Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

LobbyWhat I love about Mandarin Oriental properties is their consistency - you know you will get a sophisticated stay with a side of zen. The first Mandarin opened in Hong Kong, in a part of the world known for the best hotel service on earth. With each successive opening, Mandarin has taken that level of service and applied it to each of their properties.

EntranceWeather in Barcelona was all over the place when I was there - hot rain and humidity, then sunshine. After long days of walking the city, down to the port and back up, the cool lobby of the Mandarin was a very welcome sight. In my little notebook I carry everywhere, I wrote down "Best breakfast buffet" - the spread is serious fuel for a day of business or leisure in the city, with eggs, bowls of fresh fruit, "bikini" (ham & cheese) sandwiches, yogurt, and Asian specialties.

On a beautiful day, there is no better place in Barcelona for a chic crowd and panoramic view over the city and Passeig de Gracia than the hotel's rooftop pool. I had a room with a handicapped bathroom, which wasn't great, but other than that, the room was a sleek city hideaway. The best rooms have views of the Passeig de Gracia, so know that when you're booking. Moments, their one Michelin-starred restaurant, is one of the top tables in Barcelona.