When I was younger, my father would go to the pretzel bakery on Saturdays. The smell of warm Philly soft pretzels would make its way up to my bedroom and become my alarm clock. Pretzels for breakfast is definitely a Philly thing but at the core, it’s just another type of bread and I do love bread. So when the owner of Devour Barcelona recommended the Praktik Bakery Hotel in Barcelona I was instantly hooked on the concept – a hotel with a bakery in the lobby or is it a bakery with a hotel on top? Either way, I was an elevator ride away from pure happiness in the morning (and afternoon and evening!).
Note: If you are gluten free (i.e. – my sister) sorry to torture you with the bread photos below (you may enjoy Praktik Vinoteca Hotel instead as it’s all about the wine)
A great, quiet location in Barcelona and just one block from Gaudi’s La Pedrera (or Casa Mila), a residential building on Provenca. For a longer walk (about 15-20 minutes) you can be at Sagrada Famiglia. A block another direction and you are at Avenue Diagonal. With a plethora of restaurants and bars, this was a great location and a world away from the madness that is La Ramblas.
When the taxi driver dropped me off, I was a bit confused at first as I saw the bakery but not the hotel entrance so I rolled my bag in past the display cases of breads, croissants, pastries and sandwiches to the back, past the cashier, to the hotel reception desk. There are two people at the small hotel desk and check-in was quick.
In the back of the bakery, there is a seating area so the hotel desk does feel a bit awkward if the bakery is busy. At night, when the bakery is empty, the hotel “lobby” area is quite relaxing and there is a small outside patio for smokers.
Bonus is the free bakery “samples” at the desk all day (free cupcakes!!! Need I say more?).
My Exterior Double Room
You need a keycard in the elevator to access the sleeping rooms (nice security touch). I was on the 5th floor, room 509, and when I exited the elevator and made a right, the corridor lights came on (being environmental). Opening the door to the room, I was in the combination bathroom/closet area and then moved into the bedroom. There is a sliding door to separate the rooms. The room looked exactly like the website – it may be small but it was definitely fashionable, chic, functional and relaxing, all of which I like. Wooden floors, subway tiles, cute accessories all made the room pretty cool. The bed was comfortable and the Wi-Fi fast and free.
Opening the window, I looked out at residential buildings and a small park used during school hours but otherwise a quiet area.
Utilizing the small two room space, the bathroom is the room you enter first. There are two separate closets on the left – the water closet and then large walk in shower. On the right, the sink with local toiletries and shelving for your stuff.
Breakfast – Waking Up for the Bread
When I opened the hallway door, I could smell the bread in the hallway which made me move quicker knowing that the pain au chocolat was just an elevator ride away. The breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. before the bakery opens and is laid out on the side table in the “lobby”. For €8, this was a bargain (hotels charge up to €40 for less choice and freshness)!
For a carb lover like me this was a dream of too much bread choice. There were baskets of sliced breads, croissants, pastries (who doesn’t love cake in the morning) as well as cereals, yogurt and the sliced meats and cheeses. Juice, water and a coffee machine were self-service as well.
I definitely indulged way past the “stomach is full” point – how can you not as you watch the action in the bakery and the bakers deliver the fresh products to the display cases?
On the 1st floor (the lobby is floor zero), there is an internet lounge with a few desktop computers and a seating area. I didn’t use the space but if you are staying at the hotel with friends or family this is a nice gathering space as the rooms are for one/two people.
The Baluard Bakery (aka My Awesome Lobby)
While I was eating breakfast at the bakery in the morning, I was also a customer later in the day for a treat or two. The prices were reasonable and there is a mix of high top tables, regular tables, a long shared table (or good for group) as well as outdoor patio area for sun (and smokers).
Boutique hotel + Bakery is a definite winner, I’d like to thank the genius who thought to combine these two concepts (just like Hotel + Art Gallery in Tasmania). The location is good, the prices reasonable and the bread, well bring your stretchy pants to indulge – this is Spain, you will be eating all day long. The hotel is considered 3 stars but for me it was a 5 star experience. Waking up to the smell of bread makes me happy, hopefully it makes you happy too.
My rate was €144 and €134 but by booking online direct with Praktik Bakery, I received a 10% early booking discount (non-refundable), so that the final price for two nights was €250.20. This was higher than normal due to the F1 race that week/weekend.