When I was 17 and studying A-Level Spanish (I later went on to do a university degree in it), I persuaded my parents to choose Seville for our annual family holiday. In many ways it was a disastrous trip: my mum left her purse in the back of a taxi, one of my brothers got food poisoning and our flights in both directions were delayed due to storms. But I fell in love with this seductive Andalusian city – a tangle of narrow alleyways, ornate plazas and lush patios, with the soaring Giralda bell tower at its centre. It’s somewhere I’ve always longed to revisit, and I now I have another reason to return: a gorgeous new boutique hotel that’s set to open its doors this autumn.
Called Plácido y Grata, it sits in a 19th-century manor house in the historic heart of Seville. The building was rescued from near ruin by the current owners and the whole place has been carefully restored by Barcelona-based architecture and interiors studio Your Living Space Atelier, who have transformed it into a calm, minimalist sanctuary without losing any of its soul. Designers Maria and Carlota approached the project in a very sensitive way, using tactile materials, natural colours and clean lines to create timeless, functional spaces that spark an emotional response, and the results are stunning.
Throughout, contemporary Scandinavian design is interwoven with original architecture and a gently warm colour palette inspired by the city’s golden light. As you step in from the street, you enter an inner patio with clusters of marble columns topped by graceful arches. Arches then appear again on doorways, windows, lamp handles, mirrors and planters, while oak bedroom doors are capped with semi-circular panels that mimic their shape.
Other recurring features include exposed brickwork and terracotta tiling, traditional and contemporary interpretations of which adorn walls, floors and patios. They’re also echoed in lattice-like panels made up of ceramic slabs suspended from chains, which are used as screens and cast striking shadows over the surrounding surfaces.
The 15 rooms, which range from standard doubles to sprawling suites, are airy, pared back and infused with natural light. The carefully chosen furniture encompasses pieces from Nordic brands such as Menu, Skagerak, &Tradition, Muuto and String Furniture, with lots of smooth oak and soft beige linens. The semi-open ensuites, meanwhile, feature textured terracotta tiles – another lovely nod to the period architecture – offset by sleek white basins and taps. Outside on the balconies, Ferm Living’s ‘Desert’ chairs (made from recycled plastic bottles) reflect the city’s sun-kissed tones, and some of the suites have private terraces complete with alfresco bathtubs and showers.
The hotel’s lighting is particularly special. Among the mix of modern and classic mid-century designs are Fritz Hansen’s ‘Caravaggio Read’ wall lamp, Menu’s ‘Peek’ table lamp and ‘TR Bulb’ pendant, Spanish designer Miguel Milá’s iconic ‘Cesita’ table lamp and Le Corbusier’s Lampe de Marseille. There are also French industrial lights from the 1950s, plus a magnificent contemporary chandelier dangling over the central staircase.
Other treats on offer at the hotel include a plant-filled courtyard centred around a trickling fountain, a cocktail bar, and a roof terrace with a small but perfectly formed pool. The cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and snacks, and there’s also a bakery selling freshly made goodies and speciality coffee. What’s more, there are restaurants, tapas bars, museums and flamenco tablaos within metres of the front door.
All in all, Plácido y Grata looks like a wonderful example of minimalist design with an authentic sense of place. And that, in my view, is hotel perfection.
See more of Hotel Plácido y Grata and make a booking here.
Photography by Bacon Studio, courtesy of Hotel Plácido y Grata