If you like to be bathed in the lap of luxury, there are few hotels that do it better than the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. With a sensational location along Passeig de Gràcia – the ritziest shopping street in the city – the hotel oozes the finer things in life including a two-Michelin-star restaurant, butler services, a serene spa, and pristine gardens. As long as you can swing the exorbitantly high price-point there are few hotels in the city that can match the level of service and amenities as this five-star property.
Luscious rooms are awash in polished hardwood floors, tones of black and gold, Japanese screen walls, and (probably) priceless modern art. All come equipped with pillow menus, Bose Bluetooth speakers, Nespresso coffee machines, and kimonos and yoga mats in the closet.
The suites are where the hotel truly shines. Amenities include butler service, giant terraces, epic views, Jing Tea, and more.
Probably the best showers in the city, the giant hard-pouring rain fixtures are like being under a waterfall. Gray slate floors are standard as are raised marble sinks (occasional double vanity), lit mirrors, and separate tubs (but not in all rooms). Bath products are by Acqua di Parma and Miriam Quevedo.
Entering the hotel, you pass under a stunning atrium when you arrive in the yellow-tinged lobby with comfy couches and modern art. The lobby here is more of a waystation and not much of a hangout – though you might get pulled into the Manolo Blahnik store if you have a thing for shoes.
On the roof, the outdoor rectangular pool is one of the largest rooftop spots in Barcelona and definitely lap-worthy. Views are practically 360-degrees and the pool is surrounded by wood slats, cushioned loungers, and wicker chairs. If you head down to the hotel’s basement, you’ll find an indoor lap pool next to the spa that’s illuminated by green neon lights and also great for a morning workout.
Offering a wide-range of treatments, the super quiet spa in the hotel basement is open from 10am-9pm, has eight cabins, two couples’ suites, a steam room, and the indoor lap pool. Once a month, there are holistic workshops that cover a range of health, nutrition, and beauty talks (these are not free though).
The indoor gym is also by the spa and is open 24/7. Here you’ll find a medium-sized spot with hardwood floors, TechnoGym machines, free weights, apples, headphones, and water. But the surprise is that there’s also an outdoor gym in the hotel’s back gardens. Here you can participate in free yoga sessions Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8 to 9 am, as well as pump up with some weights.
Gastronomy is where the hotel really separates itself from the competition as there are a variety of great options all overseen by Chefs Carme Ruscalleda and her son Raül Balam. Moments is the iconic spot that’s garnered two Michelin stars. But there’s also Blanc which serves Catalan dishes with Asian touches, and the rooftop terrace which offers up Peruvian cuisine with Mediterranean highlights.
The hotel occupies what used to be a bank, and nowhere can this be seen more than at the Banker’s Bar in the lobby. Here, the bar is decorated with hundreds of safety deposit boxes with keys sticking out (some still open if you can guess correctly). The bar is open till late and has live jazz on Wednesday nights. Out back, the Mimosa Garden is a summer treat open from April to October and the perfect spot for late day Spanish wine sips.
If you’re here during the right times, the Banker’s Bar also hosts pop-ups of famous bars and their bartenders from around the world.
The hotel is literally on Passeig de Gràcia, which is a major thoroughfare filled with glitzy shops, high-end restaurants, and easy access to major attractions. Within minutes you can walk to the Gothic Quarter, famous parks, pedestrian walkways, and museums. Also close by are multiple metro stations and there’s always a taxi waiting right outside the hotel.
If fine dining inside the hotel gets too much, head across the street to Taller de Tapas (3-minute walk) for a laid-back spot with some of the best finger food. If you want to dine on truly authentic Catalan cuisine, check out Restaurante L'Olivé (5-minute walk) for the best sardines and jamon of your life.
Just next door to the hotel is El Nacional (1-minute walk). Inside you’ll discover four distinct bars that cater to wine, beer, cocktails, and vermouth. If you want something more casual with live music, Obama English Pub (5-minute walk) is just down the street and pays homage to the former US president with a good beer selection and sports on the TVs.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Refined all the way, fans of the Mandarin brand will get all their creature-comforts at this iteration as they do all the little things right. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a higher level of service (which is great because the price point should guarantee it), and the amenities are all of the finest quality. The location is ideal as well, smack dab in the middle of town and walking distance to many of Barcelona’s best restaurants, bars, and attractions. If you’re a fan of the high-life in hospitality, you can’t go wrong with this world-famous luxury brand.