the U232 Hotel you can book a connecting double and triple, the latter with two twins and a sofa bed. No one needs to elbow anyone else in the night and there are two bathrooms, so shower queues will be shorter. It’s located in a quiet part of the Eixample, but is just three minutes from a metro station, giving access to the city sights. 

Kids’ club N
Pool N
Price £

Casa Camper is one of the best family hotels in Barcelona, Spain
Casa Camper

3. Casa Camper, El Raval 

Best for foodie families
When the “I’m hungry” refrain rings out, parents staying at Casa Camper have an easy fix — Tentempie, the hotel’s complimentary 24-hour buffet, providing sandwiches, salads, snacks, fruit, desserts and soft drinks. For something more adventurous, there’s the one Michelin-starred Dos Pallilos restaurant, headed up by a former El Bulli chef, serving Japanese-inspired tapas. The suites, decorated in striking black and red, feature a separate living area with a sofa bed, hammock and balcony. Located in hipster northern Raval, it’s a short walk to the city’s famous Boqueria market.

Kids’ club N
Pool N
Price ££

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Hotel Arts Barcelona is one of the best family hotels in Barcelona, Spain
Hotel Arts Barcelona

4. Hotel Arts Barcelona, Vila Olimpica 

Best for seaside splendour
In a shining tower right on the seafront by the Port Olimpic and Barcelonata beach, this upscale choice is the closest you’ll get to a resort hotel in downtown Barcelona. The grounds are home to a decent-sized swimming pool — overlooked by a swooping Frank Gehry sculpture — plus a kids’ pool. Cots and extra beds are available in all room categories, connecting rooms can be requested, or you can push the boat out and book one of the penthouses with multiple bedrooms and butler service. Kids are pampered, with complimentary balloons and sweets in the rooms, and special menus and colouring books in the restaurants — and if they complete a fun quiz about the hotel, they’ll be rewarded with ice cream. 

Kids’ club N
Pool Y
Price £££

Novotel Barcelona City is one of the best family hotels in Barcelona, Spain
Novotel Barcelona City

5. Novotel Barcelona City, El Poblenou 

Best for family frills
This sleek, modern hotel has plenty to keep kids of all ages occupied — handy when their legs tire more quickly than their brains. There are children’s channels on the in-room TV and a kids’ play area in the lobby with video games, board games, toys and books — so you can pack light. Do pop in their swimming costumes though: there’s a rooftop pool with lovely city views. Two children up to 16 stay free in the family rooms, on a sofa bed. Just outside the centre in up-and-coming Poblenou, the hotel is within walking distance of La Sagrada Familia, and a simple, ten-minute metro ride to the Placa de Catalunya. 

Kids’ club N
Pool Y
Price £

6. Petit Palace Boqueria Garden, Barri Gotic 

Best for value
The Petit Palace chain shows you don’t have to be bland if you’re on a budget. This central boutique hotel has character in spades, set in a historic building with a leafy garden, and provides a host of freebies, from wi-fi and Mifi (a portable wireless hotspot) to complimentary bike hire and late checkout when available. Quadruple rooms have double and bunk beds, or choose a duplex apartment sleeping up to six. Healthy buffet breakfasts are served, and you can order Catalan cuisine served on the terrace throughout the day.

Kids’ club N
Pool N
Price £

Citadines Ramblas Barcelona is one of the best family hotels in Barcelona, Spain
Citadines Ramblas Barcelona

7. Citadines Ramblas Barcelona, Barri Gotic 

Best for bringing the baby
A good night’s sleep for everyone is a lofty goal when travelling with a baby, but this aparthotel gives you every helping hand it can, with soundproofed rooms and blackout curtains. One child under two stays free in a crib in a studio apartment, and there are one-bedroom options with a sofa bed in the living room if there’s an older sibling to consider too. There’s a kitchenette for making bottles — and coffees, if sleep is scarce — and downstairs you’ll find a buffet breakfast and a token-operated laundry service. Its central location means you can wheel the buggy to many sights.

Kids’ club N
Pool N
Price ££

Grand Hotel Central is one of the best family hotels in Barcelona, Spain
Grand Hotel Central

8. Grand Hotel Central, El Born

Best for cosseted convenience
Low-effort luxury is the name of the game at this heritage five-star stay. Sitting on the border between the Barri Gotic and the Born district (and right by a metro station), the hotel puts you in easy walking distance of both the former’s city sights and the latter’s hip shopping and nightlife — and should you want to head out in the evening, the hotel has a babysitting service. Choose between connecting rooms or suites with sofa beds, but don’t miss the 10m rooftop infinity pool with stellar views.

Kids’ club N
Pool Y
Price £££

Yurrban Trafalgar Hotel is one of the best family hotels in Barcelona, Spain
Yurrban Trafalgar Hotel

9. Yurrban Trafalgar Hotel, La Ribera 

Best for trendy teens
Close to the buzzy Born district, where the narrow streets are full of cool cafes and boutique shops, Yurrban Trafalgar is a hip hotel with eclectic décor, low lighting and plenty to appeal to even the hardest to please teen. There’s a rooftop pool and terrace for posing, a Google Chromecast service so they can connect their own streaming platforms to the in-room TV and portable wi-fi devices so they can post from anywhere. Larger room categories sleep three, if your teen will still tolerate sharing with you.

Kids’ club N
Pool Y
Price ££

10. Casa Gracia Barcelona, Eixample 

Best for big families 
If you’re a large family, particularly with older children, the cost of city centre accommodation can quickly mount up. This bright but low-budget hotel/hostel hybrid is a great solution. There are basic but comfortable private, en-suite rooms sleeping three, four, five and even six, plus apartments with kitchens sleeping four on a sofa bed and two singles, so you can save your cash for dining, shopping and city attractions. There’s also an in-house restaurant for breakfast or a burger later in the day, and the location — right at the northern end of the Passeig de Gracia — is great for the city’s modernist architectural highlights.

Kids’ club N
Pool N
Price £

Hotel Sb Icaria is one of the best family hotels in Barcelona, Spain
Hotel SB Icaria

11. Hotel SB Icaria, Vila Olimpica 

Best for proximity to the beach
Barcelona can be a city break compromise between parent and child; one where you can trade a certain amount of sightseeing in return for time at the beach. If this is the case, Hotel SB Icaria is your top choice. It’s a five-minute walk from the sands at Nova Icaria beach, which is quieter than the sometimes over-bustling Barcelonata, but which still has lots of restaurant choice and a playground. There are triple rooms and family rooms sleeping four with a double and a sofa bed, and there’s a sheltered courtyard pool. The Ciutadella/Vila Olimpica metro stop is a ten-minute walk away.

Kids’ club N
Pool Y
Price £

H10 Madison is one of the best family hotels in Barcelona, Spain
H10 Madison (Roger Mendez/H10 Hotels)

12. H10 Madison, Barri Gotic

Best for year-round swimming
Rooftop pools are relatively commonplace in Barcelona. Heated rooftop pools, not so much. But at this handsome, four-star hotel you can swim year-round on the top floor terrace, with gorgeous views of nearby Barcelona Cathedral. Rooms are sleek and understated, with deluxe doubles sleeping three, and junior suites four, on sofa beds. The public areas have a gentlemen’s club vibe, with velvet armchairs in the library and leather banquettes and a curving marble-topped bar in the restaurant, where the hearty buffet breakfast is served.

Kids’ club N
Pool Y
Price ££

Hotel Barcelona 1882 is one of the best family hotels in Barcelona, Spain
Hotel Barcelona 1882

13. Hotel Barcelona 1882, Eixample 

Best for Sagrada Familia
The streets surrounding Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia haven’t always been a hotspot for quality accommodation, but that changed with the 2018 opening of this, one of the city’s loveliest four-stars. Hotel Barcelona 1882 (named for the year cathedral construction began) is just a five-minute walk from the site, so you can get there ahead of the queues. The hotel provides a free guided tour of the area’s modernist highlights, and the interior décor is flamboyant enough to please design buffs. Triples and family rooms are available. 

Kids’ club N
Pool Y
Price ££

14. Gran Hotel La Florida, Sarria-Sant Gervasi 

Best for resort-style stays
If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday with some occasional sightseeing, rather than a more traditional action-packed city break, then book into this luxurious, art nouveau-style resort. The hotel is perched on top of verdant Mount Tibidabo, and the large pool has glorious views over Barcelona. Free shuttles take about 20 minutes to reach the centre, and you’re just five minutes’ walk from the traditional rides at Tibidabo Amusement Park, the oldest in Spain. Family rooms and suites offer space for everyone, with mini-bathrobes and slippers set out for younger guests. The restaurants have kids’ menus — but if you’d like a dinner a deux, they’ll organise a babysitter.

Kids’ club N
Pool Y
Price £££

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