A 19th century palace
In 1870, Josep Maria Serra and Dorotea de Chopitea, owners of the Bank of Barcelona, commissioned master Jeroni Granells the works for their new home in Barcelona city center. Lady Dorotea de Chopitea devoted all her life and wealth to improve the city and the wellbeing of its citizens, building hospitals, temples, shelters for old and poor people and schools; always with the help and advice of her friend Saint John Bosco. After her death, she was declared Venerable by Pope John Paul II.
Salesian historian Ramón Alberdi has recently published a biography of Dorotea de Chopitea y de Villota (1816-1891) Building a Barcelona for All of Us (Fundación Edebé, 2009).
A hotel with history
Hotel Granvía first opened its doors in 1935, following a comprehensive renovation project which duly respected the palace’s principal features: its façade, grand staircase, and main lobby. At the foot of the Paseo de Gracia, the Hotel soon became one of the city’s key social and cultural sites, hosting galas, dances, and formal events thrown by the Royal Artistic Circle of Barcelona and the Liceu Operahouse during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Throughout the 20th century, Hotel Granvía was a favorite Barcelona meeting point, and has accommodated many actors, politicians, and prominent cultural figures from Catalonia, other parts of Spain, and the world over.
A hotel for the movies
Because of its spectacular architecture and interior design, Hotel Granvía has been chosen as the set for numerous films and TV series, both within Spain and abroad. The hotel’s filmography includes features like:
- “11-11-11” (Darren Lynn Bousman, 2011)
- “23-F: El día más difícil del Rey – The King’s Hardest Day” (RTVE, 2009)
- “La silla – The Chair” (Julio D. Wallovits, 2006)
- “Inconscientes - Unconscious” (Joaquín Oristrell, 2004).
It has also been used as the background for journalistic reports and photo shoots, which have gone on to appear in publications like Sposa Bella, Woman, Hola, and the El País magazine. The work of the prestigious photographer Outumuro has particularly immortalized the models and actors who have posed in the Hotel’s lounge areas.