2 -min. read

From running clubs to workshops focusing on local craftsmanship, hotels with a global outlook are looking to their local communities to give guests the inside track to the city and authentic experiences. A crop of savvy hoteliers inspired by home-sharing sites like Airbnb, with a focus on the neighbourhood rather than the city generically, have emerged in recent times. These hotels cater to travellers rather than tourists, people determined to ‘live like a local’.

Town Hall Hotel (the East London offering from the global Unlisted Collection group) is a prime example. The hotel collaborates with local talent and businesses, providing workshops and masterclasses from jam-making to calligraphy and woodcarving. Their current ‘Summer Camp’ series of workshops is hosted by their favourite chefs, creatives and makers, allowing guests a chance to meet, collaborate and exchange ideas with local artisans and producers.

Over in Barcelona, hip newcomer Casa Bonay is defined by local partnerships. Working under the same roof are local designers, yoga instructors, coffee roasters and a cold-press juice maker. It’s no wonder co-owner Inés Miró-Sans (who cut her teeth at The Ace Hotel), calls it a “house of friends”. Part of the residential Dreta de l’Eixample neighbourhood, and away from the teaming tourist boulevards, this is where you stay to get under the creative skin of Barcelona.

A few of the creative movers, shakers and makers at Casa Bonay (with co-owner Inés Miró-Sans on far right)

Across town in upcoming Poble Sec, 20-room Hotel Brummel exists as a bolthole for people who are curious about the real life of the neighbourhood and city. Weekly Hotel Brummel running clubs are organised for both tourists and locals to meet and discover the inner-city slopes of Montjuïc, yoga classes can be had next door in The Garage with a local instructor, and local guides are provided for guests daily, including top tips from members of staff and biographies of locals.

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#brummellrunningclub tonight at 19h30 @STRIKE_MVMNT is in the house with limited edition T-Shirts. Join & have fun!

A photo posted by Hotel Brummell (@hotelbrummell) on

In Ibiza, La Granja, a members-only Design Hotel, has just opened as a kind of secluded retreat, aiming to foster a sense of community for members and hotel guests. Communal programs such as farm-to-table workshops and sunset mescal rituals are commonplace, and so too are gatherings with ‘Friends of the community’, to share experiences from farming to art and architecture and pass on local knowledge.


Chloe Sachdev
Chloe Sachdev is a lifestyle journalist covering food, nightlife, culture, travel and fashion trends. She is senior features editor at Urban Junkies and has written for Condé Nast Traveller, The Telegraph, The Evening Standard, Wallpaper, Asos and MSN UK.

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