Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents 1, Barcelona, Spain
- Recommended for:
- Foodies, Nightlife, Relaxation
Best for Trendiness - Expert review of W Hotel
The hotel that everyone’s talking about sits proud and alone at the southern tip of Barcelona’s beach like a huge, glass sail (the W's nickname, the Vela, comes from the Spanish for sail). It pierces the skyline with 26 floors and, unsurprisingly, has breathtaking views.
On the breakwater at the very end of Passeig Joan de Borbó. While you certainly won't be disturbed by outside noise, it does feel a little isolated at night, but is unbeatable for beachgoers.
Given that the hotel's pièces de résistance are its views, the 473 rooms all come with a small but powerful telescope, and are relatively plain in design, the better to appreciate the distant view of the horizon. Cushioned bench seating runs the length of the wide windows, and socialising is encouraged between guests; cocktail shakers are provided and the ingredients can be ordered.
Back on the ground floor, the lobby is spectacular – a huge open space dotted with low white-leather sofas, a flickering, floating James Bond fireplace and a shimmering water feature. For all this achingly hip design, I found it a relaxed and welcoming place – staff dart about in smart-casual clothes (no uniforms here) and there are bowls of apples and jugs of water with mint and lime for guests to help themselves.
If making your own cocktails sounds like a slog, the Eclipse bar on the top floor does the job nicely, and boasts the best views of all. At ground floor level is a reasonably casual Mediterranean restaurant, but better yet is Bravo 24, which specialises in grilled meats and is under the supervision of Michelin-starred chef Carles Abellan.
In the fresh and modern-looking spa you're more likely to hear R&B than whale song, and I liked the irreverent approach; in dramatic contrast to the clinical look and attitude of most hotel spas, in this one you can help yourself to cava and brownies once you've had a massage. The huge, decked terrace with views out to sea has a large pool and stacks of white leather day beds sitting under gnarled olive trees.
Though everyone I came into contact with was unfailingly charming, communication between them seemed a bit lacking, perhaps because of the size of the operation. Depending what you're after, it might be safer to notify a couple of them.
An entertaining mix of the very glam and the very portly. The Eclipse bar must boast the most varied clientele of any in the city; a mix of expense-account businessmen and gorgeous young things in strappy dresses.
Book early and avoid August, trade fairs and major sporting events unless you want to pay the astronomical rack rates.
More information on W Hotel:
- Price from:
- Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents 1, Barcelona, Spain
- Business Centre, Fitness Centre, High-Speed Internet, Parking, Pets Allowed, Restaurant, Room Service, Swimming Pool