Here’s a travel brain teaser for you. Why is it that most of the “new” hotels in Barcelona are actually a couple of years old? Well, last year, in a much-ballyhooed effort to tackle tourist overcrowding, the city imposed a ban on all new hotels. Such a move is easy to understand when you look at the numbers: in 2000, Barcelona recorded 3.1 million hotel stays; last year that figure was up to 8.8 million. According to the Financial Times, the freeze expired in July, but it’s sparked a trend among more sensitive travellers who have been seeking out more local, less-conspicuous sleeps in more out-of-the-way neighbourhoods in the Catalan capital.
Our favourite? Hotel Brummell (pictured) in Poble Sec has an un-splashy, lived-in feel, with only 20 rooms, a very cool courtyard and free yoga classes. Owner Christian Schallert says, it’s a place for travellers, “not tourists”. Even better, rooms are as low as $100 until spring 2019.