Set steps from the beach and historic Barceloneta’s boardwalk is the W Barcelona, a massive sail-shaped building designed in glass and steel by avant-garde architect Ricardo Bofill. Inside are 473 rooms, most of which feature jaw-dropping views of the gleaming Mediterranean Sea and the Barcelona shoreline. When not dining on Med-fusion bites by a Michelin-starred chef, sipping cocktails in the trendy rooftop bar or getting pampered in the spa, guest lounge by the pool or in the hotel’s private stretch of beach under a Picasso-blue sky.
Step through the gleaming glass doors and you are greeted not at a usual lobby lounge but at a humongous modern playground with loungey DJ beats playing in the background and plenty of designer modular sofas, curvy lounge chairs and vibrant-colored poufs to choose from. Order a drink, play a board game, taste some tapas, and yes, check in. The beats continue in the mezzanine-level swimming pool and bar and up in the 007-styled nightclub.
The unfussy décor continues in guestrooms. Low platform beds covered in 350-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets sit center-stage in front of floor-to-ceiling windows that offer sweeping city views. Many of the futuristic cocoon-like rooms are outfitted in curvy furnishings that echo the walls’ rounded edges, as well as smoky floor-length mirrors, and fully-automated mood lighting systems that casts (depending on your mood) hues in hot pink, blue or yellow over the otherwise pale surroundings. Gray-tiled bathrooms are fitted with rainforest shower behind frosted glass doors, piles of plush towels and Bliss bath products.
Surrounded by sun loungers and curtained cabanas is the sexy infinity pool and Wet Bar that overlooks the boardwalk and beach. Right on the beach is the SoCal-inspired Salt, which features indoor and outdoor seating areas where flip-flop wearing diners munch on gourmet burgers and seafood risotto. For something dressier, book a table at Bravo24, where Carles Abellán, a Michelin-star chef, has created a menu inspired by cookbooks of the early 20th century that highlight Spain’s outstanding produce and products. Up on the 26th floor is Eclipse lounge, a glam Bond-style nightclub (think octagonal tables, gold sofas and killer views) loved by Barceloneta locals and tourists alike. A state-of-the art 3,000-square-foot gym and Spain’s first Bliss spa complete the picture at this urban resort.
While You’re There
In Barceloneta the thing to do is take advantage of the beachfront location. Take a walk to Marina Port Vell, the entrance to which is punctuated by Roy Lichtenstein’s Barcelona Head, a 64-foot ceramic-tiled sculpture the artist created for the 1992 Summer Olympics. Set in a port warehouse nearby is Catalonia History Museum, which showcases 3000 years of Catalan history though permanent and temporary exhibits. Take in the city sights (Sagrada Familia and Torre Agbar are visible) aboard the Barceloneta’s Port Cable Car, which connects across the port to Montjuc in 10 minutes.
Need To Know
- Excellent beachside location with stunning views of the Med and the city
- Beach Ambassadors set you up with chaise lounger, umbrella and towels at the hotel’s private stretch of beach
- Hotel guests need only flash their key cards to bypass the long line leading into Eclipse lounge
- WiFi is free in public areas
- The location is excellent for those who love the beach but a trek if you really want to explore Barcelona’s city center
- The nearest metro stop is a 15-minute walk away