Q: What is it? A: The Spanish shoe-makers first venture into the hospitality world is as quirky as the brand itself. And if you don’t crave round-the-clock room service, this is a nice place to stay in.
What happens when a shoe brand ventures into the tourist industry?
I’ve always had a soft spot for the Camper shoes. No, erase that. I love the Camper shoes. Yes, it’s one of a very few brands that have made my Donald Duck feet right at home. No, I never had to break them in. So how would their hotel fit me? It soon turned out that it fitted me very well, thank you! For instance, this if the first time I have felt really happy when checking in at a hotel in Spain. They mastered the art of being informal and professional at the same time perfectly. Later they effortlessly slipped into the role as concierge and gave me a list of places to choose from (having called them all first to make sure there were tables available). Nice one!
A quirky take on room layout.
There are only 25 rooms in the hotel. But each room is two rooms. Bedrooms are found on one side of the corridor, facing out back of the hotel for maximum tranquility. Across the corridor there’s a workspace/sitting area furnished with a TV, a hammock, and a Juliet balcony providing each guest with views of the Carrer Elisabets. You may of course access the rooms with your key card but you also open the door on the other side with a button in each room. It’s simple and in a sense it works. There’s no minibar and no room service. Instead you have access to a light snack/sandwich/cured meat/cheese/hot soup buffet round the clock. Soft drinks are free. Wine and beer are available in the reception. You just go down to the buffet room and stack a tray with whatever you want. A clever way to run the hotel with a minimal staff – and at the same time being generous.
I wouldn’t recommend this hotel to everybody.
If you are on a romantic weekend, you may find it too ascetic. If you appreciate the kind of service that traditional hotels offer, you may find it odd having to go downstairs to pick your snacks. If you want the staff to be on their toes 24/7, you may find their non-pretentious attitude a tad too relaxed. Myself? I don’t mind the t-shirts and the bikes hanging from the ceiling (they are for rent if you’d like to explore Barcelona on two wheels). In fact, I felt pretty much at home in this hotel. Add to that the fact that an informal attitude doesn’t mean sloppy service. Quite a few hotels have something to learn from the Casa Camper. Count those stars above. They were very close to getting five!
Casa Camper Barcelona
Carrer Elisabets n. 11
Barcelona ES 08001