Sea spa: An urban escape from the heat of the city at Barcelona's Hotel Sofia
by Sophia Wilson
Where is it?
Set within Barcelona’s Les Corts district, Hotel Sofia caters to the business market but also places plenty of emphasis on pleasure. This is particularly the case in its Wish Suites which are spread across the 17th and 18th floors of the hotel. The suites are their own private club within the hotel with 24-hour concierge, an exclusive lobby area and an extensive bar. Book into Wish Granted for 300sqm of privacy which also grants you views of both the city’s mountains and the sea.
What’s the hype?
Formerly the Hotel Princesa Sofia Gran Barcelona, the hotel has undergone and multi-million pound renovation, which has been partly crafted by famous Chilean interior designer Jaime Beriestain. Its super slick interior – think slanted mirrors, gold touches and space age lifts – is home to five different dining operations. Its circular bar, with a gold palm leaf mural on the ceiling, is the perfect location to start the evening with one its signature Cava-based Bellini’s. Afterwards move onto Zuu, a live supper show experience which is unique to Barcelona's gastronomy scene. The late-night dinner serves up decadent dishes – such as prawn gyozas and beef tenderloin with foie gras – while guests are entertained by singing and dancing performances.
What to have
Take the mirror-lined lift down to level minus one and you are greeted by the aptly named Oasis Spa. Spread over more than 1,100sqm, start by making use of its water circuit, with three pools heated to different temperatures, or relax in the sauna, salt cave or experience showers. Afterwards opt for the four hand treatments, where two therapists will work different parts of your body at the same time to create a wave like feeling across your body (after all many hands make light work). Afterwards float your way back to the relaxation room or sun deck for views of the small tropical garden – a haven in the heat of Barcelona.
Where to chill
At the back of the hotel there is a private urban garden, only accessible by hotel guests, with a long pool surrounded by Balinese beds and hammocks. If you have the energy, swim some lengths so that you can then indulge in the seven-course tasting menu at the hotel’s Be So restaurant.
Best by boat
One Ocean Port Vell, which can accommodate yachts up to 190 metres, is only eight kilometres away. It is also handily located less than a 20-minute drive from Barcelona airport, which has private jet services.