How do you choose a hotel?
For me a good hotel is all about inspiration and of course the feeling of comfort and, depending on the hotel, the luxury of living.
It can be a simple place or a place like the Hotel Mandarin Oriental in the heart of Barcelona, on the famous Passeig de Grecia, an elegant Mid XX century building, previously head office of Banco Hispano-Americano, which has been transformed into a luxury hotel by international renowned Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola, who now lives and works together with her husband in Milan .
The Mandarin Oriental group is known for elegant luxury with an Asian touch, but always influenced by the place it is located. It only comes natural to choose Patricia Urquiola to transform this hotel into an oasis of comfort and well-being.
The way you enter the Hotel lobby from the busy Passeig de Gracia is over a bright, hanging access ramp crossing a courtyard, leading to the hotel entrance. The modern hotel façade has 3D textured walls to give a greater sense of depth. The lobby welcomes you with a lounging, soft leather sofa arrangement that has a 70s touch and shouts please take a seat and relax.
This massage actually follows you through the entire hotel where most furniture is custom designed for the hotel and produced by the best Italian and Spanish manufacturers.
The hotel’s heart for me is the Mimosa Garden, where you get to when passing MOMENTS restaurant, a fine dining restaurant by the two-Michelin starred Chef Raül Balam, who is the son of Carmen Ruscalleda’s directing the entire food concept of the Mandarin Oriental Cuisines in Barcelona.
MOMENTS, the modern designed space, leaves the attention more on the plates than on the interior compared to the outside pop up restaurant, El Jardi de Moments that offers a unique alfresco designed menue, giving the guest a more casual way to indulge in Raül Jardi’s excellent summer cuisine. Mimosa garden makes this place unique, designed with different seating corners, again cosy and inviting to have a rest from the buzzing boulevards.
The garden is the perfect place to start your day with a yoga session, a light lunch or working quietly in a corner before exploring the city.
At night you want to go up and take a last dip in the pool or enjoy a cocktail at the roof top bar before an authentic Peruvian cuisine from Gastón Acurio, one of the world’s most acclaimed chefs at TERRAT, which let you see the entire city in full glory shining in orange light.
Also, at the pool side you will find the comfort of privacy and cosiness but well balanced to modern structures, surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers.
Whether you are staying in the modern part of the hotel or the newly renovated wing located in an old Palacio next door, the balance of materials, structures and light is always given in the interior as well as the furniture design of Patricia Urquiola. You can tell she is a very social woman who has the ability to concentrate on all that is necessary to make you feel uniquely comfortable and happy with yourself.