Gran Hotel La Florida

Tibidabo Hill, Barcelona, Spain Book from

Uber-deluxe hotel overlooking Barcelona, with a spectacular pool, design suites and panoramic views of the city and sea
High atop Mount Tibidabo, overlooking Barcelona, is Gran Hotel La Florida, its crisp white towers standing like soldiers on a rich green blanket of pines. A sentry over the city since 1924, La Florida served briefly as a military hospital in the civil war and then as a favourite hangout of the jetset in the 1950s. Luckily, it’s the latter look that’s been recreated in an extensive restoration.

All the 5-star features you'd expect are in full force: scores of loungers on tiered terraces, a stunning stainless-steel infinity pool, a lobby filled with spectacular sculptures, an exceptional restaurant and wine cellar, and a hedonistic spa and fitness centre with saunas, steam baths and beauty treatments. And then there are the luxurious rooms, all with massive beds, limestone bathrooms and all kinds of high-tech amenities. Many also have garden terraces or balconies (some with Jacuzzis), and crowning the lot are designer suites created by internationally renowned artists. If you're seeking a sumptuous stay away from the mad buzz of the city centre, you'll love it.

Highs

  • The amazing L-shaped indoor-outdoor pool that seems to cascade onto the cliffs
  • Breathtaking views of the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean and the city of Barcelona, unmarred by development thanks to a swathe of protected natural land surrounding the hotel
  • Fine dining under the stars... and Catalan cuisine that's a cut above
  • The individually decorated designer suites: vast, worth the extravagance and, thanks to a rolling renovation, looking tip-top when we last visited in 2012
  • Perfect for romantic breaks and special occasions, although families are very welcome, too, with children's meals, colouring books, cots and extra beds - even a kids' spa menu!

Lows

  • Central Barcelona's shops, sights and nightlife are a 25-minute taxi ride away, so it's best suited to second-time visitors who want to dip in and out of the city
  • The wonderfully quiet summit setting is somewhat marred by noise from the nearby amusement park (although it's open only in summer and not very late)
  • There's a slight corporate edge to the glamorous ambiance - with 70 rooms and suites, the hotel is larger and a little more formal than the usual i-escape choices
  • The summer months can bring large wedding parties to the hotel

Best time to go

La Florida is a year-round hotel. In summer, its mountain-top location ensures welcome breezes and provides a lovely escape from the city heat. In winter, you can hole up in comfort and revel in the views. And of course the spa is a wonderful treat whatever the season.

Our top tips

The hotel is a favourite with players from FC Barcelona and has a great relationship with the club - football fans can ask staff to arrange tours of the stadium and book match tickets.

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 70
  • Restaurant and bars (open day)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pools
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room: Deluxe Room 208

Rooms

Since La Florida attracts the kind of guests who wear designer clothes, perhaps it’s no surprise the hotel has designer suites, all created by reputed artists. Cristina Macaya in collaboration with the Parisian painter Stefan Guillemet created the opulent purple Presidential Suite, where it’s not hard to imagine rich meals and deals going down. Then there's the more romantic Duplex Suites, with stairs up to hotel-top chill-out rooms, and the Terrace Suites, whose vast terraces have Jacuzzis and breathtaking views.

Even if your pocket doesn’t extend to the uber-posh, you can settle for the simply swanky, as the remaining 62 rooms are all very luxurious: grand double beds, spacious wardrobes, high-tech Bang & Olufsen TVs with movie and music menus, large marble bathrooms with walk-in showers, bathtubs, generous L’Occitane toiletries, bathrobes and custom-made basins carved out of stone... the only thing that’s mini is the bar. Even the smallest Deluxe Rooms, done out in soothing creamy shades, are larger than many hotels’ suites, with arched windows offering city, sea or mountain views. Terrace Rooms have private outdoor space, while Junior Suites come with separate bedrooms and lounges; some have gardens or terraces with Jacuzzis, others balconies looking out to sea.

See Rates for full details of individual room types and suites.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

In keeping with the beautiful people vibe, there’s a touch of Los Angeles in the food offered at La Florida. That city’s award-winning L’Orangerie restaurant has a same-name sister in the hotel, meaning there’s great Catalan-Californian cuisine to be enjoyed. That means lots of fresh fish and some cool combos - we loved our black rice with sautéed cuttlefish and clams, and the lobster salad with baby artichokes and toasted hazelnuts. Our dessert of cold white chocolate “coulant” with green tea and mint was utterly exquisite.

The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner, served in the opulent red and gold dining room or under the sun or stars on the terrace (complete with a retractable roof so it's usable year-round). As for breakfast, it’s a standard but extensive buffet, which on Sundays expands to form a brunch featuring a wide variety of Mediterranean dishes.

Wine-lovers will appreciate the 300 or so international wines tucked away in the cellar, which are all available to sample by the glass - just ask the sommelier on hand in the Lobby Lounge, where there’s also a selection of coffee, tea and herbal infusions. And if you fancy a cocktail or sandwich by the sparkling aqua pool, the Miramar Bar is well-stocked with drinks and snacks. Nothing like a light lunch with your shades and swimsuit on to make you feel you’re really grazing LA-style...

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Swim a few L-shaped laps in the incredibly cool stainless-steel infinity pool, then take to a lounger and gaze at the endless horizon

  • Pamper yourself in the spa, which has steam rooms, separate male and female saunas, a space-age oxygen pod, and themed treatment rooms offering everything from restorative massages to mud and algae wraps

  • Book a shopping day in Barcelona, complete with a chauffeur who will make appointments at the best stores, drive you around and carry your bags!

  • Or head out with a personal guide to see the city's cultural highlights, including the Sagrada Familia and the Barri Gòtic. The hotel can arrange city tours by car or the very manageable metro

  • Visit the mountain of Montserrat, where an 11th-century Benedictine monastery, home to the patron saint of Catalonia, rises more than 4,000 feet above sea level

  • Improve your handicap - some of Spain's best golf courses, set by the sea or in the mountains, are less than half an hour from the hotel. Golf widows can rent mountain bikes or hike in the hills behind the hotel and show who’s really in shape

  • You can also head to the hotel's fitness centre, where personal trainers and yoga instructors can be booked with advance notice

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

La Florida is surprisingly family-friendly for a glamorous hotel, and children are made to feel very welcome with colouring books, kids' meals and even a list of dedicated spa treatments. The pool is open to guests of all ages, and baby cots or extra beds can be added to most rooms.

Kids will love exploring the nearby amusement park, which is perched on top of a hill and is one of the oldest in Spain. There are also plenty of fun family attractions a 25-minute taxi ride away in central Barcelona, including parks, a zoo and an aquarium.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Baby cots can be added to all rooms, and some rooms and suites can accommodate an extra bed. The Presidential Suite can be booked with 1 or 2 bedrooms, and all rooms and suites have both bathtubs and showers.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

The restaurant has a children's menu, and sandwiches and snacks are available from the poolside bar throughout the day.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Colouring books
  • Indoor/outdoor pool
  • Special spa treatments

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Tibidabo Amusement Park
  • Barcelona Aquarium
  • Barcelona Zoo
  • CosmoCaixa (Science Museum)
  • Gaudí's Park Güell (fairy-tale landscapes and ginger-bread houses)
  • The beach at Barcelona

Distances:

  • Airport: 25 minutes
  • Hospital: 20 minutes
  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
8/
Food
8/
Service
8/
Value
8/
Overall

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Rates for Gran Hotel La Florida