Never before has the Plaça del Duc de Medinaceli been so spruced up. And, at the far end of this newly-gentrified square, looking out to the Port Vell marina, stands Soho House, Barcelona’s latest members’ club and an exclusive destination for the city’s creative types.
The history of Soho House begins in 1995, when businessman and creator Nick Jones created an outlet for London’s creative network that catered to their often specific needs, but in a calm manner that didn’t infringe on the associates. “Organisation is key to the relaxed vibe at Soho Houses around the world,” said Jones, who believes that Soho House must be for creators and those who inspire, not for the business elite. The Barcelona location is the latest in the global network that now includes 18 clubs.
We took a quick peek into what Soho House Barcelona offers. At the discrete entrance visitors are greeted by a smiling doorman, casually but smartly dressed for this new age. Inside, it’s hip style all around and a distinct lack of formal dress (in fact, ties are not allowed). The cafe/lounge area welcomes even the most beleaguered worker or traveller with an airy and inviting salon that spans over two wings, one for the café and one for the lounge, where a plethora of services from WiFi to plush sofas create a deluxe but eclectic coworking environment. The hotel rooms follow the same aesthetic that the brand has become known for, using local artisan crafts and furniture alongside more classic touches.
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Food plays an integral part in the mission of Soho House. Downstairs, you’ll find Cecconi’s Barcelona, where a touch of Venice decor meets exquisite Italian fare, all homemade, including the pasta, in an open kitchen. If it’s a fully-stocked bar you’re after, that’s the first thing that will catch your eye when you enter the upstairs lounge area, but also down near the lobby in Cecconi’s, you’ll find just about anything that suits your poison and a fantastic selection of wine.
The Soho House spa is simply titled Cowshed, hailing from its barnyard origins back in the UK. From exclusive treatments to exceptional products, there is little that the staff of Cowshed can’t provide. Take advantage of the pool and steam room, then shimmy on up to the roof terrace, where you will not only get the chance to capture 360° views of the city, but with a bar service surrounding the infinity pool, your point of relaxation will be complete.
Soho House certainly gives the appearance of an exclusive venue reserved for trendy adults, but it’s a child-friendly environment too (especially in the restaurant and pool areas at the weekend). In fact, the club has also opened the very kid-friendly Chicken Shop and Dirty Burger right next door, with exceptional service and organic offerings to suit any palate.
Membership of the local club is €125 per month, with a 50 percent discount for people under 27. New members are accepted on a case-by-case manner several times throughout the year. Soho House means to nurture the right atmosphere for people in the creative industries, so a great title and deep pockets doesn’t mean you get in automatically.