“The Mandarin Oriental Barcelona is a luxury hotel, showcasing the best the city has to offer atop the Passeig de Gràcia”
Jumping out of the cab at the Passage De Gràcia (a haven strip of designer shops and restaurants) Barcelona and looking up towards the Mandarin Oriental (click here) facade, the first thing that springs to mind is the building looks like it straight out of Gotham city.
The fortress like building has 4 grand limestone archways that have been carved away to picture men and women toiling away in what I could only imagine is a throwback to Barcelona’s history of docks and fields. Above the grand limestone entrance hangs oversized rectangular concrete balcony’s that overlook the premier street of Barcelona.
(Note we later found out that the original occupancy of the building was the Banco Hispanico Americano (a bank) which explained the ‘strength’ in its foundations).
To get to the lobby, you walk through the limestone columns and onto a raised walkway similar to that of a drawbridge that looks up to the sky. The room is filled with an abundance of light that bounces of the whitewashed walls.
From the ‘bridge’ and into the foyer the room is full geometric patterns, low leather lounges, wooden floors and carpeted patterns. The ceilings are lowered with and mirrored with a gold finish and there are designer shops on either end. A glass wall separates the foyer to the mezzanine level of the hotels restaurant ‘blanc’ which as the name suggests is faultless white and completely contrasts the foyer.
After 30hrs in transit our check in was quite quick. The cooling jasmine tea we were served on arrival was quite refreshing and the surroundings made us immediately feel at home.
We stayed in the deluxe suite 222 that overlooked the mimosa garden from a second floor balcony (one of the perks of being a Kiwi Collection guest). Walking into the room from the elevator the first thing I noticed was the doubling height of the rooms and entry door.
The suite itself is like a horseshoe or ‘U’ shape. A mixture of Mediterranean comfort, Art Deco furniture and subtle Asian touches, like the contemporary play on the classic oriental paravent that stretches the entire length of the room.
The room or rooms I should say, had more textures, textiles & different surfaces than any suite I have been in before. Wooden floorboards, white stone double vanity & bath, four separate tile designs, glass, and chrome made up the bathroom area alone.
Note: As lovely as our room was, for me, I love to be immersed into the city. I love to look out from my room and down to a busy street. So next time I will opt to stay in a suite that overlooks the street rather than the inner city sanctuary of the mimosa garden.
Food & Beverage
Spoilt for choice! The Mandarin Oriental Barcelona is home to 4 restaurants/bars that are overseen by award winning Carme Ruscalleda, the worlds’ only 7 Michelin stared female chef.
We ate breakfast and a lunch at Blanc which is the all day dining in the heart of the building.
The breakfast buffet with its elements of Lebanese flare wasn’t the biggest spread I have seen but everything was impeccable. We made good use of the complementary buffet breakfast which is another perk when booking with the Kiwi Collection.
I had serious ‘bread envy’ of my partner as the pastries and bread smelt heavenly. I was very surprised as well (being gluten free) after our first breakfast the very tentative waiters remembered and the next breakfast I had entire selection of gluten free options. There was this lovely gluten free bread that came out in a decorated paper bag and crepes were made which was a real nice touch.
Lunch on the other hand was a delicious mix of local Catalan inspired dishes. I could not fault anything we ate.
I was disappointed that we didn’t get the chance to eat at Moments, the other restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental. Suffering from jet lag on our first night and being a two Michelin star restaurant that is booked out in advance, we weren’t able to get a reservation on our last night.
Pool & Gym
The hotel has two pools. A lovely roof top dipping pool that looks down upon the Passage De Gràcia and has 360 degree views. You can see Gaudi’s Casa Batlló from here.
Inside there is a 12 metre lap pool in the 24 hour fitness centre which came in quite handy considering jet lag hit me for the first few days.
- Chic & Luxurious
- Nothing that springs to mind
I could not fault my stay at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona in any way. I will most definitely be back and I will be booking Moments in advance.