Mandarin Oriental

Passeig de Gràcia 38-40, Barcelona, Spain, 08007

Price from: £210

Mandarin Oriental junior suite

By Sally Davies, your Barcelona expert

I write for BBC radio, Insight Guides, .... Read more
#1 of 40
expert-rated hotels in Barcelona
Expert overall rating:4.8 out of 5
Location:
4.8
4.8
Bedrooms:
4.8
4.8
Eating/drinking:
4.9
4.9
Public areas:
4.5
4.5
Leisure facilities:
5
5.0
Service:
5
5.0
Value for money:
4.4
4.4
Recommended for:
Business travellers, Culture vultures, Foodies, Honeymooners, Relaxation

Best for Luxury - Expert review of Mandarin Oriental

Spellbinding luxury on the Passeig de Gràcia.

Opened in November 2009, this is the first Mandarin Oriental in southern Europe, and promises to give Spain's more established luxury hotels a run for their money. From the moment you enter the lobby via the carpeted footbridge through the atrium, the hotel drips with promise. At 98 rooms it's smaller than it seems, though the facilities (how many restaurants?) compete with those in hotels four times this size.

Location: 

If high-end shopping and Gaudí are your holiday priorities, you'll be in heaven - the MO is halfway up the elegant Passeig de Gràcia and just across from the Casa Batlló. The Old City is a ten-minute walk away.

Bedrooms: 

In shades of cream, with oriental graphics across one wall, orchids, splayed style mags and wide, comfortable beds, the rooms would be just about perfect if they were just a tad bigger (the standards, that is - the suites are a whole other story and twice the size of the average Barcelona flat). Ritzy little touches include a box of chocolate truffles, leatherbound notebooks and calendars, and upmarket toiletries: La Prairie in the suites, Aromatherapy Essentials in the standard rooms. The high-powered showers feel wonderful, but keep an eye out for bathroom floods if you have them on full blast. Rooms face either the Passeig de Gràcia or the garden restaurant to the rear (be warned there is a schoolyard alongside, which can get noisy during the afternoons).

Check availability and compare prices for Mandarin Oriental

Public areas: 

Where the hotel falls short, perhaps, is the lobby. Don't get me wrong - it's as designer tasteful as the rest of the hotel, with cream leather sofas, oversized oriental flower prints in the carpets and a shimmering, reflective ceiling like a gravity-defying pool - but it is small. Essentially it's just a space between the concierge and reception, which is fine if you're passing through, but not if you're hanging out and using the free WiFi (WiFi in the rooms is a princely 13 euros a day).

Eating and drinking: 

Where to start? The MOments (see what they did there?) restaurant is overseen by triple-Michelin-starred Carme Ruscalleda (her son Raul is the chef) and specialises in top-quality Catalan cuisine, while Blanc, on the ground floor, goes for an Asian-Med blend. At Mimosa, the pretty garden-terrace, fragrant with lavender bushes and staffed by cutie-pies in natty trilbies and Converse sneakers, you can order lighter snacks all day, or simply have a drink. Next to reception is the Bankers' Bar, one wall and the ceiling lined with the safety deposit boxes from the former bank. The head barman has won awards for his meticulously prepared, old-school cocktails and the look is latter-day gentlemen's club, with tartan carpets and sombre tones.

Leisure facilities: 

As well as a guest-only dipping pool on the roof, there is a small and relaxing indoor pool next to the spa in the basement. The spa itself is probably the most atmospheric I've seen in a hotel and a haven of tranquility. There is even a his-and-hers treatment room with twin massage beds and an adjoining room with double futon and bathtub for chilling out afterwards. If, that is, you have 970 euros to spare. The gym is well equipped, not only with machines but exercise balls and so on. Headphones are provided for the individual TV screens.

Service: 

The Mandarin prides itself on its service, which is certainly charming. When I was in the Blanc bar/restaurant a family brought in provisions from McDonald's to have with their cocktails - despite some almost imperceptible eye-rolling, nothing was said. Which is just how it should be.

Check availability and compare prices for Mandarin Oriental

Who stays there: 

Tourists of all nationalities make up about 70 per cent of the clientele, but I was struck by how many locals (particularly wealthy middle-aged women) use the hotel as a pitstop while shopping; relaxing in the spa, having Afternoon Tea in Blanc or a cocktail in the sunshine at Mimosa.

Price advice: 

The usual rules apply - avoid August, trade fairs and major sporting events or risk a mighty rack rate. Breakfast is 43 euros extra.

Pros: 
Beautifully designed
Attentive service
Excellent facilities
Cons: 
Expensive
Rooms not huge

More information on Mandarin Oriental:

Price from:
£210
Type:
Hotel
Address:
Passeig de Gràcia 38-40, Barcelona, Spain, 08007
Amenities:
Business Centre, Fitness Centre, High-Speed Internet, Parking, Pets Allowed, Restaurant, Room Service, Swimming Pool
Neighbourhood:
Eixample

Mandarin Oriental

Set focus Read our Best Price Guarantee

Mandarin Oriental - Check availability and compare prices from over 30 leading sites at the same time

Comparing over 30 hotel providers:

Have you been to Mandarin Oriental? Would you recommended it?

Community comments (1)

I was hosted in that hotel is great!!!
Watch movies online