Occupying an elegant mid-20th-century building on a chic Barcelona avenue, with a double Michelin-starred restaurant and one of the best spas in the city, the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona aims to impress. The red carpet leading to the hotel’s striking façade, created by designer Patricia Urquiola, sets the bar high for guest’s expectations, and justly so. The plush public areas carry an air of Asian opulence and grandeur, thanks to the hardwood floors and delicate ivory decor, while the 120 guestrooms and suites—many looking out onto the upscale boutiques of the Passeig de Gràcia—feature strong, crisp lines and sophisticated color schemes. From the plump armchairs and cloudlike beds to the iPod docks and toiletries by Shanghai Tang and Acqua di Parma, the experience here is 100 percent deluxe.
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Mandarin Oriental Barcelona’s location right on the elegant Passeig de Gràcia means the hotel makes a great hub for active exploring, focused shopping, and casual wandering. Gaudí buildings such as Palau Güell and Casa Batlló are a stroll away, and culture fans are not far from Tivoli Theatre, one of the city’s grand neo-rococo buildings, in use since 1849; its program features an eclectic mix of comedy, plays, and classical concerts.
Need to Know
Rooms: 120 rooms; from $365. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The two-Michelin-starred Moments, helmed by star chef Carme Ruscalleda, serves traditional Catalan cuisine for lunch and dinner (the hazelnut, quince, and eel starter is memorable), while BistrEau by Ángel León serves casual bistro fare. In summer, Japanese and other snacks are served in the rooftop Terrat, and the outdoor Mimosa Garden offers a relaxed alfresco option. Come evening, the gentlemen’s club–style Banker’s Bar serves up classy cocktails in an aptly seductive interior. Spa and gym details: The sleek spa has a full menu of treats ranging from couples’ massages to a herbal steam room. The gym is open 24 hours; one-on-one yoga sessions with a private instructor are available upon request.
Who’s it for: Couples, business travelers, families—anyone seeking the ultimate in comfort and convenience. Our favorite rooms: The rooms in the newest tower are the most spacious and offer the best views of the city. Children’s entertainment: Families can arrange to have children’s amenities placed in their rooms—from cots and crayons for the small ones to PlayStations that will keep the older kids and teenagers happy.