About a year ago, I read an article on Leotie Lovely about the Hotel Eco Boutique Hostal Grau. I knew immediately if I ever come back to Barcelona, I want to stay here. It did not even take a year and I was back for a conference.
If you want to know how I can take a plane without feeling guilty all the time, you might want to read my post about zero waste air travel. In case you were wondering how a conference can be zero waste, head over to the post about how to organise a zero waste meeting.
location & price.
Hostal Grau is located in the very central and old El Raval neighbourhood close to Las Ramblas, Las Ramblas, Mercat de la Boqueria, the museum MACBA and the university. The exact address is „Calle Ramelleres, 27“. The closest metro stations are Universitat (L1, L2) and Plaza de Catalunya (L1, L2, L3).
(By the way, Calle Ramelleres is amazing for zero waste shoppers! More on that next week 😉 )
In the same building as the hotel is a little fruit and vegetable grocer, who sells his goods package-free, a lot of tapas bars and restaurants as well as a handful of bakeries.
The price for the room was relatively cheap compared to other hotels in the area (from 60€/night), which was great because I had to convince my employer the hotel is worth the money.
At Hostal Grau, sustainability is not just a buzzword. The hotel was renovated eco-friendly from the ground up following LEED standard, put emphasis on social and fair products and natural materials.
The rooms were painted with an environmental-friendly paint, the wood is FSC-certified and the mattresses are made of natural and organic materials.
Many furniture items and decorations are renovated or produced by social businesses. In the lobby, you’ll see a lot of handcrafted and ethical gems. Every purchase helps another social business.
Another nice aspect, the waste management of the hotel is oriented towards the 3 R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle. They even say on their homepage that they look for products with minimal packaging and buy in bulk when possible <3 All the used products should be reused first and recycled afterwards. For their guests, the provide a recycling station on every floor for glass, paper and plastic bottles.
And the coffee downstairs? Direct trade.
What shall I say? Sustainability from head to toe 😉
I requested a quiet room. When I opened the door, I was quite surprised. Not even a metre from my window was another building. Instead of staring at the concrete wall, I was looking at a vertical garden!
The furnishing was clearly picked with care and you can see that the individual pieces are handcrafted and chosen intentionally.
In the bathroom, you will find organic lavender soap in a refillable bottle and water-saving fittings.
There is free WIFI in the hotel and the reception is excellent everywhere. If you do not want electronic radiation, you can book the “Off room“.
The hotel does not offer a big breakfast, but they always have sweet treats on display in the morning. You can get tea or coffee throughout the day in the common room as well. The tea bags come in packaging, but they are organic. The coffee machine works with coffee beans – no waste 🙂
However, the cup situation could be better: there are no real cups, but single-use ones. If you are like me, you will bring your own coffee cup anyways. Just use this one! No problem at all.
One word for the sweet treats: delicious. When I was there, I got to try three different cakes (carrot, chocolate and strawberry cake) and they were just heavenly luscious and fluffy. All ingredients are written down, so you know what is in the cakes. As I mentioned before, all donations for the cakes will go to social projects!
Hostal Grau lives its slogan „small, urban, green“. I can highly recommend this hotel if you want to stay in Barcelona without a bad eco-consciousness. Only limitation: you will not get a huge breakfast buffet here.
If you missed it in the beginning, here is the link to the article on Leotie Lovely, which led me to the hotel in the first place.
What is important to you when picking a hotel? What criteria do you apply?