Spain Travel Guide
Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Bars / Hotel Tea / Spain Hotel / Madrid Hotels / Europe Hotels / Leading Hotels of the World / Melia Hotels / → All Tags
We just love a good play on words because while “staying dry” at Gran Meliá Fénix’s DRY Bar is possible, with an 84-page bar menu, it’s probably not the time or the place.
The bar, whose full name is the lengthy DRY Cosmopolitan Bar by Javier de las Muelas, has a tantalizing selection of bevvies that fall into categories such as DRY & Tonics, Exotiks, Sensory, and a full page of Beer Cocktails (remember we saw this as a trend during Cocktail Week?). But it’s really the Classics, as in martini classics, that the bar most wants you to try, because when you do, you join a select group.
Each person who orders the Extra Dry Martini (€13 or $17) officially becomes a—as in you get a certificate and everything—proud supporter of the “Javier de las Muelas Dry Foundation, created for the development of the cocktail world.” Your certificate states your martini order number, as does the martini counter above the Bar’s bar.
You’ll be drinking your lip-smacking, mouth-drying martini (gin is certainly the thing here with 60 varieties available) in a clubby, woody type of bar where you feel you can stay and sink into the furniture for a while.
It’s chic, it’s sexy, it’s in a seriously up-and-coming part of Madrid – it’s the Hotel Urso ('Bear Hotel'), which opened quietly last week. And “quietly” is the right word – according to this account in CN Traveler España (in Spanish, or via Google Translate), the hotel was firmly shut up with nobody around until the day before opening; and they only fixed the awning with the Hotel Urso branding on it the morning of the day itself. Mañana mañana, and all that.
Photo Gallery / Boutique Hotels / Melia Hotels / Hotel Design / Madrid Hotels / Spain Hotels / → All Tags
When we went down for dinner at ME Madrid Reina Victoria’s restaurant, Ana La Santa, at 9:45 p.m. while staying at the hotel, we were the only people in the restaurant. By the time we left at around 11 p.m., it was packed to the gills.
We headed up to the hotel’s super-swanky rooftop bar, The Roof: besides seeing one other forlorn-looking North American couple, it was empty. So we headed back down to the Ana La Santa Bar for cocktails and were surrounded by locals all just getting their after-dinner espressos as we reached the midnight hour.
By the time we hit the hay at around 1:30 a.m. the streets just outside the hotel were reaching a fever pitch. When we went back to the lobby at around 4:30 a.m. to check out, the loungey lobby was packed.
This is ME Madrid. (See the pics below!)
Google Glass Hotels / Google Glass / Hotel Technology / Spain Hotels / Wine Hotels / Duero Hotels / Country House Hotels / → All Tags
Google Glass in hotels is spreading. It started in San Francisco. Hotel marketers took it to Istanbul. Then it popped up in London. And now it’s been tracked to Spain, where a hotel and winery in an ancient abbey dating back to the 12th century has let it in.
Just one Glass for the concierge is not enough for the Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine in wine region Duero (hence the winery). Oh no – it’s bought eight pairs, and is touting them about to guests. As well as normal Glass activity, they’ve also loaded them with a video about the hotel and an art tour (shown above). There’s also a stargazing app so you can tell exactly what you’re staring at above the lovely vines (the grape kind, not the video kind).
But there is another, posh side to Mallorca. And in a bid to remind you of this, the Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa, which is perched on its own little cliff in Port Soller, has launched an insane-levels-of-luxury package – or, as they call it, a Superlative Mallorca package. It includes:
Bigger is always better, of course – or mas grande, mas bueno, as
people who don't speak Spanish they say in Madrid. Because not content with the three Novotels Accor already owns in the city; they’re getting another – and this one is going to be the biggest Novotel in the world.
The Hotel Convención – a gargantuan four star hotel a few blocks away from Retiro Park – is going to be completely redesigned, refurbished and will debut as a Novotel in 2016. Plans include a rooftop pool, business floors, and a children’s corner.
Hotel Bars / Hotel Gardens / Barcelona Hotels / Mandarin Oriental Hotels / Hotel Cocktails / → All Tags
They had us at mimosa garden.
Really, there’s not much else you need to know. Ok, maybe: Mandarin Oriental Barcelona is opening two outdoor venues just in time to catch that blazing summer heat. One is called Terrat, and is, unsurprisingly, a rooftop terrace. So far, so blah – what five star hotel doesn’t have a rooftop terrace?*
The other one, though, is called Mimosa Garden, which the hotel describes as “a lush courtyard oasis” on the Passeig de Gràcia, the main thoroughfare of the modern Eixample district. It opens every summer and was designed by Bet Figueras, the landscape architect who also did Barcelona’s Botanical Gardens. It’s shaded by olives, cypresses, holm oaks and oleanders, as well as lavender bushes and mimosa trees. See, they mean actual mimosas. But we’re pretty sure you could enjoy a mimosa under the mimosa trees. That would be nicely meta.
Soccer Hotels / World Cup Hotels / Hotel Sports / Hotel Fitness / La Manga Hotels / Spain Hotels / Murcia Hotels / → All Tags
The World Cup may start on Thursday, but for sporty Spanish resort La Manga Club, it aint got nothing on their upcoming summer camp.
FC Barcelona – ie the FC Barcelona – will be running its first official Football Club Camp at La Manga from 21-25 July. Bad news, guys: it’s only for kids aged 7-17.
Messi, Iniesta, Fabregas et al will not, sadly, be around, but each day will include five hours of training from Barcelona’s official coaches on one of the resort’s eight international-standard pitches, as well as lunch and “recreational activities” (which seem to include brushing of teeth – what?). Participants (male and female) will also get training kit and a special diploma. Again: sorry, it’s kids only.
There will also be shirts signed by the team up for grabs.
The price? Quite a bit less than you might expect, actually: €450 per student for the programme, or €950 including accommodation at the four-star Las Lomas Village in the resort (two children per room). If the child comes with their parents and stays at La Manga, they get a 10% discount off the course price.
Madrid already has a a plethora of beautiful (and affordable) boutique hotels, but in August one more will open. Hotel Urso (or "bear") is a design-driven modern boutique at the crossroads of three central neighborhoods: Chamberi, up-and-coming Tribunal and fabulous LGTB hub Chueca (we'll leave the bear jokes to you). The hotel is operated by Marugal who also manage the boxy Viura in Rioja, and the art-infused Square Hotel in Paris.
Hotel Openings / Hard Rock Hotels / Ibiza Hotels / Palladium Hotel Group / Party Hotels / → All Tags
A particularly rocking suite
Not content with lowering the tone in peaceful Bali, Palm Springs and Dubai (joking – you can’t lower the tone in Dubai), the behemoth that is Hard Rock will finally have a toehold in Europe this month, when Hard Rock Ibiza opens on June 13 in Playa d’en Bossa. At least they’ve chosen wisely with the party island – in fact, it seems odd that there isn’t already one there.
The room count has risen from the 480 proposed last year to 493, and as well as HRH standard accoutrements (Rock Spa – Ibiza’s largest, don’t you know – Body Rock fitness, Rock Shop etc), there will be an “outdoor concert terrace” with a 2500 capacity. Ellie Goulding, Snoop Dogg, Robin Thicke and, um, UB40 are already lined up to play it this year. Nile Rodgers, meanwhile, will play the opening party on the 13th.
Which is probably why we were so excited during our recent stay at Room Mate Laura in Madrid. Because, of course, we can barely stay in a nice hotel without a fancy umbrella being thrust at us by the concierge or the cupboard. But an offer of a raincoat? That’s a new one. A thoughtful one, too.
Hotel News / Hotel Openings / ME Hotels / Mallorca Hotels / Ibiza Hotels / Spain Hotels / → All Tags
Thinking of heading to the Spanish Balearic Islands this summer? There’s some new hotel competition coming to town on Mallorca and Ibiza, with Mélia’s lifestyle brand ME Hotels arriving on both islands.
Opening in May, ME Mallorca is located on a beach in Calvià (it's the former Beach House Hotel), and being next door to Nikki Beach you won’t have to go far to party. Poolside lounging can be done at the hotel too, at one of two pools, with SkinC spa and fitness facilities. Aura Managers – “the driver of the vibe and the leader of personalised service” – are on hand to help you with whatever you want. The vibe you’ll find in the rooms? Check it out below.