The intriguing and rich background of Spain makes it a preferred vacation spot for the holidaymakers. One associates Spain with bullfights, flamenco dancers and thronged beaches.
The other facets of the nation is it’s remarkable history mirrored through primeval cave paintings, Moorish palaces, dilapidated castles, Roman ruins, Gothic and Renaissance churches along with award winning modern architecture. Barcelona, the second largest city of Spain, affixes charisma to this beautiful country.
Barcelona is one of the world’s leading tourist, economic, trade, cultural and sports centre of the world. Founded as a roman city in the 3rd century BC on the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula, it grew in wealth and consequence, favored as it was with a beautiful situation and an excellent harbor, it became one of the most important cities of the region. The colonization of Americas in the 14th century, the Catalan Revolt in the 16th century and the great plague marked Barcelona’s decline in importance. Over the next five centuries, Barcelona has forged forward to become home to many museums, art galleries, squares, beaches, parks and theaters.
The Barri Gòtic, or the Gothic Quarter is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. It is a perfect place for one to admire the many historic buildings and structures, most dating back to the medieval times. It is a good and pleasing walk within the labyrinth of streets and lanes, which open up, into hidden squares with lovely little shops surrounded by beautiful buildings. Tree canopies filter light throughout in Placa Sant Felip Neri, a small and quiet square in Barri Gothi, while the juxtaposition of small countless shadows creates a refreshing and soothing effect.
A luxury vacation to Barcelona cannot be called complete without staying in the famous Hotel Arts, enlisted by the World Travel Magazine. Barcelona defines luxury, style and culture through Hotel Arts Barcelona. A hotel of innovative design and contemporary interiors showcasing a 20th century collection of specially commissioned works of Catalan and Spanish artists, comprises paintings and sculptures. The hotel has come in tops almost every year since 1994, the year it opened, bagging at least a couple of awards every year. The standards of service and excellence of the hotel’s facilities are complemented by a broad menu of services available to the clients.
Hotel Arts offers a range of suites and luxury duplex apartments ranging from Euro 325 to Euro 12,000. The luxury one-two-three bedroom luxury apartments come with their very own Mini cabrio to move around in the city, complementary massage, exclusive lounge, a private concierge service and all the fixings’ one could imagine for an establishment such as Hotel Arts.
No hotel worth its salt would put its entire attention to rooms and restaurants, ignoring the ever-important spa. Hotel Arts does not disappoint. On the contrary, it offers a perfect zone, to rest, relax and unwind. The Six Senses spa, considered to be one of the best in the world, offers an extensive, exquisite range of beauty treatment and massages. A duplex located on the 42nd and 43rd floor, just a few meters from heaven, is an oasis of peace and tranquility with stunning panoramic views of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea. An extensive menu of treatments is available offering a balanced philosophy of health, beauty and wellbeing. The Six Senses Spa gives form to customer’s experience by first stimulating the three primary senses: sight, sound and touch. They then build on this by appealing to the more acute senses of taste and smell.
Far too many customers in a spa centre would find it difficult to navigate through a spa menu, not because of the numerous pages with similar looking therapies with slight differences, but because the numerous tempting choices on offer. It is like choosing your one favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor from amongst the many! It is simply not possible and if even one is forced to make such a decision, under the glare of an impatient staff, one is left somewhat disappointed at the options left un-chosen.
Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona’s boulevard of luxury is lined with elegant facades, each home to the finest in fashion, be it Bulgari, Hermes, Chopard, just to name a few. For the best food, however, one needs to drive out of Barcelona to Costa Brava where one finds El Bulli – named one of the best restaurants in the world. Open only six months a year, the restaurant is booked almost a year in advance. The chefs create new gastronomic experiences, playing with temperature, texture and taste to present an extraordinary gourmet menu. To highlight the restaurant’s exclusiveness, they gets 250 requests for 1 seat; El Bulli is set to reopen in 2014 after a much needed two year hiatus.
Barcelona is an international city with lively hub of modern art and culture. One can meander through Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, Casa Batlo and the hillside Parc Guell. The travel through the city can be an invigorating experience providing a breakthrough to the ordinary life.