Service and facilities (on which more later) aside, the great selling point of the Arts is its location smack on the beach, with a garden, terrace and swimming pool overlooking the sea. Taxis into the centre of town are not expensive, and there are good restaurants down below the boardwalk or at the nearby Port Olímpic.
I should say that the 483 rooms are not really the hotel’s high point – ceilings are low and make the rooms feel a little boxy, and the colour scheme features some fairly unexciting neutral tones – but the windows are wide and views more than make up for it. Make sure you specify if you want a sea or city view when booking.
The lobby is spectacular and the regularly changing floral arrangements wouldn’t look out of place at a royal wedding. The glitziness is cut with fun details such as giant jars of candy and Café del Mar-style background music, and the sombre brown and beige sofas are an easy place to while away half an hour while you flick through your guidebook. There are contemporary Spanish artworks dotted throughout the public spaces (nearly 500, in fact), including sculptures in a small garden that leads up to the pool area.
Eating and drinking
Recently awarded a Michelin star, the hotel’s more formal restaurant, Enoteca, conjures up a creative menu that takes in all the vogueish culinary practices of the day (expect much foam) while respecting the maritime setting with net-fresh fish and excellent arroces (variations on a paella theme). There is also a tapas bar, snack bar and Champagne bar.
The first-floor pool overlooking the beach is possibly the nicest in the city, but the Six Senses spa on the 43rd floor has views that are even better.
The Arts prides itself on its concierge service, and will cater to almost every whim, even for guests staying in standard (‘Deluxe’) rooms. At the top of the room range, however, the service takes on a whole new level – butler-drawn bath, anybody?
Who stays there
The clientele is much as you’d expect from a luxury hotel, with businesspeople during the week and tourists at weekends. It’s popular with Brits, Americans, Spanish and, increasingly, wealthy Eastern Europeans and is also favoured by Madonna, U2 and assorted footballers.
The breakfast buffet costs a hefty 37 euros, but there are occasional b&b packages to be had.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
Pros & Cons
- On the beach
- Excellent service
- Great views
- Unspectacular rooms