Right off the best beach in Barcelona, Hotel Arts is a stunning high-rise, with stunning city views, Michelin-starred fare and incredible accommodations
On the coastal side of Barcelona is a gorgeous and fun beach spot known as La Barceloneta. After our various trips to this hopping Catalonian city, we had fallen in love with Barceloneta—something about authentic tapas, ice cold Cava, and the picture perfect beach hit home for us. So when we decided to venture out to sea aboard a Viking Cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon, we knew we had to plan out a few extra days in Barcelona. We have learned quickly that we can’t just “layover” is a city we love. It’s nice to break up the grind of a long travel day, and plus, there’s always something new to discover in Barcelona.
Just a few minutes from Barceloneta sits one of our favorite Ritz Carlton properties, Hotel Arts. With great beach access, phenomenal restaurants and bars, and awe-inspiring design, Hotel Arts was the perfect place for us to relax for a few days before our cruise. The hotel features Enoteca, a two Michelin star restaurant, and Arola, an outstanding tapas bar with clever cocktails...plus many more! Although Hotel Arts is huge, it’s full of thoughtful details that made us feel at home and comfortable while soaking up the total extravagance!
A Hotel Designed to Olympic Magnitude
Hotel Arts was built for the 1992 Olympics, and although it wasn’t quite finished in time, it is now one of the most prestigious hotels in Barcelona. The hotel itself is massive, designed by famous Colombian-American architect Bruce Graham. At the base of the 44 stories of blue glass and exposed steel is the Port Olympic boardwalk, lined with restaurants, clubs, and shops. Hotel Arts is a modern complex ripe for exploring and enjoying.
When you enter Hotel Arts, be prepared to navigate the maze of walkways and elevators. To get to our room from the entrance, we had to take three different elevators! The good news is that there’s plenty to take in while wandering the halls of Hotel Arts. When we were there, it was Sant Jordi Day, which is the Catalan version of Valentine’s Day. Rich red roses were put together in modern arrangements throughout the hotel, which nicely complemented the neutral colors of the hotel’s contemporary design.
The hotel is thoroughly modern with lavish details like the intricate tile work and grand chandelier in the lobby. Spanish art is dispersed throughout the hotel; we admired the cultural touch. The design at Hotel Arts is sharp and classy while maintaining a sense of hospitable warmth.
There were plenty of unique spaces to unwind, like the pool area, which looks over the ocean, or the terraced gardens bursting in seasonal colors. There are five restaurants in Hotel Arts and a number of bars where you can sit back and enjoy the ambiance. If you’re looking for even more relaxation, the hotel has a well-known spa located on the 43rd floor. Lounging on the outdoor terrace in post-spa euphoria, surrounded by panoramic views of Barcelona and the sea—now that’s bliss. All spa products are by Bissé, which is another plus. The hotel has heaps of amenities, but because we had club access, we spent most of our time in the privacy of the lounge sipping on bubbly Cava.
Club Access is a Must
It took us a few visits at Ritz Carlton properties to realize that club access is absolutely necessary. Not only do you get exclusive services, like private check in and upgraded amenities, but also you get access to the private lounge. As soon as we arrived at the hotel we were whisked away to the club lounge, where we enjoyed Cava and light snacks during one of the best check-in experiences we’ve had in awhile… It might have helped that the lounge has floor to ceiling views of the Mediterranean Sea and Port Olympic!
Our Private Residence
We were ecstatic when we were upgraded from a typical suite to one of the private residences at Hotel Arts. We were in heaven! It was like we had our own swanky loft on the beaches of Barcelona. We never wanted to leave our hotel, which was a first for us! When we first walked into our apartment, we were taken aback by how spacious it was. Walking through the front door, we were greeted by a modern living room, large dining room table, and floor to ceiling windows that showed off urban Barcelona and La Familia Sagrada right at the center. Our jaws dropped, we were so impressed!
On the first floor of our apartment we had a full size kitchen and bathroom. Upstairs was a loft style bedroom with a huge bathroom featuring dual sinks and two shower entrances. The bathrooms were stocked with Asprey amenities, which smell amazing. Other perks included the Bang & Olufsen sound system throughout the space, and housekeeping service whenever we wanted. The housekeepers even had their own entrance into the apartment, so that we could be completely undisturbed. During our stay, we needed to have some clothes altered. With just a simple phone call, we had a seamstress at our apartment, properly fitting us.
If you know you’ll be spending a lot of time in your room, are looking for something extra special, or if you love service that exceeds all expectations, then I recommend booking a residence apartment versus a room at Hotel Arts. The apartment is also ideal if you need a small meeting or work space, as the living/dining room area is arranged to be conducive for business purposes.
Dining at Enoteca
While Hotel Arts has five restaurants that offer an array of cuisines, Enoteca stands out. Not only does Enoteca have two Michelin stars to show for it, the relaxed yet highly professional atmosphere and incredible dishes make this restaurant a must for any foodie.
Dining at Enoteca reiterated all of the reasons why Spain has a reputation for such amazing gastronomy. The menu at Enoteca is Mediterranean and orients primarily around seafood. The creativity is spectacular and redefined our understanding of culinary innovation. One of our dishes was an “orchard,” where even the sand was edible. Definitely opt for the tasting menu, so you can sit back and watch the performance unfold in front of you. Other amazing dishes include the Mango Sandwich and White Chocolate Soup—how could anyone resist?
Craft Cocktails at Arola
The vibe at Arola is perfect for casual and relaxed dining. Decorated in soft colors with pops of purple and spotless, cream leather, the atmosphere at Arola asks you to let go. If craft cocktails and delectable tapas are your thing, make sure you stop by this amazing spot where award-winning bartender Diego Baud goes above and beyond with his mixology. He truly cares about his creations, and it shows in every sip. His cocktails are like mini artistic displays, using fresh herbs from his outdoor garden and little trinkets that his mother sends him. Baud works closely with the chef of Arola to create recipes that complement the food flawlessly.
Getting Around Barcelona
During this trip to Barcelona, we stayed inside and around Hotel Arts. We took full advantage of our proximity to the beach, and it was fun to get the flavors of Barcelona right in our space! If you decide to step outside of the Hotel Arts world, take advantage of the concierge. They will help you build the perfect sightseeing itinerary, catered to your interests and travel style. Hotel Arts is close to some of the most iconic parts of Barcelona. A 5-10 minute cab ride will take you to the center of the gothic quarter, where there is every kind of restaurant, café, shop, and bar you could want.
For more information about Hotel Arts, visit their website: