Hotel Review: The Hotel Arts Barcelona in Spain
Since its construction in 1991, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Arts Barcelona has become known as one of the city’s original luxury hotels. Its unique, modern design forever altered the city landscape, and this towering hotel is now an inimitable Barcelona icon. Merging contemporary design with traditional luxury, it’s a wise choice if you’re looking for an upscale hotel away from the hustle of the city centre. Here’s how Hotel Arts Barcelona measures up.
Hotel Arts is ideal if you want a beach holiday as much as a city break. The location, right on the seafront in the Port Olimpic marina, is closest to the trendy Barceloneta district, which is packed with vibrant bars and cafés and some of the city’s best seafood restaurants. Further afield – but still walkable – are Barcelona’s main tourist attractions, like the Gothic Quarter, the buzzing Las Ramblas, Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces and the La Boqueria market. From most vantage points in the hotel you can admire views of the Mediterranean Sea, and the coastal stretch outside the hotel is lovely, with laid-back beach-style cafés and bars.
Style & Character
It’s not called the Hotel Arts for nothing. The look is glossy, minimalist modernism: think exposed steel, lots of glass and a crisscrossed exoskeleton of girders on the outside. In spite of its cutting-edge design the hotel doesn’t feel cold: the lobby is grand yet cosy, with warm woods and fabrics adding character, and the extravagant flower displays add a touch of dramatic romance. Public areas are light and neutral, so your attention is always focused on the views from the vast windows. The ambiance is upmarket but casual, and you’ll find guests reading newspapers in armchairs or lazing in the sun on the terrace.
Because the hotel building is so high none of the rooms are overlooked, and all are light and bright with beautiful views. There are rooms with sea views and city views, but try to get a corner room, which has views of both. The design is neutral and in keeping with the Ritz-Carlton aesthetic: spacious with understated furnishings, big beds and nifty touches like control panels for blackout shades and lights. The pristine marble bathrooms have separate baths and showers, plenty of complimentary toiletries, and fluffy dressing gowns and slippers. In every room there’s an original piece of artwork by a Spanish artist, many of whom are Catalan.
Food & Drink
With five restaurants at Hotel Arts, you certainly won’t go hungry. Breakfast is served at Lokal, where the enormous buffet has an endless option of treats, from exotic fruits to pancakes to breakfasts cooked to order. Arola Restaurant fuses Mediterranean cooking with the creativity of contemporary cuisine, and you can enjoy tapas and small plates as you admire the view. With two Michelin stars, Enoteca Paco Pérez is the jewel in the hotel’s culinary crown; feast upon produce grown in the surrounding mountains, then wash it down with one of the 700 different wines from the wine cellar. Bites is where to grab a snack or light meal at nearly any time of day, and head to P41 Bar & Coctelarium to sip delicious cocktails in a stylish bar.
Service & Facilities
The service is faultless from the moment you arrive, and the knowledgeable staff are eager to help however they can. You’re greeted with warm, genuine smiles and your luggage is whipped away before you can blink. There’s well-equipped gym and a decent-sized pool in the gardens, beside Frank Gehry’s enormous, shimmering fish sculpture.
On the top two floors of Hotel Arts you’ll find the spa, an urban sanctuary where you can watch the sea disappear into the horizon from nearly 500 feet up. There are separate bathing areas for men and women, each equipped with a hydrotherapy pool, dry sauna, steam bath, ice shower, relaxation area, and a gorgeous outdoor terrace with city and sea views. Indulge with a treatment package, with products from the esteemed Natura Bissé brand.
Address: Carrer de la Marina, 19, 21, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
Phone: +34 932 21 10 00