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Luxury includes natural space, and art and wine. Imbibe it all at magical Mas d’en Bruno, in the Priorat DOQ area 90 minutes from Barcelona. David Stein, above, waved his wand, turned a rundown farmhouse into a 24-room paradise. Opens April 2024 but ELF had a preview (main floor room 50, with private pool and terrace fire, feels especially wrapped in working vineyards). Lobby has David Hockney and Frank Stella, and a Ben Jakober rotating clock. Must-read books everywhere, ‘real’ food.
From Priorat, deep breath and back to city cacophony, to fashion-full Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. It’s literally sashay up a carpeted catwalk to the front door.
Get a Passeig de Gràcia-facing room, say #324, to see the street buzz - Chanel, Dior and Zara are under five minutes’ walk. The hotel’s ninth floor rooftop Terrat sees stars watching stars while pairing Gaston Acurio’s ceviche clásico with a house Martini, Roku gin, shiitake-infused saké, and a modicum of soy sauce.
At Arival 360, a travel industry gathering in Orlando last week, culinary and other experiences co-dominated trends talk, as did growing strength of passion over destination when it comes to choosing where to go. Barcelona has Gaudi and star-gazing - and Priorat in easy reach. It also, on departure, has a pinnacle VIP lounge, the Miró in Terminal 1, post-passport control for non-EU destinations. Enough space to dance. Instant connectivity, help-yourself nourishment. Kip in a sleep pod, perhaps a Jamón ibérico sandwich and Martini to hand.