T he Mandarin Oriental Barcelona, set magnificently on Barcelona’s central boulevard Passeig de Gràcia, is a majestic Spanish Hotel nestled among iconic Cata- lan architecture, World Heritage sites, and posh bou- tiques. This luxury 5-Star Hotel, a stroll from Las Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter, and Sagrada Familia, is abso- lutely where you want to stay when you visit. Architectural buffs will be in design heaven, stylized metro signs, tile mo- saics, and modernist facades are found everywhere; just across the Boulevard is the renowned Casa Batlló, the archi- tectural masterpiece by the celebrated Antoni Gaudí. Mandarin Oriental Barcelona’s dramatic entrance – a sus- pended ramp - welcomes guests into the lobby’s ultra-mod white-on-white décor. The hotel’s sophisticated ambiance is the work of Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, celebrated for her interiors in Milan, Zurich, and Lake Como. Exceptional hospitality is a trademark of the Mandarin Oriental hotel group. A plate of mandarin oranges, floral bou- quets, house chocolate, a local Shiraz, plus your own private butler are standard amenities. The hotel has some of the largest rooms in the city with private balconies and terraces with views of the Passeig de Gràcia or the property’s beautifully landscaped Mimosa Garden. I loved the thoughtfully curated info guide of local happenings, favorite neighboring restau- rants, and an illustrated promenade map in my room. After a day of touring recharge on the rooftop with a swim in the pool


and cocktails at Terrat and savor the stunning 360-degree views. You’ll notice the beautiful people arriving to enjoy Peru- vian ceviche and cocktails al fresco and the dramatic sunset. Moments, awarded two Michelin stars for its exceptional neo-traditional modern Catalan cuisine has made The Man- darin Oriental Barcelona a gastronomic destination. At the helm is Chef Carme Ruscalleda, awarded seven Michelin stars for her restaurants in Spain and Tokyo. As the gastro- nomic overseer, her focus on traditional and modern Catalan cuisine with Asian touches can be tasted throughout several hotel venues including Moments, Banker’s Bar, in the privacy of your own room, and at the more casual Blanc restaurant. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental offers guests a menu of sig- nature treatments and experiences. Luxuriate in a vitality bath, a Turkish hammam or your own Shungite stone bath and a head-to-toe shiatsu massage. You will truly wonder where all that tension went. mandarinoriental.com/barcelona –PAULA KOFFSKY


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