After a long flight to Barcelona from L.A., the luxurious Hotel Arts Barcelona was our home base for four nights, where we adjusted to local time and unwound after sightseeing and exploring. Whether it was having a leisurely breakfast in the Club Lounge or taking a quick dip in the pool, these slower moments onsite were the perfect counterbalance to action-packed days around town. With a great location close to the water, several family-friendly room configurations and daily bites in the dedicated lounge for Club Level guests, Hotel Arts (a Ritz-Carlton property) combines the perks of a hotel with the comfort of a home.
A soaring glass and steel high-rise close to the beach and marina, Hotel Arts boasts 483 rooms with city or sea views, including 75 connecting rooms. Additionally, the hotel’s 26 penthouse duplexes are designed with families in mind and feature two or three bedrooms, a sprawling living area, a dining room and a kitchen.
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Color palettes are restful, with lots of white and touches of blue that bring the Mediterranean indoors. By city standards, all hotel rooms here, regardless of category, are quite generous in space. Given the sea and pool access, it’s easy to forget, but you’re still in the heart of a major European city!
One of the biggest perks of our stay was the Club Lounge, which all Ritz-Carlton properties feature and offer to Club Level guests (you can choose to upgrade to Club Level when you book your stay). The well-stocked and intimate lounge serves breakfast, tea and snacks, desserts throughout the day, fruit, water, wine and more. For families especially, it’s quite handy and helpful to wake up and have a full breakfast, or grab a banana, cookies, afternoon coffee or a glass of wine.
Other highlights include the six restaurants onsite (two of them Michelin-starred), the full-service spa and the extensive art collection — it’s called Hotel Arts, after all. The most iconic piece is Frank Gehry’s Peix, a bronze fish sculpture out front. Works by Spanish and Catalan artists are featured throughout the property. And a city hotel with even one outdoor pool, let alone two, is a rarity; Hotel Arts offers a family pool as well as a quieter infinity pool for some adult time.
While you’re not exactly at a beach resort in the Caribbean, Barcelona still has some nice sandy stretches that can feel relaxing and restorative to tired children — and the fact that you can walk to the shoreline in a few minutes from the hotel is something any parent will appreciate. One evening, we passed 2 hours sitting in the sand as an antidote to our jet lag.
The brand’s signature Ritz Kids programming ensures littles ones feel like VIPs. Amenities include in-room sweets and surprises, special children’s menus and coloring books in the restaurants, and a fun questionnaire that includes things to discover around the hotel. When they complete it and turn it in, they’re rewarded with an ice cream treat.
Hotel Arts is a short cab ride or, with older kids, a manageable walk from the Gothic Quarter and other key sightseeing areas. We took time to marvel at several of Gaudi’s buildings (including La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Batllo and more) while we were in town, but we also took advantage of our proximity to the marina and went out on a catamaran one sunny morning. Our 2-hour sailing excursion with BlueMagicCat proved to be a highlight, and seeing the city from the water offered a different perspective.
Editor’s Note: Tanvi was hosted by Hotel Arts Barcelona in order to review the property for families. As always, all opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Tanvi Chheda and Hotel Arts Barcelona.
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