Fodor's Expert Review Gran Hotel la Florida
Ctra. Vallvidrera al Tibidabo 83–93, Barcelona, Catalonia 08035, Spain See on Map
Perched up above the city on Tibidabo’s Hill, Gran Hotel la Florida is a majestic property with the best views of Barcelona. Originally built in 1924, this five-star hotel is a romantic retreat for couples looking to get away, but not too far away as the city is a short ride down the hill. High-end all the way, the lush and swanky property features an enormous indoor/outdoor pool, lavish spa, and fine dining and has hosted famous clientele over the years like Jimmy Stewart and Ernest Hemingway.
The hotel is also great for families with specially dedicated rooms, packages, and amenities made for tots. The hotel also has discounts on tickets at the amusement park that’s right next door.
All rooms have hardwood floors and cream-colored walls, but make sure you ask for balcony views as these will leave your jaw permanently dropped. Smart TVs are mounted on the wall for your Netflix needs and higher category rooms feature Nespresso machines and free bottled water.
The hotel is pet friendly, but it’s 50 Euros/day that includes special packages for your furry friends.
The bathrooms are a marble-lovers dream as every inch is covered in the polished stone. Every bathroom has a separate shower and bathtub with shaving mirrors, bidets, and L’Occitane bath products that are top of the line.
A cool bath amenity at the hotel is the tray that lays across the bathtub. There are dedicated slots for bottles of wine and glasses and there’s a stand that’s made to prop up your iPad.
From the moment you arrive, you’ll feel like you’ve entered your wealthiest friend’s home as there are comfy couches throughout, lots of work and reading spaces, lavish marble floors, and access to shops, restaurants, a bar, outdoor smoking patio, and more. This is also where the hotel hosts its decadent afternoon tea.
Quite possibly the biggest hotel pool in Barcelona, the L-shaped spot looks out over the city and also ducks inside the building – especially nice in cold, winter months. There’s also a hot tub at the end of the indoor pool, which is even nicer when it’s cold out. Surrounding the watering hole is an enormous deck with plush red loungers where couples and families order from an exclusive menu and soak up rays. On summer Fridays and Saturdays there is often a DJ spinning jazzy tunes.
If you want an outdoor massage, there’s a private space on the deck outside by the pool.
Spa by L’Occitane is in a cavernous space below the indoor pool and features four treatment rooms that includes two couples cabins. The fully-equipped spa uses all L’Occitane products and every service imaginable is available – hair, nails, facials, massages, wraps, etc.
The gym is just a few of Technogym machines that sit next to the indoor pool, but the hotel is more about working on your tan than your muscles. Inside the space, you’ll also find a steam room and sauna.
If you do need more of a workout, the hotel offers free aqua-pool classes and in the summer there is yoga at night during a full moon. Or just trek up and down the hill - you'll feel the burn for sure.
There are a few dining outlets at the hotel, but none better than Barcelonas Restaurant, a fine-dining spot that’s only open for dinner and has Catalan cuisine with slight Asian influences. The romantic setting also features an outdoor patio with hanging lights and views of Barcelona below. Bistro 1925 is the hotel’s more casual all-day dining spot that also has a patio and there is a separate breakfast area in addition to a food menu by the pool.
Les Terrasses is the main bar for the hotel and is at the pool. By day it’s a relaxing oasis. By night (in the summer) you’ll find a mix of DJs, live music, and occasional events under the stars. The Lobby Bar, meanwhile, is a library-esque space with a futuristic waterfall and dozens of couches and chairs for cozy drinks with a significant other.
One of the benefits of staying here is there’s a free shuttle that takes guests to the center of town and back multiple times a day. Also, if you want to get right down the hill, there’s a funicular at the church/amusement park, which drops you at the bottom and then there’s only a 10-minute walk to the nearest metro station. Otherwise, you might consider renting a car – parking is 21 Euros/night.
There’s not a ton of options in the immediate vicinity but there are a couple of restaurants at the amusement park if you need something different within walking distance. If you take the funicular down and walk about 10-minutes you’ll get to ABaC (20-minute walk/ride), a three Michelin star restaurant helmed by famed chef Jordi Cruz.
You’re better off hanging out at the hotel as any great bar options are far away.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Gran Hotel la Florida is an ideal hideaway where you’ll feel totally isolated from the city without being too far away. Great for kids and/or romantic couples, the hotel has an amazing pool, solid dining outlets, a rejuvenating spa, and the best views of Barcelona. For kids, the amusement park next door is really fun, and for adults, there’s a free shuttle to the center of the city for any shopping, dining, drinking, or touring needs. The hotel is five-stars all the way and that’s seen most in its attention to detail and extremely high levels of service.