W Barcelona: Young Hotel Luxury At Its Finest

The world is a beautiful place from 25 stories up.

This past week I visited the W Barcelona, the Ricardo Bofill-designed luxury hotel whose sail-like silhouette at the end of Platja de Sant Miquel acts as a seductive beacon to the city’s young elite. The hotel’s crown jewel, the Extreme WOW suite, is perched 25 floors above the sea and typifies the sleek luxury of the four-year-old hotel.

The W Barcelona's silhouette rises up from the sand at Barcelona's Playa Sant Miquel.
The W Barcelona’s striking silhouette is an icon of Barcelona’s beach.

I’m exploring the suite with W Barcelona Public Relations Manager Stefanie Roth and management trainee Giulio Gatti.

“So this is the setup,” Roth says, motioning to the expansive living room we’re standing in. “This suite has about 300 square meters.”

The living room of the Extreme Wow suite at Barcelona's hip luxury hotel, W Barcelona.
A view of the city from the living room of the W Barcelona’s Extreme WOW suite.

Windows stretching from floor to ceiling give way to a breathtaking canvas of city, sea and sun.

Time slows to a theatrical meandering in which the ships that dot the horizon stand still, the movements of hundreds of bodies on the beach are imperceptible and the only sound you hear is the stillness of the 11,000 euros-a-night palace.

The room includes three bedrooms. Roth says the suite is popular with families and with high-profile guests who travel with private security.

A view of the master bedroom in the Extreme Wow suite of the luxury hotel W Barcelona.
Magnificent vistas surround the master bedroom of the W Barcelona’s Extreme WOW suite.

We walk through the living room to the master bedroom. An elevated king-size bed is placed in the middle of the room, it’s unassuming character awash in an embrace of to-die-for vistas.

“This is our bathroom, and as you can see, the beautiful view,” Roth says as we walk through the master bedroom to the spacious bathroom.

The port stretches down the coast as the mid-afternoon sun warms a free-standing bathtub. The double-sink bathroom includes amenities from Bliss, a luxury brand from New York, Roth says. Bliss also runs the hotel’s turquoise-tinted spa.

Bliss spa products fill the counters in the deluxe bathroom of the Extreme Wow, one of the W Barcelona's luxury suites.
Luxury spa amenities and amazing views highlight the Extreme WOW’s  bathroom.

Roth’s heels pound out a decisive melody as we walk through the bedroom to the room’s balcony, although “balcony” does no convey the feeling of a space where the only thing separating you from the azure sea below is a glass-and-metal barrier and 24 floors of glamour.

“All of our suites come with a balcony or a terrace,” Roth says. “Also, what’s significant for the suites is that they all have jacuzzis.”

She motions toward a hot tub halfway down the balcony.

I get dizzy from the altitude. The jitters don’t keep me from noticing the queen-size bed and the numerous couches that line the terrace.

Jacuzzi, bed, couches; the space is virtually an extra room.

The Heart of W Luxury: Anytime, Anywhere

Roth and Gatti take me from the Extreme WOW suite to Bliss Spa, then through the workout area, their conference space terrace and room, then through the hotel’s community of pool decks, bars and restaurants.

Palm trees and umbrellas line the posh pool at the W Barcelona, a luxury hotel at the end of Barceloneta.
Umbrellas and palms reflect on the water at the W Barcelona’s WET pool. 

Each location along the route has its own style, while maintaining the hotel’s modern personality. Wood decks contrast with soft white accents.

Tables are ready for diners in Wave, one of the W Barcelona's luxury restaurants.
Luxury meets modernity in dining room of the W Barcelona’s WAVE restaurant.

We conclude the tour in WAVE, the hotel’s ultra-cool restaurant. I am curious about the hotel’s philosophy of service, so I ask Roth and Gatti about it.

Gatti

“Our motto is ‘Whatever, Whenever’. That’s what everyone here is trying to do, from reception to guest services,” Gatti says, adding with a chuckle that the philosophy does not include illegal activities. “We try to surprise. We want everyone to feel special.”

That philosophy means that when guests leave the trendy hotel, they should leave with a sense of wonder, Roth says.

“The most important thing is that our guests to feel a sense of, ‘Wow,'” she says. “…Everything is possible here; that’s what we want people to take away.”

The hotel’s guest services include a W Insiders program, in which a team of three employees offer VIP service to Insider clients.

“We receive them in a different way,” Roth says. “They create a wow experience and they try to surprise our insiders…this could mean special amenities…”

The Eclipse Bar is the W Barcelona's 26th-floor luxury lounge.
Modern style abounds in the W Barcelona’s 26th-floor Eclipse Bar.

Gatti breaks into the conversation, pointing out one instance in which the W’s team, in an effort to accommodate an ailing guest, Skyped with her family to make sure the guest’s room included her favorite teas.

Roth adds more stories to the mix.

“If they want to make a marriage proposal, we help them arrange it,” she said. “We’ve had balloons for our guests, helicopter rides and even private yachts.”

See and Be Seen: Young Luxury at Wet Deck

Roth

As we talk, the W’s main luxury accommodation competitor, Ritz-Carlton’s Hotel Arts, rises up from the beachscape like a more formal older brother.

“We are a five-star hotel, but we never promote our stars,” Roth says. “It’s very modern here, and very young.” 
The hotel’s human resources department values potential employees who have backgrounds in fashion, design and music. Forward-thinking hiring practices mean that when the sun goes down and the W’s WET Deck Summer Series begins, the W’s team can connect with Barcelona’s jet-setters.
“We have an energy 24/7. (The W) is not only a hotel by day. At night, our theme is ‘Dive Into the Current,'” Roth says. “At night, this hotel transforms itself into ‘Seen and being seen.'”
Gatti admits that the hotel’s young staff and progressive philosophy are a marked departure from the tradition of white-gloved, five-star service. But, he says, the hotel isn’t looking to keep with tradition.

Roth chimes in.
“We try to transmit a culture of a young brand,” she says, “but we maintain the standard and quality of five-star service.”
The WET Deck summer concert series at W Barcelona, one of Barcelona's luxury hotels.
Local jet-setters enjoy an evening of music during one of W Barcelona’s WET Deck Summer Series events.

Quick Facts and Information About W Barcelona

  • Catalan architect Ricardo Bofill designed the W Barcelona. A print of his original sketch of the hotel is on display in the Extreme WOW suite.
  • The W Barcelona’s Wet Deck Summer Series features premier deejays from around the world.
  • The E-WOW suite is the only room in the hotel designed by Bofill.
  • Shakira and One Direction have stayed at the hotel.
*Barcelona Experience did not receive any compensation from W Barcelona (other than a pretty fantastic press kit) for the publication of this article or the resulting promotion of this article through our social media outlets.

**W Barcelona provided the photos of the hotel property included in this post.

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