The Hotel Arts Barcelona, The Ritz Carlton's Catalonian Work of Art

All Images Credit Ritz Carlton Hotels

There’s a reason why so many people love Barcelona, in fact, there are many. The capital of Catalonia oozes with culture as an  art lovers paradise, foodie mecca, and has a nightlife scene that doesn’t sleep. The city is fronted by the beautiful blue hues of the Balearic Sea and miles and miles of sandy coastlines where beachgoers dip in the sea, surf waves and perfect their tans. One of its most ideal neighborhoods is Barceloneta and its Sant Sebastià Beach and promenade. Rising over it all is one of the Barcelona skyline’s most iconic buildings the Hotel Arts, a Ritz Carlton hotel.  

The Hotel Arts is adjacent to Port Olimpic, a glitzy marina with a healthy dose of mega-yachts as well as al fresco seafood cafes and tapas bars. A short cab ride away is the city’s main attractions of the Gothic Quarter, Picasso Museum and the Las Ramblas, which is a  tree-lined pedestrian walkway of shops, stalls, and venue for great people watching. Another must visit attraction is Gaudi’s never ending work in progress, the basilica La Sagrada Familia.  Just in front of the hotel are some of Barcelona’s hottest nightclubs, Pacha, Opium, Shoko, or Carpe Diem.  

Barcelona is a city that openly expresses its love of the arts. It is on full display at every turn with their outdoor masterworks of contemporary art. Avant-garde design is a key element found throughout the architecture of their modern buildings as well. One of Barcelona’s many iconic works of art is simply called the fish. It’s hard to determine if it is really a fish or a whale but what it is a two story high bronze structure that dominates the view along the Olimpic Marina. The contemporary sculpture is the ‘Peix in Catalan’ by Frank Gehry who created the piece for the 1992 Olympic games.  This work integrates well with another design and functioning art piece, the Hotel Arts, which dominates the Barcelona skyline as one of  its tallest buildings. This Ritz Carlton property is stunning to the eye with an exoskeleton of white steel  that crisscrosses its 44-story blue glass surfaces to create a brilliant landmark from near and far.

Indoors continues to impress in the lobby where Barcelona’s beau monde mixes with the hotel’s jet set in the swanky lounge and bar area. Elaborate fresh flower arrangements dominate the open spaces along with sparking crystal chandeliers as the nattily dressed staff dashes here and there to welcome and serve the hotel’s guests.  Through out the hotel, museum worthy art collection by revered Spanish and Catalan artists including Luis Feito,  Eduardo Chillida, Perico Pastor and Albert Rafols-Casamada adorn the walls.  Outdoors shifts gears and is awash with greenery with barefoot worthy lawns, terraced gardens and pools that create a park like environment.

The 483 guestrooms are top shelf as one would demand with a stay at a Ritz Carlton.  For even more space, the suites are ideal to stretch out with state of the art electronics, nicely furnished sitting areas with a contemporary design and  calming neutral tones. The bathrooms are impressive as well, with marble finishes and separate deep soaking bath and hydro-shower cabin with multiple water jets.  The bedrooms offer an uber comfortable bed as well and nightly turn down service. As well-equipped as the accommodations may be, the most riveting feature is clearly the view. From its perch above the Barcelona sky and coastline, the views are dramatic any time of day. The twinkling city’s lights are amazing to watch in the evening while the cerulean blue waters of the sea are a riveting during the day.  

Each guest at the Hotel Arts receives the highest echelon of service yet those staying at the rooms and suites with access to the Club Lounge feel exceptionally privileged. The lounge is located on the 33rd floor and is a work of art itself with high dramatic ceilings, impressive artworks, and mirrored surfaces creating an enticing environment. There are plenty of areas to sit, have a meal or take in the Eiffel Tower like views over the Barcelona waterfront. The services offered include separate check in and exceptional concierge services. Guests are welcomed with a hello by name and an offer for fine champagne or refreshments. In fact complete meals are offered several times per day including a proper high tea as well as cocktails and canapes in the evening.  The Club Lounge can make the most wayward traveler look forward to time on the road again. It is akin to visiting a living room at a friend’s house complete with cocktails, meals, and a welcome of effervescent smiles.

Barcelona is a foodie paradise offering an endless array of traditional Catalonia and Mediterranean cuisine as well as haute international restaurants. Many guests will choose to dine-in at the hotel’s culinary options from casual to gourmet.  Enoteca is one of the top restaurants in Barcelona with two Michelin stars and offers a culinary exploration of avant-garde Mediterranean cuisine from Barcelona’s culinary master, Chef Paco Perez. For a more casual meal, guests will love to take in the fresh air of the sea while dining al fresco under canvas umbrellas at the Marina restaurant. The Marina offers casual meals of fresh seafood,  sizzling steaks, sushi and tacos while overlooking the boats coming and going in the marina.

Beyond the foodie scene the Hotel Arts offers a spectacular cocktail culture as well with their P41 Bar & Coctelarium. Hotel guests and Barcelona’s in crowd come for the sexy scene as well as to imbibe the decadent elixirs from the cocktail menu by award-winning mixologist, Diego Baud.

There’s plenty to do around the hotel as well at their two large outdoor pools with one for families and the other for adults. Around the adult pool, a sexy crown sips on cocktails under cabanas while others perfect their tans on loungers. In the summer live music performances and DJs offer some entertainment which is par for the course in Barcelona. There’s also a well-equipped fitness center with state of the art machines as well.

The Spa is another standout feature of the hotel. The  3,000-sq.-ft. spa is located on the  43rd  floor with eight treatment rooms as well as steam and sauna rooms and offers a wide range of massages, treatments, and journeys using their Natura Bliss products.   

The Hotel Arts is a perennial favorite on the who’s who in luxury hotels lists and with good reason. It is the ideal location from which to explore this incredible destination from a retreat that is often difficult to leave.

Glenn Harris

Glenn Harris is an accomplished journalist focusing on international travel, fine dining, and luxury lifestyle events. His wanderlust has taken him to over 105 countries where he is constantly straying off the beaten path uncovering new and exotic finds. He particularly enjoys seeking out lesser known travel gems and places to stay, dine, or experiences to capture. ...(Read More)

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