THE BEST REST LIST
A stone’s throw from La Boqueria, Barcelona’s famous food market, this new bolthole offers simple and stylish rooms with hardwood floors and giant murals of Barcelonese scenes on the walls. Breakfast goes well beyond a croissant and coffee with cheese, yoghurt and an assortment of Catalan charcuterie. Doubles from ($171); www.hotelcurious.com.
This former hostel has been brightened up with considerable flair, including chocolate brown and cream bedding and abstract wallpaper. Breakfast is taken in a fin de siecle cafe next door. After that, it’s a short walk to Madrid’s museum belt. Doubles from www.analinasrooms.com.
Book well ahead for this charming eight-room B & B that has taken its inspiration from a typical riad. All rooms look on to a bougainvillea-filled courtyard, and are decorated with objects and curios found in Moroccan souks. Doubles from www.elriadandaluz.com.
In Spain’s VIP holiday capital, awash with grandiose five-star hotels, this sophisticated pensione in Marbella’s old town is a real find. Decorated by a well-known Swedish interior decorator, all nine rooms exude the fuss-free, organic style that has made northern European design famous. The same owners also have a beachfront locale (www.beachhouse.nu) that is slightly more expensive. Doubles from ; www.townhouse.nu.
Each of the 28 rooms in this funky, upscale hostel has been decorated by a different artist, so depending on your luck you could be staying in a reincarnation of a Buddhist temple or a blue and white bisazza-tiled room inspired by a swimming pool, complete with floaties hanging from the ceiling. The triples are great value or doubles from www.roomsdeluxe.com. Suzanne Wales