Barcelona's opulent grand dame
Still known by the Barcelonians as the fabled Ritz, El Palace Hotel Barcelona is a historical property that exudes opulent luxury at every corner, perhaps the most tastefully ostentatious hotel in the city.
You can see the legacy of its history in the velvet drapes, thick carpet, gilded accents and marble columns. The lobby alone is worth visiting for — The Hall, which is also a bar, is filled with hand-painted wallpaper, oversized iron street lamps, Greek statues and evokes nothing less than Versailles grandeur.
The Barcelona hotel also boasts a swanky smoking room, rooftop pool and an exotic spa.
Our Inspector’s Highlights
• Experiencing the Mayan Luxury Spa — a tribute to the Mayan culture that will transport you to the Caribbean sea — is a must. Hit the temazcal, the pre-Hispanic sauna, before getting an Ancient Massage, based on traditional healing techniques of energy flow and aromatherapy.
• The new rooftop terrace, dubbed Diana’s Garden, has panoramic views of Barcelona, but the surroundings are as much of a focal point as the vistas. Around the terrace are paintings by the modernist artist Ramon Casas, ponds, a swimming pool, gazebos and more than fifty varieties of plants.
• Afternoon tea in the 19/Nineteen restaurant is a heavenly indulgent experience and is most similar to a classical English afternoon tea.
What to Know
• The property is perfect for people seeking the Old World hotel experience in Barcelona; many guests are Americans who want to experience the refined nature of age-old European hotels.
• Situated in a nice location two blocks away from Passeig de Gràcia and on the Gran Via, the luxury hotel is within walking distance to many Barcelona sites and high-end shopping.
• The Smokers Club, located inside the Bluesman Cocktail Bar, is the only place in the hotel where smoking is allowed. It was designed for smokers to sit back and enjoy the moment with comfortable sofas and a distinct Scottish club style.
• The 120 guest rooms are equipped with the latest technology and have been recently renovated. All are decorated in an elegant, neo-classical style in ivories and creams and pops of black.
• Luxe touches include marble fireplaces, television screens that are hidden within grand mirrors, flocked wallpaper and separate bath and rain showers.
• Book one of the six newly renovated suites dedicated to six larger-than-life cultural icons, including the Salvador Dalí, Josephine Baker, César Ritz and Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Each has a large, luxurious big Roman-style bathroom decorated with mosaics.
• 19/NINETEEN Restaurant features a tapas tasting menu in a refined, yet casual Parisian brasserie setting.
• The Winter Garden located on the rooftop terrace offers Mediterranean cuisine in an a la carte or tasting menu format in an intimate, exclusive indoor garden. Featuring only a few tables, you can expect a high level of customized service.
• Listen to live music in the Bluesman Cocktail Bar, an elegant bar downstairs where jazz and blues accompany the top-shelf whiskies and classic cocktails. The Bar is presided by the Bluesman painting, created and donated by a friend of Ronnie Wood, the Rolling Stones’ manager.