In a tete-a-tete with Travel Daily, Andreas Oberoi, general manager of Hotel Arts Barcelona spills the beans about how art is at the core of everything at the stunning Hotel Arts Barcelona. The resort aims to immerse its guests in the culture of the city as it features over 500 pieces of original art by contemporary Catalan and Spanish artists throughout the property. Excerpts:
TD: How has the hotel positioned itself in the luxury space in Barcelona? Could you elaborate on its luxury offerings?
AO: The iconic Hotel Arts Barcelona is a beachside, urban resort located in the city of Barcelona, and the first luxury hotel in the area. Styled to embrace the destination’s defining legacy, it stands as the tallest building in the city, with a contemporary glass and steel design. Encompassing the artistic persona of the location, the landscape is characterised by the striking Frank Gehry fish sculpture that shifts in color and appearance as the sun moves.
Hotel Arts Barcelona combines genuine luxury with individual and personalized service, all provided by a well-connected and passionate hospitality team of Ladies and Gentlemen. The waterfront hotel’s 455 rooms and 28 exclusive The Penthouses feature sleek, modern design complemented by an impressive 20th century collection of works by contemporary Catalan and Spanish artists. Hotel Arts is one of the premier culinary destinations in Barcelona with 2 Michelin-starred Enoteca helmed by the illustrious, 5 Michelin-starred chef Paco Perez. Guests seeking a serene escape may enjoy signature treatments by renowned Spanish skin-care brand Natura Bisse overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at 43 The Spa. With over 3,000 square-feet of function space overlooking the Mediterranean in Arts 41, for board meetings and conferences as well as social events, weddings and celebrations and an additional 24,000 square-feet of function space, the hotel boasts of big MICE space.
TD: Could you tell us more about how the hotel is using the art experience to elevate the experience of the travellers?
AO: Encompassing the artistic persona of the location, the landscape is characterised by the striking Frank Gehry fish sculpture that shifts in color and appearance as the sun moves. The hotel is impossible to miss thanks to Frank Henry’s sculpture, a 52m-long goldfish located right in front The sculpture is perhaps the most impressive piece of art at the Hotel Arts Barcelona. This giant goldfish, located just at the foot of the hotel and seemingly ready to jump into the blue waters of the Mediterranean, is a truly stunning sight. The sculpture is made from the same steel exoskeleton as Hotel Arts and is meant to complement and strengthen the tower and its presence, as well as create much stronger public space that fit beautifully with the hotel functions. Frank Gehry’s fish is especially beautiful during the day as sunlight is reflected off the scales of the sculpture and combined with a dazzling waterfront view, it creates a truly unforgettable scene.
Art is the core of Hotel Arts Barcelona. The resort aims to immerse its guests in the culture of the city as it features over 500 pieces of original art by contemporary Catalan and Spanish artists throughout the property. The hotel art collection includes works by Manolo Valdes, Luis Feito, Jose Manuel Broto, Perico Pastor and many other distinguished artists of the region.
Guests can find original pieces of art in every area of the hotel. For instance, P41 Bar, named for Parallel 41, the latitude where the city of Barcelona is located, features striking art installations, including one by the multidisciplinary artist Inocuo rendered in ceramic. Inocuo’s artwork represents a liquid mapping of parallel 41, reinforcing the core concept with a flight-map layer of copper fibers that radiate from key points of Parallel 41 like a global metadata network, capturing the true essence of the venue.
The interiors of the Hotel Arts Barcelona penthouses deserve special attention. They were created by Jaime Tresserra, the well-known Catalan designer, who played with shape in his designs through the employment of the revered arts of hand-craftsmanship and artisan, and through the utilization of only the highest quality materials.
Art is the hotel’s common thread and leitmotif. With such strong focus on art and design, Hotel Arts Barcelona aims to immerse guests in the culture of the city of Barcelona and transforms their stay into something absolutely remarkable. The art approach is not limited to the interior and exterior of the hotel. Art can be found everywhere here – whether it’s haute cuisine from gastronomic artist Paco Perez at the Enoteca restaurant or the signature spa treatments at the 43 the Spa, the exceptional service of the hotel is also a special form of art that deserves attention. Recently partnered with national gallery, We Collect, to showcase the best up and coming talent from Spain and local Barcelona artists. Each month, the hotel will host exhibitions of traditional and urban art in an open space for guests and visitors to admire.
TD: Considering that travel in Spain is recovering at a massive speed, how has the hotel performed in the last few months?
AO: The hotel has seen a gradual increase in bookings over the last few months and is projected to be at high capacity throughout the summer season.
TD: Could you tell us more about the iconic spa and how it is promoting wellness travel.
AO: Floating high above the city, 43 The Spa is an extraordinary setting delivering organic luxury and a sense of wellbeing. Housed across the 42nd and 43rd floors and bathed in natural light, the spa offers an extensive menu of treatments by Natura Bissé, eight treatment rooms and open-air relaxation terraces. A wet zone incorporating saunas, Klafs color therapy steam rooms, vitality pools and ice fountain create a unique atmosphere of calm and rejuvenation. For those keen to maintain levels of fitness, The Gym has been created with a holistic approach where carefully balanced fitness plans and classes are customized by trained professionals. Additionally, 43 The Spa offers Rossano Ferretti Hair Salon and Niche Parfumes Boutique.
TD: What are the key initiatives the hotel has taken in the post-Covid world?
With in-person gatherings back on the table, Hotel Arts Barcelona launched a series of summer programs. The programs offer a perfect Mediterranean experience with the launch of Marina Coastal Club. A coveted resort-style destination in its own right, the new concept brings together four distinctive alfresco venues under one overarching identity that celebrates laidback coastal living with all of the perks of a luxury beach retreat.
Boasting stunning panoramic views from its unique location on the waterfront, Marina Coastal Club offers a wonderfully serene spot for swimming, socialising to live music and dining on some of the best Mediterranean food in the city.
Culinary lovers can indulge with the Two Michelin Star experience, where Chef Paco Pérez curates a special tasting menu.
Housed across the 42nd and 43rd floors and bathed in natural light, 43 The Spa is an extraordinary setting delivering organic luxury and a sense of wellbeing. The award-winning spa offers an extensive menu of treatments by Natura Bissé, eight treatment rooms and open-air relaxation terraces. A wet zone incorporating saunas, Klafs color therapy steam rooms, vitality pools and ice fountain create a unique atmosphere of calm and rejuvenation. For those keen to maintain levels of fitness, The Gym has been created with a holistic approach where carefully balanced fitness plans and classes are customized by trained professionals. Additionally, the spa offers Rossano Ferretti Hair Salon and Niche Parfumes Boutique.
With Art of Caring experience, guests can experience wellness at its finest with 43 The Spa’s unique facilities, such as the hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam bath, ice fountain and relaxation area.
Hotel Arts helps curate unforgettable stays with a host of unique experiences designed to help guests indulge in the city of Barcelona. With the sunset boat tour, guests can book a sailing boat or yacht and enjoy dinner while taking in the city’s skyline at sea. If land is more guests’ speed, they can book a Supercar excursion and get behind the wheel of an exotic car to enjoy an exhilarating ride around the Mediterranean coastline. And if they would rather take Barcelona by air, a helicopter flight over the Catalan mountains will allow guests to take in the scenic and historical beauty of the Montserrat range.
TD: Any new sustainable measures at the hotel? What trends have you been witnessing in the hospitality industry in terms of green travel?
AO: Today, business plays an increasingly critical role in taking on our world’s most pressing social, environmental and economic issues. Hotel Arts Barcelona, as an icon of the city, has a global responsibility and a unique opportunity to be a force for good, and that is why it is committed to create a positive and sustainable impact. The hotel’s commitment to responsible and sustainable business practices benefits the environment and the communities in which Hotel Arts Barcelona is located, in addition to contributing to its long-term success.