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There is no reason to look any further for a perfect hotel in Barcelona- The Hotel Arts by the Ritz Carlton comprises everything a parent with kids desires.   As a mom traveling with her 12 & 14-year-old sons, I wanted a room that could accommodate the three of us comfortably.The the 44 story hotel has 483 rooms and room 2407 accommodated us perfectly.   The boys and I decided to plan this trip on our own-  no scheduled tours, no tour operators, no group travel just the three of us.  The Arts Hotel was the first home base on our adventure to Bilbao and was ideally situated seaside(a man-made beach with tons of sand from Saudi Arabia was created for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992).  The room featured a sitting room (where a roll away bed was placed) and two queen beds.   The views were of the city with La Sagrada Familia rising up in tribute to Gaudi from all windows.  The city view allowed the boys and I to plan our walking for each day, review where we had been and have incredible views of city lights in the evening.

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The first day was all about getting through jet lag and to 6pm when we were allowed to go to sleep (a 9 hour time difference is no joke).  We checked into the room early when we arrived at 8 am allowing us to shower and change for a walk around the harbor and to grab some tapas for lunch.   After lunch, we resisted the urge for a “power nap” and made our way down to the pool  and hot tub (awesome). Floating above the pool is the giant sculpture “Pez Dorado/Peix” created by hometown boy, Frank Gehry for the Summer Olympics in Barcelona.  Our pool attendant, Darius, was ever watchful and forced us into conversation when he saw us drifting as we gave him strict orders not to let us sleep.  Darius gave fabulous ideas for day trips (always best to have a local help you- sorry TripAdvisor, but I always give it to the locals) and was an excellent “First Barcelonian” to meet.

During our 2.5 day stay, the hotel proved an incredibly comfortable place to stay, but it was the employees that made all the difference.  The two women who cleaned our room, Irma and Nidia were lovely and left us sweet notes each day (I’m not kidding you).

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Of course, I am of the mind that anyone who makes our beds and brings us new towels deserves a daily tip and as a matter of course, I have the fellas write a note of thanks each day with that tip.  While we have this practice in any hotel we stay, I do believe that we are representatives when we travel and, unfortunately, our world seems to need more now than ever kindness and gratitude.   Ana, our hostess for breakfast, remembered our room number and names each morning had, on our last morning, the kitchen create a gorgeous farewell plate of chocolate and fruit brought to our table (again, I am not kidding you).  The gals at the front desk were ever-welcoming and helpful.  We can’t wait to return.  It was just a fabulous stay at a beautiful property filled with caring employees, a real joy.

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