Suite: Premier Suite
Size: 123 square metres
Price: Rates start at €3,500 (about A$5,165) per night.
Review by: Gary Allen
Why stay here?
The fact that this is a Mandarin Oriental hotel is more than enough reason to stay; but in addition, the location is perfect. The beautiful hotel, once a bank building, is right in the heart of Barcelona on the famous Passeig de Gràcia, but still far enough outside the popular tourist neighbourhoods of El Born and Gothic Quarter to avoid the crowds – it’s walking distance to Barcelona’s main tourist attractions.
Look & Feel
The wow factor is in the suite interiors by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola. The suites are spacious and contemporary; ours had a wall of glass doors leading to the balcony. The suite featured an abundance of timber, was accented by a wall of upholstered fabric, and was furnished with colourful, comfortable chairs and lounges to relax on. To add to the wow factor, there’s also a huge ensuite with a free-standing tub, a walk-in closet and an elevator (separate to the main hotel elevator) just for suite access.
Rise and shine breakfast time
Breakfast was served in the sunlit courtyard Mimosa Garden. There was a full hot buffet on one end with homemade pastries, artisanal breads and international dishes from Middle Eastern, Asian and Western cuisines. A large area in the middle was set up with freshly squeezed juices, local yogurts, fruit, muesli and a menu of à la carte selections. A brilliant idea for parents with young children is the kids dining area, adjacent to the main room with child-sized tables and chairs and a buffet with kid-friendly food (watch out for the chocolate fountain). There was also an area for the kids to watch a movie after eating (allowing lucky parents to linger over coffee and the newspaper).
What’s for dinner?
The hotel offers dining at six restaurants and bars. Moments is a two-Michelin-starred restaurant featuring Catalan cuisine; BistrEau features an à la carte seafood menu; and La Mesa offers a seafood tasting menu in the evenings. For a drink, there’s Banker’s Bar, Mimosa Garden and the rooftop Terrat for cocktails and Peruvian cuisine by Gaston Acurio; when we stayed, Chef Gaston made us some of his amazing ceviche and sushi for a special lunch.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Barcelona – located at the base of the hotel – has eight treatment rooms, a steam room and a 12-metre spa lap pool. Guests can indulge in aromatherapy treatments, traditional Chinese medicine or a pedicure at Bastien Gonzalez’s Mani:Pedi:Cure Studio.
I would like an upgrade
The biggest suite is the Penthouse Suite which, at 236 square metres, occupies the entire top floor and affords guests views over the Passeig de Gràcia. The suite (which comes with private butler service) boasts a master bedroom with its own living room, dressing room, bathroom and terrace; plus a second bedroom with ensuite; and a large living and dining area and private kitchen. Rates start from €18,000 (about A$26,476) per night.
Could do better
A larger hotel lobby – as when it’s busy with large groups or several people checking in or out, the hotel’s small lobby doesn’t leave a lot of room to stand.