Words by Vivienne Day
In a city known for its good weather, good food and laid-back lifestyle, you might come to Barcelona seeking a break but you will leave invigorated and energised. Long days wandering down picturesque streets, late nights sampling tapas and cava (the local wine) and dancing ‘til the sun comes up: the city’s vibrancy draws you in and the whole place really comes alive after dark. Be ready to adopt a more Spanish schedule to get the most out of your visit. Start later and spend your days strolling around the city, soaking up the magnificent Gaudí architecture and stopping regularly at cafes to unwind with a coffee and observe daily life. Locals eat late so head out for dinner after 9 or 10 and then – if you fancy – check out one of the city’s lively nightclubs after midnight.
But when you’re looking for a real break from the buzz of Barca, make for the waterfront Hilton Hotel in the city’s newer eastern district. Inside, the hotel’s glamorous new Purobeach Barcelona offers you endless hours day of lazing by the pool and pure indulgence in a quieter part of town. Book a luxurious sun bed by the pool, lie back and you really don’t have to move for the rest of day. Staff will tend to your every need, bringing whatever you desire to sip or nibble to your day bed. Between glasses of Moet and plates of salad and sashimi you can sit back and watch the glamorous crowds. If you feel like a more substantial meal then wander over to the adjoining restaurant where I tucked into fresh fish, giant salads and piping hot patatas bravas. When you’ve had enough of lounging and eating, pop into the pool for a dip. Or indulge in the ultimate Barcelonan ritual: the siesta. After a day here, you’ll be relaxed, recharged and ready to head back into the crowds and addictive energy of Barcelona.