The One hotel in Barcelona is in the epicentre of all things effortlessly and glamorous and outrageously louche. The surrounding streets bristle with globally revered names, Chanel and Brunello Cucinelli are barely a stone’s throw away and passing locals and tourists alike stare up at the front of the hotel with reverence and curiosity.
A sense of luxury is palpable the moment you cross the threshold and enter the hotel lobby, with the reception directly ahead of you, tactically framed by fresh flowers, and the bar and restaurant off to your left – a sea of monochromatic splendour with the light neutral beige of marble harmonising to create something aesthetically beautiful. High heels ring out clearly on the marble floor, and secret looks are exchanged via the burnished mirrored walls on the way to the reception. The guests of the hotel are young, bright eyed and extremely bushy tailed, never has the sexy face of Barcelona been more evident than at this hotel.
The interior design concept was spearheaded by renowned Chilean mastermind, Jaime Beriestain and has all the hallmarks of his well considered methodology. The interior designer has perfectly melded gorgeous design with seamless practicality. The junior suite in the corner of the third floor which housed me during my stay was a testimony to this, an innovative use of space and jaw dropping aesthetics abound. The bathroom doubled with the suite’s dressing room, which made moving from the shower into the arduous task of outfit choosing a painless job, no small miracle given that it is usually a task of Herculean proportions.
The oversized dark marble double sink (his and hers style) makes you feel positively Roman emperor-esque, especially when clad in the luscious toweling bathrobe which is a white as snow and as welcoming as the concierge three floors below. Pass through this bathroom-cum-dressing room and you enter a small lounge with a pleasant view out over Carrer de Provença below.
The lounge area is separated from the bedroom by a wall adored on both sides, no less, with high definition flat screens. The room whispers effortless chic, with the neutral colour palette continuing from the hotel lobby to the bedrooms. It is handsome and impressive without ever bordering on the gauche, or overbearing. The room gleams with tiny hints of gold as some of the strategically chosen fixtures and fittings glitter in the mood lighting; gold picture frame borders and taps in the bathroom, gold handles to the drencher shower room, just enough to make you feel that little bit louche.
A vast central glass column which allows torrents of natural light from the roof lures you back out of your bedroom sanctuary and summons you up to the roof, for the really show-stopping centerpiece of The One. The hotel boasts the most dazzlingly glamorous rooftop pool and bar, and truly has to be seen to be believed. Sun kissed wooden decking surrounds a rectangular pool which itself runs along the outer wall of the building. You are guarded from the sheer drop by glass, which allows you to perch in the pool, legs submerged, staring out over the Hermés orange terracotta tiled rooftops of Barcelona, squinting against the Spanish sun and trying to remember why it is that you didn’t quit your job and move out here before your skin becomes totally translucent from absence of sun, and fun.
Look past the outdoor pre or post pool shower, from which you can also enjoy the glorious view, and the Sagrada Familia greets you on the horizon, look the other way and it’s the Balearic sea. This is it, I mused, if I drop down dead now then I die happy. White tables run along the other side of the pool, with guests, all of whom look justifiably smug at having found themselves in this 89-room oasis of heaven, cradling mojitos from the bar.
‘Mood’ the hotel’s rooftop bar, which conjoins the pool and decked terrace area is every bit as sleek you’d anticipate. White cotton canvas clad chairs grouped in pairs catch the sunlight and the menu for Mood is light and with good range; fresh burrata or lobster and avocado roll are enough to tempt even the most staunch puritan. There’s plenty to choose from ‘to share’ at the grill, beef kafta skewers or octopus laden plates are carried swiftly to their destination as I stare greedily over my beer, trying to hide my shameless salivation.
The One is a mistress of many secrets as her assets do not end there, far from it. The hotel is also equipped with a slick little gym, the kind that looks like its potentially had more posing in it than gruelling workouts and so would be more at home in Stallone’s Miami pad than in a crossfit centre. It’s 24 hours too, which means that should you reach levels of guilt which shoot off the Richter scale following a tapas binge, you could, in theory, sculpt until the early hours.
Moreover, the ‘Despacio’ spa on the lower ground floor is most certainly not to be missed. Guests are greeted with an effervescent smile by reception staff and ushered through into the brooding black marble of the ‘water zone’. Grey cotton clad sun loungers face towards the plunge pool, and a neat, pale pine Finnish sauna is immediately adjacent. There is an excellent range of spa treatments, facials and massages, there is even a massage specifically for ‘mothers to be’. I did enquire whether they thought I might qualify for this following a particularly gluttonous lunch, but sadly that one was lost in translation.
I instead opted for a re-hydrating facial treatment having caught a little too much Spanish sun and done my ‘Brits abroad’ complexion proud by turning it a fine scarlet hue. The whole experience felt effortless and sublimely relaxing, the spa staff are ultra-professional, experienced and charming. I left feeling like I looked several years younger, sadly when I glanced in a mirror I remembered that miracles of this nature don’t happen, but my god did I look well hydrated.
The One hotel Barcelona is the ultimate, hedonistic retreat from the hectic gothic maze of shorefront Barcelona, it’s a haven of shameless self-indulgence and luxury where everything you could possibly desire is on tap. A sense of supremely attentive service is palpable the moment you arrive, without every feeling fussy or obsequious.
The experience is genuine, and utterly exemplary. Whether you’re taking in the unforgettable, panoramic view from within the emerald coloured waters of the pool, or at the bar with the next Mojito on its way, it’s a place to be returned to many times over.
Carrer de Provença, 277, 08037 Barcelona, Spain