‘Oh my GOD!’ is not how a seasoned travel writer usually enters a room – but the view from our suite in Hotel Arts caused me to lose my cool immediately. On the 33rd floor, and wrapped by floor-to-ceiling windows, its living room overlooks the beach, while the adjoining bedroom has a stunning view of the ocean. On the window to the right of the bed, you can sit and behold almost the entire city before you, including the iconic Montjuic.
For a fan of the beautiful Catalonian city, it’s the ultimate treat, best served with a local bottle of red wine and mini chorizos. There’s a spacious bathroom with excellent toiletries and other helpful facilities like hairbrushes and toothbrushes, in case you packed in a hurry. And there’s also a mini bar, magazines, interesting wall art and a big, comfortable bed.
We *really* don’t want to leave this room, so we’re late for our dinner booking at the restaurant, Arola, but this being Spain –and a five-star hotel – no-one seems to mind. Staff give us a warm welcome to the modern fusion restaurant, where we are informed that we will receive a ‘surprising’ menu. More surprises! The dishes are fresh and creatively presented in small plates style so we have plenty of room for the fantastic chocolate dessert. Other highlights include the Turbot on vegetable couscous with curry and yoghurt, and their twist on the Spanish classic, ham croquetas. Our sommelier recommends a bottle of the Pazo das Bruxas, which doesn’t disappoint.
As we leave Arola, one of our servers says she’s here for anything we need throughout our stay. One of the nice touches of Hotel Arts is that everyone feels like your potential personal concierge, even the intern at the reception. As our suite was on the Club level, she took us straight up to the 33rd floor Club lounge, informing us that we were in the highest building in Barcelona.
The lounge serves up complimentary buffet food and all manner of drinks for those in the Club –champagne is always available, even at breakfast, though when we visit on a Sunday it’s a peaceful and sophisticated place rather than a party venue. The breakfast buffet has all the usual offerings – salmon, cold meats, bread, posh yoghurts etc – and a hot option including eggs and bacon. The views from here would look like the best in Barcelona, had we not already seen even better in our own room.
While we were lucky enough to be upgraded, I know from past experience that Hotel Arts has great rooms on all levels, and the public areas and service throughout the hotel are slick and efficient. It’s a big place, but I swear that the attendant who called us a taxi when we got downstairs addressed me by name. It is with great reluctance that we get into said vehicle: Hotel Arts really has spoiled us, and with its beachside location, on-site spa and contemporary vibe, it comes highly recommended for city explorers who like to smell the sea.
Tell me more about Hotel Arts Barcelona
Hotel Arts Barcelona, Carrer de la Marina, 19-21, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
Room rates start from €295 (approx. £268) per room per night