After a hugely intensive couple of weeks at work, I was delighted to travel with Le Méridien Hotels and a small group of fellow journalists to Barcelona, the bustling capital of Spain’s Catalonia region.
Le Méridien Barcelona Hotel & Family Suites
Le Méridien Barcelona is situated on Les Ramblas, 111, 08002 Barcelona, just a 4-minute walk from Catalunya metro station. Having left for my flight at 4.30am that morning, nothing could’ve been more welcoming that a pot of tea and a comfy sofa in the reception on arrival.
Coffee lovers will be pleased to know the Longitude café is manned by a master barista.
In fact, coffee is a theme that plays out strongly in the lobby’s artwork, with a sculpture formed from paper coffee cups, and further cups decorated by famous Spanish artists. These appear alongside a Gray Malin photography series entitled Poolside, Mediterranean and featuring colourful, 60s-glamour inspired pool shots.
And careful thought has also gone into how children experience check-in. A section of the check-in desk is reduced to child height, and kids are handed activity booklets and things to colour in while the grown ups do the necessary admin.
Through the dining room and stairwells, there’s a warm, fittingly mediterranean feel about the decor, that is classy without being pretentious or fussy.
Making our way up to a family suite on the sixth floor gave us a taste of what it’s like to stay at Le Méridien Barcelona.
Each spacious family suite is equipped with a Nintendo Wii, a dance game and two controllers, plus a range of treats and snacks.
It was clear pretty quickly that this is a 5* Hotel in terms of amenities, space and service, but they’ve managed to skip any snootiness, meaning families can feel completely welcome.
Le Méridien Barcelona Spa Roof Terrace
After checking out the accommodation we headed up to the rooftop terrace. Guests and members of the public can indulge in a spa treatment and chill out on the sun loungers while enjoying amazing views of the city.
Lunch was a taster of family dining at Le Méridien; fresh, fun and beautifully presented. I loved the attention to detail – how much would the kids enjoy tucking into this?!
We rounded off lunch with some beautiful cocktails and a chance to soak up the sunshine. The hotel’s Le Pop cocktail bar welcomes families, with a range of non-alcoholic drinks for children and adults.
This little creation was something else; two biscuits sandwiched with caramel, dipped in ganache and sprinkled with chocolate curls. Amazing.
Palau Gu?ell, Barcelona
After lunch we headed out to explore the stunning Palau Gu?ell. Designed as an urban palace by the famous Catalonian artist Antoni Gaudí, it’s a fascinating building which showcases the art nouveau architecture that Gaudí is renowned for.
When designing Palau Güell, Gaudí had to meet the needs of the Güell family’s private life, but also their extensive social and cultural commitments. You can see evidence of these two very different lives throughout the building.
The colours of the Catalan flag are echoed in details such as this stained glass window on the mezzanine floor.
The palace certainly isn’t bare; pretty much every surface is embellished. As well as Gaudí’s trademark art nouveau designs, a more traditional style is very much evident.
Traditionally, the centre of the building would have been an inner courtyard, but instead we have this amazing hall spanning three floors. Can you spot the small windows high on the walls? They were used by the original residents to peek at guests from the upper floor, in case they needed to change their attire before greeting them. Sneaky!
Walking around Barcelona
Next on our agenda was a stroll around the streets of Barcelona. I think wandering the streets of a buzzing city is the best way to soak up the atmosphere, and this really is one of those cities where you can find an amazing piece of architecture on every corner. As well as the famous Ramblas, we took in Barcelona cathedral and the crazy food market La Boqueria.
Our final stop was Mosaicco’s, a hands-on mosaic studio in the gothic district El Born.
After being wowed by the mosaic art on display, we learned about mosaic techniques and had a go ourselves. Gaudí’s ‘El Trencadis’ technique isn’t the super-neat approach you see in lots of mosaics; instead it embraces the idea of breaking something up and putting it back together haphazardly. A perfect approach for a beginner’s attempt – what do you think of my creation? Maybe it’ll look better once it’s grouted!
We packed so much into the first day of our Barcelona trip; we squeezed in historic landmarks, local culture, delicious food and drink, and hands-on craft, as well as sampling all that Le Meridien Barcelona has to offer. There really is so much to discover in this fabulous city.
Now hop over to read Part 2, and find out what happened when we headed out of the city to Le Méridien Ra!
Room rates at Le Méridien Barcelona
- From 199€ + VAT + City Tax per room and night
- 400€ + VAT + City Tax per room and night
All images © Emily Leary, A Mummy Too except the check in desk image which is by Chen Wenbo and reproduced with permission.