Summer in Barcelona not only brings sunny days and long lazy evenings but also attracts the crowds in their swarms. However, don’t let this deter you from the Catalan capital, with its al fresco tapas, cosy vermuterias and charming streets. Our piece of advice: head for the hills, literally.
Tucked in between Camp Nou (the Barcelona F.C. stadium) and the sleek shops of Avinguda Diagonal, lies the city’s only urban resort, the Fairmont Juan Reyes Carlos. Think sweeping sea views and a central location, minus the tourist hustle and bustle.
The hotel is undergoing somewhat of a renovation process, both in terms of decor and offerings, starting with the newly opened lobby in 2016, designed by London’s Richmond Design Hospitality. As you step inside the front entrance, the first thing you’ll notice is how shiny and new everything still is. Spanning a massive 70m in height, the open lobby has a modernist palette with a Spanish twist, all matte steels and golden metallics inspired by the works of architect Santiago Calatrava (of the futuristic City of Arts & Sciences in Valencia). The local stylings add a real Catalan feel, including the lobby’s hanging light fixtures, representing the bubbles in a glass of cava, the local’s favorite tipple, as well as floor tiling inspired by Barcelona’s luxurious boulevard, Passeig De Gracia.
Not to be missed is the hotel’s newest lounge, the lobby’s B24 bar, open 24 hours a day. The new eatery serves up local tapas including Iberian-fed ham croquettes and Pan Con Tomate. However, it’s the cocktail menu that captured our attention, with a selection inspired by The American Bar in London’s ‘The Savoy’, the reigning Best Bar in the world, as well as London’s longest standing cocktail bar. Our favorite was the aptly named ‘Looking for Gold’ consisting of Liquid gold, Master’s Gin, St Germain liqueur, lemon juice, gold dust and cava.
Those looking for some dinner and drinks al fresco, should head out into the hotel’s 25,000 square foot Torre Molina gardens in search of ‘The Terrace’, the Fairmont’s outdoor eatery, just reopened in June for the summer. Perched over the instagram-worthy adults-only pool, and strewn with fairy lights, this is the perfect spot for a romantic date night. Serving a fresh spanish-style BBQ menu, the stand out is the new gourmet range of aged meats, including a delicious beef T-bone steak matured for 60 days. Looking for something lighter? Our highlights were the tomato ‘Salmorejo’, a Andalusian cold soup served with jamón ibérico, quail’s egg and volcanic toast as well as the smoked mozzarella with vine tomatoes and Aragon basil and olives.
Wash down with a tipple from the summer-only Codorníu cava bar or with a concoction from Barman Baptise’s new cocktail menu based on ‘A Journey Along the Catalan Coast’. Looking for some extra chill on a balmy Spanish evening? Check out the terrace’s new Shisha Bar.
Once you’re done exploring the Catalan capital, the Fairmont has a full events schedule to keep guests entertained for the summer including a Rose wine tasting, cod cooking workshop as well as a Mini-Chef Cooking Class to keep the little ones busy. Our favorite however, is the L’Atelier Grey Goose outdoor garden cinema. Playing until the end of august, sit back with a specialty cocktail and personal popcorn.
Those staying the night will want to check into one of the newly renovated 432 guestrooms including the Fairmont rooms and Suites, all completely made over with a soft scheme of silvers and whites. All suites have a separate living area, two televisions and marble spa bathrooms with Le Labo toiletries. Our top pick was the 70 square metres Signature Corner Suite. Perfect for sports enthusiasts, this room offers overlooking views of the Local Royal Polo Club (you can catch a whole game) and Camp Nou, the Barcelona football stadium. (Seriously, crane your neck high enough and you might catch some action). For families we suggest you add on a connected Fairmont room for a real apartment feel. Looking a for a little luxe? We recommend the newly done Presidential Suite. Located on the 14th floor and with sweeping views, this 120 square metre space, houses a separated king bedroom, large living room and kitchenette, all with 3 seperate entrance points. Bathrooms come with jacuzzi tubs.
Not to forget, the Hotel shares it 5,400sq fitness centre and spa with the neighbouring Royal Polo Club. Consisting of 2 pools (indoor and outdoor). Those looking to get beach body ready before hitting Barcelona’s golden sands will want to check out the menu of bodycare treatments by Gerard’s. Our top picks is the ‘Blue Mask Push-Up Effect’ with toning Laminaria Seaweed and the ‘SoySoy Gommy Massage’, an Anti-gravity firming treatment. Feel like treating yourself, try the ‘Massage of the King’, a four handed massage carried out by two therapists simultaneously.
Good to know: The spa also houses Check Vitae, a state of the art sports medicine centre.