Few cities in the Mediterranean can compare with Barcelona in terms of the dynamism and creativity within its hospitality sector. Against this diverse and world-class backdrop of gastronomic restaurants and fine hotels comes the city’s latest opening, OD Barcelona Hotel, writes Andrew Forbes.
Found in the upscale Eixample district of the city, and just three blocks (a few hundred metres) from the Barcelona’s super-chic Passeig de Gràcia avenue, OD Barcelona boasts a pretty fine location. It’s possible to walk to many of the city’s sights, as well as easily access the bus and metro network to explore. Chic shopping, fine-dining and notable bars are all on the doorstep.
Transfer from the airport by taxi is a little over half an hour.
This is the first OD property on the mainland peninsula for this Balearic brand; sister hotels in Ibiza and Mallorca have already set the OD tone of fresh design, inclusive luxury and relaxed chic hospitality.
OD Barcelona is the group’s 5-star property, yet offers understated style, created by architects Rahola-Vidal, with interiors by Mayte Matutes. It’s smart, chic and on-trend but not at all pretentious. The vibe is open, relaxed, fun.
This new building is unashamedly contemporary, yet its clean, striking exterior lines and the earthy tones of the stone cladding harmonises well with the surrounding neighbourhood. Overtime the building will also evolve as architectural ‘green’ walls become covered in natural flowering climbing plants.
Inside the interiors echo the hotel’s desire to be as sustainable as possible. Natural materials including stylish use of oak and bamboo create a calm, fresh, almost Nordic aesthetic. OD Barcelona was nominated as one of the Top 10 sustainable hotel development projects in Spain at Re Think Hotel 2017.
Restaurant & Lobby Bar
The ground floor is open-plan surrounded by floor to ceiling glass windows that open out onto the street as well as the terrace, creating a welcoming first impression; and making the hotel feel open and connected to the city.
The 24-hour reception front desk integrates with the bar, both sitting together as an island on the first portion of the ground floor, a place to be greeted, to meet other guests and to relax with friends. Materials are natural, with oak and stone flooring, and leather and cowhide bar stools. The space is punctuated with mid-century classic designer pieces, such as Shell Chairs from the 1963 Carl Hansen design.
Up a few steps is the dining area, with classic ‘Organic Conference chair’ seating from the Charles Eames & Eros Saarinen design, together with mid-century designer lighting. To one side there is also a show-cooking bar, and outside is the elegant terrace for dining and relaxing.
Take the lift to the 5th floor and one finds the pool roof terrace, where during the season is the Sky Bar with live DJ sets. Here guests and residents can also enjoy OD Hotels’ popular after work ‘Burger Meets Gin’ or the ‘Mexican Brunch’ , already renowned at other OD properties.
Welcome & Check-in
The team at the OD Barcelona were great; they really defined the friendly, informal, cool experience of the property. Dressed in white shirts, black jeans and white trainers, they were smart and on-trend.
Feeling welcome is fundamental for me in hospitality yet not all hotels get it right – but the OD Barcelona certainly did. Catalonia sees itself as very different from Spain; and in my experience that self-confidence sometimes manifests itself in hospitality as a frostiness. Yet at the OD Barcelona that’s thankfully not the case – here it was smiles all the way.
There are 94 guest rooms, including spacious 64 square metre suites (The ‘Grand Suite’ comes with a private pool terrace). The standard rooms are well proportioned and superbly designed.
Style is contemporary and minimalist, yet warm and welcoming thanks to the use of plenty of natural materials, with wood, bamboo and leather combining to create a calming, elegant look – a natural refuge from the vibrancy of the city below.
As elsewhere in the hotel the guest room featured classic 20th century design pieces, including leather 1930s style butterfly chairs, and a very cool plywood desk chair, from the Charles & Ray Eames 1945 design. On the desk was a Cesta Miguel Milà 1962 reproduction lamp.
One of things that impressed me most was the smart storage – all too often hotel rooms are designed to look good empty, but don’t really work well once guests and their luggage arrive (my pet-hate is having to leave my suit case out in the room). Yet, at the OD Barcelona there is plenty of wardrobe space, drawers, an alcove for cases, as well as additional storage for bags.
Finishing touches included bespoke ink blot artwork over the bed, and magazines on the coffee table. I’m told that rooms will soon have coffee machines too.
The ingenious bathroom design places the walk-in rain shower, and W.C. in areas closed off with glass doors, whilst the vanity washbasin is integrated into the room. Plenty of amenities are provided.
Breakfast is served in the downstairs lobby restaurant. It was a buffet, help-yourself affair but one of the best I have enjoyed in a very long time. Firstly, the smiling and friendly team greeting you before being seated set the tone for a good day. Hot pates can be ordered fresh, whilst the buffet of fresh fruit, juices, Spanish hams and cheeses, local specialities, baked goods and treats was generous and varied. The breads and pastries included fresh sandwiches, cookies and muffins. Overall the selection was excellent.
Lunch was a real surprise. The cuisine was very sophisticated and well-priced. Warm starters included Black Truffle ravioli (15 euro); Thai Rice Noodles (9.50 euro); and seasonal dishes such as mushrooms. Main dishes included seasonal, hearty meat dishes, and from the Mediterranean, fish and seafood – dishes included Bluefin tuna tartar (17 euro) or daily special (19 euro).
Presentation and service were on-point. I would recommend enjoying a meal here during a stay at the hotel.
OD Hotels’ Guide to Barcelona
OD Hotels are very much about the guest experience and showcasing each property’s location. Barcelona, as a world city, is no exception. Front desk concierge can provide informed advice about restaurants, bars, cultural activities, shopping and wellness. In addition, they can make tailored arrangements for guides, transport, private drivers and excursions. In conjunction with Barcelona Premium (curated experiences from Visit Barcelona), OD Hotels can create a unique stay for guests, including wine tastings, gourmet dining and even sunset sailing cruises. Read our Guide to Barcelona here.
Rooms start from from 170€ (£154) to 1,600€ (£1,445) per night depending on room type and season, including taxes and breakfast.
OD Barcelona Hotel
Address: C/ Aragón, 300 (Esquina C/ Roger de Llúria), 08009 Barcelona, Spain