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We love a warming goblet of mulled wine during the festive season, but we also daydream about a slightly less shivery break. That’s where Barcelona and El Palauet come in; the Catalan capital has plenty of markets and shimmery lights, but you’ll be able to navigate the streets without looking like that poor kid from A Christmas Story

El Palauet, Barcelona: Hotel of the weekSTYLE ART NOUVEAU BEAU

WHY THIS WEEK? Kick off your festive gift-hoarding with Barcelona Shopping Night on December 3. More than 100 shops, hotels and restaurants organise a late-night event on elegant shopping boulevard Passeig de Gràcia and the adjoining streets. Twinkly Barcelona Christmas illuminations are switched on that night too. For more seasonal shopping, wander through the oldest Christmas market in the city, the Fira de Santa Llúcia, or browse through the Fira de Reis to find the perfect Tió de Nadal or the best nougat-y turron.

OUR FAVOURITE BITS We love the art nouveau details, high ceilings and stained-glass windows of El Palauet’s bright white suites. Each suite is assigned its own personal assistant, who will help with everything from finding the best local cáfes con leche to arranging in room massages or babysitting.

El Palauet, Barcelona: Hotel of the week

WHAT MR & MRS SMITH SAY… ‘El Palauet’s Spanish apartments are a designer’s dream: housed in an elegant 1906 art nouveau building, with opulent original features present and correct (frescoes, architraves, stained glass windows and high ceilings). Then there’s the modern minimalist interiors, decorated in bright white with shots of grey…’ Check out the rest of our El Palauet review.

WHAT YOU SAY…‘It’s wonderful to be able to cater in your own suite!’ Colleen, SilverSmith, stayed October 2014

Book seasonal city break at El Palauet, or browse the full collection of Smith stays in Barcelona.

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