Luxury has come to Via Laietana and in true Barcelona fashion, the neighbors are already talking. Walking home today I discovered that after almost two years of construction number 49 has been reborn as a 5 star property at the top of Barcelona’s artery.
Peeling away the paper and putting on its finishing touches, the hotel staff is in place and the locals are stopping in their tracks and gawking at the newest kid on the block.
The staff seems to be genuinely excited and the buzz is spreading. When going inside for a closer look, I was told the soft opening will be held tomorrow. Owned by a private group, this will mark the second hotel, the other being further up the coast. In a city where press releases are issued to anounce the opening of an envelope, one has to wonder how details about this hotel have been kept so quiet. One thing is for sure if they manage to pull it together this could be the next “it” hotel. The location is fantastic and will sure to be a hit among the glitterati since the Palau de Musica is only steps away and pre theatre drinks are limited to crowded local bars.
The hotel seems a bit out-of-place for two main reasons. Surrounded by grey buildings the well-lit interior shines bright on an avenue that is usually shuttered up after 9pm. The second is the strange eyeballs/Security camera which have sprung from its facade- a strange choice to say the least but I will get to the bottom of this.
The details are limited but here is what we know… The restaurant located on the left hand side of the lobby has been named Sauc, dressed in muted tones the ordinary furniture sits in a room with high ceilings. Hopefully the menu will be enough to knock you off your seat since the decor leaves little to the imagination.
To the right of the lobby,behind the front desk is the Boutique bar. Done up with wood crates, gold leaf ceilings and high back red lounge chairs, this could be the perfect middle man between the eclipse bar at the W, and the Banker’s Bar at the Mandarin. Things we like: The attention to details, in the picture we can see the staff is tweaking the drink menu and every cocktail has been produced. Things we don’t like: the oddly placed mirror ball at the corner lowers the posh factor by 3 points.
With a great location, this hotel is positioned to become of the break out star for 2011. A few streets away from the main shopping area of Portal De Angel, steps from the cathedral and across the street from the Metro station; Ohla Hotel will have everything the urban tourist will seek when finding a great place to stay when spending a weekend in Barcelona.