In Review

OD Barcelona: 48 hours of luxury in the Catalan capital

It's location location location for the latest offering from the upmarket Balearic hotel group

Barcelona is a city of many faces. Equal parts bustling market stalls and refined shopping arcades; late-night tapas bars and sumptous fine dining restaurants. It is fitting, then, that the Balearic hotel group, OD Hotels, has attempted to replicate this exuberant complexity with its first offering on the mainland.

Facing one of the city's busiest thoroughfares may seem less than ideal, but soundproofed rooms and a main entrance via an adjacent street minimises the problem. Stepping through the front door, guests are greeted with a contemporary facade, decorated with delicate glass and strewn with green vines. The decor is stylish without feeling over the top; the wood-panelling of the reception space meshes seamlessly with a white lounge bar.

The chilled-out Balearic feel continues onto the terrace where a combination of wicker and shrubbery helps to hide guests from the hustle and bustle of the Carrer d'Arago below.

As with its sister hotels, OD Barcelona has a sustainable ethos, with eco-friendly facilities including efficient building insulation, solar panels and a state-of-the-art heating and air-conditioning systems that reduce the hotel's energy consumption by 35%. Staff point out that over time the building’s exterior will also develop green crendtials of its own, as the walls become covered in natural creeping plants.

The hotel has three distinct bar areas, a triangle-shaped plunge pool and a cosy garden deck terrace, perfect for sundowners.

The rooms themselves range from the more-than-comfortable 270sq ft superior through to the 375sq ft deluxe, or for those who need some extra space - the loft which stretches to 430sq ft.  Each features contemporary design with a clear Mediterranean influence. The hotel also has a range of suites as well as one Grand Suite with its own private swimming pool and views across the city.

Breakfast offers a selection of cold cuts, pastries and the usual hot options. And dinner in the hotel's restaurant is simply excellent. The black truffle ravioli would not be out of place on the menu of any of the city's fine-dining eateries. 

The hotel’s location is, of course, one of its main selling points. The project was the last hotel complex in the city-centre to be given approval before mayor Ada Colau’s moratorium on new tourism construction projects. It is within walking distance of the city’s main shopping district and just 15 minutes from the Sagrada Familia.

Premium excursions

Should you require inspiration for what to do during your stay, OD Barcelona in conjunction with Barcelona Premium offers a number of excursions around the Catalan capital.

If you like heading off the beaten path, head for Torre Bellesguard. It’s just a little to the west of the city centre, easily reached by the sightseeing buses, the Blue Tram and many of the city's main bus routes.

The exceptional gothic home is still lived in by its owners, and has only recently opened to the public.

Built between 1900 and 1909, it is one of Gaudi’s least well-known works. Prior to the architect's redesign, it was also a royal residence when in 1408 King Martin I, the last monarch of the House of Barcelona, moved to Bellesguard to live the last years of his life. A private tour can be arranged with one of the home’s excellent tour guides.

A little further afield the Alta Alella estate stands in the agricultural area of the Serralada de Marina Natural Park, just 20 minutes from Barcelona, and stretches along the Mediterranean coast. The wines it produces are organic and can be found in some of the world’s top restaurants. The staff there have created a unique environment where guests can enjoy a peaceful stroll, pair the superb wines with equally outstanding food, take part in yoga classes among the vines, or go on a helicopter ride over the estate and surrounding area.

Another gem worth a visit is the city’s opera house, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, which was founded on La Rambla in 1847. It is one of the world’s most spectacular classical opera houses and over the years has continued to fulfil its role as a centre for culture and the arts staging a world-class programme of operas, concerts and dance with its own orchestra and choir.

Rooms start from from 170€ (£154) to 1,600€ (£1,445) per night depending on room type and season, including taxes and breakfast. For more information and to book, visit www.odbarcelona.com  

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