The Magic of Barcelona

Indagare’s Content Director Amelia Osborne Scott just returned from a scouting trip to Barcelona and shares her impressions on the dynamic city here. 

A bit of magic pervades Barcelona. Some is obvious – this is the city of Gaudí after all – but most is subtle. And as in many layered, centuries-old capitals, the more time you spend in Barcelona, the more it enchants.

Related: Staff Travels: Indagare in Barcelona

On a recent trip to the Catalan capital, seemingly every moment transfixed me. I stayed at the grande dame Majestic Hotel where, instead of mints on your pillow at night, you receive a vial of customized perfume that perfectly jives with the day you’ve had. During dinner at the trendy new Bellavista del Jardín del Norte, a fresh-faced magician performed a sleight of hand over tapas. I gazed awestruck, enchanted by the ceiling of La Sagrada Familia surrounded by hundreds of tourists but, thanks to my incredible guide, having a deeply personal experience.

Related: Barcelona in Three Days

The century-old Majestic Hotel, which sits on the ritzy Passeig de Gracia boulevard, embodies Barcelona’s best qualities: deeply patriotic, traditional but trend-loving, very stylish and with a touch of whimsy. The hotel recently debuted its Royal Penthouse Suite, the largest (and possibly chicest) hotel accommodation in all of Spain. Occupying most of the ninth floor of the stately corner building, the suite was once the private home of the elegant Soldevila Casals family, and their legacy remains: a terrace with a hot tub (and views of the Sagrada Familia’s spires) sits where the grandchildren used to play with the pet turtle and “maxibar” (the minibar is the size of a walk-in closet) is a child’s dream of unlimited snacks. The space feels like a place that hosted countless happy family memories, full of light, sumptuous furnishings, fresh-cut flowers and cheerful ambiance.

Related: Neighborhood Watch: Barcelona’s Gracia

The best Barcelona trips combine exploring the fanciful classics – Park Güell, the Picasso Museum, the Gothic Quarter, meals at tapas institutions, espadrilles shopping – with visits to the hottest new spots, many of which have a twist. Auto Rossellon is set in a converted auto mechanics shop; Opera Samfaina offers diners an interactive journey through the region’s culinary history; Célerí features dishes with just eight ingredients each night; the concept design store La Nostra Ciutat celebrates Barcelona with artisanal offerings like stationary and quirky fine art pieces.

Related: Top Tables Barcelona

So read on for my list of favorite recently opened restaurants, plan a trip through Indagare and I challenge you to not fall under the spell.

  • Auto Rossellon: Inside a converted auto mechanics shop, Auto Rosellon is an airy Catalan eatery open from breakfast to late night.
  • Bellavista de Jardin del Norte: This large space celebrates different aspects of an ancient town and serves up fun and quirky renditions of traditional and international dishes.
  • Celeri: With a seasonal vision on food, the chef at Michelin-starred Céleri crafts his menu around eight ingredients and offers vegan, vegetarian, and animal protein based dishes for each.
  • Marea Alta: Boasting stunning views over Barcelona’s harbor, Marea Alta serves up delicious seafood dishes in an airy, refined atmosphere.
  • Opera Samfaina: Dinner here is a theatrical affair, beginning with an interactive journey through Catalonia’s culinary history.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a trip to Barcelona. Our travel specialists can plan a customized itinerary based on your preferences.

– Amelia Osborne Scott on May 22, 2017

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