Welcome to Backpacker’s Boutique. Every Sunday, this spot will feature a new travel blogger. Some weeks it will be a really fun interview about packing, fashion, and fitness so you can snoop inside their bags & lives a little bit and other weeks it’ll be a detailed luxury guide to a city the featured blogger/expat knows very well. E-mail me if you’d like to be featured.
A Luxury Guide to Barcelona
Tell us a little about yourself and tell us why you’re an expert on luxury travel in Barcelona.
I am Meritxell and I am a tourism professional, I worked in hospitality for some time so my passion is hotels and everything related to it. Working in the industry you end up being very picky and when you like something you find time and money to enjoy it. For me, this is exploring the city and mainly through food and new restaurant discoveries. My mum always says that when I was born they left me at the wrong house. I should have been sent to the mayor’s house! She jokes about it since I am a bit of a foodie and pleasure-seeker.
What makes Barcelona a perfect destination for travelers seeking a glamorous trip?
Barcelona has everything. It’s a city full of amazing places to discover, Gaudí buildings, shopping, nights out, fancy restaurants, cocktail bars and on the seaside enjoying the breeze, can you ask for more?
What 5-star hotel is the best in Barcelona?
My recommendation would be the Palace. It is an incredible hotel, right in the city center with a classical style, I love their lounge and the rooms are just fab with the last technology but with their own style that reminds me of lords and ladies time.
They have my favorite afternoon tea in town and their spa Mayan Luxury is from another world. It’s won for three consecutive years the world spa luxury awards. Click here for rates and availability.
What about boutique hotels in Barcelona, of them all, which would you send your friends or family to stay at?
Hotel Mercer is right in the gothic quarter and only a 10-minute walk from Las Ramblas. The boutique hotel is set in an ancient building next to the Roman walls in a special location. Their rooms are stylish and chic and they expose the brick walls.
I love their orange garden, and it is also a good place to do your afternoon tea or drink something even if you don’t stay.
Are there any fun activities in Barcelona for the adventurous traveler?
If you want a more exclusive experience I’d recommend sleeping for a night in a yacht in Barcelona’s harbor. The Southern Cross, a Scottish yacht restored with 5 cabins on it is right in the Barceloneta.
If you book an apartment, you can get a chef for you that will cook and set your table with the menu you desire. With all comfort of being at home but taking the restaurant delicatessen with you, there is nothing to worry about. Be served and enjoy! Joan Gurgui is your home delivery chef!
Where are the best hang outs during the day in Barcelona?
If you are looking for a cafeteria, I would go to The Cosmos in the city center or Usagi for tea and Japanese treats and cakes. Cup and cake and their shops are also a good choice, they have salty and sweet treats for all tastes and they became the trendy place to meet in the afternoon with friends. In the center, I like Hotel Pulitzer, very comfy sofas in their lounge and good tea, I am a tea lover!
You have a big date. What are the most delicious restaurants in Barcelona and what are their best dishes?
My top choice is Kyoto Japanese restaurant, the best sushi in town and they have butterfish makis, my favorite ones. If you like Thai food, the Thai gardens is the perfect place for a romantic dinner, my choices to order would be the coconut sauce chicken and the green curry with shrimps. If you share, go for the entrées, they are very good to start with the dinner.
For Catalan food, more typical, my pick is Nou Ramonet in La Barceloneta area. Order fish or rice; they are gorgeous.
Let’s talk desserts- what place makes the best desserts in Barcelona?
As weird as it might sound, there is a restaurant that only serves desserts, all their menu is about desserts. It is called Espai Sucre, and if you like them this is your paradise. Escribà bakery in Las Ramblas is also a good place for desserts, my favorite a vanilla cake with the shape of red lips, it is incredible!
Tell us all the hot shopping spots in Barcelona; who’s carrying the trendy local designers?
Go to the Gothic, it is plenty of local designers to choose from, my favorite Ivori. Gràcia is a good place too if you are looking for artisans and designers. My favorite brand is Singular and Antonieta.
What are a couple of the best salons and spas in Barcelona?
If you want to go for a mani pedi, the Pink Peony is the most famous place in town. If you want to enjoy a spa afternoon, the Mandarin Oriental and the Mayan Luxury Spa in El Palace Hotel are great choices. Silom spa is also one of my favorites, mid-range prices.
Time for a great sunset view in Barcelona… where would you go?
At the beach, I would recommend El Chiringuito del Escribà, right next to the sand and the sea. The W Barcelona Hotel is also a good choice to meet up and have a cocktail on their terrace overlooking the sea and good views of the sunset.
Now that the sun’s gone down, fill us on the best places to go for some evening drinks.
You can find the best cocktails in town in Milano. It is a cocktail bar famous for its live jazz performances. My pick is their daiquiris with fresh fruit. The mango one is delicious!
The Kahiki, a Hawaiian cocktail bar in Plaça Universitat is a classic, good place for coconut cocktails.
If you end the night at a fancy club in Barcelona, which one do you head towards?
I would go for Shoko. It’s a restaurant-discotheque in the seaside. There are plenty of restaurants and clubs in the area. However, this one is very fancy so be aware of smart dress code.
If you’re interested in more luxury experiences in Barcelona, check out all these tours offered on Viator.
Meritxell is a tourism professional and a traveler from Barcelona, she loves her city and Catalonia, and in her specialized blog Tourismwithme, she explains how to know better Barcelona and Catalonia like a local. Visit her Blog and find her also on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
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