When I was younger I entertained the idea of traveling around Europe and staying in a youth hostel but actually never did it.  My concept of a hostel was

definitely on the low scale down and out funky side and I think I just got into I need my creature comforts when I travel at an early age, thereby missing out on this great  opportunity to travel inexpensively.


Today the word “hostel” can conjure up something quite a bit more stylish and actually rather appealing, especially to young travelers.  The big name in this game is Generator and they have cornered the market on chic…yes, I said chic…hostels that are infused with the flare of the cities in which they are located and offer travelers, young and old, single or in groups, a fabulous alternative to expensive hotels.

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The Generator hostel/hotel that particularly caught my attention for being rather outstanding design-wise and concept-wise was the one built in Barcelona, AKA Generator Barcelona and designed by the Toronto architectural firm, The Design Agency.

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Located in the Gràcia district, which is just a hop, skip and a jump from Antoni Gaudí’s marvelous creations Park Gruell and La Sagrada Família, Generator Barcelona is actually a combination of a hostel and a hotel.  The decor is pure Catalonian, with a strong mix of oranges and deep yellows and reds  and a broad assortment of textures and patterns.

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One of the lounge areas has a ceiling replete with a mixture of colored lanterns, a  bright geometric tiled floor and vivid original art panels lining the exposed brick walls. I really think this space is so super cool that I am tempted to go to Barcelona just to see it!

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Fabulous vertically planked  wood walls encase the stairway  to the lobby where  several whimsical swinging chairs sit up front and central, interspersed randomly in the decor.  The bathrooms in the public area are dressed in an out of this world mixture of Spanish tiles, in an extremely unique pattern that has no particular rhyme or reason but just works beautifully.

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At the top of the central staircase , known fondly as “the Bird Cage,” is a glass enclosed mezzanine where guests can take photos in a photo booth and upload them to various social media sites. Talk about timely and relevant design concepts!

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All of the accommodations for sleeping are fairly simple with clean design lines, but a few of the private spaces actually have private roof terraces.  And the word is out that the view of Barcelona from the these terraces is spectacular.

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I love this quote I took off the Internet from the Generator web site: “for us, the ‘s’ in hostel stands as much for social as stylish and secure.” If that was their goal than they have certainly achieved it.

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I can’t leave you without discussing the room rates, which start from as low as 27.75 Euros for what they call “hot rooms!” I think this definitely fall into the fantastic bargain category.


Obviously, you can see from the photos that Generator Barcelona is a true gem of a hostel/hotel and just perfect for the young of heart and spirit or simply those willing to experience a stay in Barcelona more on the fun and spirited side and save their money for other things.

Barcelona anyone?


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Ciao, ciao ’til next time!