Towering over the lower end of Barcelona’s beaches, this luxury hotel offers all you need for a great time that combines relaxation and fun. From stunning views across the sand and sea to restaurants, bars, pools and a spa, you may be hard-pressed to find a reason to leave during your stay. The whole vibe is luxury glam in a place set apart from the crowds and stresses of the city centre, so if you want a break surrounded by beautiful people where your every desire can be catered to right there, this is the hotel for you.
There was a great deal of talk about the Fuster when it first opened. Many complained that this historic modernista building should have been preserved as a public space. The famed Café Vienés answers that demand somewhat, though when a cup of tea costs more than €8 you won't find many locals drinking it. What is so appealing for the luxury end of the market, however, is the air of exclusivity that envelops you on arrival. Service is spot on; rooms – while rather small – feel regal in their dove greys and purples. the rooftop pool has spectacular views, while the gourmet restaurant has a clubby, insider feel.
With crisp, contemporary decor, the Mandarin Oriental also occupies prime Passeig de Gràcia real estate, so if you're up for some of the best shopping in Barcelona, you've only got to head out the front door. For a special treat, don't miss the eye-popping (and wallet-stretching) Banker's Bar. When you really want to feel the effects of a luxury spa hotel, be sure to take advantage of the 12-metre pool, steam room, relaxation zone, and long menu of beauty and wellness treatments.
The Majestic has been standing tall in this neoclassical building on Passeig de Gràcia since 1918, giving guests the ideal central location for starting you out on your route of exploring Gaudí's greatest architectural wonders in the city. Michelin-starred chef Nandu Jubany serves up stellar cuisine in the restaurant, and you won't want to miss the ambience and views from their La Dolce Vitae rooftop bar, complete with a swimming pool and a view that includes the Sagrada Família and beyond. Yes, this is a spa hotel as well, so look forward to getting pampered. And families can take advantage of the Barcelona by Scooter scheme that gets you around town just that bit easier and even comes with an iPad loaded with maps, and a backpack with water and snacks. Now that's five-star treatment.
Built for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, the building that now houses the Hotel Arts changed the city skyline and stands tall inside its exoskeleton next to its twin tower. The over-the-top luxury you'll experience at the Arts is found in the 28 grand two-storey penthouses and down to the original pieces of art in every hallway and all of its nearly 500 rooms and suites. Give yourself a treat in the form of some R&R at 43 The Spa or a two-Michelin-starred meal at the hotel's Enoteca restaurant. If views are what you're after, you just can't go wrong at the Arts, where all the rooms boast spectacular panoramic views of the city or the Mediterranean.
Old-style classic opulence is what's in store at El Palace Barcelona. Dating back to 1919, the hotel stands in a building with a neoclassical façade and features themed Art Suites that have a story behind them. Take the Salvador Dalí Suite. It's not decked out with doorknobs in the shape of moustaches, but the artist himself actually lived there for a time. And Ronnie Wood himself has stayed in his namesake suite, which is done up in purple-and-silver art deco per the Stones guitarist's request. Mere mortals can also revel in the full luxury treatment in the range of classic rooms, junior suites, superior suites, family rooms, and the grand deluxe. You also get a fine-dining restaurant, a jazz and blues cocktail bar, and a peaceful roof garden that's home to more than 50 species of plants as well as fountains, walkways, ponds and a pool.
You'd hardly know you were in the heart of Barcelona once you're inside Born's most in-demand hotel: the place is wonderfully quiet, with Hitchcockian corridors opening up onto sleekly appointed rooms. The big bedrooms exhibit a contemporary edge, with modern furniture, industrial-style windows (some of which look out onto the Plaça Ramón) and nicely planned mod cons. The real charm of the hotel lies on the roof. Here you can sip a cocktail and admire the wonderful views while floating in the vertiginous infinity pool. There's also a swish cocktail bar and Mediterranean restaurant on the ground floor.
By the time you can say The Level at Melia Barcelona Sky you're up on the 25th floor of this 21st-century building in Poblenou, the city's hub for artists and creativity. Whether you're in town for your own adventure, a romantic weekend, family fun or even on business, you'll enjoy plenty of comfort and all the perks (among them Nintendo Wii and iPod rental). Rooms feature a modern, minimalist design with soft, neutral colours that highlight the blues of the sky and the Mediterranean framed in your window. Try out a Turkish bath without leaving your hotel in the YHI Spa, get personalised cocktail service before dinner, or dine at the renowned Dos Cielos restaurant, winner of two Michelin stars. If you can bear to tear yourself away from all this, a 15-minute walk gets you to one of the city's top beaches at Mar Bella.
Sleep, eat, drink and relax in a former 19th-century palace (Casa Daurella) opposite Gaudí's La Pedrera when you stay at Condes de Barcelona. Rooms are decorated in a modern design with colours borrowed straight from Mother Nature, giving you maximum comfort (there's even a pillow menu!). Choose a view of Passieg de Gràcia or overlooking a lovely courtyard. Some rooms have a balcony or a private terrace with a hammock where you can really sink into the experience. Bear in mind that the gastronomic director of the hotel's eateries is Martín Berasategui, the chef behind Lasarte, one of only two restaurants in Barcelona with three Michelin stars.
Set among lush gardens and offering fantastic city views, the Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I gets you out of the city centre and into an uptown luxury retreat. Still, you're only a 20-minute metro journey back into the thick of it all. And meanwhile, football fans will be thrilled to have Barcelona's home pitch, the world-famous Camp Nou, just a 15-minute walk away. The glass and concrete building that houses the hotel was built in 1992 and won the National Architecture prize the following year for Catalan architect Carlos Ferrater. In 2014 the hotel started to undergo an ambitious renovation project, so you'll find classic rooms as well as recently renovated ones, all kitted out in elegance and plush comfort.