Barcelona set the standard throughout the world in the 1990s for urban planning and regeneration in preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games. The poster child for the modern makeover fell victim to its own success as cruise ships and tourists poured into the city diluting Barcelona’s distinctive scene. Hip travelers shifted south to Valencia and across to Balearics.
Now, a new crop of hip hotels, the best nightlife scene in the world and the innovative and very chic Catalan cuisine are drawing savvy travelers back. Barcelona is far more cosmopolitan than ever and, with new museums and architecture, it is no longer Spain’s second city, but a world-class city.
The first place the new hipsters want to stay is Hotel Omm, offering visitors the finest Catalan dining, the hottest nightclub and a contemporary luxury hotel under the same roof. Form follows function is the dominant philosophy of the hotel even with the peeled-back look of the limestone façade giving way to the purpose of shielding guests from unwanted views and softening street noise while still allowing sunlight to illuminate the room.
The interior concept is based on simple lines and a fine balance of colors and volumes, as well as the use of natural materials without extravagant adornments. Black, rubber-lined corridors absorb sound with two tubes of light spanning their length creating a futuristic, spacey atmosphere. Doors open directly into the guestrooms’ wide-open space unrestricted by an intermediary corridor. Furnishings are limited to modular pieces with a lightweight metal wardrobe and an entertainment unit separating the bedroom from the bathroom.
Giving a high priority to spaciousness and cosmopolitan style, the lobby flows into a sleek bar, then the restaurant Moo. Moo features the increasingly popular Catalan cuisine, offering new patrons a comprehensive tasting menu. After dinner, guests can head down to the basement club Ommsession, a Mecca to the clubbing elite, as local artists create images that are projected on the walls.
Hotel Omm is a member of Design Hotels. Reservations available at designhotels.com