Barcelona is a hectic city — swelteringly hot in summer, heaving with crowds, stall owners yelling, brightly coloured building, thumping flamenco.
But at the Hotel Miramar, you could be on another planet. On a hill above the city, but easily accessible by the Montjuic cable car which perches just in front of the hotel, the breathtakingly serene scenes of the city and the sea makes you forget the stress that lies below. Close by, in surrounding Montjuic, visitors can explore the Miro museum and botanical gardens, if you can tear your eyes away from the view.
The building is glossy art deco style, built in 1929 by King Alfonso XIII, with a cascading waterfall coming down as you enter the monochrome lobby.
The hotel’s spa facilities are one of its major plus points. Spacious sun-loungers are scattered around a deep turquoise H-shaped pool, where you can sip sangria and admire the panorama down the slope. But inside, guests are spoilt with a large fitness centre, jacuzzis, saunas, a huge indoor pool and a Turkish bath.
The 75 rooms are modern and open plan, with an enormous freestanding bath behind dark grey iron chain-mail curtains. The interior is earthy, with deep-pile chocolate rugs, buff leather sofas and dark woods. All have private balconies or terraces, with wicker chairs to lounge or read the pile of design magazines or plug your i-Pod into the room’s sound system.
A typical Spanish breakfast is served in a rectangular dining room or on the terrace, manchego cheese, tortilla, tomatoes and toast.
Those looking to spend the evening watching twilight set in across the city can book a place at the hotel’s Forestier restaurant, which serves up reliably good Spanish cuisine, compared to the many hit-and-miss tourist tapas and paella joints in the city below.
Rates: from €150 per night
Tel: 00 34 93 281 16 00