If Barcelona is a combination of the best of Paris, Miami, and Rome, as one tour guide told us, then the city’s Paseo de Gràcia is its charming Champs-Élysées. And sitting along this grand boulevard in the heart of the city’s fashionable Eixample neighborhood is the award-winning Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona, with 217 rooms, a full spa, and three gastronomic gourmet eateries, helmed by one-Michelin-star chef, Nandu Jubany.
The Majestic opened in 1918 and is Barcelona’s oldest five-star property. The neo-classical French style property recently underwent a five-year renovation, and the hotel is certainly ready for its close-up. Its Majestic Royal Penthouse, which rents for $18,000 per night, was recently named as the top penthouse in the world at the 20th annual Prix Villegiature awards. The lavish 5,000 square-foot suite features a dining room, living room, and three bedrooms—as well as two large terraces, complete with whirlpools and stunning views of the city.
Breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, SOLC, was superb, with a savory area, filled with a large selection of regional meats and cheeses, along with freshly squeezed juices. A separate area featured even more choices: baked goods, yogurts, cereals, and sweets. (The small cheesecake slices there were as fluffy and delectable as any I’ve ever sampled! Who says cheesecake for breakfast isn’t a thing?!) Main dishes such as scrambled eggs, omelets, or French toast are ordered table-side and delivered to your table.
There’s also a popular Sunday brunch, complete with a wide variety of Bloody Mary options, Mimosas, and an excellent wine list. We enjoyed a lovely selection of cold starters including oysters and prawns, a hot starter of free-range chicken cannelloni, a baked sea bass with puff pastry, and veal shoulder with basket mushrooms. Brunch dessert is at your own speed, with a buffet room full of options and a chef preparing crepe Suzette upon request.
SOLC also excels for dinner. Chef Jubany’s Farm-to-Table concept is true to its name, utilizing food from its own vegetable garden located in Maresme (a few miles from the restaurant), high quality meats from local producers, and fish purchased from the fish markets in Barcelona and nearby Vilanova. Our favorite dishes here were the sole with citrus pil pil sauce and crispy skin as well as the suckling pig terrine with apple.
The hotel maintains an impressive 1,000-piece art collection, and guests can also enjoy a stunning lobby bar; a piano player in the evenings makes the space feel like a throwback movie set. The rooftop pool and bar offer breathtaking views of the city, and sunrise yoga sessions are offered on select says.
The Spa experience here is refined and focused on total body wellness. A wide range of facial and body therapies are offered, along with a hydrotherapy experience, equipped with Jacuzzi, sensation shower, dry sauna, and a steam bath. The spa experience can be personalized as well, depending on the needs of the individual client—with a focus on relaxation, therapeutic, detoxification, or sportive. The Spa carries Natura Bissé Diamond Well-Living products, and texture, fragrance, and natural ingredients are combined with the expertise of the professional therapists, allowing for activating well-being in a personalized and comprehensive way.
Finding Some Majestic Moments
The hotel runs a curated program of exclusive tour options around the city of Barcelona, and these were truly first-class experiences that take guests behind the scenes—something unavailable to other tourists. The new Made in Barcelona tours are very popular, with travelers having the opportunity to visit some of most unique artisanal shops in the city, taking a closer look on their production journey from finding inspiration to delivering beautifully crafted masterpieces.
Our tours were fantastic, with stops at the city’s spectacular Moco Museum (the sister property to the famed Amsterdam location), where we had an insider’s tour. We visited with a young, up-and-coming fashion designer in Turo Park and saw how the staff handcrafts his stunning designs (a nine-month process). We were led through Raima, the largest stationary store in Europe—it fills five stories of a lovely 16th century building and boasts more than 3,000 kinds of paper from all over the world. And we toured the Joan Gaspar Art Gallery, a hidden treasure of the city. Gaspar’s widow walked us through the gallery, describing his collections, including in the back room, not open to the public, where she casually pulled Picassos out of storage as she looked for different items.
The Made in Barcelona tours are really special, curated experiences that truly add on to the Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona’s panache. They give visitors looking for a special luxury touch yet one more reason to choose this Grande dame of a property for their next Catalan vacation.