I’ve stayed at many Mandarin Oriental hotels over the course of the past decade or so. Well, long enough for them to have me down as a reader of what was initially the Herald Tribune, which then became the International Herald Tribune, and now the International New York Times. I anticipated I would find a copy outside my door in the morning at this particular Mandarin hotel, on this, my first visit.
Barcelona has long awaited the arrival of a hotel of this calibre. The Mandarin Oriental, opened in 2009 and the second wing in 2014, offers guests what can only be described as an ‘experience’. From opulent suites and bathrooms, world-renowned chefs, and state-of-the-art technology in the rooms to name a few highlights, guests are wooed and wowed from the moment they set foot in the door. I know I was.
A former bank building, the hotel encompasses a natural light–filled, eight-story atrium with modern interiors by the Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola. Located on the bustling Passeig de Gràcia, the hotel is positioned amidst the finest top-end boutiques (Loewe’s flagship store is just across the street) and sites. From my window I could see Gaudi’s spectacular Casa Batlló and the recently restored Casa Amatllar, which I toured later the next day.