#1 TO STAY AT THIS STUNNING HOTEL
Almanac Barcelona opened its doors in December, introducing 91 eye-wateringly beautiful rooms and suites to the city’s under-nourished luxury accommodation scene. With acres of warm wooden surfaces and rich golden tones, the guestrooms are understated and refined, some with terraces overlooking the city.
Mediterranean brasserie Linia serves sharing plates and sophisticated cocktails in a very suave setting, and rooftop bar Azimuth is destined to become a top spot for sundowners after a day of shopping on the Passeig de Gracia.
#2 TO BECOME ONE OF THE COOL CROWD
Soho House Barcelona remains one of the hottest addresses in town, thanks to the cult status of the London-based collection and the instant kudos for anyone who manages to become a member of the Soho House club. The hotel’s 57 smallish rooms (the largest is 42 sqm) look out over Port Vell Marina in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona.
The subterranean Cowshed Spa has a gorgeous pool and four treatment rooms, and the 36-seat cinema is available for private hire as well as daily screenings. But the icing on the cake here is the rooftop pool, which looks out over the marina, and the choice of achingly cool private dining and event spaces available to members.
#3 TO VISIT ANTONI GAUDI’S FIRST HOUSE
Built by Gaudi as a summer home for a wealthy broker between 1883 and 1885, Casa Vicens was the Spanish architect’s first major project. After more than 130 years as a private home, the incredible building – Barcelona’s eighth UNESCO World Heritage Site – is now open to guests.
Notable for the way in which Gaudi reinterpreted conventional Catalan architectural conventions and put his own personal stamp on the decorative trends of the era, Casa Vincens is now home to rotating and permanent exhibitions showcasing the work of Gaudi and his contemporaries, as well as a gift and bookshop.
#4 TO EMBRACE THE SPANISH BUBBLES
Mandarin Oriental Barcelona works with local Catalan winery L’Origan to custom-make the cava served in its bars and restaurants. Now L’Origan is throwing open the doors to its historic cellars in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, just outside Barcelona, offering hotel guests a private tour of 1,286-metre long vaults, followed by a walk around the vineyards and lunch at a traditional local restaurant.
The tour is part of a two-night package that includes a bottle of bubbles on arrival, accommodation and a tasting menu dinner in Blanc restaurant with wine pairings.
#5 TO SOAK IN SKY-HIGH CITY VIEWS
Perched on the uppermost floors of Hotel Arts Barcelona, a collection of 28 duplex penthouses offer some of the most panoramic views in the city. Each of the bright and airy apartments, ranging from one- to three-bedrooms, feature separate living and dining areas, kitchen and marble bathroom, plus furniture by local designer Jamie Tresserra and the service of a private butler.
Our favourite perk is the use of a Mini Cooper for the duration of your stay, but that would of course mean leaving your suite and those breath-taking views of the city.