If you're not one to visit fancy hotel bars, you might want to change your mind this week: from May 30 to June 8, the Barcelona Hotel Association (Gremi d'Hotels de Barcelona) celebrates A Vista d'Hotel, a week that opens the city's hotel terraces to the public to show off all they have to offer, including spectacular views.
The week sees 228 events across the 60 participating hotels, including culture, entertainment, DJs, live music, food and drink workshops and tastings, magic shows, and even opera. Of course, with the views from some of these terraces, the activities are just the icing on the cake.
See the full list of participating hotels at the A Vista d'Hotel website.
Our top eight recommended hotel terraces for the week
The Villa Emilia Hotel is a bit unusual in that it's a three-star hotel that's not associated with any large hotel group. You could say it's a neighbourhood establishment, as it's where many local residents and workers stop in for a good lunch of traditional Catalan cuisine with French touches. For €9 you can get a vermouth aperitif with anchovies, olives and crisps. And every day, from 7pm to 10pm, they give talks on wines from around the world.
The Ohla Gastrobar is an exclusive but relaxed spot that serves small haute cuisine, courtesy of chef Xavier Franco, who also runs the modern classic Saüc, itself now located at the top of the Ohla Hotel. The Gastrobar features top-quality tapas and small dishes. This week they wow with their A Vista d'Hotel programming: Friday, June 6, at 6.30pm and 8pm, there's a synchronized swimming show with the C.N. Kallipolis Junior Spain Champion team, trained by Anna Tarrés. And on Thursday, June 5 at 8.30pm, it's authentic Catalan rumba with Els Ximenis.
The 19th-century Duquesa de Cardona is located opposite Barcelona’s marina in the Barri Gòtic. As you might imagine, the views from their rooftop terrace are breathtaking, and something most locals have never seen. Its programme for the week doesn't detract from the view: a cooking workshop with Guzman Gastronomia on Saturday the 7th from 6pm to 8pm (learn the spherification process!), live samba and funk with Xandele (Friday the 6th, from 6pm to 10pm), and a class on making gin and tonics on Wednesday, June 4, from 6pm to 8pm.
The kitchen at La Terraza del Claris offers an extensive menu of Mediterranean and Catalan specialities with one spoon in the traditional and the other in the modern, such as cod with pumpkin and a wild mushroom sauce. And their events this week include a visit to the Egyptian Museum, which is on the first floor of the hotel itself. The exhibition features 70 pieces that illustrate most of the chronological periods Egyptian history is divided into, from the Old Kingdom (2659–2134 BC) to the Roman period (second century BC). There will also be DJ sets from 8pm to 11.30pm, on June 5, 6, 7, 30 and 31.
This luxury hotel right on Passeig de Gràcia is home to the Mimosa garden, a green oasis in the centre of Barcelona. It's an exclusive setting for evenings outdoors, and the rooftop terrace boasts an infinity pool and amazing views of Passeig de Gràcia. This is the place to be if you're a fan of illusions, as there will be a magic show on Monday the 2nd, Tuesday the 3rd and Wednesday the 4th from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.
The Gallery Hotel is eager to pull in local clientele with their four-star restaurant that also has a gorgeous garden terrace and a passage behind the Palau Robert, and where you can dine on top-notch Mediterranean cuisine. When the warm weather rolls into town, they open the rooftop terrace, a lovely space with a swimming pool. The Gallery has an active line-up this week: June 5-7, from 10am to 10pm, the passage area hosts a market with an Ibizan air about it, including cocktails and a DJ. And on the roof, on Friday, June 6, you'll hear live music from 9pm to 11pm. Also, magician Selvin will put on a show combined with wine tasting (Tuesday the 3rd and Thursday the 5th from 7.30pm to 9.30pm).
The Pulitzer features an urban garden with a fresh and cosmopolitan vibe, which is reputed to be a popular destination among the hippest of Barcelona's beautiful people. They've carved out this name for themselves with a few good seasons programming live music and stratospheric DJs, including DJ Fra, one of the founding fathers of the electronic movement at Nitsa. The sessions start back up this week: Thursday the 5th from 7.30pm to 9:30pm, and Friday the 6th, from midnight to 2am. The space is filled with live music on Wednesday the 4th from 8pm to 10pm.