Under the direction of visionary luxury hotelier Gerard Sintes, Mandarin Oriental Barcelona opened 10 years ago within a heritage facade building which used to be a bank. Four years ago, the hotel added an adjacent building adding exquisite suites, some with private terraces, thus covering the full spectrum of guest profile, those who were seeking a more classic product.
The hotels boasts an impeccable location right on the prestigious Passeig de Gracia, a state-of-the-art Spa, an indoor and an outdoor pool (rooftop), a two Michelin star rated restaurant, a unique concept Bar, a spectacular rooftop with breathtaking views of the city (as well as a restaurant and swimming pool) a beautifully manicured garden and an overall impeccable interior design orchestrated by the award winning Patricia Urquiola with custom made furnishing, most of them signed by major Italian luxury furniture brands.
Eight years since my stay and several other stay, on this occasion, I was once again amazed how the product has remained impeccably relevant, Patricia Urquiola’s designs blending a sleek contemporary style with an elegant warmth, oozing a luxurious home away from home feel which is the ultimate goal of any hotel. The versatility of the Mimosa Garden and the Terrat Rooftop, as well as that of the two restaurants have been constantly an ideal platform for the hotel to come up with ephemeral events & dining concepts, the latest one being a multi-sensorial pop-up dinner in a custom made venue set up in the gardens.
With all the rooms and suites in the main building now fully renovated, the ultimate attention to comfort (functionality & aesthetics) is even more evident – heavenly comfortable beds, finest quality high-thread count satin linen, spacious bathrooms with separate bathtub and a large walk-in shower (amenities by caviar based Spanish luxury beauty brand Miriam Quevedo), flawless soundproofing both indoors and outdoors as well as the latest technologies, including an UHD SmartTv and high speed wi-fi throughout the entire hotel. Basics such as water pressure or the incredibly serene AC may be considered as being by default.
From opening, the Spa has established itself and maintained its reputation as the finest among any luxury hotel in Barcelona. Besides the indoor pool, fully equipped fitness centre, the Spa has an oriental steam and 7 treatment rooms. For facials but also full body treatments, the brand mix includes Linda Meredith and Miriam Quevedo as well as the bespoke Aromatherapy Associates line made for Mandarin Oriental. There is also a branch of the renowned podiatrist Bastien Gonzalez’ Pedi:Mani:Cure studio.
The Blanc Restaurant, which is also the all day dining venue of the hotel (open daily) has a high full glass ceiling allowing for natural day-light. Blanc also has a show-kitchen which allows for a direct interaction between the Chefs and the guests. With the sophisticated configuration that includes lateral high-chairs, there is an absolute WOW factor at any time of the day. The best breakfast in a hotel in Barcelona and the best weekly brunch are served in the Blanc.
Managed by Vhef Carme Ruscalleda and her son Chef Raül Balam, the Moments restaurant offers the finest gastronomic experience in any luxury hotel in Barcelona. Having won seven Michelin stars for her restaurants in Spain and Tokyo, Ruscalleda is one of the most famous chefs in the country. The experience can be characterised as creative, fresh with a healthy cuisine inspired by the rich Catalan culinary culture.
The rooftop Terrat restaurant features Peruvian cuisine by Gastón Acurio, a world renowned Chef. Dinner on the rooftop at Terrat in the warm months will leave you speechless with spectacular panoramic views of the city as well as the magnetic sunset. The uniqueness of Terrat is its versatility, some may perceive it as more elegant or more casual at the same time. Live music is carefully chosen to reflect the latest trends.
With its 360 degree offering, the hotel caters to guests from breakfast to dinner, in the most diverse settings, for both corporate and leisure guests (or mixed) but also, most importantly a loyal local customer base, one of the many achievements of the hotel, thus ensuring the ‘validation’ of locals but also an interesting mix, so that foreign travellers will not necessarily feel as being in a tourist hotel.
From the day it opened Mandarin Oriental Barcelona has set the highest standards of customer service throughout the entire hotel. The huge achievement of the hotel is not only having maintained these standards but having constantly exceeded them, striving for perfection. Service is high personalised and on each stay, the hotel has carefully remembered my preference.
On this most recent stay, I had an early morning flight into Barcelona and knowing the hotel is running a high occupancy I was ready to wait, probably to have walk on Passeig de Gracia. However, I was so warmly met and I could not notice the pleasure smiles on the faces of the staff. I was swiftly taken to a beautiful suite on the ground-floor with a large outdoor terrace, the main table being set up with a beautiful array breakfast. I was not aware there were such suites in the hotel – I was speechless.
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