Fairmont Barcelona Rey Juan Carlos I Barcelona, Spain
This stunning and luxurious hotel in a calm corner of an otherwise bustling Barcelona is a retreat for the senses. But the Fairmont Barcelona Rey Juan Carlos I knows how to put on a fun vibe, too: in the evenings, its outdoors wine lounge feels like a relaxed slice of Ibiza.
If you failed to get your hands on a ticket to watch Lionel Messi kick a ball around Barcelona’s legendary Camp Nou football stadium, we recommend checking into the sprawling 395 rooms and 37 suites Fairmont Barcelona Rey Juan Carlos I: from our 70 square metre suite in the sky, we enjoyed excellent views of the arena, as well as of the seaside Montjuïc hill and the hotel’s lush gardens.
Speaking of which, its beautifully manicured, green setting makes the Fairmont a true resort – not just by urban standards. On our strolls around the hotel’s 25,000 square metre premises and the idyllic swan lake, we very nearly forgot we were a mere 20-minute taxi ride from Barcelona’s top attractions. It’s a privileged location that will suit anyone looking to relish their accommodation as much as the Catalan capital itself.
And that we did: our champagne-coloured Signature Corner Suite with polished golden touches and two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows was as light-flooded as nearby Camp Nou and as luxurious as anyone could wish for. Adding to a King-size bed, the latest Bose tech, an all-marble bathroom equipped with a telephone, a separate shower and bathtub (as well as Le Labo products; our favourite!), the suite also featured a lavish sitting room and office space – perfect for those work emails that just can’t wait.
Right on time
While you’re Out There
A scandalously underrated Barcelona attraction, the Monastery of Pedralbes is a 30-minute walk from the Fairmont. See if you can find the adorable cat flaps in the nuns’ former washing room!
Whenever we took a seat at the outdoors Terrace restaurant, it seemed as though the Fairmont’s courteous and neatly-uniformed staff had a new amuse-gueule in store to tempt us with; our favourite being a ‘liquid olive’ inspired by culinary mastermind Ferran Adrià. Sitting somewhere between the resort’s two massive outdoor pools and taking on an Ibiza-meets-Miami vibe in the evenings thanks to live DJ music, the Terrace was preferable to the Fairmont’s 24-hour B24 restaurant, which we thought felt just a little hectic and exposed, being located at the heart of the hotel’s cathedral-like atrium.
Though we sadly ran out of time and didn’t get to try the Royal Club Fitness & Spa, we heard great things form a fellow traveller over a breakfast mimosa. Ultimately, we thought the Fairmont’s biggest feat is its generous offering of ways to unwind and relax, despite its proximity to Barcelona’s bustling city centre – be it through a trip to the spa, a dip in the pool or a leisurely walk around its vast, palm tree-studded gardens. If you’re looking for a ‘cute, hidden gem for those in-the-know’, this isn’t exactly it. But for everyone else, the sprawling and ultra-sophisticated Fairmont is a perfect haven.