W Hotel, Barcelona
THE HOTEL: Located in Barceloneta, the former site of the Olympic Village, the 473- room W stands out a mile, much like the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. It’s a wave-shaped building on the beach with a key-controlled boardwalk entrance as well as a formal lobby entrance.
THE CHECK-IN: It’s hard not to take in the cavernous, atrium lobby on arrival, with lots of sparkly wall surfaces and quirky design features such as hanging chairs, before reaching the check-in desks.
THE ROOM: I had a massive corner Junior suite with floor-to-ceiling windows on the 20th floor that afforded glorious views of both city and the sea. Awash in neutral greys and creams, it had a walk-through bathroom that linked both bedroom and sitting room as well as a more conventional doorway that could be curtained off if meetings were being held. The bedroom had a grand bathtub, vast bed, second flatscreen TV, long desk, laptop-size safe, a good range of snacks in the minibar and hi-tech control to open/close curtains and lighting. The bathroom had separate toilet and shower cubicles, double basins and generously-sized Bliss toiletries. The sitting room had ample seating in the form of beige leather sofas. Wifi is charged at ¤7 for four hours but it’s free in public areas.
THE BUSINESS:Extensive meeting space across the ground and lower floors, from the smallest – ten studios taking 16-60 people, or combining two for over 120 people – to the Great Room which can accommodate 1,000 for cocktails or 850 theatre-style and has impressive sea views. Prices start from £760 plus 21% VAT based on a Strategy room with capacity for 16 people.
THE FACILITIES: Bags of outside space overlooking the beach give this hotel a resort feel, with its sunny terrace, pool and trendy pod-style cabanas. Inside are funkilydesigned areas to eat and drink, including Bravo24, the Eclipse rooftop bar on the 26th floor, the Wave, W Lounge and Bliss spa.
THE VERDICT: For its size, the W runs extremely efficiently and is a comfortable hotel that manages to combine high design too. I disliked the gloomy guestroom corridors but applaud the hotel for its service, range of facilities and quality of food.
THE DETAILS: W Barcelona, Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents, 1 08039 Barcelona. Rooms start from £204 (excluding VAT) See: www.w-barcelona.com.
Reviewed by Gillian Upton (2014)