Barcelona is an extraordinary city blessed with historic architecture, some of the finest food in Spain, streets of fashion and an endless stretch of sandy shoreline. Founded by the Romans between two rivers on the Mediterranean seafront, it has continued to evolve amidst a flurry of contrasting elements and differing influences. From the “Gothic Quarter” with its medieval and Roman buildings in the centre of the old city, to the Art Noveau section, developed between 1885 and 1950, Barcelona really does have something for everyone.
Whilst the Old City is a maze of ancient streets and squares, jammed full of small boutiques, charming cafés and lively bars, the sea front and marina has, in recent years, witnessed extensive urban renewal. It now boasts a sparkling corniche and a plethora of modern buildings that wouldn’t be out of place in Miami or Dubai. Uniting the two distinctly different districts is Las Ramblas, the famous kilometre-long avenue which connects the city centre to the sea and, with its living statues, street performers and attractive flower stalls, has become one of the most defining symbols of Barcelona.
An enormously stylish city, Barcelona overflows with fashionable stores and chic retailers, particularly on the Passeig de Gràcia, on which the Mandarin Oriental proudly sits. This grand thoroughfare is also home to Casa Batlló, Antoni Gaudi’s remarkable status symbol of a house. Indeed, no visit to Barcelona would be complete without touring this ‘monument’ or Gaudi’s grand opus, the as-yet unfinished Sagrada Familia church. Gaudi introduced the world to creative modernism, an architectural movement that knew no boundaries, and the city is filled with reflections of his genius.
Home to a myriad of architectural styles - from the Roman Walls to the latest icons - Barcelona is the result of thousands of designers working together for over two millennia. Offering a wealth of museums and fantastic historical buildings, the city happily coexists in unison with its avant-garde architecture and its relaxed beach-town atmosphere. Whether hitting the shops, enjoying lazy afternoons of tapas and sangria, admiring the art and architecture or soaking up rays on the beach (or indeed by the fabulous Mandarin Oriental roof-top pool), the friendly residents of Barcelona ensure that everything is available. Effortlessly chic and sophisticated yet also bohemian and artsy, this city is fast becoming the ‘IT’ destination for savvy travellers from around the globe – My advice: get in there quick.
The Mandarin Oriental Barcelona offers avant-garde luxury in the city’s most exclusive street. Contemporary yet timeless in design, the 98-room hotel is located in the centre of the city’s commercial and entertainment district, 20 minutes drive from Barcelona International Airport.
Moments, the property’s signature restaurant is led by renowned Chef Carme Ruscalleda, winner of five Michelin stars, and offers a modern interpretation of traditional Catalan cuisine. Blanc is set under vaulted skylights and provides all-day dining with a fusion of Asian and regional Spanish specialties. The 660 square metre open-air Mimosa Garden is be the perfect spot for al fresco dining whilst Terrat, located on the rooftop terrace, features a spectacular dipping pool and allows guests to enjoy evening cocktails surrounded by the unique Barcelona skyline.
The 1,000 sq metre Spa at Mandarin Oriental Barcelona caters a wide range of holistic rejuvenating and relaxing treatments. In addition to eight private treatment rooms - including two Thai suites and two Couples’ Suites - the spa is home to a 12-metre indoor lap pool, and a Turkish hammam