If your ideal hotel experience is low-key and centrally located then move on, there’s nothing to see here. Hip and showy W Barcelona sits on its own beachfront enclave, a bit less than 2km from the closest metro station, Barceloneta. This is the place to sit by the pool with a sangria, looking out onto the ocean by day, and then head up to the rooftop Eclipse for cocktails, sweeping city views and pumping bass by night. And, somewhere in between, grab a treadmill with a view at the well-equipped, 24-hour gym.
The “Wonderful Rooms” are quite pokey in size but offer pretty spectacular Mediterranean views that can be enjoyed through the floor-to-ceiling windows from your bed. The best value is the “Cool Corner Suite”, which is roomier with separate living and sleeping areas, a work area, and city and ocean views. Even if you aren’t staying here, its sail-like profile, smaller in stature but reminiscent of Dubai’s famous Burj Al Arab, is worth a beachfront photo-op.
It is hard to imagine Barcelona without its popular beach, but before the 1992 Olympics the port area of Barceloneta was a fishing neighbourhood with low-rise residential buildings and no stretch of sand. After a major overhaul, which included building the man-made beach, it still retains its local charm but is now revitalised and definitely on the radar – you won’t find many major tourist attractions here but you will find great restaurants (especially seafood) and cafes.
Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents, 1, Barcelona