Hotel insider: Meliá Barcelona Sky, Barcelona, Spain

The welcome The glimmering Meliá Barcelona Sky, a 29-storey metallic-silver tower, stands out in a relatively low-rise part of the city. I’m taken up to The Level executive/club area on the 25th-floor for check-in, with free nibbles and beverages while I wait, before being shown to my room a floor farther up. The neighbourhood Just […]

The welcome

The glimmering Meliá Barcelona Sky, a 29-storey metallic-silver tower, stands out in a relatively low-rise part of the city. I’m taken up to The Level executive/club area on the 25th-floor for check-in, with free nibbles and beverages while I wait, before being shown to my room a floor farther up.

The neighbourhood

Just off the city-crossing Avenue Diagonal, the Meliá is a good base for sunseekers, about 10 minutes away from Barcelona’s beachy coastline. The rest of the city is easily accessible via the Metro – it’s five minutes’ walk to the Poble Nou station – and the city’s light-rail/tram system passes outside the hotel. The surrounding district has a sleepy, semi-suburban feel, with a smattering of cafes and shops within walking distance.

The room

My recently renovated, 26th-floor The Level junior suite is as lofty as it is swish. Through floor-to-ceiling windows, the views across Barcelona, including the Sagrada Familia, are an inspirational sight when you wake. Beyond, you can see as far as the hilly topography outside city limits. The suite is split into three spaces. In the bedroom, the main boons are a supersized bed and a 55-inch television, with some premium and Arabic channels. A pillow menu is available. The lounge features another 55-inch TV, a sofa and matching chair, an informal dining table/chairs, a minibar, a coffee machine and a large, free-standing iPod dock/speaker – you can borrow an iPod for free. The bathroom, visible through a window in the bedroom, is made for two, with his-and-hers washbasins and a double rain shower, plus a bath. The room has enough storage space for a minibus of tourists, with neat, hidden cupboard doors that resemble wall panels. All the spaces are interconnected, but cleverly separable via various regular and sliding doors.

The service

Mostly exceedingly efficient and full of Spanish cheer. Dinner, however, lets the side down.

The scene

The hotel’s decor verges towards edgy and industrial, with cheese-grater-esque corridor walls and mesh blinds outside the windows. The exclusive feel of The Level’s lounge provides a nice escape, offering a continental breakfast, as well as food and drinks throughout the day until 11pm. Le Pool Club terrace deck is deserted when I visit one lunchtime, which is perfect for uninterrupted relaxation. Wi-Fi is seamless.

The food

Unfortunately, I’m unable to sample the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Dos Cielos. The alternative – dinner at the ground-floor all-day-dining spot The Place – is below-par. I order mussels (€6 [Dh25]), but when my affable server apologetically returns with a tin of the molluscs sans shells, I at least expect them to be plated. A few minutes later, they’re returned with the lid peeled off and, err, that’s it. The delicious cuttlefish mini-burgers (€11 [Dh45]) almost save the day, until the vegetable millefeuille (€6 [Dh25]) never turns up. A poor show. Breakfast at the same restaurant is a buffet, thankfully without further dramas, replete with all the continental hot and cold options you would expect.

Loved

The suite, and a therapeutic couples’ massage (€79 [Dh326] each) at the YHI Wellness spa.

Hated

Dinner. The lifts and my floor’s corridor also smell oddly musty.

The verdict

For skyscraping class, dinner aside, the Meliá is up there.

The bottom line

Double rooms at Meliá Barcelona Sky cost from €155 (Dh640) per night, including taxes, breakfast and Wi-Fi. The Level rooms cost from €240 (Dh991) per night, including taxes, breakfast and Wi-Fi.

aworkman@thenational.ae

Source: art & life

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