Hotel Neri H&R is nestled in BCN Gothic Quarter. An 18th century palace with contemporary sensuality.

What I like most about this hotel is it location. While being in the heart of the Gothic Quarter, minutes away from tourist attractions, you feel, thanks to the next door Plaza de Sant Felip Neri, like you are in an little oasis of peacefulness. Infact this aura is exactly what the concept of the hotel is modeled around. It is a hotel designed for the emotions, ‘a bewitching place, where time stand still and the senses come alive, where luxury and glamour intermingle in lush atmospheres filled with warm colours, pleasant textures, relaxing music, enveloping aromas and unmistakable flavours’.

Ah! I have lots to say about this place, all good! Firstly the light, you move from natural lit spaces to open courtyard back to shadowed rooms, or corners, alcoves. The original features of this place combined with contemporary interior design works in harmony, for the guests and staff. By that I mean the space feels comfortable for the client and efficient/ergonomic, to manage for the staff. The architect Julio Perez-Catala is to be congratulated on creating mysterious, open and closed areas all beautifully understated; letting the history of the building talk for itself.

While walking in and out of pools of light, natural light, and artificial you feel a calming experience gently wash over you. Groups of candles add a delicate touch and tone to the atmosphere. There are curtains galour!! These act as partitions to spaces (ie.the restaurant and bar can be divided) and soften the heavy stonework. The choice of fabrics used for these are luxurious in colour and texture…you almost want to wrap yourself in one like a huge comfortable bath towel! lol! (don’t worry I didn’t!)

Downstairs there is a library, with Internet, latest magazines, a cozy atmosphere, ideal for relaxing or planning the next outing. Near by is the restaurant and bar, there is also seating in the courtyard.

Take the lift and explore the three floors, all slightly different, to add to your sensory experience.

Some i-am favourite touches noticed were the lift interior, a dictionary definition of sensual, a little zen garden on your coffee table in every room and great music subtly played everywhere. The hotel have released there own cd in collaboration with DJ Cesar Sala, also know as Chop Suey.

The hotel consists of 22 rooms, first floor awash with an array of reds, silvers, blacks and blues, colours typical of a renaissance painting. There is a fabulous sofa, lounger I feel is a better description. A Huge red velvet knotted net, I wanted to fall right in to it! (don’t worry I didn’t!) witch looks stunning when viewed from above, a sofa but a sculpture to (reminded me of Claus Oldenburg sculptures), really cool! The second floor has more natural colours and the third based on vibrant jungle colours.

A lot of colours going on! On all floors and in rooms, but it works. By using minimal furniture and natural decor ie. stone, bamboo, wood it lets the colour speak in the spaces. Quartzite stone is used in the bathroom as it is thought to have beneficial properties fro health and release negative energy.

And then there is the top floor with decking, loungers, groovy shower! and bar to chill out, that’s if you haven’t already chilled out before getting there! This is very elegant and I use the word, understated, again, in design. Conservative muted tones decorate the contemporary furniture. What is really specially here is the attention to garden design. Here we enter a whole another realm of design witch, and more so in an urban setting is incredibly subtle and clever. With consideration to your sense, of smell, jasmine and orange blossom are planted, creeping all over the space. Smells relaxing and romantic!

Neri Hotel is part of Habitat Hotels. There brand tag line, ‘Identity not Identical’ draws on there design inspiration and creates a truly unique experience that deservedly put them as a member of Design Hotels (an exclusive selection of the world’s most contemporary hotel establishments).

So although its my job to inform you I feel I would be giving away a special Zen experience if I write any more details. The essence of Zen is to feel, and to feel you have to come and have the Neri experience for yourself.


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