Barcelona Cuts the Manchego

- Rachel Denning, We enticed Rachel from the corporate world of BusinessWeek back in 2005 and put her at the helm of the Europe, Middle East and Africa region where she and her team have built our largest regional collection of 800 stunning properties in over 60 countries. Rachel has 18 years' experience of sales, marketing and PR with a strong background in luxury travel and cannot sit still. Her passion and energy have taken her to well over 50 countries in remote corners of the world where she has been held at gunpoint, rescued from a sabotaged helicopter and looped-the-loop in an open-top 1943 biplane, all in the name of relationship-building. Rachel speaks 3 languages fluently, converses in another 3 and thrives in her role working with so many diverse cultures on a daily basis. In addition to running our regional team from our central London base, Rachel is our VP of Global Partnerships and responsible for seeking out the right audience for our properties and building the brand with a dash of wit, a lot of style and some truly ground-breaking promotions. Rachel grew up in England, graduated with a dual-language degree from a French business school and has never stopped learning. She is in her element on a ski slope or a golf course, loves to write and is a very creative member of our team.

Madrid might be the capital of Spain but when it comes to luxury hotels, Barcelona cuts the manchego.

List all the ingredients of a great city break and Barcelona has them in abundance, with the added bonus of being a major gateway to the rest of Spain.

The iconic Hotel Arts, Ritz-Carlton’s first property of three in Spain and still the flagship, is at the heart of the action. I love arranging client meetings in its lobby as the flowers are always breathtaking and the atmosphere buzzing. Check in to one of the higher floors, or the Six Senses Spa on 42, to check out the views.

If you are on a mission to seek out all that is Gaudi, then you will love the Hotel Casa Fuster on Passeig de Gracia, just down the road from the Gaudi House with its eclectic style and focus on the arts.

The Majestic is true to its name, particularly if you can climb the lofty heights to the penthouse suites which have their own rooftop decks with hot tubs and spectacular city views.

One of my favourite stays is in a corner suite of the Gran Hotel la Florida. The hotel is a 30 minute drive from the centre, perched 500m above the city and ideal if you want a mix of culture and retreat. From my bedroom window, I could see the entire city laid out beneath me in miniature as well as the trademark indoor/outdoor pool in the Zen Zone Spa and huge panoramic deck.

A little further afield is one of our favourite hidden gems in Kiwi Collection. The Alva Park is an Asian oasis slap bang in the middle of Lloret del Mar; kids get the bucket and spade vibe they love while you languish in unadulterated luxury.

Make time for the Molton Brown Spa with its unique Indian Princess Bath where tiny rain drops fall from a 24-carat gold-tiled ceiling, book a tee-off on your pick of championship golf courses in the virtual club, experience Japanese food like never before in a multi-sensory experience and, if you really love your little tikes, check into the Children’s Kingdom Suite where they have their own mini bathroom and amenities, over-sized railway set and Victorian dolls house. I won’t give the game away but suffice to say this hotel is not one to skimp on guest amenities…

  1. Hello there everyone :) Just catching up on this.

  2. Terence Karn says:

    Giving a blog talk to beginner bloggers in the not-too-distant future, I’ll be pointing people in the direction of your efforts. Nicely put together dude.

  3. Brilliant post, nicely done. And thanks for mentioning all that info – you have introduced to me to three new blogs and I love them all! Cheers :)