Hotel Arts Barcelona

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by billmoy on March 14, 2002

This hotel, part of the Ritz-Carlton chain, is located in the tallest building in Spain with 44 floors. The elegant tower, embellished by a bold cage of white structural steel, was designed by the notable architecture firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill. Opened in 1992, the hotel has nearly 500 magnificently appointed rooms and suites. Located in the Olympic Port area, you are very close to the Mediterranean, tons of restaurants and dance clubs, and a casino.

My standard room would be a junior suite in just about any other hotel. Being a Ritz-Carlton brand, everything is 5-star elegance. The posh bathroom is enormous, with a great seated shower stall (and separate bathtub too) and loads of toiletries. The room was spacious and had a nice view of the sea and the surrounding cityscape. Of course, you get amenities like minibar, in-room safe, plush bathrobe, etc. The check-in lobby is one floor above the ground floor. There is an outdoor pool with a superb view of the Mediterranean and the Frank Gehry-designed "fish" sculpture. There is also a fitness center and massage service. I was able to leave my suitcase with the bellhop for about 16 hours, something that did not seem to be an inconvenience for the hotel.

Now for the minor quibbles! There is a bit of gadgetry to deal with, such as the Bang and Olufson entertainment ensemble. I had to read the accompanying instructions card to find out that the red dot is the "off" button. The wall has a bunch of buttons, for operating the numerous lights and the window shade. I think I may have inadvertently turned on an alarm button on the phone, so it took me a few minutes to deactivate it.

This is a top-notch hotel, but it is almost a shame to stay in such luxury when there is so much to see and do in Barcelona! I would recommend staying here if you have euros to burn and a light sightseeing schedule.

Hotel Arts Barcelona (Ritz Carlton)
Carrer de la Marina, 19-21
Barcelona, Spain

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