Hotel Authority: Where to Stay in Spain This Summer
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The Points Guy UK helps you maximise your travels, giving you the strategies you need to get where you’re going — and where to stay when you arrive at your destination.
As part of a series, we’ll be bringing you the latest hotel news every month, including the hottest openings; properties to consider if you’ve saved a stash of hotel; and brands to watch — including scrappy start-ups and spin-offs from legacy portfolios.
Basically, there’s never a dull moment in the world of hotels.
I’ve been writing about hotels for over a decade (and have perhaps spent an unhealthy amount of time staying in, looking at, wandering around and reading about them). For those that remember that dearly departed site, I was formerly a contributing editor at HotelChatter, and you may my words pop up in places like Business Traveller.
This month, with summer at our heels, we’re focusing on exciting hotel developments in Spain.
Despite attempts to crack down on tourism, Barcelona has seen several major hotel openings over the last few years, and more are coming in the near future. There are also a few arrivals on the Balearic Islands — from buzzing Ibiza to quieter Menorca — you should have on your radar, and Madrid is getting some seriously luxe new properties, too.
The Barcelona Edition
I remember being in the Punch Room at The London Edition years ago, listening to hotelier Ian Schrager explain his vision for the collaboration with Marriott. If anything, the former nightlife extraordinaire and the corporate hotel brand was an unlikely pairing.
Exactly five years after the London property debuted, Marriott opened The Barcelona Edition in 2018, which arrived in September with an even 100 rooms in a converted office building next to the Santa Caterina market. That’s a pretty stellar location for exploring the city, and the 10th-floor rooftop (with its plunge pool and restaurant) has stellar views to match. Its design feels familiar, from the statement spiral staircase in the lobby to the walnut panelling in the rooms. Expect nightly rates to be punchy, so check your Marriott Bonvoy balance (and our valuations) to see what your best option is for a redemption.
Little Beach House Barcelona
Also opened in 2018, this is the sibling of members-club-meets-hotel, Soho House. Only this property is right on the sand in Garraf. That means you can get from lunch in town to a soak in your own outdoor bathtub facing the sea within the hour (or an even easier 20 minutes if arriving directly from the airport). There are only 17 bedrooms (a mix of small, medium and studio spaces) in the 1950s-era building, all with appropriately beachy décor. Guests can enjoy indoor and outdoor club spaces, a rooftop and an all-day Mediterranean restaurant.
Sir Victor Barcelona
The former Hotel OMM — one of the first design hotels in the city — was transformed into Sir Victor Barcelona this spring. The latest addition to Europe’s Sir Hotels boutique hotel collection piggybacks off the opening of Sir Joan in Ibiza’s Old Town two summers ago, and joins properties in Amsterdam, Berlin and Hamburg in the portfolio.
There are 91 rooms and suites: Pick one with a balcony for private outdoor space or, if out-all-night, sleep-all-day is why you’re in town, opt for ‘Sir Petit’ internal rooms without windows. Guests here will also have access to a rooftop lounge with a plunge pool, as well as a spa with an indoor pool. The ground floor will include a Mr. Porter steakhouse.
Nobu Hotel Barcelona
Who knew a hotel brand spun off from a sushi restaurant could be so successful? It doesn’t seem all that long ago when Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert De Niro opened their first hotel in Las Vegas, and now there are nine hotels around the world and another nine in development.
Nobu Hotel Barcelona is slated to open this September with 259 rooms inside the Torre Catalunya, just outside the Gothic Quarter near the Plaza de España. Bookings are open from Sept. 1 — though you might want to wait a few months before reserving your stay. Early renderings depict a subtle Japanese-inspired aesthetic, with dark woods and contrasting hues of white, cream and playful pops of blue. The interior design draws on the Kintsugi art form, where broken pottery is repaired with lacquer dusted with either gold or silver. A Nobu restaurant (on the tower’s 23rd floor) is de rigeur, and t here’s also Kozara, a Japanese-inspired tapas bar.
Following its acquisition by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Kimpton has been on an expansion spree, quickly moving into both Europe as well as Asia. You’ll soon find its quirky style in Bangkok, Shanghai and Tokyo, and in the European cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Paris and — you guessed it — Barcelona.
The Kimpton Barcelona should open in the Gothic Quarter later this year with 156 rooms, an all-day restaurant and a rooftop swimming pool (it’s a conversion of the NH Barcelona Centro). Having seen how successfully Kimpton converted an unimaginative Crowne Plaza in Amsterdam, this is a promising option for travellers loyal to IHG Rewards.
Finca Serena Mallorca
Drop a pin in the middle of Mallorca and you’ve pretty much found Finca Serena, a brand-new addition to the island and the latest from Único Hotels (they also have two hotels in Madrid and one in Barcelona).
Finca Serena has just 25 rooms and suites spread across nine buildings of the sprawling country estate, which sits on 40 hectares of land. The guest spaces are finished with neutral hues and draw on materials (fabrics, stone, wood) found locally. Spend a weekend strolling the grounds counting olive trees (there are 834 of them); dining at Jacaranda, which serves vegetables and fruits from the gardens; or enjoying the pool, sauna and hamman facilities at the spa, which also offers yoga and meditation classes.
Hotel El Llorenç Parc de la Mar Palma
El Llorenç Parc de la Mar will open in July in Palma de Mallorca. Rather than countryside seclusion, this 33-room hideaway will position guests in the middle of La Calatrava, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Palma. Being in such a central location hasn’t prevented the hotel from cramming in two restaurants, a lobby bar and a spa with treatment rooms, a hammam, a fitness center and an indoor pool. Even so, the showstopper is definitely the roof, which features multilevel terraces, daybeds, a cocktail bar and an infinity pool with views across Palma Bay.
The quietest of the Balearics, Menorca is getting quite the scoop this summer: the first resort from the Experimental Group. Experimental Menorca reimagined another 19th-century finca as a hotel with 43 rooms (nine of which are individual cottages) on 30 hectares of land. Striking rust-coloured floors contrast with whitewashed walls and teal accents in the first renderings of the rooms. There will be indoor and outdoor restaurants, an infinity pool and a cocktail bar.
With British Airways flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and even City (in peak season), it’s only a few hours to Menorca, and a Reward Flight Saver (6,500 to 7,500 Avios plus £17.50 one-way). If that’s not enough, Experimental will also open a Venetian Palazzo in Dorsoduro over the summer.
W Ibiza and W Madrid
If ever a brand was made for the island of Ibiza, it would probably be W Hotels. W Ibiza will be joining the party this summer in the Santa Eulalia neighbourhood. It will have 127 rooms and 35 suites and all the things you’d expect from a W, including two WET pool decks (one on the roof and another with direct beach access). The brand is also eyeing the Spanish capital, though most details for a forthcoming W Madrid are still under wraps. What we do know? A 141-room hotel should arrive in 2020.
Four Seasons Hotel Madrid
At the close of 2019, the Four Seasons Madrid — the hospitality group’s first in Spain and second in the Mediterranean — will welcome its first guests. The 200-room hotel is spread across several historic buildings between Calle de Alcalá and Plaza de Canalejas, and it’s within walking distance of the Prado museum, the Botanical Gardens and Royal Palace.
There will be three restaurants and bars, a roof terrace and a spa with pool. Alongside the hotel there will be 22 private residences. If Four Seasons Madrid makes its 2019 opening, it will be just a few months ahead of the rebirth of the classic Hotel Ritz: currently closed for a complete restoration by Mandarin Oriental and due in the first half of 2020.
Featured photo courtesy of Nobu Hotel Barcelona.
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