Following research, we loved what we saw about Generator Hostel Barcelona and asked to drop by to take some shots. They were kind enough to provide us with accommodation, however all thoughts and opinions are – as always – formed independently and without agreement to be favourable.
In the ever-evolving world of the hospitality sector, to be ahead of the curve the hotels and hostels in the most visited cities in the world have to employ a new way of thinking on how they can provide something different, comfortable, yet affordable.
Thankfully, there is one chain out there that has managed to incorporate all three ideals together, and luckily for us we were able to stop by at one of their flagship locations – Generator Barcelona.
Splitting The Difference
One part hotel, the other part hostel; what the international team at Generator Hostels has accomplished at one of their newest openings is a combination boutique hotel and stylish hostel that not only borrows from its location in the incredibly trendy Garcia neighbourhood and the many Gaudi locations nearby, but also the heart and young feel of the entire city.
Where as some other hotels may struggle to marry art, style and comfort with an affordability for everyone no matter whether they’re a trendy hipster, a frequent-flyer on business or a backpacking family; Generator Barcelona manages to combine all ingrediants into a mixture of stylish affordabilty, but does it so well that they may have just set the trend for other design hotels to follow.
Barcelona On The Inside
Built in the 1960’s, this former office block has been reshaped and remolded into the cool, trendy hotel-hostel combination you see today by a team from international group The Design Agency – led by Canadian partner of the agency, Anwar Mekhayech – who have been overseeing work across the whole of similar Generator experiences you’ll find in London, Dublin, Berlin, Venice, Hamburg, Copenhagen – and most recently – a second new location in Berlin
It’s clear from the outset that the team were looking to draw away from the luxury hotels that fill the local district, and instead bring something together that’s not over the top in terms of art and expense, but instead, full of an industrial and colourful cool that you might find in any of the nearby boutique clothes shops and trendy tapas bars.
In order to reach their aim, it seems that the team pulled all of the colour from the streets into the rooms inside and extensively throughout the building’s five floors of hostel rooms, two of hotel; building somewhere that is an attraction within it’s own right.
One Building, Two Introductions
Whilst contained within one large building, the bottom floor is in fact split into two entrance way reception areas; one for the hostel and its access to the common areas, five floors of combination private rooms and 6-8 bed dorms (including female-only dorms also); the other for the hotel, its two floors of single and double rooms and the incredible luxury penthouse apartment.
The hotel reception is small in comparison to its counterpart in the connecting hall, but what it may lack in size, it more than makes up in the kaleidoscope of colour that makes up the decor.
From the multicolour floor that lends more than a little to the fantastical artist and son of Barcelona, Gaudi, the layers of wooden patterns that adorn the back wall, to the myriad of paper lanterns that decorate the ceiling; the room during the morning is filled with a calming yet alive light whilst you grab a bite to eat for breakfast, but also makes for a calming, yet mysteriously dark and romantically lit setting for sharing a drink late at night.
Through the partition doorway and on to the large open space that makes up the hostel reception area. This light filled space is an immediate magnet for those with camera in hand who will automatically wish to take a picture as a memento to share with friends back home. When the pictures are done with, it’s only a matter of time before each and every person who passes through wants to take their turn and enjoy a moment to relax in one of three hanging seats in the nicknamed ‘Bird Cage‘ – named in part due to the large floor-to-ceiling wooden partitions that create a frame around the centre stairwell.
Don’t fight it, you want to sit in those hanging chairs. No one will blame you if you want to just throw your bag down in order to jump into those chairs as soon as they are free, and should your travelling partner or colleague want to have a turn also, then don’t panic. There are plenty of seats here for everyone to sit down.
On the day that we arrived the hostel was hosting an exhibition of local art from the community, themed around the eternally alive trend of tattoos; and as it turns out, the area makes for a perfect gallery for any local or international artist to host their latest exhibit and we wouldn’t blame any of our favourite artists and street artist from wanting to do the same.
A Nostalgic Look
As you can see, there is a lovely curving staircase that leads towards the mezzanine between the reception and the first few floors of the hostel side of Generator Barcelona. Up those stairs you’ll find a huge space that stretches from the top of the steps all the way round to a large common area at the back.
By far the most interesting of the two for us was the beginning to this communal space, filled with items of nostalgia, many of which we haven’t seen for a long time, others we had yet to see before but they looked like items typical to the history of Barcelona and Spain on a whole.
Past this space, the chess boards and the photobooth (which you can use); you’ll come upon the rest of the common area for both the hotel and hostel and the myriad of chairs, sofas and cushions you can use whilst talking with other travellers who are also staying.
You could of course challenge your new found friends to a game of table football, fittingly painted in the local team’s colours.
Designing Your Hunger
If the free-to-use computers here aren’t to your liking, you can of course grab a bite to eat from the many refreshment machines here or in yet another communal area – the canteen.
With enough tables and chairs to seat almost any sized group that chooses to book in, there is plenty of space here for you to eat either at night or during the morning at the breakfast buffet.
Entertainment In Style
One particular room of note is the in-house bar, a place that hosts activities on almost every night from Monday to Sunday run by Generator and local DJ’s and it too is decorated with the same chic style you’d expect from what you’ve seen so far.
And if the bar is a little too open for you to discuss business with your friend or colleague, you do have the option to sip a coffee or something a little stronger in the secluded seating area at the back.
From First To Fifth
All of the first five floors of the building are made up for Generator’s hostel experience, with many different options of private rooms and dorms, with the latter having the capacity to accommodate separate female and mixed dorms for up to eight people.
Also, the design doesn’t stop on the first floor. No. It’s throughout the hotel, with a different colour scheme for each floor, each with their own individual little details too.
The Hotel Experience
Still affordable, still outstandingly well designed; the final two floors of the building make up the hotel experience of Generator Barcelona and here the little differences become a little larger from the hostel rooms beneath.
With the same comfort as those private rooms below, the twins and doubles here have the added comfort of a larger bathroom, a few other room luxuries – but most importantly – a balcony too.
A Little Extra Privacy
Now not everyone will welcome the great design, light and space that the private hotel rooms provide, and much the same as any hotel around the world – there is always something a little better. And oh my, they made something spectacular.
On the top floor is situated the crowning jewel – The Apartment. A fantastic corner penthouse with an incredible terrace balcony and view of Sagrada Familia.
There’s nothing much to fault in this multi-roomed space, with dividing walls that can be used to create additional sleeping spaces for a family if necessity calls upon it and a subtle collection of design pieces adding a precision of minimal style and bold colour.
Carrer de Còrsega, 377
Book a room at Generator Hotel Barcelona
Generator Barcelona is probably one of the best design hotel and hostel experiences we’ve ever had and we can see why they’re really ahead of the curve as companies continually look to adapt to a changing demand from the travelling public for something fresh, full of a creative energy and for a price that won’t break the budget.
We suggest that should you be heading to any location where Generator is in town, that you seriously consider if there could possibly be anywhere that does it any better than the best.
Have you stayed at another Generator location?
If you’re travelling on a budget and want to make the most of your time in the city, take a look at our 20 Free Things To Do in Barcelona post for some budget-friendly suggestions.