W Barcelona $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
At 26 stories high, architect Ricardo Bofill's glass-clad, sail-shaped W Barcelona hotel is a real head-turner. His bold creation, perched on the water's edge in the salty maritime district of Barceloneta, is the most beach-minded of all of Barcelona's hotels, with a full panorama of the city's (partly nudist) beach from the mezzanine-level infinity pool and sweeping views of the Mediterranean from the 473 rooms. Stylish chaise longues curve around the base of the floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms and suites, which range from 420-square-foot Cozy rooms to 3,174-square-foot Extreme Wow suites. Room decor is unfussy, with a restrained retro vibe that extends into the gray granite WC and wet room. Much of the furniture has futuristic rounded edges, while beds sit center stage in some of the rooms (it's lovely to wake up to a view of the sky) and funky lighting casts bold hues (we like the hot pink) over the pale surroundings. The W Barcelona's public areas follow the same minimal design, but bubble seats and modular sofas in soft grape and lime green add a stylish splash of color. The top floor's Eclipse cocktail bar is more Bond-style glam, with gold sofas, octagonal tables, and killer views up the coastline. Eclipse looks likely to become a city hot spot: It already attracts international Euro-hoppers, expats, and Barcelonese trendsetters, as does the hotel's market-cuisine restaurant, run by Carles Abellán of Comerç 24 fame.—Suzanne Wales
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