I’ve always been a planner, and never one to do anything spontaneous… however with the deadline for my British Airways Tier point collection year coming up, I started thinking… I needed one more flight to maintain my Executive Club Member Silver status and so a ‘points run’ was in order. It may seem decadent to take a trip just to maintain your Executive Club status but it’s well worth it as Silver members have priority boarding, free seat selection, lounge access, extra baggage allowance and best of all 50% more Avios (airmiles) when you fly. (FYI NOT #spon by British Airways lol, I wish)
These are all benefits that I’d personally pay for so it’s worth getting in an extra flight in order to keep them for another year. Of course the idea of a points run is to keep the trip as inexpensive as possible so I tossed around a few options that were not only inexpensive to get to but also while you’re there – Amsterdam, Belgium and Edinburgh were on the table but my friend and I eventually settled on a night of fun in Barcelona. As a Soho House member, I get special rates at their hotels around the world and so we booked into a Medium Room at Soho House Barcelona for the night.
I love the aesthetic of the hotels in the Soho House Group (regular readers will know Soho Farmhouse is my favourite UK hotel) and the feeling of being in a home away from home. The downside (for a blogger / Instagrammer!) is that you can’t take photos around the hotel as it doubles as a private members club. But I could include some pictures of the room which start at ‘tiny’ and go up to ‘medium corner.’
Our Medium Marina room had a Juliet balcony with a spectacular view over Port Vell marina.
In the background I could the Hotel Arts where we’d stayed for Mr S’s birthday last year.
And the iconic W Hotel, with it’s wave like structure on the skyline. Leaving my suitcase in the room, I headed to the rooftop pool to meet Theresa, to keep things as easy as possible, she’d flown in from her home town of Bristol while I’d come in from London for the night. Ordering rosé and some nibbles, we took the chance to catch up whilst enjoying the vibes of the Soho House roof top. The upstairs bar has the feeling of an outdoor living room, it’s super comfortable and chilled whilst also being a fantastic scene. I will say though the pool is small and it’s not easy to get a sun lounger by it – it’s something I personally don’t mind but it would be a deal breaker for Mr S.
We headed to the room to get ready for our big night out when we were surprised by a mobile cocktail bar to our room! After polishing off a cocktail each we headed out for dinner at Tragaluz, a super stylish restaurant serving modern Spanish food. I highly recommend it! With it being a Monday we knew it wouldn’t be a crazy night so we finished off back at Soho House for more drinks. Knowing their guests are party animals, breakfast is served until super later 1pm, which was great for us as we didn’t make it there until 11am…
We had a quick look around the House which has a the Square Bar downstairs (including pic ‘n mix and a photo booth!), a Cowshed gym and spa and a cinema.
There’s also Cecconi’s on the ground floor, an Italian restaurant and Soho House classic brand, it’s a space available to members of the public whilst the rest of the building is for hotel guests and Soho House members.
Personally I loved Soho House Barcelona as it’s a lovely small and intimate hotel with a great vibe. The only negatives are the small pool and some people may not love the location. Hotel Arts is much bigger with more choice in terms of restaurants, bars and public spaces plus a much bigger pool though I personally think it’s lacking the atmosphere of Soho House, I prefer the beach front location. I’ve also stayed at Hotel Omm on a press trip which has a great location if you’re in Barcelona for shopping, a roof top pool and a Michelin star restaurant by the Roca brothers.
We wanted to do something a little cultural and not just spend the whole time eating and drinking and so we booked a tour at The Palau de la Música Catalana, a beautiful concert hall designed in the modernist Catalan style by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and inaugurated in 1908. I absolutely loved the mosaic pillars in the Sala Lluís Millet, a great hall in the building.
As well as the concert hall itself which represents a garden with elements of nature such as flowers, palm trees and fruit. There’s also a separate skylight that represents the sun and various other figures such as the muses, Wagner’s Valkyries and a bust of Beethoven. We even got to listen to the grand organ. The tour takes about an hour and we purchased our tickets on the door but they can be bought in advance online. The cost is 20EURO and the tours run every half an hour in different languages.
After our tour we were running a little late for lunch, I’d booked Bestial, a restaurant I’d spotted whilst staying at Hotel Arts on Barcelonetta Beach. But we arrived at 3pm by which time we would only have an hour to eat as they had an event coming in at 4pm. So we decided to head a few doors down to Agua, a restaurant I already knew.
We ordered up some of our favourites – honestly for me there nothing better than simple fresh seafood eaten on the beach with a glass of wine. Padron peppers, mussels, calamari and garlic prawns were in our selection. Hotel Arts is a five minute walk from Aqua and I remembered them having the best ice-cream ever so we headed there for a scoop and a chance to admire the famous Frank Gehry sculpture.
Finally, I really wanted to head to Park Güell to get some snaps for Instagram…I booked my tickets in advance and I’d highly recommend doing so as they can sell out on the door. Also make sure you don’t miss your slot, they give you a half an hour window and we only just made it.
I’d visited the famous park design by Antoni Gaudí my first time in Barcelona and it’s utterly gorgeous!!
However, you may want to visit early in the morning if you want to get your Insta shots because at 5pm it’s very crowded and difficult to get the perfect picture. If that’s not your goal, I’d still recommend going early as it can get uncomfortably hot and crowded. That being said it’s still my favourite place that we visited, particularly the beautiful mosaic benches and the chance to see where renowned architect, Gaudi actually lived for a while.
Of course our flying visit was over all too quickly but I have lots more Barcelona tips on my blog both for food and history. Until next time Barcelona, you were amazing once again!