Glass visits the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona

Occupying a commanding space on Barcelona’s elegant Passeig de Gracia, Mandarin Oriental’s Catalonian outpost has established itself as a stately five-star affair that successfully balances the high-end hotel chain’s Asian aesthetic with elements of Spanish culture.

IT was one of Spain’s most revered designers, Patricia Urquiola, who was tasked with ensuring that the imposing former bank was befitting of a new breed of clientele when it opened in 2009 and her elegant touch can be found throughout. Step past the hotel’s ornate façade – which dates back to the middle of last century – and visitors are greeted by the soothing shades of the Mandarin Oriental’s tastefully appointed reception.

Mandarin Oriental exterior_lowThe exterior of the Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

Mandarin Oriental premier bedroom_lowA bathroom at the Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

A series of immaculate perfumed corridors deliver you to the hotel’s 120 spacious rooms and suites that come high on contemporary style and — with a bit of luck — face out over the hotel’s mimosa-lined garden. The roof terrace and pool are accompanied by sweeping 360-degree views of the city skyline from the distant peak of Tibidabo across to Montjuic while a subterranean spa with sauna and pool provides peaceful respite from the city’s buzz. Here, a wide range of holistic water and heat therapies will revive and restore.

Mandarin Oriental spa 2_lowThe Mandarin Oriental Barcelona spa

Barcelona is a city renowned for its food offerings but should you decide not to stray too far, the Mandarin Oriental has brought in some of the city’s top talent to head up its kitchens. Carmen Ruscalleda has been awarded multiple Michelin stars for her critically acclaimed locations across the city and the Mandarin Oriental’s Moments restaurant – which she runs with her equally talented son, Raul – has enhanced her reputation further, thanks to its no-holds-barred Tasting Trip menu. This round-the-world journey of small plates has been designed to showcase global and local cuisine and comes accompanied by an equally accomplished wine list.

Mandarin Oriental Banker's Bar_lowMandarin Oriental Banker’s Bar

Elsewhere, the concept cuisine of Angel Leon’s BistrEau is a must, with the so-called “Chef of the Sea” earning his moniker with a standout array of seafood dishes and signature plates that include a rich green risotto fortified by plankton. For those who wish to continue the evening further, the Banker’s Bar pays homage to the building’s former incarnation with original security boxes helping create the feel of a member’s club – the perfect setting to enjoy signature cocktails including the mezcal-spiked Doh Je Maguey or a goji berry twist on the classic bellini.

Mandarin Oriental Mimosa Garden_lowMandarin Oriental Mimosa Garden

Mandarin Oriental roof terrace_lowMandarin Oriental, Barcelona, Spain — roof terrace

Given its central location within the city – with the architectural delights of the Gothic Quarter, the boutique-laden streets of El Born and Gaudí masterpieces La Pedrera and Casa Batllo just a short walk away – the Mandarin Oriental is a sumptuous base from which to explore one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Yet whether you’ll wander far from its luxurious walls remains to be seen.

by Ben Olsen

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona, Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40, 08007 Barcelona
Rooms at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona start from €375 per night. For more information, contact +34 93 151 88 88 or click here.

easyJet flies from Belfast, Bristol, Liverpool, London Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Southend to Barcelona from £27.99 (One Way Including taxes and based on two people on the same booking).

About The Author

Ben Olsen

Glass Online music editor

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