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W Hotel Oh we do like to be beside the seaside

W. Does it stand for ‘Wow’, one wonders? Or perhaps the ‘wink, wink, nudge nudge’ ethos that defines Barceloneta’s newest arrival. Emulating a giant silver knife protruding from the Vella region, W, Barcelona offers the typified cool for which the brand is known, but not without emphasizing its Catalan surroundings too. Clearly, W manages to fuse global and local very, very well.

Entering into the glass and LED lit reception area, textured beanbags, low Philippe Stark side tables and plenty of fashion and lifestyle books are scattered effortlessly to encourage guests’ total assimilation into a dreamy, seabed inspired space. Check in, what check in?

Striking the perfect chord, senses are engaged without being overwhelmed, whilst guests are treated to a service that is deliberately informal, yet still satisfies every five star expectation. Alongside the Wet bar, fusion Wave restaurant and in-house Bliss Spa, the wealth of luxe dining and bar options are all complemented by a young, energised international staff who are playfully referred to as ‘talent’. Demonstrably, it seems W is on a mission to blow all cliches surrounding the traditional hotel stay firmly (and literally) out of the water.From the signature seasonal cocktails, personalised notes left on the bed, alfresco poolside DJ bar and beach-facing cabana beds, the venue triumphs when it comes to providing a lifestyle that goes beyond mere lodgings.

And, with its unbeatable proximity to the Med and 360° vistas from the 26th floor Eclipse bar, W plays upon the ocean like it plays upon everything else. Mischief and voyeurism have never felt so luxurious.

The Urban Suites Urban minimalism

Thankfully devoid of frantic lobby areas and long check-in queues, Urban Suites offers affordable, self-contained and, above all, private accommodation perfect for anyone in town on business or small families.

Though not smack bang in the city center, the complex is short metro ride away from the buzz of Las Ramblas. Urban Suites features 20 rooms suitable for 2 to 4 people. The spartan white of the interior may lend a slightly uniform bent to the overall sense of minimalist decor here, but the list of features will quickly have you feeling at home. Each apartment boasts a fully equipped kitchen bath and shower, satellite, flatscreen TVs and free wi-fi and there is also a selection of rooms apt for disabled people.

The shared terrace is the ideal spot to unwind or meet fellow guests or you can guarantee complete privacy by requesting a rooms with a private terrace.

The exceptionally friendly staff will also cheerfully regale guests with their extensive knowledge of the city as well as provide helpful tips and free maps.

Hotel Cram Anything but crammed featured

This four star hotel features 67 rooms, each decorated with designer fabrics, mattresses, pillows, showerheads, flat screen televisions and partitioned lighting arrangements. Beatriz Cosials’ interior design compliments architect Joseph Rui’s vision for the hotel on the whole, orienting functionality foremost, while incorporating historic elements such as the building’s original 1892 facade with creative modern installments of light, water and color moving through the common areas.

The hotel’s restaurant, GAIG (honored with one Michelin star), offers guests excellent Mediterranean fusion cuisine from renowned chef Carles Gaig. The Mareva Lobby Cocktail Bar is a serene setting to relax with a drink, or consider the humidor for a fine selection of cigars. If it’s fresh air you prefer instead, lounge by the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool.

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