If traveling abroad isn’t enough for you, have you considered traveling through time? The design of the Chic and Basic Ramblas Hotel in Barcelona by Lagranja Design was inspired by Spanish icons of the 1960s. The original building was constructed in the same decade, and is centrally located in the city. The designers embraced the existing architectural vibe, transforming the lobby and six floors into a whimsical themed journey through the swinging sixties by way of Culture and Society, Design Icons, Tourism, Advertising, Folklore, and the “Gauche Divine.” Color cues and artwork illustrate the theme on each level of guest rooms, while a more general celebration of the decade welcomes visitors to the hotel on the ground floor.
Your time travel begins in the playful lobby, complete with a check-in desk made from vintage suitcases. The first mass produced Spanish car, a Seat 600, parked a few steps away also clues guests in that this is no ordinary hotel. Lagranja carefully selected the objects in the common hotel spaces to invoke the stylized 1960s Spanish feel. In some instances, like the suitcases and the car, the décor not only celebrates these iconic pieces, it is the classic item itself. In others, like the oversized Peseta tabletop, the design firm played with the iconic shape and feel of old Spanish currency to create something new.
Above the lobby on each of the themed floors, guests’ rooms are decorated in a clean, modern look with recognizable influences of 1960s style and color. Our favorite additions are the full-panel graphics on each door illustrating examples from the floor’s theme. Lagranja worked with graphic design firm Espulga to achieve this simple but very striking effect.
Inside the rooms, the color palette reflects each floor. Chic and Basic Ramblas is a new hotel, after all, and just because it is showcasing the 1960s style doesn’t mean it must be trapped by the decade’s style limitations. Bright colors and whites in both the guest rooms and the bathrooms bring the creative energy from the lobby and hallways in without overwhelming visitors looking to relax and recharge.
There is one modern convenience sacrificed in the name of 60’s nostalgia at Chic and Basic Ramblas hotel. Instead of a key card, guests get a physical key on a large magnetic key ring, similar to those used in mid-century hostels. The wall of keys fits the kitschy feel of the lobby, but it’s a bit jarring with the sleek, high-concept design upstairs. We would have preferred that stay just part of the décor rather than be incorporated into the hotel’s operations, but it’s a relatively minor inconvenience.
Chic and Basic Ramblas Hotel in Barcelona is a fun and festive way to spend time reveling in stylish 1960’s Spain. Interior architects Lagranja Design and graphic designers Espulga have created an exciting homage to the feel of the era with (almost all) the comforts of home. Time travel never looked so good.