Early-morning sun on the private terrace
On my previous trip to Barcelona, I stayed in a very basic hotel. The building was old, with thin walls and a tiny bathroom. The decor made it feel as if I had been sent to stay with a relative whose heyday was the ’60s. The place wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t particularly memorable, either.
This year: We stayed at the decidedly modern and memorable Generator Hostel. It was the first time I’d heard of this concept: half youth hostel, half hotel. The vibe on the main floor, where the hotel-hostel converges, is upbeat and friendly. With a bar, lounge, and weekly rotation of events, it’s perfect for a social group or a solo explorer hoping to meet fellow travelers. With our double room tucked away on the quiet seventh floor, the hotel was also a congenial refuge for us.
Paper lanterns in the main dining area
The hotel part of the building has its own elevator, and, being removed from the youth hostel area, was surprisingly quiet. In fact, the only time we heard others (while in our room) was when we were outside and the people above us decided to use their patio, too!
Room: Our space had two twin beds, a lovely terrace, and a huge window that let in a lot of natural light. The bathroom was small–no getting away from this in Europe, I’m afraid–but the modern furnishings made the stay more comfortable. The shower head even had different pressure options, which was a luxury indeed.
So much natural light!
Terrace time–we were lucky enough to have great weather, too.
Location: As far as location goes, the hotel/hostel is very central. Since it’s in the Gràcia neighborhood, you have several metro stations to choose from and can walk to places like the Sagrada Familia and Passeig de Gràcia. The neighborhood itself felt very youthful, with trendy bars and restaurants.
Fueling up for the day
A note about breakfast: Whether you’re staying in a hotel or a youth hostel, the first meal of the day is a welcome amenity. On our first morning at Generator, we had breakfast in the hotel dining space (pictured above), and on the second we ate in the youth hostel dining hall. When I have stayed in other youth hostels around Europe (in Dublin, Lisbon, Bologna, Brussels, etc), it was a treat if there was Nutella to spread on the toast. So imagine my surprise when the youth hostel spread included hot foods like scrambled eggs, bacon, and warm pastries! Those shoestring-budget days of washing my own breakfast dishes seemed ages away in this modern, comfortable environment.
Playful motto on the youth hostel side of the building
While I was invited to stay here, I would be interested in booking a similar hotel room at one of their other locations. With so many social spaces and modern designs, Generator would be a good bet for those looking for a fun youth hostel, as well. Generator Hostel is an option in other cities around Europe, including London, Copenhagen, and Venice.
Carrer de Còrsega, 373-377, Barcelona