This is my review of the Hotel Arts Barcelona, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
The Hotel Arts Barcelona is one of the hotels taking part in our current EXCLUSIVE ‘10,000 Marriott Rewards points for booking a long weekend’ promotion. Full details of that offer are here and you can book it here.
Marriott offered us a free night at any of the hotels taking part in the offer, and I picked this one. After all, who wouldn’t fancy a free night in Barcelona given the January weather back home? Head for Points paid for all of its other costs, including my Vueling flight which I reviewed here.
There were three other reasons I wanted to stay here. The first is that it is one of those hotels that, in the back of my mind, I always wanted to try. If you ever come to Barcelona it is impossible to miss as it is the tallest building in town, directly on the beach. Secondly, I was in the bar for an hour in October as part of a Marriott-organised tour of its top Barcelona hotels and that had made me keen to see more.
Finally, whilst I had stayed at numerous The Ritz-Carlton hotels before, I had never been in one of their Club lounges – and The Ritz-Carlton does have a reputation for running excellent club lounges.
(For those who don’t know, The Ritz-Carlton cannot trade under that name in Spain, Portugal or the UK due to existing Ritz-branded hotels. The Ritz-Carlton hotels in these countries trade under their own names, often with ‘A Ritz-Carlton Hotel’ mentioned alongside.)
The Hotel Arts was built as part of the 1992 Olympics preparations, before which the beach area had been neglected and cut off from the centre. Barcelona is still a sprawl, and it is a decent stroll from Las Ramblas to the hotel. You can walk to Sagrada Familia in about 20 minutes – I did it myself, taking a circuitous route to the airport.
The nearest metro station is about 10 minutes walk away although you can connect to a tram which takes you nearer to the hotel. The upside of being away from the city centre is, of course, that you are virtually on the beach and have access to two impressive outdoor pools. I felt it was a trade-off worth making.
My room at the Hotel Arts
The hotel has 455 rooms, including 56 suites. The hotel had given me a one bedroom suite on the 33rd floor, where the Club Lounge is situated. This was my very spacious bedroom:
…. which had a very pleasant view over the coastline (the tall building on the headland looking out to sea is the W hotel):
…. which was linked by a small corridor with a desk which had a direct view of the Sagrada Familia – the photo doesn’t do it justice at all:
…. which was opposite an impressive bathroom with Asprey toiletries (in all rooms, top suites have Bulgari), a bath and a very large shower – this is a hotel PR picture as it looked a lot better than mine:
…. and ended in a sitting area:
Here is a hotel PR shot of a standard deluxe room, which is virtually identical in terms of the bathroom and bedroom area:
The hotel was refurbished three years ago and the rooms are in excellent condition. The public areas have been done even more recently, and to all intents and purposes it looks like a new hotel.
I was very comfortable here. I hadn’t planned to spend virtually all my time in the hotel but a few unexpected tasks came up – and, to be honest, it was such a nice room that I didn’t mind too much.
There is a video attached to Part 2 of this review – and you can also watch it on YouTube by clicking here – which has more imagery of the room.
There are penthouses too ….
Uniquely, the top floors of the hotel – it has 44 floors in total – contain 28 one, two and three bedroom duplex penthouses. These are bookable via the hotel website.
I had a tour of one and they are amazing, especially the views. Each comes with a kitchen, lounge and dining area.
The Club Lounge
The Club Lounge is exclusively for the use of guests who have booked a room with executive floor privileges. It is an impressive space on the 33rd floor with a triple height ceiling and great views across the marina and coastline.
Guests with club access can check in and check out in the lounge. It also has a dedicated concierge between 7am and 11pm. Extra benefits include two free pieces of ironing per day and complimentary morning tea or coffee delivered to your room.
The Ritz-Carlton hotels have a good reputation for the quality of their lounges. You traditionally get five different food offerings each day, and Barcelona follows the same model.
The timings are:
- Breakfast – 7am to 11.30am
- Snack selection – 1pm to 4pm
- Tea time – 4.30pm to 7pm
- Evening hors d’oeuvres – 7.30pm to 9pm
- Sweets and desserts – 9.30pm to 10.30pm
Barcelona, of course, is not short of amazing places to eat and I wouldn’t suggest you sit around the hotel unnecessarily just to take advantage of the free food and drink. If you are sat in the hotel working all day, as I was, it does come in very handy. Breakfast is also a totally different experience when you compare the laid back atmosphere of the lounge to the bustle of the breakfast room on the ground floor.
Rather than take shots of each food presentation I’ve just put in a handful of scene-setting pictures. It was impressive throughout, and the evening dishes were filling enough to serve as your main meal if you did find yourself unable to get out of the hotel.
This is the end of Part 1 of my review of the Hotels Arts Barcelona. Click here to read part 2 which covers the bars, restaurants, the pools, the spa and the beach.
A 3-minute video of the hotel is also included in Part 2. You can also watch it by clicking here and going to YouTube.
The official Hotel Arts Barcelona website is here.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)