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What I’ve been seeing throughout my Luxury Hostels Tour is how hostelling has been evolving into this concept where the whole focus is now on creating experiences, experiences that travellers will cherish and remember for a long time to come.
With a minimal chic aesthetic that would be the envy of many a smart hotel, the Casa Gràcia sprang on to the scene in 2010 as the city's first boutique hostel. Vaulted ceilings, corinthian columns, picture windows and snowy white rooms enlivened with the occasional burst of vibrant wallpaper make for a very different environment from the bare-bones mildewed hostels of yesteryear, though the animated social vibe has proven timeless.
El concepto de Hostel ha sufrido en los últimos tiempos un giro importantísimo. Ha pasado de ser, en muy pocos años, un alojamiento económico pero con unos servicios y una decoración poco cuidados, a seguir siendo barato, pero con unos proyectos de interiorismo muy atractivos, en algunos casos incluso cercanos a los que podemos admirar en locales de bastantes estrellas.
In a vast modernist mansion in the swankiest part of town, Casa Gràcia is the vivacious brainchild of five hipster backpackers who set out to create the sort of place they always longed to find. Young travellers check in and out every two minutes, as do families and groovy baby-boomers on round-the-world trips. The reception is on the first floor of a six-storey building (the ground floor is home to chef Paco Pérez's popular L'Eggs restaurant), with original oak parquet, pretty corniced ceilings and arched hallways.