Originally published on Wednesday, 25 March 2009
It's a Flat World
Every region has its share of entrepreneurs. Silicon Valley has its high tech wizards, Milan its couturiers, and Nigeria its money transfer-challenged businessmen. Here, meanwhile, there's been no shortage of holiday flat renters.
No wonder, either. A quick trip to IKEA, a light dusting off, and voilà, you were in business - bargain-hungry discount tourists and inflated hotel rates ensured that only the pickpockets on Las Ramblas did a brisker trade. Well, those days may now be over.
Until recently, for anybody who wanted a designer flat with full hotel services, there'd be Hotel Arts and its EUR 1,300+ studios. Even for the keenest of cooks, that might be indigestible for access to a stove.
But this week sees the Toyo Ito-designed Suites Avenue opening on Passeig de Gracia. Combining the best of private home comforts (a BBQ zone, for example) and five star hotel services, rates start at just EUR 220. And, when it opens in May, Majestic's much-delayed Kelly Hoppen-designed Murmuri Residence will offer rates from EUR 150.
That's similar to many bare bone rentals. And with MUJI having also taken the step from selling value-for-money interiors to a value-for-money holiday flat project, Whotell, starting at EUR 90 per night, then even our local entrepreneurs might have to get creative.
Suites Avenue - now open. Passeig de Gracia 83 - 93 366 8800. From EUR 220 per night
Murmuri Residence - opening May 2009. Passatge de la Concepció - 93 550 0600. EUR 150-479.
Whotells . From EUR 90 per night
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