About the hotel
This has to be one of the most distinctive hotels in Barcelona, a huge sail shaped structure rising dramatically beside the sand. It’s known locally as the Hotel Vela, meaning sail hotel, and the reflective glass façade shimmers brilliantly in the sunlight. Designed by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill (who designed, among other things, Terminal 1 of Barcelona airport), it’s an impressive, futuristic and definitely cool building. Inside it has the usual W style with bright décor, edgy lighting and music playing all day.
It is outside of the city centre in the port area, so can feel a bit isolated, but there are always cabs available or you can walk off another tapas meal on the way home.
Look & Feel
Be one of the beautiful people with a private Extreme WOW Cabana on the beach. For €500 (about A$731) you and seven friends can have a chic wood and glass cabana to yourselves with a private Jacuzzi, robes, chilled towels, drinks, sun products and W service. If you’re looking to party in Barcelona during the summer, then this is your hotel. Right by the beach with a cool crowd, pumping tunes and a vibrant atmosphere, it would be hard to beat.
The suite experience
The corner suites sit at the front of the sail, so looking out the window it feels like you are floating over the ocean. The hotel’s position on 17 acres of reclaimed land right at the waterfront means the views are incredible. Rooms look out over the Mediterranean or the port of Barcelona and on a clear day you can see for miles. The room is spacious with a separate living area, funky furniture and a separate freestanding bath beside the bed.
There are six bars and restaurants to choose from at the W, including the flagship restaurant Bravo24 from Michelin-starred chef Carles Abellán. For something a bit more casual the Salt Beach Club serves Californian fusion right on the sand or you can get light, Japanese-style bites at the Eclipse bar on the 26th floor.
The hotel has the first Bliss Spa in Spain and it continues the cool W feel with rhythm and blues music playing in the background and a brownie buffet. The gym is fantastic, rivalling my own gym back home as far as size and equipment. It’s one of best gyms I’ve ever seen in a hotel.
If you’d like an upgrade
The Spectacular Suite lives up to its name with a gorgeous outdoor terrace with day beds and lounges for lazing. These one-bedroom suites are on the higher floors of the hotel, making for even better views. Rates start from €990 (about A$1,447) per night.