Seek refuge in the city’s sleekest spas.
Top up on tapas, shop to your heart’s content at Las Ramblas or trek up to the famous Sagrada Família church before strolling around the Picasso Museum. Each year, eight million tourists visit Barcelona making it one of Europe’s mostvisited cities. Known for activity, art and architecture, it may come as a surprise that Barcelona is also home to some of Europe’s most luxurious and relaxing spas. For those who wish to escape, AsiaSpa scours high and low for Barcelona’s best and the results are nothing less than impressive.
43 THE SPA AT HOTEL ARTS BARCELONA
On the 43rd floor of Hotel Arts Barcelona is one of Europe’s leading spas with panoramic city views. The spa is located 500m above sea level, so you will feel closer to heaven than the bustle beneath. The 3,000sqft duplex is divided into male and female zones with eight treatment rooms. It also features a wet zone including saunas, colour therapy steam rooms, vitality pools and ice fountains. But what truly sets this spa apart is its view – located between the city centre and the Mediterranean Sea with breathtaking panoramas of the beach in front and the city behind.
All treatments use Natura Bissé products, a prestigious Spanish skincare brand that won the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness’ ‘National Innovation Award’ in 2015. The 80-minute Diamond Rose Ritual Body Treatment is one of the spa’s signature treatments, and consists of a damask rose and diamond dust full-body exfoliation and deep massage with rose oil. The therapist starts the massage at the soles of your feet and works her way up to your scalp, concentrating on pressure points. To finish, a luxury rose hydration cream and a rose toner are applied. Post-treatment, you will be taken to the relaxation room, which has an outdoor and indoor area, to enjoy tea, nuts and dried fruit with magazines and a glass of champagne. www.hotelartsbarcelona.com
PREVIOUS PAGE: 43 The Spa is an urban haven at Hotel Arts Barcelona located 500m above sea level. CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: 43 The Spa features a wet zone which includes saunas; the Aire de Barcelona baths are housed inside a former meat storage building; 43 The Spa affords breathtaking panoramas of both the Mediterranean Sea and the city.
AIRE DE BARCELONA
Built under brick vaults, the Aire de Barcelona baths are situated in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, opened in 2008 inside a former meat storage building. The baths are a part of the Aire group, a concept created to recuperate ancient traditions of Greek and Roman bathing in restored historic buildings around the world.
Enter Aire de Barcelona ancient baths through large double wooden doors and make your way to the top floor for a deeptissue massage, which features a Moroccan design with beds separated by beaded curtains, candles and incense burning while Arabian music plays. After the massage, you can enjoy a peppermint tea around a fire.
The Moroccan theme continues downstairs, where the baths consist of a warm, ice-cold and hot pools. There’s also a peppermint-scented steam room, Jacuzzi and floatation pool. Start with 15 minutes in the warm pool to relax your muscles, then make your way to the first ice-cold one for another 10 minutes. Afterwards, head to the hot bath for 10 minutes, before spending a final 10 minutes in the second ice-cold bath. Alternating between extreme temperatures is said to improve circulation, increasing the rate of detoxification in the body which helps prevent varicose veins. Relax on the benches alongside the pools afterwards with champagne and chocolate truffles. www.airedebarcelona.com
SPA BY L’OCCITANE AT GRAN HOTEL LA FLORIDA
Tucked away at the top of Tibidabo’s hill and just a 20-minute drive from Las Ramblas is Gran Hotel La Florida. This castle-like building is regarded as one of Barcelona’s top luxury resorts and is home to the wonderful Spa by L’Occitane. The walls are painted fresh yellow for a summery feel, with vases of bright flowers generously placed around the entirety of the ground floor. But it’s the spa’s scent, a mixture of warm essential oils with fresh flowers, which truly transports you to Provence, where L’Occitane originates.
The water zone is made up of a Jacuzzi, steam bath, sauna, pressure showers and gym. There is also a 37m pool that begins indoors and extends across the top floor of the outdoor terrace showcasing panoramic views of Barcelona and a close-up view of the famous Sagrada Familia.
One of the signature treatments is the 90-minute Immortelle Divine Eternal Youth Secret facial, designed with anti-ageing benefits of the Immortelle flower. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, it is particularly effective for mature skin since it encourages the regeneration of new cells, also believed to be useful for treating phobias and aftershock when used in aromatherapy.
The treatment begins with a salt footbath and foot massage. Make-up is removed with immortelle cleansing products while the therapist analyses your skin. The Immortelle Brightening Instant Exfoliator is then massaged into skin and the Immortelle Divine Mask thickly layered on the face with a net placed on top. This stays on for around 25 minutes while your hands, feet and scalp are massaged. Finally, a hot towel is wrapped around your back, as pressure points are targeted to ease any lingering aches or pains. www.hotellaflorida.com
Spa by L’Occitane at Gran Hotel La Florida delivers a summery feel with fresh yellow walls, bright flowers and floral scents.
THE SPA AT MANDARIN ORIENTAL, BARCELONA
Ideally located on the prestigious Passeig de Gràcia, Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona is just a stone’s throw away from the famous Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter. One of the most luxurious and tranquil environments, The Spa is a perfect combination of Eastern and Western design. Unique treatments include Barcelona Spring in which wild mint, sage and olive oil are used to promote a feeling of calm and wellness, and Oriental Essence, which uses warm ginger and frankincense to relieve stress. You can also opt for a traditional Thai Massage where gentle rocking motions, acupressure and assisted stretching are used to relax and revitalise the mind and body.
One of the spa’s most popular treatments is the 80-minute Mriam Quevedo White Caviar Glacier Facial which aims to increase elasticity and define facial contours. The caviar mask has a warm, slightly tingling sensation and is followed immediately by a cooling oxygen mask which bubbles when applied to the skin, resulting in a firmer, more youthful-looking complexion.
The treatment rooms at The Spa are larger than most with a private shower, full-length mirrors and a remote-controlled treatment bed. Head to the relaxation area (a row of four beds separated by black-beaded curtains with a small kitchen at the end) after to snack on dried fruit and peppermint tea. www.mandarinoriental.com
SPA BY L’OCCITANE AT HOTEL MIRAMAR BARCELONA
Located in the mountain of Montjuïc, the five-star Hotel Miramar Barcelona is a former palace inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII in 1929. Despite being only 10 minutes from the city centre, the hotel is tucked away in the mountains and surrounded by the Patio de las Tipuanas. The facilities at Spa by L’Occitane include a fitness centre, four private massage booths, a sauna, Turkish bath, Jacuzzi, ice fountain, heated indoor pool and an outdoor swimming pool where you can relax and sunbathe before and after treatments.
The 90-minute Aromachologie Massage, which uses mostly lavender, tea tree and geranium essential oils is a popular treatment offering multiple health benefits.
Beforehand the therapist sprays L'Occitane's relaxing pillow mist over the massage table, and a relaxing essential oil blend underneath the bed as you breathe in deeply. Lavender can help ease anxiety and depression through its calming, sedative effects. Tea tree oil has been long used to calm acne and treat fungal infections, while geranium (traditionally used by the Egyptians to promote beautiful and radiant skin) is now used to treat acne, reduce inflammation and balance hormones. www.hotelmiramarbarcelona.com
THIS PAGE: Spa by L’Occitane at Hotel Miramar Barcelona is a calming oasis tucked away in the mountains yet just 10 minutes from the city centre. OPPOSITE PAGE: The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona offers a unique range of journeys to help guests relax and rejuvenate.