Lodge evaluate: Casa Sagnier, Barcelona

I don’t know if it speaks to a wider drawback – the decline of actually every little thing, say – or only a decline in my social standing, however it’s been a worryingly very long time since I had a correct resort welcome.

I imply any mixture of, though not restricted to, welcome drink, welcome snack, White Lotus-style garland, scorching towel, fruit bowl or handwritten howdy, I’m straightforward. (These are the issues I bemoan from the pub, like some form of cast-out courtier.)

However it appears at Casa Sagnier my inventory is up. Our welcome to the townhouse-turned-five-star-hotel is correct, correctly beneficiant and gratifyingly multifaceted.

Exterior of Casa Sagnier in Barcelona

We arrive, rudely early, sweaty from Barcelona-Sants station. No hay problema, come to the terrace for a welcome drink and tapa of melt-in-the mouth jamón.

It’s the right pause to absorb Casa Sagnier’s environment on the Rambla de Catalunya – the buzzy central vein that runs by way of Barcelona, changing into La Rambla and, ultimately, the ocean. It’s an excellent spot, central however not too central, in L’Eixample district: south of hipsterish Gràcia and its bar-filled plazas, north of the Gothic Quarter.

Drifting into siesta hour(s) on a sunny Saturday afternoon in October, L’Eixample is elegant however easy-going. Properly-groomed canines and other people move by us at a paseo tempo as we ease into Spanish time underneath the umbrellas of Cafè de l’Arquitecte, the resort’s restaurant, and the occasional architectural tour stops exterior.

Lounge with velvet chairs and artwork on a panelled wall

They’re right here, after all, for Casa Sagnier, former household dwelling and studio of the prolific Modernist architect, which he constructed and named Casa Dolors Vidal de Sagnier in homage to his spouse. I point out this pointedly to Mr Smith who says one thing about these bookshelves he constructed. Hmph.

Again to Casa Sagnier. Its six flooring honour their architect, with playful nods to his work – delicate references to blueprints, rulers – with out feeling museum-y. It’s darkish and trendy, without delay warmly welcoming and good, with wood-panelled and open-fired areas, topped by an excellent, sunny roof terrace and honesty bar (with – howdy – honesty crisps).

However that’s not the most effective terrace at this tackle. Oh no. The perfect terrace, IMHO, simply so occurs to be the non-public rooftop terrace – boasting all-day Spanish solar, day mattress, rain bathe and plush planting, six flooring up from Rambla de Catalunya – by way of the double doorways of our deluxe terrace room. May there be a extra privileged spot in all of Catalunya? I feel not.

Rooftop terrace with sun loungers and foliage

And inside that room – full with ginormous (that’s a luxurious time period) mattress and smooth stone toilet – is the resort welcome I’ve been ready for: overflowing fruit bowl, bottle of natural fizz, chocolate truffles and a hand-written word. Barcelona, I’m again.

I ship a terrace image to the Geller household chat. Dad: ‘Declare it in our identify *pirate flag emoji*’. Say no extra padre.

Full disclosure: regardless of final passing by way of Barcelona seven years in the past on a hellish journey dwelling from Ibiza, Mr Smith and I’ve been speaking up transferring right here with growing seriousness. We’re right here, partly, to attempt the town on.

Bedroom at Casa Sagnier in Barcelona

So we hit the city. First, we head south to Nova Icària seaside for a euphoric swim within the golden hour solar (‘In October! Think about!’ we exclaim at one another extra occasions than is strictly fantastic), then to a chiringuito for sangria and tortilla.

We watch OAPs do the standard sardana dance exterior the cathedral, circling their purses – and envision our retirement.

We do some required studying: Toibin’s Homage to Barcelona, plus two pages of Simone de Beauvoir in Spanish I purchase optimistically.

We do a lot required consuming: vermut, chilly cañas and cava.

Dining area at Casa Sagnier with patterned wallpaper and velvet chairs

And rather more required consuming: wonderful breakfasts at Sagnier (resort followers, rejoice: the breakfast buffet is again. This one is price getting dressed for); plates of pintxos in Poble-Sec; lobster croquettas, seafood rice and three desserts at Bar Cañete; and, at Sagnier’s charming Cafè de l’Arquitecte, oysters and anchovies, saffron sea bass, melting lamb shoulder (which ex-vegan Mr Smith demolishes), a fig salad so good we order it twice and a divine deconstructed tiramisu scenario.

And we stroll – redemptively far. Up by way of Gaudi’s Park Güell, all the way down to Ciutadella Park. By the tall, darkish streets of Raval, to Gràcia for sundowners in Plaça del Sol, previous Poble’s vibey bars, and again by way of Barceloneta for one more swim on one other gloriously sunny October afternoon.

And once we’re finished strolling and swimming and consuming and consuming, we retreat to Casa Sagnier, in the midst of all of it.

Drinks and snacks at Casa Sagnier

As a result of it truly is a retreat – much less like a resort (though the breakfast buffet, waffle robes and wider-than-six-foot-five-Mr-Smith-is-long mattress will reassure you of its luxurious creds) and extra like a superb member’s membership.

Or, higher, like we’re home company of an eye-wateringly rich, benevolent, however largely absent, host with impeccable style and most amiable workers, inviting us to make ourselves at dwelling in his metropolis centre palacio. How type.

It’s right here that we spend our greatest Barcelona moments, lording over our new dwelling from the terrace, suspended between the starry sky and the Rambla de Catalunya, as the road chatter, guitar and clink of glasses mingle at a well mannered distance under.

Then it’s only one extra blissful big-bed sleep, yet another good breakfast, and yet another fleeting scheme of squatting – so pretty and homely and ours it feels – earlier than we head again to the station through a Gaudi (and a Gaudi crowdy), content material that at the least if we depart, there’ll be one other Sagnier-grade resort welcome subsequent time. Hasta pronto.

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Options editor at The Guardian, author for the likes of Nationwide Geographic and Condé Nast Traveller, and eager collector of resort stationery, Cassia’s travels have introduced her to pencils from Balinese seaside retreats, personalised paper from the Marrakech Medina, pens from deep within the Costa Rican jungle, and a beautiful little notepad from the Grand Canal in Venice. She is happiest between a breakfast buffet and a physique of water.