We especially appreciated the hi-tech, modern and comfortable room with high speed Internet access, the luxury oriented touches throughout, the stylish decor, the gourmet shop on the ground floor, the staff’s respectful attitude, and marvelous views of the city from many vantage points.

Overall Impression From the outside the Hotel Arts Barcelona looked like another office building with a distinctive metal sculpture in the front. It had a tall rectangular shape and external white metal structures revealed little about its contents. Inside, we rode an elevator from the ground floor to the lobby, where we began to discover the property’s upscale ambiance. Beautiful flowers, scattered in the lobby and common areas, brightened the earth tones of the hotel’s interior. As soon as we exited the elevator we found the reception desk to the left of the sunlit lobby, decorated in sober tones. Having been evicted from our comfortable yachting digs first thing that morning, we migrated wearily to the striking Hotel Arts, relying on the Ritz Carlton reputation for a warm welcome in spite of the early hour. At the reception, Diego greeted us kindly and promised to find us a room as soon as he could.

We left our luggage with the hotel staff and kept only essentials like our photographic equipment while we waited for Diego’s summons. For a short while we walked around the hotel, visiting the swimming pool and lobby level gardens, the spa (we had to be escorted), gift shop and fitness center. A couple of hours later found us in the lobby when Diego emerged to announce he had a room ready on the 29th floor. Eager to discover Barcelona and change in time for lunch we dashed upstairs. We were delighted with the spacious and newly decorated room. Our favorite feature was its engaging view of the city, enhanced by the room’s port facing location and windows designed to take maximum advantage of the view. Once our luggage was found (one of the bags was missing when the luggage arrived) by the diligent bell hop, we were able to relax and enjoy the many creature comforts of the room.

We enjoyed our stay at the Hotel Arts. We especially appreciated the hi-tech, modern and comfortable room with high speed Internet access, the luxury oriented touches throughout, the stylish decor, the gourmet shop on the ground floor, the staff’s respectful attitude, and marvelous views of the city from many vantage points.

Class Of Accommodation Luxury hotel

Connectivity There was high speed Internet access in the room (the connection was next to the desk) for 20 euros a day plus 16 percent in taxes.

General Manager Victor Clavell Estrada

Handicapped Access Four Deluxe guests rooms were especially designed to meet the special needs of disabled guests.

Head Concierge Miquel Montes

Length Of Stay One night

Location Near the beach, a short drive from La Rambla and the port

Managed The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

Owned Deutsche Bank and several Spanish investors

Pets Allowed Small pets were allowed for additional fees of 125 Euros plus 7 percent in taxes

Size There were 482 room serviced by 350 to 400 employees (depending on the season). The Hotel had 397 Double Rooms, (45m2), 56 Executive Suites, (60m2), three suites, and about 30 apartments on the top floors.

Year Opened-Renovated The hotel opened in 1994. The most recent renovation was on going with a third phase in progress while we were there. The first phase included the common areas like the main entrance, lobby and restaurants. The second phase included the Spa by Six Senses Spas at Hotel Arts Barcelona located on the 43 floor. The third phase, due to be completed by April 2006, included the renovation of 455 rooms.

Lobby And Common Areas The hotel’s interior was decorated in a contemporary style with subdued colors, natural stones and fibers and flower accents. Spacious rooms, high ceilings, sunlit spaces, and large furniture featured prominently.

Bathroom The bathroom was inviting, bright and spacious with large wood and glass doors at the entrance. Two pretty modern sinks were at the center of the room facing a large mirror. To the right as we entered there was a shower stall with a built-in seat and several adjustable heads. Next to it, there was another enclosed space with a toilet and bidet. Across the room from the shower and next to the sinks there was an open full size bath tub.

Room Our attractive, modern and well appointed west facing Deluxe Room (#2910) on the 29 floor had a partial view of the beach and beyond it the port to one side. To the other, we could see the city of Barcelona and the famous La Rambla district. Although there was some construction right next to the building, we very much enjoyed rest of the view. At first glance it looked like a regular hotel room. Upon closer inspection we discovered many small touches that told us someone had give much thought to the room’s design and aesthetics as well as placing features to enrich our stay.

There was a king bed with a cushy mattress, a feather duvet and feather pillows in three sizes. To either side of the bed there were glass covered wood night tables, each one home to a rectangular shaped lamp. On the night table nearest the oversize window, there was a large Meridien dual line phone and in a sliding drawer there was a remote control panel for the lights and window blinds. In the area adjacent to the windows, there were two putty colored cloth chairs with one matching foot stool. Next to them by the wall there was a wood desk facing the room and a wood and putty colored cloth chair. By the desk there was an Internet outlet. A wood entertainment center was the centerpiece of the room. It housed a 30″ Bank Olufsen TV with an integrated CD player and matching speakers; a minibar, a Krups espresso machine and coffee service. A two-sided wood closet with glass walls greeted us in the hallway. Inside, we found an electronic safe. Next to the closet there was a handsome vertical magazine rack with the latest issues of several magazines in English. The room was decorated in a contemporary style with muted whites, wood furniture and wood accents.

Food And Restaurants Options included Bites, Enoteca and Arola. Bites offered three meals a day while Enoteca led by Jaime Perez focused on gourmet dishes and wines while Arola was a two-Michelin rated restaurant headed by Sergi Arola.

Amenities There were bathrobes, slippers, complimentary bottled water, body and hair brushes, natural and loofa sponges, manicure and shaving kits, and an electronic safe. Italian Acqua di Parma toiletries included shampoo and conditioner, body gel, body cream, soaps, and bath salts.

Facilities Six Senses Spa, pool, fitness center, Bites, Enoteca and Arola restaurants, two gift shops and a business center.

Pool The pool was 21 meters x 6 meters with a depth between 1, 70 meters and 1,10 meters.

Fitness Center And SpaThe fitness center was a short elevator ride from the lobby. Guests could enter at their convenience. We were told there was “a sauna, sun tanning beds, steam baths and massage service facilities for guest use, with two separate zones, one for ladies and one for gentlemen.” The gym housed a universal weights system, aerobic bicycle trainers, step machines and treadmills and was open 24 hours daily. We saw one elliptical machine, several stationary bicycles and treadmills.

The Six Senses Spa was on the 42 and 43 floors. To get there for a visit and to confirm my appointment we had to be escorted by a reception desk staff member. From the lobby, we took an elevator to the 34 floor. From there we crossed the lobby of the residential area of the building, which occupied the top floors, to find a second elevator to the spa. Returning required a similar procedure.

It was an attractive facility, although I was disappointed by the upkeep of the spa and the staff attitude. The hallways were dark, the signs difficult to read and there was no personnel in sight for a long time. I walked the halls pressing doors until I found my way up the stairs and back from the treatment room. The sauna was housed in a large, well built room and kept at a good temperature. It had a fabulous view of the beach and city below. The adjacent steam room was also large and well steamed; the locker room area was ample and well appointed. The Spa was 800 square meters in size with terraces and spectacular views over the sea and the city. They offered massage, facial and body treatments in eight treatment suites with chromo therapy and private showers. Facilities included hydrotherapy pools, sauna, steam room and ice-fountains.

Conference Facilities Meeting rooms were the 14,000 square foot Gran Saló Gaudí, the grand ballroom with a pre-function area of 4,600 square feet. A large hydraulic lift provided direct access from street level to the Gran Saló Gaudí for conference equipment or vehicles. It was possible to divide it into three equal parts and one of those could be divided in half again. The Saló Pau Casals was a junior ballroom with more than 3,450 square feet of meeting space. The pre-function area provided an additional 1,700 square feet of meeting room space with natural light. It could be divided into two equal parts.

Other The Business Center offered “state-of-art equipment and services.” Business Center staff could provide secretarial support and assistance with photocopies, word processing, printing and facsimile transmission needs. The Hotel Arts had collected a number of accolades including Best Hotel in Spain Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Travel Awards, 2005; The World’s Top 100 First Hotel and Ninth Spanish Company in the Official list of Great Places to Work in Spain 2005; Best Hotel in Spain Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Travel Awards, 2004: The World’s Top 100; “Gold Key Award 2004;” Meetings and Conventions Magazine; “The best hotel service in the world;” Ultimate Service Awards 2004 CNN; “Voted as one of The 500 Greatest hotels in the World;” Greatest Hotels in The World; and Travel and Leisure magazine 2004 “Best Hotel in Spain” Guía Gourmetour 2004.

Check-In-Check-Out Process Ease Our early arrival (9:45 a.m.) was met gracefully. We dedicated the next couple of hours to discovering the hotel and enjoying the hospitality of the lobby area with other waiting couples. Express checkout was less organized. The initial bill was revised after our departure and we had to question one of the items. All in all it was a positive experience.

Cleanliness Very good

Date Of Review October 2005

Reviewers Article by Elena del Valle

Photos by Gary Cox

Would You Stay There Again? Yes

Contact Information

  • Address:
    • Marina 19-21
    • 08005 Barcelona
  • Phone:
    • +34 93 221 10 00
    • + 34 93 507 13 00
  • Fax:
    • + 34 93 221 10 70
  • Website:
  • Email: