Nestled in a Zen garden with a post-modern angel sculpture as a striking centerpiece, the boutique 15-room ABaC Restaurant & Hotel offers a quiet location just outside the centre of Barcelona, a 5-minute walk from a tram station.
Originally a 19th-century mansion, the former residence of Doña Madronita, a member of the Catalan bourgeoisie, it was restored mainly through the work of Spanish architect Antoni de Moragas.
In design terms, it consists of two buildings – the hotel itself and a restaurant built above what was once the swimming pool – integrated in the garden, all surrounded by high wooden walls. It’s so discreet you have to press a buzzer to enter. Though it’s out of town, near Gaudi’s Park Güell, it’s only 15 minutes by taxi or a quick metro ride to the busy downtown area.
Located on a rising street in the Sarriá-Sant Gervasi district, the upper zone of Barcelona with views to Kennedy Square, the hotel’s amenities include a chic bar and Elemis spa with hammam, pool and treatments and a small business center.
The dining room, which seats up to 56 people, looks out onto the garden through picture windows and there are two additional private dining rooms, seating 20 and 60 people. This is the kingdom of head chef Jordi Cruz who earned his first Michelin star at the unusually young age of 25, the youngest Spanish chef to be awarded. He began as head chef six years ago succeeding Xavier Pellicer, the hotel owner. The 200 square meter kitchen is a bold design by Joaquim Casademont featuring a black container with stainless steel furniture. A route marked by leds allows guests to walk right across it and observe chefs moving purposefully back and forth. The scene makes one realize more fully just how complex a system a successful commercial kitchen must adhere to, especially this one as it offers a13-course-tasting menu.
All ABaC rooms are decorated in ivory whites and neutrals and subtle lightning, with little splashes of color added through vivid blankets and pillows. They feature hardwood floors, rose-pink velvet devoré curtains, free Wi-Fi, large Bang & Olufsen TVs and Nespresso machines, plus minibars, whirlpool tubs and ‘rainfall’ showerheads.
Bath products are by Deborah Mitchell. There is 24-hour room service. All suites include iPads. The top-of-the-range suite, the Penthouse, has a bathroom with a limestone island in the center with double sinks and a spacious terrace with Jacuzzi
For a quiet, discreet hotel away within easy reach of bustling downtown Barcelona and a Michelin-star chef heading up the kitchen, ABaC seems a top choice.