Hotel Arts Barcelona is a colossal five-star hotel with an abundance of facilities, from an award-winning cocktail bar and a two-Michelin-star restaurant to two outdoor pools and a luxury spa. The hotel’s most significant assets, however, are its unrivalled customer service and beachside location.
It’s hard to fault Hotel Arts Barcelona’s location. It sits opposite the Mediterranean Sea at Port Olimpíc near Barceloneta beach. Still, guests looking to explore the city may want to be closer to the action. That said, Hotel Arts Barcelona is only a ten-minute cab ride from the thoroughfare of downtown Barna. Although the most enjoyable way to get into town is via a pleasant walk along the beach and past the marina. The picturesque park of Parc Ciutadella is also close – ideal for picnics, people-watching and reading in the sunshine. Barcelona El Prat airport is around 25 minutes away by cab. Sants train station is about the same distance. Plaza Catalunya, Barcelona’s beating heart, is just over 15 minutes away by metro.
The décor at Hotel Arts Barcelona is traditional-meets-modern with muted hues (grey, brown and beige) and minimalist furniture. And it’s these subtleties that allow knockout views to take centre stage, especially for those on the higher floors. All 455 rooms come with all the usual five-star comforts – cosy mattresses, premium bedding, flat-screen TVs and coffee machines. While interiors are subtle, stylish and practical, some elements – like the odd piece of furniture – could do with a touch-up. The hotel also has 28 premium suites where you’ll be blown away by floor-to-ceiling views over the city and sea. Suites also come with kitchens, baths, work desks, sofas, exquisite marble bathrooms and white walnut furniture by the renowned Catalan designer Jaime Tresserra.
Style, staff and stuff 9/10
This 44-storey beast, designed by architect Bruce Graham, is one of the tallest buildings in Barcelona.You’ll enter by taking a lift from the lower ground, which sees you walk by an extravagant water feature. Inside, Hotel Arts Barcelona has an abundance of old-world charm. The five-star hotel, located opposite Frank Gehry’s giant shimmering goldfish, is also home to a collection of over 500 pieces of art.
Service and facilities are where Hotel Arts Barcelona truly excels. Rarely are staff so well-drilled, genuinely pleasant and knowledgeable without being in your face. Everything is taken care of by unruffled staff members, from the receptionists to the bartenders and valet staff. If you’re lucky or wealthy enough to find yourself in some luxury rooms or suites on higher floors, you’ll have access to the club on the 33 floor. It has sea views, complimentary champagne, cava, wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks. Plus pinchos and snacks – jámon sandwiches, prawns and cakes – throughout the day and night.
Elsewhere, the hotel has an impressive gym, a reasonably small spa area and a sprawling pool overlooking the ocean. There are five restaurants and an award-winning cocktail bar, P41, which serves exceptional cocktails. The hotel also provides a free shuttle into central Barcelona, which runs every half an hour until 6 pm.
Food & drink 10/10
Paco Pérez fronts Enoteca, a two-Michelin-star restaurant located down the hallway from the hotel’s majestic lobby. The airy, all-white dining room is excellent for lunch or dinner overlooking the marina. Pérez’s world-class menus highlight the freshest Mediterranean food with wine pairings for those with deep pockets. From Wednesday to Saturday, a tasting menu here costs just under £170. However, for around £81, there’s also a special tasting menu on Sunday, with fantastic (seven-year-aged) rice dishes that look like modern art. Silver service here goes above and beyond without being pretentious.
Charming, innovative mixologist Diego Baud leads P41, Hotel Arts Barcelona’s exceptional cocktail bar. His clever cocktails and passionate team serve up some of the best drinks in the city in a cool, dimly-lit bar just off the hotel’s lobby.
Breakfast at the Hotel Arts Barcelona comes at an additional cost but doesn’t disappoint. There’s a sprawling array of fresh fruits, pastries, hot and cold options, fresh juices and everything you’d expect from a five-star hotel.
Double rooms from around £342. Breakfast is additional cost (£38). Wi-Fi charged at (£24.50) hotelartsbarcelona.com