Gran Hotel La Florida, Barcelona
Tel: 34 93 259 3000
Concierge.com's insider take:
For some, it's too far removed from Barcelona's bustle. For others, the setting is the draw—high atop a lush mountain 15 minutes outside the city center. Known as a pleasure palace for visiting kings and celebrities during the 1920s, the hotel fell into decline until it reopened in April 2003. Today this classic property has been yanked into the 21st century, filled with contemporary art by the likes of Ben Jakober and Yannick Vu, whose 88-foot fiber-optic Homage to Gaudí graces the inner courtyard. The 52 rooms are done in an Art Nouveau style and some have huge arched windows—none will disappoint, but the 22 suites are even better. The Sky Terrace Suite bears the imprint of artist Rebecca Horn (the creator of Barceloneta beach's rusty cubes) and has a large patio with a Jacuzzi. The Japanese suite has a Zen garden and mountain views. But it's the 121-foot L-shaped indoor-outdoor infinity pool—made of stainless steel—that makes it perfectly clear this is no Old World hostelry anymore.