“Luxury is not always explicit, but ever absolute and incomparable like the gown of a mermaid or the jewel of a nymph.” – Faisal Mushtaq
There are moments when visiting luxury resorts and hotels that the beauty of a property is so resplendent as to undermine any attempts at observation or description. Such moments are rare, but when those instances occur, it’s unmistakably glorious. The Mandarin Oriental Barcelona conjured such an experience and it is perhaps, quite simply, the most beautifully appointed property I have ever visited.
I thoroughly research destinations when planning travel, and my research of places to stay in Barcelona, Spain is one of the few instances when every bit of research I conducted strenuously recommended a visit to one property – in this case, the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. I now understand why.
The Uber driver announced that we had arrived at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. I was of course, head down, staring at my phone while we traveled through the extravagant streets of Barcelona. When I looked to the right, here was the view:
The hotel is situated on Barcelona’s famous and luxurious Passeg de Gracia, and it’s extravagant exterior style and design aesthetic reflects the fact that the space was previously occupied by a major bank. The stonework is exquisite, best displayed by the use of up-lighting. You can also see through the middle and main opening, the catwalk that leads to the stately interior entrance. Here are some pics of the entry:
As you would suspect, the suites are sublime; elegantly appointed yet delicately designed, accentuating simple and clean lines, accented with luxurious wood and stone. My wife, a robe aficionado, was most impressed with the comfort and as she refers, the lofty “snuggly” factor of the robes. I loved the open concept shower with rain feature. We both loved the fact that the room included a vast array of multiple option electrical outlets and converters, which I routinely forget when I pack.
I like to think that I’ve sampled some inspired and impressive luxury hotel rooftops, but the rooftop at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona is something quite special. The rooftop pool, setting, and restaurant create a confluence of luxury hotel magnificence. I can’t think of anything remotely comparable in all of my travels. These panoramic images are my favorite images captured during our stay, and I’ll never forget the feeling of taking in the city of Barcelona from this rooftop:
As expected, the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona features a top end Spa & Wellness selection of varied and luxurious treatments. Without question however, the most jaw-droppingly impressive feature of the Spa area is its Vitality Pool – an infinitely elegant rectangular masterpiece of stone, ensconced in a long angular space of additional stone, glass, and multiple selections of wood; flanked by spa chairs. Perhaps the most unique and elegant characteristic of the Vitality Pool is the shimmering emerald green lighting suffusing the space. Breathtaking.
The Mandarin Oriental Barcelona features astoundingly impressive dining options, including not one, but two restaurants with Two Michelin Stars, including Moments by Chef Carme Rusalleda, and La Mesa by Angel Leon, which offers a tasting menu of 15 plates. You can view the hotel’s dining options in more detail if you Click Here. We unfortunately did not have the time to dine on property, but there is no question that when I return, I will be certain to dine at La Mesa and Moments.
One of the true joys of visiting properties all over the world is discovering new and unique experiences. As I mentioned earlier, the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona resides in a space previously occupied by a major Barcelona bank. In the spirit of preserving some of the prior occupant’s architecture and commitment to elegant style, the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona offers a superlative light dining and cocktail option called Banker’s Bar.
The Bar’s ceiling is elegantly and ingeniously appointed with original safety deposit boxes used in the bank. Banker’s Bar is renowned for its craft cocktail and tapas offerings; and I can tell you that the space is sumptuous, yet classic – a most lovely environment to relax and enjoy a cocktail.
While I’m reluctant to compare my experiences at luxury hotels, such comparisons are human nature because comparing experiences is one of the ways that we learn about the world, and our place in it.
In that sense, it’s hard not to arrive at the conclusion that the luxury I observed and experienced at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona was truly absolute and incomparable – that my stay, was in all ways, one of the most memorable and luxurious of my traveling life.
I enthusiastically recommend that should you find yourself in Barcelona, you stay at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. If you can’t stay, then it’s certainly worth your time to walk through the property, have lunch, a drink, or dinner; and whatever you decide, make certain that you visit the rooftop, take a deep breath and soak it in. You’ll never see the world in the same way.
Mandarin Oriental Barcelona – Info and Social
Thanks so very much to everyone at the hotel, and for the use of some of your high resolution images for this article.
Please take note that my opinions are, as always, entirely my own.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to read this article, and happy dining and traveling!