Spain Travel Guide

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The World's Largest Novotel Is Coming To Madrid

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  Site Where: Calle de O'Donnell, 53, Madrid, Spain, 28009
July 24, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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Mandarin Oriental Opens - Swoon - A Mimosa Garden

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  Site Where: Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40, Barcelona, Spain, 08007
June 18, 2014 at 8:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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FC Barcelona Will Run A Summer Soccer Camp At La Manga

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  Site Where: Calle Golf, Los Belones, Murcia, Spain, 30389
June 10, 2014 at 9:24 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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Can Madrid 'Bear' The Arrival Of Another Boutique Hotel?

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  Site Where: Mejía Lequerica 8, Madrid, Spain, 28004
June 9, 2014 at 11:42 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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Hard Rock Ibiza Will Open June 13

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  Site Where: Carretera Playa D'en Bossa S/N, Sant Jordi De Ses Salines, Ibiza, Spain, 07817
June 2, 2014 at 10:44 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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The Rain in Spain Doesn't Matter With Thoughtful Room Mates

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  Site Where: Travesia de Trujillos 3, Madrid, Spain, 28013
June 2, 2014 at 9:56 AM | by | Comments (0)

Ok, so it may not be a turned down plunge pool or drone-delivered champagne, but sometimes, as your guru would say, the most pleasure comes from the simplest things.

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.

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ME Mallorca and ME Ibiza Are Getting Ready for Summer Season

April 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM | by | Comment (1)

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.

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Ferrari Gears Up For Its First Hotel, Coming in 2016, and Yeah, It's Red

Where: Barcelona, Spain
April 8, 2014 at 1:41 PM | by | Comment (1)

What you're looking at right now is the in-your-face rendering for the Ferrari Hotel. Ferrari, as in Ferrari, the car. And yes, this is for real.

Ferrari is planning their second Ferrari World theme park in Barcelona at the Port Aventura Resort (The first theme park is in Abu Dhabi.) When completed in 2016, it will be Europe’s first Ferrari theme park and Ferrari’s first luxury hotel.

Without much to go on about the details of the hotel, other than this picture, here’s what we do know so far:

The building’s shape is supposedly to resemble the front wing of their Formula 1 car. (Apologies to F1 fans if we've got this wrong.) The red exterior will be no ordinary red--it will be Ferrari "red", just as the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy, reflects the recognizable Ferrari "yellow."

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Grand Hyatt to Make a Grand Entrance in Barcelona at The Bullet-Shaped Agbar Tower

Where: Barcelona, Spain
March 31, 2014 at 2:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts may be opening their luxury brand Grand Hyatt in this rather pronounced building in Barcelona, known as the Torre Agbar (Agbar Tower.) It’s not the tallest building in Barcelona (at 38 stories, it’s the third tallest) but it is certainly one of the most talked about.

Anyone who lives or visits this artsy city cannot avoid the presence of this glass-enclosed missile. The locals have their own name for it, which we hesitate to print. Let’s just say there is a similar shaped building that graces (or not) the London skyline, known affectionately as the “guerkin.” However, we and others may see this tower of power, Hyatt sees it as their Barcelona address for Grand Hyatt.

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Sale Alert: Generator Barcelona to Offer Beds for €1 on March 18

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  Site Where: Barcelona, Spain
March 14, 2014 at 3:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Generator hybrid hostel-hotel brand always offers cool accommodations for an even cooler price but on March 18th you'll be able to nab a bed at the Generator Barcelona for just ONE EURO. No need to read that again. It really says ONE EURO.

The hotel is offering a 24-hour flash sale from March 18th at 1pm (local Barcelona time) to 1pm on March 19th. Here are the details:

· Guests can book as many beds for as many nights as they like.

· The sale is only for the dorm beds, not the private hotel rooms.

· It's first come, first served so you have to book fast.

· The deal is good for stays from March 18, 2014-March 17, 2015, a whole year!

· You will also be automatically entered in a prize draw to win a free upgrade to the Penthouse Suite. This room has its own lounge, kitchenette, and a huge terrace. Normally, it's €250 a night, but if you win, it will only cost you ONE EURO.

· Some more terms and conditions are listed after the jump.

· Sign up here to get early bird access.

Set in the Gràcia district, just a short walk from the epic Sagrada Familia by Gaudi, the Generator Barcelona features some incredibly cool spaces, including the lobby/social area which features more than 300 lanterns inspired by the city's annual Festa Major de Gràcia.

Room accommodations range from twin, triple, quad and dorm hostel rooms to private hotel rooms and the aforementioned penthouse suite. Hostel rooms typically start at 13 euros a night while hotel rooms go for 51 euros a night.

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Funky Friday: The Funkiest Hotel By the Funkiest Architect Ever

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  Site Where: Calle Torrea 1, Elciego, Alava, Spain, 01340
February 28, 2014 at 5:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for, and often find, a lot of wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.

There are many definitions of the word “funky”, ranging from a musical genre to less than pleasant smells. The Urban Dictionary, however, offers one that we like, “different, but cool, nice.” There are many hotels that qualify for this adjective and we are happy to give them due consideration. Today we revisit one undeniably funky hotel, Hotel Marques de Riscal, designed by the man who invented funky architecture, Frank Gehry, who is 85 years old today.

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Mandarin Oriental Goes Bigger in Barcelona, Adds New Rooms and Suites

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  Site Where: Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40, Barcelona, Spain, 08007
February 12, 2014 at 9:07 AM | by | Comments (0)

While we wait for its brand new hotel in Milan, Mandarin Oriental is giving us something new this spring in Barcelona: five rooms and 17 suites are being added to the converted bank on Passeig de Gràcia in April by expanding into a building next door.

That takes the total number of rooms up to 120, all done up by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, so we’re expecting a similarly understated look in the new accommodations as in the existing suite pictured above. Rooms and suites facing Passeig de Gràcia give you a view of Gaudi’s famous Casa Batlló across the street.

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