Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Arts Barcelona
Carrer de la Marina 19–21, Barcelona, Catalonia 08005, Spain See on Map Fodor's Choice
In the world of five-star luxury, the Ritz Carlton branded hotels generally have the market cornered, and this iteration of their stellar hospitality group is no exception to their levels of excellence. The awe-inspiring tower that sits right on the beach provides a who’s who clientele with stunning seaside vistas to go along with world-class cuisine, an award-winning spa, multiple outdoor pools, and the highest levels of service. With 44 floors of blue glass against crisscrossed white steel beams, there’s really nothing quite like Hotel Arts in Barcelona.
Request a room on the seaside and you’ll be treated to views of Frank Gehry’s Golden Fish Sculpture that was designed for the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Spacious rooms are the height of luxury accommodations. With giant window views of the water and surrounding city, rooms come with smart TVs, work desks, coffeemakers, bottled water, and beachy tones of beige, blue, and white. Suites are on a whole different level (figuratively and literally) with sky-high terraces and the finest in contemporary design. Club Rooms and suites get access to the exclusive Club Lounge with its own dedicated check-in desk along with snacks and booze throughout the day.
YOU SHOULD KNOW One glaring issue (but probably the only one) is that Wi-Fi isn’t free and runs in the 25-35 Euro/day range. Ugh.
Awash in marble, the bathrooms heighten the lux experiences with sunken tubs, rain showers, double vanities, and Asprey products. Penthouse suites have Bulgari products instead.
The hotel is so big that there’s not really one area that constitutes a main lobby. All over the first floor are comfy couches, food and beverage outlets, access to the pools, and a fashion boutique.
There are two lap-worthy pools outside the hotel and both provide sea views, first-come-first-serve cabanas, and loads of loungers for sunbathing. The main pool is home to summer parties, cocktail nights, live music, and DJs. The brand-new infinity pool is an adult’s only oasis of calm and comfort where they also host 90 Moons, a summer series with live music and DJs as well.
Arguably the finest spa in the city, 43 The Spa on the 43rd floor features eight treatment cabins, steam and sauna rooms with city views, and a glorious hammam. The spa uses Natura Bisse products and offers guests a variety of packages including massages, facials, skin treatments, and more.
A very large fitness area comes with TechnoGym machines, free weights, and every other workout equipment you can think of – balls, ropes, reformers, etc. There aren’t any specific classes, but during the summer, there’s free yoga in the garden by the infinity pool and a trainer can be arranged for any physical activity you have in mind.
There are so many dining options it’s sometimes hard to choose. But you should definitely start with Enoteca – a two Michelin star restaurant by famed chef Paco Perez which serves an unreal tasting menu of inventive Mediterranean cuisine. Arola, meanwhile, is an outdoor space with small plates and tapas. Lokal is the expansive breakfast area with one of the best buffets in town including all freshly baked and locally sourced goodies. Bites, inside the hotel, is a casual coffee shop for informal fare. And finally, there’s Marina by the pool that offers up healthy treats while you soak in the sun (there’s actually more – see drinking section).
The newest addition to the F&B scene here is P41 Bar & Coctelarium that features a long list of signature sips that hail from around the world along the 41st parallel – that includes Rome, Chicago, Istanbul, New York, and others. Along with the drinks is a small bites menu that pairs perfectly no matter which region you decide to imbibe from.
Hotel Arts is right on the water and all around the hotel are bars, clubs, restaurants, and even a casino. Walking along the boardwalk here is a treat and there always seems to be something happening whether it’s a street fair, carnival, or food fest. If you want to get closer to the city center, there’s a metro stop right across the street and a never-ending line of taxis right outside.
Right at the beach is Bestial (2-minute walk) a stellar Mediterranean restaurant with incredible seafood and even better views. For something casual, yet still high-end, check out Ten’s (9-minute drive) for tapas by a Michelin-starred chef.
Right behind the hotels are some of Barcelona’s most famous clubs. Make it a point of hitting up Pacha, Opium, Shoko, or Carpe Diem (1-minute walk). Just know that clubs start late and end late - like 3am-5am late. If you end up eating at Ten’s, walk over to Paradiso (9-minute drive) after, which is a hidden cocktail spot inside a pastrami deli.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Like all Ritz Carlton hotels, the height of luxury hospitality is on full display in every aspect of the property. The pools are large and multi-faceted. The spa is incredible soothing. The gym is enormous and has all the latest equipment. And the restaurants and bars are out of this world. Service is of course of the highest quality and the location, right on the water, is ideal for beach-lovers and boardwalk strollers. Generally the best of everything (minus the Wi-Fi fee, ugh), Hotel Arts is a primo property for fans of five-star accommodations.