This is part three of my Barcelona trip – for parts one and three, please see below.
Barcelona – Lufthansa First Class and First Class Terminal
Barcelona – Mandarin Oriental, Gaudi and Mammoth Museum
Barcelona – The Food
After our flight landed from Frankfurt in Barcelona, we headed straight to our hotel – the Mandarin Oriental on Passeig de Gràcia, one of the major streets in Barcelona. While my husband goes to Barcelona every year, this was my first time ever in Spain. For a first time visitor to Barcelona, the Mandarin Oriental is in the perfect spot in the city center – right next to a lot of beautiful sites, great shopping and restaurants. In this post I want to share some highlights from the hotel, as well as some of our favorite sites in Barcelona.
The Mandarin has a very clean, modern feel to it with touches of Asian decor. The hotel was very airy and filled with light. Every time I walked to our room, I loved the view of the open center and all of the little windows.
Our room was a simple deluxe room, which was more than enough space for the two of us. And the chair was actually a comfortable one for reading!
The bathroom was very cool, with sliding doors and glass that was just a teensy bit transparent. There was a rainfall shower and a huge soaking tub, it was actually a little too big for me, but I still took a bath. My head kept getting submerged. I think this would be the perfect tub for somebody over 5’5!
Macarons, fruit and water wer waiting in our room on the first day. The fruit and water were refreshed every day – unfortunately the macarons were not.
Every morning we ate breakfast at Blanc, the hotel’s restaurant on the bottom floor. It was a great little spot with many comfortable chairs where they served afternoon tea later in the day.
The food was amazing! Our first morning I ordered an Eggs Benedict to go with the buffet but afterwards realized that the buffet was enough for satisfy all of my morning wants. There were delicious fresh squeezed juices in orange and grapefruit (of course) but also pomegranate and mango. The buffet even had dim sum, next to generous spreads of Iberian ham. Yum.
Another favorite place we loved in the Mandarin was the Banker’s Bar, which was located on the lobby level. It was a very stylish, relaxed place to have a drink and they had some amazing cocktails. We even spent a few ours of our New Year’s Eve festivities here and it was the perfect spot!
If you go, please ask for Mariano and his special gin cocktails. The food was also very good, with many tapas selections.
Overall I really enjoyed our stay at the Mandarin Oriental and was really glad to have chosen it, especially for a first time visitor like myself. I think anybody would have a wonderful time at the hotel, it had flawless service, great food and of course a perfect location. And it was a fantastic place to spend the holidays and especially New Year’s Eve, there were many parties all around the street but our room was nice and quiet when we returned.
One of my favorite aspects about the location of the Mandarin Oriental was how close it was to several Gaudi sites, including my favorite, Casa Batlló. It was so wonderful being able to walk by this beautiful building several times a day. It was just a block or two away from the hotel.
On our second day we bought tickets to go see the inside. Here are some of the highlights.
This was a mushroom stove and seating area – the audio guide explained that there were two benches, one for a young “courting” couple and the other for their chaperone.
A beautiful ceiling.
And a hallway – I loved this space, so bright and full of light.
The roof, which was arched like the back of a dragon!
My husband also pointed out that Gaudi’s architecture and design was so modern and influential that even our sink at the Mandarin Oriental seemed similar to this one built more than a century ago. Top photo is from Casa Batlló, bottom is from our room at the Mandarin.
I know many architecture buffs are very familiar with Gaudi so you must forgive a novice’s enthusiasm. I really loved this house and really thought that the family that was able to build this must have been so lucky. It would be my dream to build a space like this one day, I love unique houses.
Here is another Gaudi site that I’m sure many of your are familiar with, the Sagrada Família.
The final sight that I wanted to share is one that’s probably less well known. While walking over to our dinner one evening, we passed by a museum that had a huge mammoth in the window. Since Mr. Feather and I are both huge animal lovers, we had to stop by and see what it was all about! And we learned that we had found Barcelona’s very own Mammoth Museum.
The entire museum was dedicated to animals from the ice age, like the mammoth and saber-toothed cat. The museum encouraged you to actually touch a lot of its items, and I imagine it’d be a great place to take children.
There were also some animals from the ice age that I didn’t know about, like a giant deer that had antlers on the side of its head!
All in all it was a great little museum and I’m so glad we found it. If you are in Barcelona and have the time, I’d definitely recommend a little detour here. The museum was never crowded as well. The staff was actually a little surprised that we had found it – they said they didn’t get as many tourists versus locals. So hopefully we can help spread the word.
I hope you all enjoyed the second part of my Barcelona trip report. The next and final installment will center around one of my absolute favorite aspects of Barcelona – the food! Thank you as always for reading!