Situated in the posh Passeig de Gràciaavenue, in the heart of Antoni Gaudi’s architecture, the luxury Mandarin Oriental Hotel with 98 rooms, exudes elegance and chic, and offers many reasonsto be among the best hotels in the world according to its loyal celebrity guests. Turistički Svet had the privilege to discover these reasons and to find out why the Mandarin Orientalisa unique hotel icon of Barcelona.
Hotel Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona, a five stars hotel, is one of those hotels whose location secures strongcompetitive advantage. Being “inthe right” place–just a few steps away from the famous La Pedrerahouse and across theBatlló houseof the architect Antoni Gaudi, in the best place in Barcelona, is, according to Monica Homedes, employed at the hotel’s press office, one of the important reasons for success. If anybody questions the meaning of the hotel’s definition of success: location, location andlocation, he will dismiss all doubts in the Mandarin Oriental.
You enter the hotel directly from the sidewalk, through a dramatic ramp that cuts the airy white atriumand leads to a small front desk and a lobby, enriched with comfortable furniture and soft materials.
Zen of the 21st century
- We are grateful to Patricia Urquiola–says Monica Homedes.–The design of this talented interior designer, inwrought withthe Moorish heritage of light and shadows, looks like aZen of the 21st century.
Patricia Urquiolais known as a veryprolific designer. In general, the hotel design showsthe cosmopolitan character of Mediterranean Barcelona. Linear simplicity of the building, which was previously used as a bank, iscomplemented by clear and balanced design. She decorated the ceiling, placed hand-woven carpets, and fitted the layout and design of the furniture. She designed almost everypiece of the furniture or she altered itfor the hotel using famous names from the design world, like: B&B, De Padova, Flos and Moroso: from the Scandinavian armchairs in the Momentsrestaurant, the sofa in the lobbyrestored in the Chesterfield traditional style, tartan carpets–as a reminder of gentlemen's clubsof bygone times, to the completely restored French iron table from the beginning of the 20th century, which is the central point of the Blanc restaurant.
All 98 rooms are decorated in the shades of white and beige colours, with the avant-garde furniture and orientaldetails, likebig screens and closets inspired by the traditional Chinese chests. The floors are made of the light mahogany, covered with carpets of warm beige colour, while spacious bathrooms, decorated with the "Mutina" andthe "Bisazza"mosaics, resemble magic boxesmade of colourful glass.
Hidden treasure: hanging “Mimosa Garden”
The light passes through the wide openings above the Blanc restaurant and the lobby located at the lower lever in the very heart of the building. Banker's Barwhose interior resembles former bank safes, and the Momentsrestaurant offering Cataloniacuisine, are located in mezzaninein the both sides of the Blanc restaurant.
Above this structure, in the inner garden, there is a "hanging garden" full of succulent vegetation. It is known as the "Mimosa Garden" and is one of the hidden treasures of Barcelona. Bet Figueras, a landscape architect, in cooperation with Patricia Urquiola, decorated this unusual space. The garden of 660 square meters, is well integrated in the building. Colourful mimosasand other plants surround Urquiola’s specially designed wicker armchairs.
The wellness centre is designed in minimalist manner. The warm wooden details, black ceilings, white floors and white stone are dominant. The metal curtains lead guests to each of the eight spacious and comfortable treatments areas.In the area in which there is a pool, wide barrier made of green malachite hides the Turkish bath.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which belongs to the hotel group of the same name, is definitely a great mixture of classic style, modern design and luxurious five stars hotel, making this hotel one of most favourite Barcelona’s hotels of the world’s jet-set.
Article was published in the magazine Turistički Svet, issue number 90.