Since hosting the 1992 Olympics, Barcelona has emerged as Spain’s superstar city, endowing the country with an enchanting, culturally rich destination that rivals Paris and London. In 20 short years, the city has evolved from the sleepy capital of Catalonia to one of the globe’s greatest metropolises with all the trappings of a highly sophisticated, fabulous Euro star.
Flanking the city’s underrated coastline, the Ritz-Carlton-managed Hotel Arts Barcelona encapsulates the energy and understated extravagance that has put the Spanish city on everyone’s must-visit list. The hypermodern tower rises 40 floors tall, doling out jaw-dropping views from every space imaginable. While each guestroom divvies out a slice of panoramic heaven, it’s the hotel’s Arts Suite that takes the cake (cherry and all), with full 180-degree views of Barcelona.
The rooftop Six Senses Spa has spa lovers soaking in the scene—literally—thousands of feet high in hot tubs with views, steam rooms and saunas. And the hotel’s Club Level (a rarity in Europe) provides a picture-perfect backdrop for an endless coupe of Champagne.
Back on the ground level, the hotel’s trendy pool scene mirrors the A-list Saint-Tropez summer party scene. Showpiece lounge chairs, frivolous house music, great cocktails and an intricately designed mosaic swimming pool are just the beginning. The zephyrs and mist inspire a quick dip in the Balearic Sea while the pool’s floating art, Frank Gehry’s enormous steel and stone Peix (Catalan for “fish”), reminds of the city’s artistic core.
True to its namesake, Hotel Arts Barcelona flaunts a rich and varied art collection—more than 100 pieces of modern art in total, some overtly, others covertly placed in the hotel’s common spaces. Each floor of the skyscraper delivers a different incarnation of contemporary luxury, bound by a common thread of clean lines, brown and beige contrasts and the highest of high technologies.
Exquisite revolving floral displays throughout the first floor continually reinvent the lobby and its surroundings. Annual soft refurbishments ensure the hotel always looks and feels brand new and fresh, despite a ’90s naissance. Moreover, as part of the Ritz-Carlton collection, service levels here are some of the best in Europe. hotelartsbarcelona.com
Frank Gehry’s Peix