The sophisticated Hotel Meliá Barcelona Sky, part of the Sol Melià chain and located in front of the Poblenou Central Park, incorporates a spa with a hydro zone (hydro massage pools, hydrotherapy showers, dry sauna and steam room), a relaxation area, gym and treatment booth. The good news is that the spa is open to the public, and offers very competitive prices. And for less than €100 you can get a massage or treatment, and with that, access to other facilities.
The Hotel Senator has a pocket-sized urban beach in its basement, which it describes as more of play space than a therapy centre; between 10am and 11.30am you can even take your kids. The facilities include a hydro massage pool, Turkish bath, sauna, boulder pool, Indo-Roman baths and an ice cave.
Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona GL offers luxurious accommodation in a neoclassical building on Passeig de Gràcia. It features a spa, rooftop swimming pool and a terrace with amazing views of the city. The Majestic Hotel maintains its original façade and its stylish, modern rooms feature attractive, classic décor. The spa features steam baths, a sauna and offers a range of treatments. There is also a fitness centre.
Take a breather after a maddening trip to Ikea. Located in the middle of nowhere near the new Europa del Hospitalet square (in the Gran Vía 2 shopping centre), the Fira Congress is one of the luxury hotels that serve users of the new trade fair complex on Montjuïc. Its modern facilities (hydromassage pool, warm hammocks, steam bath and gym) are open (book in advance) to those who find themselves ever so slightly stressed out after fighting for the latest Markör bookshelf. Entrance to the hydro centre is free when you take a treatment.
Aire de Barcelona revives the tradition of the Arab baths, themselves successors to the great Roman public baths. In the midst of the remains of medieval Barcelona in the Born, these carefully restored and modernised Arab baths offer the classic bathing combination of Templarium (warm), Caldarium (hot) and Frigidarium (cold). The basic package also includes a hamam steam bath, but can be extended to include massages and exfoliations on hot marble.
Run by the Metropolitan chain, this is a luxurious, spacious, modern complex, whose enormous pool area is one of its main attractions. There’s a hydro massage pool in the changing rooms, a Turkish bath and a sauna, and in the public area, a pool with ‘thermoludic’ effects, a sauna with TV, a hamam, bi-thermal and steam showers and an ice fountain – all this plus two swimming pools.
It's good to be king. The spa in the Rey Juan Carlos I Hotel is just as prestigious and luxurious as the hotel itself, from the spacious and well-lit facilities to the charming staff. Once in the spa you'll see they've got it all: sauna, caldarium, cold and heated swimming pools, mild steam sauna, pressure showers, and more. The décor harks back to the Roman origins of the public baths. Entrance to the spa can be complemented with massages and their gym – or if you prefer, you can lounge in the pool with the Mediterranean as a backdrop.
The hydro massage pool at Skipper’s has views of Montjuïc. The pool area isn’t huge (hydro massage, steam bath, ice basin and contrast showers, with essential oils and aromatherapy), although it does have a small outdoor hydro massage pool next to the main pool. If you opt for a treatment, entrance to this area is free; otherwise it’s €35 to use the indoor space and €50 for the outdoors.
Imagine a giant capsule, containing 600 litres of water (with 300kg of healing salts dissolved in it), into which you can seal yourself off from the world, without light, sound or any another external stimulus. The sensory isolation is complete, and the feeling of weightlessness means that after 20 minutes, the body starts to generate endorphins, aiding physical and mental relaxation.
This blissfully peaceful oasis, intimate, cosy and gently lit space feels light years away from the bustle of the city centre – which is just outside. You can choose to enter the water zone only (with hamam, foot baths, ice fountain, contrast showers and a hydro massage pool), but the experience isn’t complete without one of their treatments or rituals.
Located on the site of the old Barceloneta swimming club, this municipal sports centre houses Catalonia’s first Thalassotherapy centre, which uses sea water as the basis of therapeutic treatments. Enjoy five freshwater and salt water pools at different temperatures, with high-pressure water jets.
Behind its modest entranceway, Rituels d’Orient contains a paradise in miniature, a hamam split into two spaces. The first is maintained at 37°C by under-floor heating, and the second is a 46°C steam room. The hamam experience is said to help eliminate toxins and improve blood circulation.
Located up on Mount Tibidabo, the five-star Gran Hotel La Florida offers spectacular views over Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea. It is also home to the beautiful Spa by L'Occitane, featuring a sauna, hydromassage pool, hot plunge baths, and pressure showers. The L'Occitane Spa also includes a 37-metre stainless steel swimming pool, both indoor and outdoor. A hot tub, steam bath and a modern fitness centre are also available.
Water as a therapeutic tool is the maxim of this independent spa in the Jardinets de Gràcia. It has all the facilities of a traditional public bath, with a hydro massage pool, steam baths (although no dry sauna), warm couches, various hydrotherapy systems and a bed of river stones under a contrast shower, designed to stimulate circulation in the legs.
Luxury and panoramic views from the 43rd floor are the big selling points at the Hotel Arts spa, where they also offer beauty treatments using Natura Bissé cosmetics. The facilities, located in a duplex on floors 42 and 43, boast exquisite design and an impressive vantage point of the sea. They have it all: hydro massage, sauna and steam baths (sex-segregated), elegant relaxation areas, eight spa treatment booths (two with sea views) and two terraces on opposite sides of the building, so as not to miss a minute of sunshine. How can you get in on it? You can use the water circuit without any additional treatment for €45. And if you decide to get a treatment, you can get, for example, a 30-minute neck-and-shoulders massage, or a 30-minute legs-and-feet massage for €75 each.
The Mandarin Oriental boasts an exclusive spa with a 12-metre pool, an oriental steam room, a relaxation zone on the roof terrace with an open-air pool and a long menu of beauty treatments not suitable for all pockets. But if you are among the lucky ones who can afford to go, be sure to take full advantage of this idyllic paradise.