By Peter Terzian
July 10, 2019
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

The hotels T+L readers prefer when visiting Barcelona span the traditional and the contemporary. Two entries in our Top 5 are sleek glass-and-steel towers. With its gracefully curving silhouette, architect Ricardo Bofill’s W Barcelona (No. 5), which looks out over the Balearic Sea, is frequently compared to a sail. The guest rooms are elegantly minimalist, all white with a smattering of primary colors. “The best hotel I have ever stayed in,” raved one voter. Just down the waterfront, the Hotel Arts (No. 3), built in 1991 by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, has become one of the city’s architectural icons, as has the enormous Frank Gehry sculpture that presides over the pool area. “We stayed here a few days before a cruise and enjoyed our wonderful room and the gorgeous views,” wrote one reader. “It was well located for getting to the old part of the city for sightseeing.” Others praised the spacious rooms and sybaritic bathrooms.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

RelatedThe World's Best Awards 2019

Of course, if your tastes lean toward the Old World, Barcelona has fin de siècle elegance to spare. “You can’t beat the location,” wrote one reader of the magnificent Hotel 1898 (No. 4), which is housed in the headquarters of a former tobacco company on Las Ramblas, the city’s most famous street. The Hotel Majestic (No. 2) has been welcoming guests since 1918, and its embrace of high standards can be found in its marble lobby and handsomely furnished rooms.

5. W Barcelona

Courtesy of W Hotels Worldwide

Score: 86.18

More information: marriott.com

4. Hotel 1898

Courtesy of Hotel 1898

Score 87.25

More information: hotel1898.com

3. Hotel Arts

Courtesy of Hotel Arts Barcelona

Score: 87.32

More information: hotelartsbarcelona.com

2. Majestic Hotel & Spa

Courtesy of Majestic Hotel+Spa

Score: 87.47

More information: lhw.com

1. Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

Score: 91.83

More information: mandarinoriental.com

Fashioned by interior designer Patricia Urquiola, the interior of this sumptuous hotel on the Passeig de Gràcia is a mixture of luxe grandeur and a cheerful take on Modernism. But what really impresses T+L readers is the personal touch extended by its staff. “We loved our experience there,” wrote one reader. “The service was impeccable. Coming in from a late dinner in the wee hours, we were greeted by name.” Another agreed: “The team couldn’t do enough to make you feel welcomed and comfortable.”

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2019.

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