When was the last time you splurged? That long ago? Cannot even remember? Let Hotel Arts Barcelona remind you what a splurge can look like. Click the photos to enlarge:
Booking a stay at Hotel Arts Barcelona is a sure-fire way of adding a bit or a lot of splurge to your itinerary. Located in Barcelona’s beachfront, the Hotel Arts will give you the most beautiful views of the Mediterranean and the marina. With a Michelin-starred restaurant onsite, you can be assured that you will be treated to only the finest of Catalan cuisine. And being a Ritz Carlton hotel, guests can expect nothing but the absolute best in style and service.
Combining my visit in 2009 and my most recent trip, I picked my 5 favourite things about Hotel Arts:
1. The pool. Hotel Arts’ pool gives you a view of the marina in one side, the Mediterranean in another, and Frank O. Gehry’s fish sculpture in the other. Whichever side you pick will be beautiful. Now, choosing to lie on the sun lounger or the gigantic hammock will be the tougher decision to make.
2. Pampering pool service: Spending 3 full days at a catatonic state in the pool area gave me an idea of how the staff spoilt the sun-bathing guests. Almost every hour, looking so fresh and summery in their white-and-khakis, a member of the pool staff goes around with a bucket of cold fruit slices. Or a tray of ice-cold mango juice shakes. Or a basket of cold face towels. If you’re lucky, you’ll be offered a flute of golden cava. Yum! My favourite part is when a Prince Harry look-a-like went around offering everyone a spritz of Evian to freshen up the face.
“Evian?” asked Prince Harry.
I saw one too many ladies flash their most beautiful smile, flirtingly close their eyes, and pucker their lips as they prepared themselves for a five-star spritz. I personally could not do it. I figured if I needed to freshen up, I can simply jump into the pool. But it was amusing, nevertheless, getting pampered when all the exhausting work you’re doing is really laying there soaking up some sun.
3. Baño romantico. I admit, this one’s more for the ladies. Meaning “romantic bath” in English, this was the label on one of the light switches for the bathroom. I love that with a flick of a switch, the bright bathroom transforms into a dimly lit relaxing sanctuary that’s ideal for a warm bubble bath. All that’s really missing is a switch for Javier Bardem.
4. Nightstand control panel. On one of the bedside tables is a control panel a la Captain Kirk’s. It lets you control the brightness of the various light sources in the massive room. The best part? The switch that controls the shades. Just in case you feel like having a quick siesta and turn sunny Barcelona to pitch-black, you can do that just by pressing a button just like in the video.
5. Exceptional room service. We had some leftover paella and wanted to have them reheated. Since there was no microwave in the room, we asked if the hotel kitchen can re-heat it for us. Styrofoam container in plastic bag, we handed it to someone from the hotel staff who came to pick it up. About 10 minutes later, he came back with a cart and on top of it was a crystal plate with our leftover paella in it, beautifully plated, with extra garnish, and yes, re-heated. So unexpected, hence so appreciated.
Here’s a little peek at the suites and two-storey apartments, as well as the magical window shade in action:
Hotel Arts Barcelona Marina 19–21 08005 Barcelona, Spain T +34 93 2211000