Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, may not be quite as popular as its bustling counterparts in the United Kingdom and France, but the charming city doesn’t skimp on delightful offerings: piping hot pans of paella, two and a half miles of white sand beaches, and architectural gems that are works of art. In fact, one of the most famous structures in the world is Antoni Gaudí’s Gothic and Art Nouveau La Sagrada Familia, a stunning Roman Catholic minor basilica in the heart of Barcelona. The Spanish architect is responsible for quite a few landmarks in the region—and now his first masterpiece, Casa Vicens, will be listed on Airbnb for one night this fall. It may sound like a highly competitive contest, but it’s more of a first-come, first-served situation for an extremely lucky couple.
Built between 1883 and 1885 for the family after which the home is named, Casa Vicens, located on the busy Carrer de les Carolines, almost resembles a stunning Art Nouveau gingerbread house. For passersby and travelers strolling along Carrer de les Carolines, the colorful Casa Vicens is a museum with three distinct parts: Gaudí’s original late 19th-century structure, the circa-1925 expansion by Joan Baptista Serra de Martínez, and the home’s surrounding lush gardens that inspired the grand interiors. However, as its name implies, Casa Vicens had been a private residence from its inception in the late 1800s until 2014.
For the last seven years, visitors have been able to wander through the mansion turned museum. But for only one night, Casa Vicens will close its doors to the public so that one pair of guests can experience the lavishly decorated Moorish and neoclassical space as the Vicens family did. (In other words, two people will live in Casa Vicens for 24 hours if they can get to the Airbnb booking page before anyone else.) The one-day vacation begins with a deep dive into the home’s history courtesy of the Airbnb host, followed by a decadent Gaudí-inspired, Michelin-worthy feast in the massive dining room on Casa Vicens’s garden level. The sprawling space, which features 34 restored paintings by artist Francesc Torrescassana, is enveloped by an enclosed porch, smoking parlor, and ornate foyer. After dinner, the guests will move to the smoking parlor for a nightcap under the multicolored plaster palm tree–shaped muqarnas.
At this point, the pair can make their way upstairs to take in the remarkable view from the terrace off the master bedroom. If the architect’s affinity for flora wasn’t obvious on the garden level, it becomes abundantly clear in the master bedroom, which is wrapped in stucco reeds and rushes on one side and ferns on the other. And between each heavy wooden beam lining, the ceilings are finely detailed pressed papier-mâché and green polychrome tiles that resemble winding vines. If the magnificently outfitted rooms, including the petite sitting room with trompe-l’oeil dome ceiling and wainscoted white, blue, and ochre ceramic-tiled walls, become overwhelming, the accessible rooftop offers a quiet oasis overlooking the city.
The next day, the trip will wrap up with an authentic Mediterranean breakfast served in the lush private garden. Did we mention the cost of such a luxurious experience is a mere euro? Booking opens on the Airbnb site at 4:00 Central European Summer Time (that’s 10 a.m. in New York) on July 12, so for everyone with fast fingers and a euro to spare, prepare for a night of living like Spanish nobility in one of Europe’s most stunning residences.