The vibrant Spanish city of Barcelona is a visual feast for the traveller, with art and architecture aplenty. Wander the streets of the old town to see plants cascading over balconies, gaze open-mouthed at the wonders of Gaudi’s architecture, brave the hordes of tourists on Las Ramblas and maybe catch a glimpse of a world-class street performer.
And Barcelona’s creative, cosmopolitan nature is reflected in its hotels, which range from stately to artistic to modern, and cater to the business traveller’s every need, from divine dining to state-of-the-art meeting rooms, relaxing guest rooms to soothing spas. Here are five of Barcelona’s best business hotels.
Hotel Arts Barcelona
The luxury Hotel Arts Barcelona gets the thumbs up from business executives, even if they’re not staying in one of the 28 penthouses. The beachside hotel has 483 sea or city-view rooms and two suites, as well as the penthouses. It boasts more than 1,000 square metres of function space and has multiple restaurants, as well as an exclusive collection of Spanish contemporary art.
After hours, try a treatment at 43 The Spa (on the 43rd floor), hit the gym, bask beside the outdoor pool (in the shadow of Frank Gehry’s giant fish sculpture) or wander the terraced gardens. Architecture buffs will appreciate Bruce Graham’s design of the hotel, which was built in 1992 to coincide with the Olympic Games.
Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I
If you’re hosting or attending a conference in Barcelona, this a good place to be. The Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I has 24 multi-functional meeting rooms and elegant garden salons, and is in the same complex as the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya convention centre, which has 4,000 square metres of exhibition space and an auditorium for up to 2,000 delegates.
The rooms, meanwhile, range from quiet standard rooms to the Royal Suite Polo, which comes with a grand piano and views to the Royal Polo Club. There are 394 rooms and 38 suites in all, several of which have been refurbished recently.
The hotel sits within 19th-century gardens on the Avenida Diagonal, and has impressive views of the Barcelona skyline. There are six eateries, ranging from Mediterranean gastronomy to cocktails. And, when you book this SmartSTAY hotel through your FCBT Travel Manager, you will receive complimentary Wi-Fi access, a complimentary room upgrade (subject to availability), and a guaranteed late checkout.
Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona
The central Hotel Majestic dates back to 1918, and it retains a stately presence on Passeig de Gracia, a stone’s throw from Gaudi’s Casa Batllo and Sagrada Familia, as well as the luxury boutiques of Chanel et al.
Accommodation ranges from deluxe rooms to duplex apartments, and the hotel has a range of function rooms catering for up to 500 people. Michelin-starred chef Nandu Jubany serves up haute cuisine in The Condal restaurant, and there are several other eateries, as well.
Take time out at the rooftop pool, dine on a pretty garden terrace, or indulge in the Jet-Lag massage in the Majestic Spa, which incorporates a neck and shoulders massage, with lymphatic drainage techniques.
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NH Collection Barcelona Constanza
The 4-star NH Collection Barcelona Constanza is a sleek, modern design in the heart of Barcelona’s business district, close to exclusive shopping and Camp Nou, the Barcelona FC stadium. Designed by Rafael Moneo (the man behind the Los Angeles Cathedral), the hotel features 308 rooms (with huge windows) and eight suites spread across six floors, as well as an outdoor pool with stunning views, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a spa with its own flotation cabin, and the award-winning Italian restaurant, Don Giovanni.
Impress your clients with a creation by noted cocktail maker Diego Cabrera. Equally impressive are the hotel’s business halls, which cater for up to 900 people – and feature 3D holographic and telepresence technology. When you book this SmartSTAY Barcelona hotel through your FCBT Travel Manager, you will enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi access, a 10 per cent discount on food and beverage at the hotel, and complimentary late checkout (subject to availability).
Le Meridien Barcelona
Perfect for visiting the city centre on foot, Le Meridien Barcelona sits on the famous Las Ramblas, which is also perfect for people-watching, should you have the time. The hotel has 231 rooms and suites decorated with artistic flourishes inspired by Gaudi.
Dine on Mediterranean cuisine at the hotel’s Centonze Restaurant, have a snack with drinks at Longitude Bar, or pull out all the stops at Le Pop Cocktail Bar. Meetings are well catered for, with a range of meeting rooms, and there is a focus on sustainable meetings with eco-friendly options, such as china service to cut down on disposable products and alternatives to conventional bottled water. Don’t forget to check out the spa before you leave – the sauna and steam room will melt your worries away.
* Featured image: Barcelona viewed from Park Guell (Getty Images).