Hotel Review: OD Barcelona, Barcelona in Spain
Words by Amira Arasteh
Barcelona is quite literally the city that never sleeps. But seriously, the Spaniards and their tourist community have adapted to dinner at midnight, pre-drinking at the bar next to the club at 1 and not hitting the dance floor until at least 2am. This is normally the time I’m heading home in London…
It is for this reason that I loved that OD Barcelona is a spectacular 5* hotel, yet remains distanced from the party lifestyle on the beach front or the chaotic ongoings on Las Ramblas. Now, don’t get me wrong; there’s a vibe at OD. There are happy hours and drink deals at the bar surrounding events but I liked being a twenty minute walk from the antics of Barcelona.
It was also super handy when Uber was surcharging and we were able to walk a relaxing and pleasant thirty minutes back to the hotel. Less about the hotel, more about Barcelona in the summer: no jackets are needed. This is an excellent pro for someone who spends 90 per cent of their life carrying around a jacket and the other ten per cent cursing themselves for forgetting it.
Situated in the Exiample area of the city, which lies between the old town and the neighbouring small towns, OD Barcelona is a short walk from some of Gaudi’s most famous and frequently visited works of art such as Casa Milà and Casa Battlo. Whether you view these from the outside or visit via a tour, they are remarkable works of art and architecture and it’s definitely a plus to be located so closely to them. A trendy neighbourhood, close to an abundance of culinary delights, the hotel group chose a great location for their first site on the Spanish mainland.
We stayed in one of the hotel’s deluxe rooms, which was spacious and stylish; a minimalist yet Mediterranean feel to the decor and I absolutely loved the warmth of the wooden interior. We walked around the hotel, visiting some of the larger suites available – there’s the Grand Suite for anyone wanting that extra edge on luxury; not only is it superior in size, it also has its own private terrace and swimming pool.
The communal areas of OD Barcelona feature its gorgeous style. A small corner pool makes up the rooftop, along with a small bar area – perfect for catching some rays before you hit the beach or for a quiet drink as it doesn’t tend to get too busy. Relax on a lounger and enjoy a cocktail or glass of sangria at the Sky Bar, as you watch the sun set from your own private terrace. An excellent spot for a photoshoot, too, ladies and gents who appreciate a bit of Instagram here and there.
The ground floor courtyard is perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner or for a quiet glass or wine. Peaceful and welcoming the sunshine, I enjoyed a snack feast of tapas; featuring gambas (prawns), patatas bravas (fried potatoes with aioli dip), croquettes (jamon, or ham, and black pudding) and pan con tomate (the classic Spanish tomato bread) and just sat in my own company, fully indulging in the good Spanish food – and the weather, of course.
Breakfast is also quite the spread, with options to fill you up until lunch and waiters who are only too happy to encourage you to have another slice of tortilla (Spanish-style omelette) or another plate of jamon (the beautiful ham the Spanish do so well).
“You’ve booked tickets, right?” is what Marc, the concierge asks us as we inform him we need a taxi to Park Güell. Already feeling like this wasn’t the right way of doing things, we told him we planned on buying them on the door. He couldn’t even stifle his chuckle. Thankfully – before we wasted however many euros on reaching the north part of Barcelona’s town – he advised us to let him book us two tickets for the next day so we wouldn’t have a pointless taxi journey should there be no availability when we got there.
Although it doesn’t seem like much, this was truly helpful as we managed to score the last two spots on a 9am tour the next day. After this, we thought it best to leave all booking of tours and tickets to the front desk, with Marc booking us entrance to Casa Milà – the stone quarry modernist building and last private residence designed by Antoni Gaudi. He also managed to book us the last spots on a tour for the Sagrada Familia as all regular tickets were sold out.
The front desk also recommended visiting some of the beach clubs so we decided to head closer to the waterfront and check out some of the city’s beach clubs. A short taxi ride later and we find ourselves at Purobeach where a sea of white daybeds and loungers, with a scattering of brightly-coloured cocktails among the tables, greets us. We arrived quite hungry on this day so had a couple of the cocktails – the frozen watermelon and frozen mango daiquiris definitely had my vote – before heading the beach club’s restaurant for some lunch.
Ceviche and octopus salad were perfect starters, suitably refreshing on this hot summer’s day. The sea bass was cooked beautifully and the octopus was extremely soft and tender; I’d definitely recommend taking some time out from tanning to sit in the actual restaurant, rather than just ordering ‘chicken nugget and chips’ pool snacks as the food was tasty. We did take our fruit plate back to the sun loungers as tanning was still a priority.
After a busy day of sightseeing and sun lounging – I told you, Barcelona was non-stop – a short taxi ride took us back to OD Barcelona. We crashed comfortably into our beds – ready to do it all again tomorrow.
Room rates at OD Barcelona range from 200€ (approximately £172) to 650€ (approximately £561) per night for the Superior Rooms, depending on the time of booking and season. Rates are inclusive of breakfast, wifi and taxes.
Address: Carrer d’Aragó, 300, 08009 Barcelona, Spain
Phone: +34 932 15 08 99