The hotel Casa Bonay, which opened in Barcelona, 2016, was founded by Inés Miró-Sans. But, in reality, the hotel is a collaboration between designers, artists, chefs, coffee roasters, architects, and more. It was on returning to her native Barcelona, after three years working for Ace Hotels in New York, that Miró-Sans assembled this group of creatives. The result is much more than a hotel. It is a restaurant, a cafe and a bar. It is an art gallery, a shop and a bookstore. At its core, it is a social hub, designed to bring people together.
Note how each of these outlets has its own unique identity. This anti-corporate approach is an attempt to create something more than a hotel – a space for locals as well as visitors. Because locals tend to avoid Barcelona hotels as they are often geared solely towards tourists. On top of this, with a new law passed to limit the number of new hotels built in Barcelona, the market looks to remain somewhat dated and uninspiring, and amidst this bland competition Casa Bonay really succeeds in bringing freshness and life to the scene and the city for locals and tourists alike.
Miró-Sans has restored this 1869 mansion into a unique and original space that also reflects what she calls “the great quality of life in Barcelona”. Much of the interior is the work of local creatives, from natural soaps by Miró-Sans’ favourite cosmetic brand, Las Lilas, to bedding designed by Barcelona-based print duo baTabasTa.
Close to the old Gothic quarter, El Born and Poblenou, as well as the beach, the hotel is in the iconic Dreta de l’Eixample district, right in the heart of the city. But Casa Bonay often feels like a city within a city itself. There is The Libertine lounge for tapas and cocktails (and DJs on the weekend); Satan’s Coffee Corner for a cold-pressed juice; the rooftop Chiringuito for barbecue food and sun; or the head restaurant, Elephant, Crocodile, Monkey, for Southeast Asian cuisine, not to mention the two boutiques and the book-store which are also within the hotel.
Ultimately, Casa Bonay is not just built on collaboration, but is built to inspire it. Whether they are from near or far, it inspires people to come together, have fun together, dance together, dine together, relax together, create together – to connect. Casa Bonay has the potential to grow into a sexy European brand for creative cities, so we can only wait and see where they take it next. London, Berlin, why not?
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Picture credit: © Casa Bonay