When one thinks of Spain, the city of Barcelona usually comes to mind. Indeed, the typical images of bullfighting, flamenco, and Gothic architecture associated with Spain are all characteristic of the Catalonian capital.
But what makes Barcelona distinctive from the rest of the country is its primary language, Catalán, a beautiful remnant of the city’s colorful and independent history.
Catalonia offers tradition, innovation and design as well as warm Mediterranean character. UNESCO lists more than 12 sites and monuments in Catalonia as World Heritage and 3 traditions as intangible cultural heritage.
Home to great international artists like Gaudí, Dalí, Miró and Picasso and their works, Barcelona and its environs is a place of creative local cuisine and quality wines and boasts 54 restaurants with one or more Michelin stars.
Barcelonians―and to a greater extent, Catalonians―are very proud of their unique culture. If and when you decide to make this coastal seaport your next destination, consider adding a few hidden gems to your travel itinerary to get an authentic taste of the local flavor.
Premier Wellness Travel can design a delightful visit to the region. Or if you happen to find yourself in the area, you can book yourself and get all our VIP amenities.
To pair your culturally-enriching experience with a flair of luxury, here are five hotels to consider lounging at during your stay ::
Known as the first luxury hotel in Barcelona, El Palace is famous throughout the world for its quality of elegance and beauty. In 2017, the owners executed a comprehensive refurbishment of the hotel, originally built over a hundred years ago. One of the noteworthy reworks has been the seventh floor, where the hotel now houses the rooftop Diana Garden, which contains over fifty species of plants, fountains, pergolas, and a pool.
The high-caliber amenities provided by El Palace further reinforces the quality comfort of a 5-star hotel. Found throughout the 120 rooms―42 of which are suites―are handmade carpets, restored antiques, and high-end reproductions of lamps and curtains. The hotel’s gastronomic offerings include L’Éclair Restaurant, which features a piano bar, and the Winter Garden Restaurant, whose auspicious location at the rooftop terrace ensures you dine with a view. And, for lovers of cultural immersion, be sure to visit the Mayan Spa’s exclusive Temazcal Prehispanic Sauna―a place where body, mind, and soul all blend.
Our VIP amenities – an upgrade on arrival, daily buffet breakfast, food & beverage credit, spa credit, early check-in/late checkout, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Pro tip :: Hang out at the hotel’s Bluesman Cocktail Bar, the only jazz bar in the city where performances range from rhythms and blues to Cuban melodies.
Hotel Arts Barcelona
Operated by Ritz-Carlton is the beautiful and iconic Hotel Arts Barcelona, a hotel conveniently located at the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. People know this place to have historically serviced the influx of foreigners arriving to attend the 1992 Summer Olympics. Today it attracts a wide variety of people, ranging from celebrities like Ariana Grande to the ordinary enthused traveler.
The stunning 44-story hotel offers guests panoramic views of the city and sea from any of its 483 guest rooms, suites, and duplex luxury penthouses. On the exterior, you might notice the building’s structural expressionist style due to its honest, industrial aesthetic characteristic of the modern architectural movement. On the inside, two of the hotel’s several restaurants include Enoteca Paco Pérez―the only restaurant in town with a 2-star Michelin rating―and Arola, which provides a reimagining of the traditional Spanish tapas cuisine. They also offer sunrise yoga, mixology classes and cooking courses.
Our VIP amenities – an upgrade on arrival, daily full breakfast, food & beverage credit, early check-in/late checkout, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Pro tip :: If you want a relaxing day of luxury, look no further than the comfort of the hotel’s amenities. Their exclusive spa, 43 The Spa, includes terraced gardens, an infinity-edge pool, family pool, stunning Spanish art, and treatments by Natura Bissé.
Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona
Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona is located in the heart of the city’s commercial and entertainment district on Passeig de Gràcia. Spanish architects Carlos Ferrater and Joan Trias de Bes designed and completed this hotel relatively recently in 2009. Hence, the exterior presents a more modern twist, such as the sleek bridge entrance. Patricia Urquiola also helped design the interior by incorporating oriental themes and heritages in each of the hotel’s 120 rooms.
The Tatler Travel Guide named the Mandarin Oriental the “Best City Hotel” in 2011, a great testament to the hotel staff’s various luxurious features and services. One of their most popular amenities is The Spa. Comprised of eight private treatment rooms (two of which are couples’ suites), their spa offers Thai massage, vitality baths, a relaxation area, an Oriental herbal steam room, rainforest experience showers, a manicure/pedicure studio, and a boutique.
After a day of wellness and relaxation, satiate your appetite with cuisine cooked by one of the world’s most acclaimed female chefs, Carme Ruscalleda, at the two-starred gourmet restaurant Moments. If you want a meal with excellent views, dine at Terrat on the ninth floor, where you can taste some Peruvian delights while admiring the Barcelona skyline.
Our VIP amenities – an upgrade on arrival, daily buffet breakfast, complimentary Tapas and drinks, early check-in/late checkout, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Pro tip :: Stroll around the Passeig de Gràcia neighborhood and visit major tourist attractions such as Gaudi’s Casa Milà and Casa Batlló, the Gothic Quarter, and Las Ramblas.
The Serras Hotel
The Serras Hotel is a cute, trendy 5-star boutique hotel located in Barcelona’s celebrated Gothic Quarter. They boast 28 large, chic rooms with personalized services catering specifically to you so that your experience during the stay is truly unforgettable. In one of the oldest buildings in the city―dating back to the early 19th century, this hotel hosted famous figures, including renowned surrealist painter Pablo Picasso, who housed his first art studio here at the age of 15.
Watch out for Michelin-starred chef Marc Gascons at the open kitchen restaurant called Informal, where he provides guests with Catalan-inspired cuisine. If you are in the mood for a lovely beverage, climb up to the rooftop terrace and grab a drink at the cocktail pool. Relaxing alongside the beautiful olive tree and unique views of Port Vell Marina, you will want to spend the rest of your afternoon there in the open air.
Our VIP amenities – upgrade on arrival, daily buffet breakfast, food & beverage credit, complimentary tapas and bottle of Cava, early check-in/late checkout, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Pro tip :: The hotel’s strategic position in the Gothic Quarter allows easy access to famous tourist spots, including La Seu Cathedral, Plaça del Pi, and the Jewish district “El Call.”
When I visited Barcelona during my study abroad, the W Barcelona was one of the few buildings that stood out to me (out of all the beautiful Gothic and Art Nouveau cathedrals). This uniquely-shaped building caught my eye immediately when I strolled along the shore of Barceloneta Beach at sunset one evening. It’s no surprise that the locals popularly call it Hotel Vela (“Sail Hotel”) because its structure is akin to a ship’s sail.
Besides W Barcelona’s fun shape, this five-star Marriott hotel comprises 473 rooms, including 67 suites―one of which boasts 360º panoramic views. There is a variety of delectable options to satisfy your gastronomic curiosities:
FIRE is where the emphasis on flames produces theatrical culinary encounters.
La Barra is where the renowned Michelin-starred chef Carles Abellán serves seafood cuisine.
The Eclipse rooftop bar is where you can taste signature cocktails.
After a delicious feast, go ahead and decompress at the two-level W Spa, complete with a private Jacuzzi.
Our VIP amenities – an upgrade on arrival, daily full breakfast, food & beverage or W Spa credit, early check-in/late checkout, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Pro tip :: Take advantage of W Barcelona’s Whatever/Whenever® service, in which they will deliver whatever services you want, whenever you want. This hotel includes a unique program where Pets Are Welcome!
Additional Resources ::
The 9 Best Spas in Barcelona – from Timeout
You can book yourself into any of these beautiful hotels, and we’ll VIP so you can be pampered.