In the world of serially uniform luxury chain hotels, Mandarin Oriental (MO) Barcelona is the exception. The hotel stands out from its siblings thanks to its distinct Euro-chicness. MO Barcelona is a vision of luxury that is not pretentious, nor overwhelming thanks to the design efforts of Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola, making for a comfortable stay in the busiest district of Spain.
MO Barcelona is situated in Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona’s premier shopping district. It’s a stone’s throw away from numerous tourist attractions, shopping sites, restaurants and bars — everything one could need for a luxurious vacation.
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We stayed in the Deluxe Boulevard Room, which overlooks the famous Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudí, the forefather of early modern Spanish architecture. The room is cleanly designed, with white plush furnishings and muted wooden floorboards.
Unlike many chain hotels where the rooms are stifled by artificial light, the room is designed to let natural light flood in, making the space refreshingly airy. There are large walk-in showers and separate baths, with amenities from Shanghai Tang, as well as a large desk perfect for business travellers.
There are a number of restaurants and bars within MO Barcelona featuring a wide variety of cuisines, but the most notable dining option would have to be Moments, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant run by chef Raül Balam. Balam constructs his breathtaking rendition of traditional Catalan cooking with the freshest ingredients, and you have the option of sampling his mastery through the various set menus available.
We sampled The Trip, a 14-course set lunch that took us on a gastronomical journey from Hong Kong, Bodrum, Miami and more, using only locally-sourced ingredients. For drinks, Banker’s Bar is an ultra-chic homage to the building’s banking history. The cocktail bar is situated within a bank vault, and regulars have the option of storing their drinks in the original safes.
MO Barcelona houses a gym, two pools and a 1,000-sqm spa. The spa is composed of eight suites where you can enjoy treatments designed with traditional Chinese medicine and aromatherapy in mind. You’ll also be able to enjoy manicure, pedicure and facial services. And if you’re in the mood for some shopping after, the hotel is connected to several boutiques.
If you love fine dining, Spanish architecture, and want a hotel that’s conveniently located, MO Barcelona is the perfect option for your Barcelonian vacation.