The Serras

Rooms 30   Architecture Ferran Gelabert   Interior Design Eva Martinez Torres
The Original Jordi Serra

Hotels Facts & Figures
Ferran Gelabert
Design Eva Martinez Torres
The Original Jordi Serra

Jordi Serra

The Second Act

The Barcelona businessman came to the hotel world late in life. But once in, he committed himself to opening a luxurious yet informal property that is as unique and committed to making people happy as the man himself.

Jordi Serra spent a lifetime in business traveling the world.


“I owned a company that had operations in 20 countries, with such customers as IBM, NCR, and other tech companies,” says the jovial Spaniard. “I spent weekends in different cities. But I loved traveling.”


When most people Serra’s age (he is now in is early 60s) sell their business, they often retire to a life of leisure. But not Serra. He made leisure his new business.

I wanted to put everything that made me happy in other hotels into my hotel.


I wanted to put everything that made me happy in other hotels into my hotel.


“I thought about opening a hotel because it’s a place where you see people having fun and you can have fun as well.”


It was a nice idea, but just that—an idea. That is, until Serra got a phone call that would redirect his life. “After I sold the company, I moved to New York City,” he explains. “And that’s when my sons found this building on the sea close to La Rambla, one of Barcelona’s most popular streets, and just a 10-minute walk to Passeig de Gràcia, with all the big fashion brands. It’s also near El Born, with its many bars and restaurants. My sons then described the building and that’s when I knew. I said to them, ‘Please tell me no one else wants it!’ I came right back to Spain and bought it.”


All those weekends traveling to different cities now paid off. “I wanted to put everything that made me happy in other hotels into my hotel,” he says of the property that now bares his name, The Serras. “But more, I wanted to put in things I didn’t find. That’s why the rooftop of my hotel is such a social gathering spot. You see, I love South Beach. So I love a rooftop where you can be in the sun, have drinks, dine in a great restaurant, have all amenities you would expect in a room, and have a great view of the sea. It’s luxurious but informal. That is the kind of luxury I love. Fresh, open, light!”

 A key element missing from the hotels Serra visited was standout design. He interviewed numerous designers before finally settling on Eva Martinez, who is well known for her restaurants in Barcelona and Ibiza. “I love the New York style,” he says of the direction Martinez took with his hotel. “I wanted to make a Mediterranean/New York City design combination.” The Serras’ stunning mixture of antique tiles and calming sea colors perfectly fulfill his vision.


Serra is perhaps even more proud of his hotel’s association with Pablo Picasso. “The artist started his first studio right here in this building,” he explains. “There are works in museums that you can clearly tell were painted from here. It is very emotional for me to see that.”


Still another source of pride are the Roman ruins uncovered on the hotel site. “The city didn’t know they were here until we started renovating the building. We made scans of everything. We dug down one floor and found this ancient dock. They never would have found it if we didn’t dig. I was lucky but I am also very proud of that discovery.”


So what’s next for Jordi Serra? “I am looking for other hotel opportunities,” he says, and then adds a caveat that perfectly captures the essence of The Serras. “But it must be exactly what I want!”

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