W Hotel, the hip global chain that has made cool cocktailing famous, officially opened their doors in Barcelona recently. Still, the culture of hitting up hotel bars is a relatively new concept in BCN despite the number of hotels in this city. They’re like Starbucks in the US, there is one on every corner and surprisingly these hotels manage to maintain an 80% capacity level year around. Undoubtedly, The W will hit this mark as well.
From the exterior, El W is absolutely gorgeous. They call it the â€˜â€™Velaâ€™â€™ because it takes the form of a boat’s sail and coincidently, sits along the waterfront at the far south end of Barceloneta. I heard a few staunch purists in favor of keeping the beachfront free of architectural eyesores were against the development of the hotel however I think El W adds a nice touch of glamour to the skyline. Before the W, a few old warehouses and the Club Natacio Barcelona were the only edificios that dotted this section of the barrio.
I canâ€™t speak for the rooms but the reception, lobby bar and wet lounge on the first level are stylish yet inviting. A friend and I christened the El Lounge Bar W last week with Belvedere nâ€™cranberry juice with a slice of lime. Amen! This is my copa of choice but Spaniards:
A) Donâ€™t have a penchant for vodka like Americans (nor Los Rusos) therefore the selection is muy limitado and
B) Donâ€™t understand what it is about arÃ¡ndanos that Americans love so much and subsequently the juice isnâ€™t readily available at your local grocer or neighborhood watering hole.
After getting our buzz on to the house beats spun by the DJ downstairs, we said hasta pronto to our bi-lingual bartender and took the ascensor straight to Eclipse, the glamorous high-rise bar on the 26th floor. Literally all jaws dropped as we exited the elevator taking in the stunning 360Âº view of the city. The pleasure continued through the evening as amiga and I were pleasantly surprised with the mature-ish well-dressed crowd, the absence of bad electronic music that was replaced with bumpinâ€™ house music and the banishment of smokers to their own fumador section. Bravo W!
Other BCN hotel bars worth mentioning….
- Hotel Omm is one of the first boutique hotels in Barcelona located just off the prestigious Paseo de Gracia. The lobby bar on any given night is a sure bet for people watching and drankinâ€™.
- Hotel ME, a boutique hotel from the Sol Melia Hotel & Resort chain opened a Barcelona location last spring. They do a good job with creating a party atmosphere in their reception bar but the real fiesta takes place upstairs at the Chocolate Bar and Penthouse Pool Bar. It held my attention for a while for its aesthetic but itâ€™s a far trek to the other side of the city and it canâ€™t compete with the smoke-free Eclipse.
- Hotel Pulitzer has an elegant and classic vibe ideal for an after-work drink with a girlfriend. In the summer they open up their terrace bar and on certain nights have live jazz and samba bands perform. Itâ€™s a favorite of mine en verano.