We were considering other hotels for our trip to Barcelona this past week and the tipping point was the number of people who said that the concierge at the Mandarin were outstanding. We were not disappointed. We had very little chance to plan for this vacation and as a result were heavily reliant on the concierge. There were always at least 2 at the desk except first thing in the morning and sometimes after 9:30 at night and they worked hard to make sure they were meeting every expectation. They always pulled out a map to show where you were going to go and they took great pride in their recommendations - following up when you passed them the next day to make sure you liked what they had recommended. It was a flawless experience. We worked with Marta, Albert and Francisco and I can safely say they listened to what we wanted for that day's excursion or meal and we were never disappointed.
As for the hotel itself - this too exceeded expectations. I had read that the rooms were small - I was prepared for a tiny place with no space. We found the opposite - not that the rooms are huge, but they are perfectly spacious with design elements that solve so many problems you are grateful for the thought that went into it. For example, they have a box with every conceivable charger you could need in case you forget your own or need additional ones. They provide unlimited converters for your room at no charge. They have this night light system that is awesome - you press the button when you turn off the main lights and you get this runway of lights that make sure you can still find your way around. Then when you shut off every light to sleep, the closet -which you pass on the way to the bathroom - has a motion sensor light that sheds this tiny bit of light through the crack in the door to make sure you don't trip or bump into something on your way in and out. It then goes off seconds after you get to where you're going allowing you a seamless trip without your partner waking up from the light. The closet was big enough to have extra room for us as well as two drawers and there were shelves in a cabinet sufficient for the week's worth of clothes for two. The room came with its own yoga mat and there was plenty of room for an adult to stretch on the floor as well as two chairs - one of which I'd like to bring home with me because its so comfortable. The desk was sufficient for my husband to do work on with documents and a laptop. We had a separate shower and tub and faced the street - we never heard noise even though there was construction on Passieg de Gracia - our view. The bathroom had both a hairdryer and a flat iron! The windows come with an electrically controlled black out shade that was excellent.
The hotel feels very intimate - not like a large hotel even though there are a fair number of rooms. There's no overwhelming hubbub of activity even though there were people of all ages there - traveling with small children, teenagers and just couples. We greatly appreciated the restfulness of the ambiance.
The spa was lovely (we both enjoyed excellent massages), the terrace on the roof with a dipping pool was lovely (although it lacked a bathroom), and the indoor pool and steam room were comfortable and enjoyable. It never felt overcrowded. The gym is spacious with 2 bikes and 2 treadmills and a few other machines, a full compliment of weights, large and small fitness balls and a stretching area. The machines aren't new but they are very well maintained. Everything is spanking clean and someone is always coming through to restock the water and towels.
Breakfast was amazing. It was 39 Euros for the full buffet, 32 Euros if you didn't have the hot options. Our breakfast was included with the rate so I'm not sure if we would have splurged everyday but the food quality and options would have made it worth it a few times.
Location is great because it is central to everything so you can walk everywhere or take a subway and cabs are plentiful. No cab trip from any part of the city cost more than 10 Euros to get back. And, you're right across from one of the Gaudi homes - you can see it if you have a boulevard facing room from your window which makes it an easy thing to do.
I hope to stay at another Mandarin one day and certainly return to Barcelona to stay at this one. It made all the difference in the world to have this kind of experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona is an elegant, contemporary hotel in the heart of the avant-garde city's celebrated Passeig de Gracia. Located in a renovated mid-20th century building, this 120-room hotel, offers exceptional services and facilities including an award-winning spa, innovative dining at BistrEau by Angel Leon and two Michelin-starred dining by Carme Ruscalleda, within an exquisite interior created by world renowned Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona Hotel Barcelona
- Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona Catalonia