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Travel and design – The Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

We all seem to have our own Barcelonas. For some it’s about Gaudi, the unfinished Sagrada Famila Church and the park. For others it is Lionel Messie and his colleagues (if you need to Google that, don’t, you will be disappointed), for some its the beach, Las Ramblas, the food or even an obscure little bar by the harbour that only sells sausages and Cava. I wish I knew its name!

Barcelona has no shortage of attractions, no shortage of visitors and, fortunately, no shortage of fine hotels. The Mandarin Oriental is one of our favorites. Designed by Patricia Urquiola, fast becoming a super star designer whose CV reads like a top ten of cool -  Foscarini, B&B, Alessi, Capellini, Knoll, Moroso, you get the picture, it’s cool, romantic and appropropriately Spanish.

The Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

Entering a Hotel should be full of drama and occasion. And this ramp, reminiscent of a drawbridge over a moat does it. And handy for all those bags on wheels everyone seems to love.

The Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

And at the top of the drawbridge you feel welcomed, safe and separate from the chaos of the City.

The Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

It’s behind you! Barcelona, that is. How romantic is this?

The Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

So maybe a swim in the seductively gentle, dark pool. Followed by…

The Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

dinner in the excellent restaurant. The bold but delicate design is a triumph especially in maintaining and framing the drama of the kitchen.

The Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

Detail from the bar. Why does this make us think of purses? So many things make us think of purses.

The Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

And then a discussion about the restaurant bill with the Maitre d’.

The Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

And, of course, to bed. Although, sorry to be picky, but I’ve never liked double beds with separate head boards. They feel like two beds shoved together. And there is something very unromantic about that. And we do like our beds to be romantic. Night everyone.

  • http://moretimauraondesign.blogspot.com/ Isabel de Yzaguirre

    Lovely report about this gorgeous hotel in the city where I was born!


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