• John Marques

Summer at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

Last month during one of my trips to Barcelona stayed at the famous Mandarin Oriental for the first time. Can't say I was completely unfamiliar to the property since a stop at Terrat (The hotel's rooftop) is always mandatory when in town.

The inconspicuous luxury hotel stands in one of Barcelona's main streets, Passeig de Gràcia. An address originally built in 1856 as headquarters for the Equestrian Circle and 99 years later renovated as the head office of Banco Hispano Americano by architect Galíndez. It was in 2004 that works to turn the property into a hotel started, lasting until late 2009 when Mandarin Oriental opened its doors for the first time in a project signed by architects Carlos Ferrater, Joan Trias de Bes, and Patricia Urquiola.

The first impression walking past its facade and over the red carpet into the spacious atrium lightwell patio brings over fascination along with a feel of both comfort and relaxation contrasting with the bustling street left behind. Welcoming you inside the hotel is an extremely cozy lobby filled with warm tones and splattered with gold details all over, from here you can look down at Blanc - the hotel's all-day dining outlet. From checking-in to reaching our room, the team couldn't be more welcoming and friendly - from the bellman to the reception lady, and their concierge always at our disposal.

During our stay, we had the Mandarin Room, a lovely 36 sqm chamber with a walk-in closet, wooden floors, and a small balcony overlooking the crowds at Passeig de Gràcia. These rooms are part of the most recently renovated section of the hotel and as you can see in the pictures, follow a clean decor style highlighted by noble materials and rich textures.

Taking the elevator downstairs, one finds himself at a floor completely dedicated to wellness. There is a 24-hour gym, indoor salt pool, sauna, hair salon and the property's crown jewel: The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. With 7 rooms dedicated to several different treatments, the Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio stands out offering award-winning pedicure treatments signed by Bastien Gonzalez and administrated by a professional podiatrist.

When it comes to dining experiences, the Mandarin Oriental covers all bases with 6 F&B outlets throughout its premises including Michelin starred Moments and even an old-school-bank-inspired bar accurately called Banker's Bar. From all these options I ended up at both El Jardí di Moments and Terrat (With Blanc for breakfast).

El Jardí di Moments was our first try and the hotel's latest launch, a Summer pop-up bringing the Moments restaurant to the hotel's courtyard. A casual menu signed by chef Raül Balam and served in a courtyard not only filled with greenery but populated by several of Richard Orlinsky's sculptures. Among all their dishes, our favorites have to be what you see in the post below (With an honorable mention to Pulp Fiction's $5 Shake):

The morning after was time to try their breakfast at the bright Blanc, and now I understand why it is so popular among locals. It has to be one of the best breakfasts I had in Europe over the past years with a wide choice when it comes to the buffet and even better an a la carte menu including my two favorites: their chocolate crepe and on-point eggs royale.

Our last day there was also time to go back to Terrat and check their menu since my last visit. Signed by Gastón Acurio, Terrat is a Peruvian restaurant/bar/lounge capable of charmingly fulfill all those categories. The intimate space has a flawless ambiance complete with an infinity pool leading to perfectly trimmed hedges that frame a unique perspective over Barcelona's skyline.

The Barcelona property was the first Mandarin Oriental hotel I have ever stayed at and legitimately holds up to the brand's reputation around the globe. Pristine service, central location, and harmonious interior design bring together a perfect blend of luxury that will only make your visit to Barcelona even more memorable - being it for a single night or a whole month.

To see more from my stay at Mandarin Oriental Barcelona and my complete trip to the city, check my Barcelona|02 stories highlight here.