It's mid March and I find myself basking in beautiful spring sunshine on the Barceloneta boardwalk of Barcelona in Spain. I am here on a two-day stay at the exquisite W Barcelona Hotel and so far I am enjoying every minute of it. Designed by world renowned architect Ricardo Bofill this modern day work of art houses some 473 guest rooms, a rooftop nightclub, fitness suite, a number of bars and a beautiful restaurant headed up by Michelin-star rated chef Carlos Abellán’s. The hotel is designed in such a way that each room offers spectacular panoramic views of the beachfront with the Mediterranean disappearing into the horizon.
From the moment you walk into the glitzy lobby the atmosphere is light and relaxed. The staff are friendly and more at ease than I expected wearing smart casual attire with a simple 'W' badge to indicate they were on hand to help. Check-in desks are plentiful and before long I was into the lift and skyward bound to my double room. Once again help with your luggage is available but only when requested which many will find more relaxed. On entering my room on the third floor I was immediately struck by the previously mentioned view and ultra modern layout.
The decor is somewhat different to the loud colours found in the lobby with more subtle shades used to keep the room feeling light and airy. The bed is centrally located facing the window and smothered in premium Egyptian cotton. Room amenities are plentiful with a laundry service, safe, iPod docking station, flat screen TV and various remote controls to control mood lighting, electric blinds etc. Wi-Fi is also available at various package prices starting from €7. The bathroom features an oversized rainfall shower with a sit-down area for relaxation. Overall the room is a very nice place to be at anytime of the day. As the evening beckoned I returned to the lobby where I headed in the direction of WAVE eatery for some light Tapas and a cool glass of Spanish beer Estrella. Not just the prices in WAVE are seductive but the food is delightful and the atmosphere remains chilled. A more formal dining experience is also on offer at BRAVO24 where Carlos Abellánwill seduce your palette with the true essence of each local ingredient cooked in its most authentic form.
Following eats I joined friends in the W Lounge where bartenders were dazzling guests mixing cocktails and generally adding to the already cool vibe backed up further by chill out music from a resident DJ. Again its a tranquil affair and not by any-means off putting. You can chat, listen and watch with ease as the hours roll by. The final part of my evening was to return to the lift only to rise to the 26th floor for some more upbeat music from Club ECLIPSE. Here Barcelona's renowned nightlife comes to fruition as house DJ's get the party started. The views are sublime and the house beats are further amplified by the wrap around windows. Ironically looking out the window revealed a second Eclipse in the shape of Roman Abramovichs 1.5 Billion dollar mega yacht. Another site to behold!
Overall my stay at the W Barcelona was fantastic. In years past I sampled the W in Manhattan and found it to be of the same caliber. Cool, calm sophisticated and generally just a nice place to pass two days. The location for some, its a little out from the city center but Barcelona is so big there is lots to see in every quarter. The rooms range from €250 up a night depending on the time of year chosen. My advice is to pick the Spanish F1 Grand Prix weekend, which takes place every May, where the city erupts with atmosphere. Catalunya Circuit is just 20km North East of Barcelona and easily accessible. You wont regret a weekend at the W Barcelona!