Checking In: Mandarin Oriental Barcelona
Looking for the most stylish hotel in Barcelona? Then absolutely consider the Mandarin Oriental, modernly transformed from a mid-century building once home to a bank. Add to the mix a 2- Michelin-starred Catalan restaurant, an acclaimed spa with its sleek 12-metre, indoor lap pool, a rooftop terrace and pool with spectacular views over the city . . . it is absolutely a 5-star experience.
What to Expect
And can we talk about the service? Everyone knows about the Ritz Carlton’s legendary service, but in my book Mandarin Oriental sets the bar even higher. Down to earth, friendly, and oh-so efficient, you’ll be spoiled before you ever hit the check-in desk.
Setting and Accommodations
Located on prestigious Passeig de Gràcia within walking distance from Las Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter, and the Gaudi houses (Casa Batlló and La Pedrera), it’s a super location to easily visit just about all of Barcelona’s top sites. This intimate hotel comes with only 92 rooms and 28 suites where there are two types of room designs on offer: a white on white look in the original hotel; or a warmer and quite striking palette mix of black, gray, rich blues and green in the newest part of the hotel attached to the main building. Here suites come with luxurious living areas, even some with spacious terraces and stunning interiors.
Premier Terrace Suite
On the other hand, Deluxe Rooms are on the diminutive side with only 350 or so square feet, but they do have a quite efficient layout. My only complaint is the bathroom “mood” lighting making it very difficult to apply makeup. This along with the shower where washcloths, soap and shampoo placed on a shower bench tray becomes thoroughly soaked with every shower. But the seriously plush beds and completely soundproof windows make up for these fairly minor issues.
Say “buenos dias” to breakfast each morning, served in the sophisticated Bistreau where jamón ibérico is par for the course along with a massive spread of fresh fruit, local organic yogurts, beautiful pastries, dim sum, cheeses and charcuterie, fresh eggs and sausages, smoked salmon, the list goes on. And you must save an evening to dine on Catalan cuisine at Moments, awarded two Michelin stars. Choose from either an a la carte menu or the multi-course tasting menu appropriately named “The Trip” featuring a course from each of Mandarin Oriental’s hotels around the world.
Super Drink Spots
Two great places for dignified drinks: Banker’s Bar on the lobby level, decorated with the bank’s original safety deposit boxes in a nod to the building’s former heritage; and the stunning rooftop Terrat. Both offer craft cocktails, Spanish wines, and light meals. One evening we never made it outside the hotel so enamored we were with these two places. We began the evening at Terrat where great wine and a stunning 360-degree view of the city are on tap, then later cocktails and dinner in the atmospheric Banker’s Bar.
If Mandarin Oriental hotels are not on your radar yet then I suggest you make it happen. They truly are a major luxury player in the world of top hotels.
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