The movies have a lot to answer for. From Pretty Woman to Lost In Translation – some of our most treasured pieces of cinema feature a memorable hotel bar scene. Would Dustin Hoffman have been so seduced by Mrs. Robinson if their first rendezvous in The Graduate hadn’t been at The Taft Hotel? Up on the silver screen, the hotel bar is full of timeless romance and a delicious sense of the clandestine – it’s where the action is. It is also where you can rely on a mean cocktail and the swift efficiency of good old-fashioned service.
It goes without saying that you don’t need a room number to gain entry into the heady world of hotel bars. And with its generous helping of exceptional scene-stealing hotels per square mile, what better place to conduct a tour of hotel bars than the Catalan capital itself?
If for you, the words “hotel bar” conjure up sepia images of classic Hollywood, martinis and women in sparkly dresses, then look no further than The Banker’s Bar inside the seriously glamorous walls of the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona on Passeig de Gràcia. The building’s past life as a bank provides the design inspiration for the bar’s Zen-like glossy metallic polish, which is currently attracting a pretty fashionable and well-heeled clientele. You’ll also find a ravishing menu of bespoke cocktails, such as the Lychee and Orchid Caipirinha.
One downtown favourite at the fore of Barcelona’s highly competitive crop of rooftop vistas is Raval hangout Barceló Raval hotel. The proud owner of an especially impressive 360-degree wraparound bar, this place has drummed up a reputation as quite the nightlife destination in recent years and a secret spot for visiting DJs to spin a late night session.
If you like your slinky hotel refreshments served up with plenty of old-world Catalan charm, then look no further than Hotel Casa Fuster, one of the brightest jewels lining Passeig de Gràcia’s modernist crown. The Viennese Café’s black granite floors, pink marble pillars and gold-leaf ceilings will frame a cooling Negroni cocktail as you daydream about Barcelona’s elegant yesteryear.
Hotel Omm keeps it’s party shoe-clad feet planted firmly in the 21st century. The lobby bar strikes a cool chord with local regulars and devotees, who sink into the deep lounge seating to sip on artisan cocktails, whilst basement haunt The Monkey Bar has garnered a solid following for it’s parties and club sessions, where DJs spin anything from disco to jazz-infused house. So if you like your hotel drink shaken up with a dance in the mix, watch out for a brand new look and line-up fresh for 2012!
All that remains is to slip into your slickest outfit and begin your foray into the city’s not-so-secret society…