An unforgettable two days and nights in one of Europe’s most enchanting cities at the Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona.
Barcelona! Everyone has heard the name of this famous European city, but until you have walked the streets, sampled the cuisine and spent time with the spirited locals, you have no idea how wonderful this cosmopolitan city truly is.
Team Hadag were invited, by the world-renowned Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, to spend two unforgettable days and nights at their highly sought-after location in Barcelona. Of course, we gratefully accepted and, within a few short days, found ourselves touching down on the north-eastern coast of Spain, at Barcelona International Airport, ready to start our Catalonian adventure.
As we made our way to the hotel, we were soon captivated by the city’s mind-blowing architecture, along with the hustle and bustle of the busy streets. By the time we pulled up at the Mandarin Oriental, we knew we had to spend a considerable amount of our time exploring this enthralling metropolis.
The moment our ride stopped at the main entrance, we were greeted by friendly and attentive staff, ready to assist us in any way possible. After a hassle-free check in, I soon found myself in my Mandarin Junior Suite, smiling from ear-to-ear at what was to be my home base for the next two days and nights.
The Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona is a five-star, contemporary hotel located in the heart of the city’s famous Passeig de Gracia. It contains 120 rooms and suites, along with several dining spots, meeting facilities, beautiful gardens and an award-wining spa. With an array of even grander suites than my own available, it’s no surprise that the rich and famous frequent this luxurious location.
The first feature I noticed about my junior suite, aside from the spacious nature of the room, was the welcoming arrangement left for me on the table. An assortment of nuts, dried fruits, fresh fruit juices, bottled waters and desserts, along with a fresh fruit platter, was a beautiful touch and a great way to start my stay. Custom-made woven rugs, high-quality leather furniture and light-wood floors, all adorn the Junior Suites, further adding to the deluxe experience. A terrace overlooking the hotel’s Mimosa Garden was yet another great feature, along with the glass-enclosed bathroom, containing a rain-forest, walk-in shower. A 24- hour butler service is on offer for all suites, ensuring your every desire is immediately attended to.
Over the course of our stay, we were fortunate enough to experience some of the outstanding culinary locations housed within the hotel.
It didn’t take us long to work out why Moments is The Mandarin Oriental’s premium restaurant. This award-wining location is managed by multi-Michelin-Star winner, Carme Ruscalleda, and boasts a menu second to none. The fresh and healthy cuisine, inspired by Catalan culinary culture, is creatively presented and tastes sublime. The beautiful décor helps to create a magical atmosphere that further adds to this already outstanding culinary experience.
This all-day-dining venue proved to be an exceptional restaurant, featuring striking décor and a superb menu. The à la carte breakfasts, with their vast spread of fresh fruits, organic yoghurts, bagels, fresh pastries, wide range of eggs and cereals, along with a selection of Catalan traditional breakfast options, provided us with the perfect start to our days.
If you’re a fan of Peruvian food, visit Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona’s Terrat rooftop terrace which is on the ninth floor, with 360º panoramic views. It offers guests a wide variety of beverages and a delicious selection of Peruvian delights as well as recipes from international star Chef Gastón Acurio. Treats include ceviches, tiraditos and a wide range of cocktails available until late night. It’s the perfect choice for enjoying the gentle Barcelona breeze and spectacular views during the season. The hotel’s other excellent venues include Banker’s Bar, with a ceiling covered in old safety deposit boxes; and Mimosa Garden, an exclusive al fresco venue filled with lavender and sunshine.
SPA & WELLNESS
During our stay at Mandarin Oriental, we were excited to experience the hotel’s celebrated spa. With seven treatment rooms, a 12-metre spa lap pool, an Oriental steam room, a relaxation area, a fully-equipped fitness centre and a spa boutique, this venue is well-equipped to say the least.
I was lucky enough to undergo the Exclusive Energising Men’s Facial Treatment. Specifically designed to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, this treatment left my skin feeling soft yet toned, and I couldn’t remember the last time my complexion looked so radiant. For great feeling youthful skin, we highly recommend the amazing facial treatments by Valmont offered at this facility.
Thanks to Mandarin Oriental’s central location, the best of Barcelona was literally on our doorstep, and we took full advantage of our free time to explore as much of this magnificent area as we possibly could over two days.
Starting at the Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona’s main square, we strolled the avant-garde district of Passeig de Gràcia, feeling spoilt for choice with all that was on offer. Architecture being our primary fascination, we made sure to take in all of the exceptional structures around us. ‘Modernist’ buildings, luxury boutiques and upscale restaurants, all adorn this touristfriendly area, and we thoroughly enjoyed the sociable locals we encountered along the way.
A little further out and the bold architecture becomes even more extraordinary. Our favourite structures included the fantastical themed Casa Batlló, with its pastel-coloured mosaic front and a roof shaped like a dragon’s tail, along with La Pedrera, with its stunning internal spiral staircase, and 360-degree view from the roof. Barcelona is without a doubt, a vibrant and beautiful city.
ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END
All too soon, it was time to say goodbye to Barcelona and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Having thoroughly enjoyed our stay, we relived our experiences on the six-and-a-half-hour flight home. The luxurious rooms, the friendly hotel staff, the delicious cuisine and beautiful city sites, all made for an unforgettable adventure. However, we did decide we would have to return, as we had only touched the surface of what the magical city of Barcelona has to offer.