A Super Luxury Hotel just opened in the Paseo de Gracia, in Barcelona, a wonderful modernist Mansion.
“I will go with you to see a new monument” said Immaculate with some sarcasm, he knew her like the back of his hand and he did not believed her. “No em menteixis”, Manel said in catalan, later he continued in Spanish, “you know what little I like the surprises”. “Tranquil Manel, sere, not et fa be”, Inma was moved a few seconds, but she has recomposed and grabbed him by the shoulder, “will see how this weekend will be very special for you”, among teeth she whispered “perhaps both as to me”.
The taxi driver, solicitous, went to open the door of him vehicle, with great efficiency, drew a journey through the streets of Barcelona to confuse the variegated librarian. He did not succeeded, of course, Manel had enjoyed those streets a million times and he wanted and loved it in the most minimal detail, but did not protest, his inner self told him that he should be left make to Inmaculada. When the taxi stopped outside a well known door, he couldnt believes his eyes: was in the Casa Batlló Enric.
Who loves the Modernism loves the Paseo de Gracia, and, of course, knows the House Enric Batlló, work of the architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanova, designed in 1891 and completed in 1896, whenever he saw it, Manel remembered that, in the original project, all the plants had a tribune on the corner with Mallorca street, but had chosen to do only one on the first floor. Even so, the exquisite beauty of this mansion whose facade was made with stone, brick, wrought iron and ceramics was undeniable.
Everything was ready, as they had promised to Inmaculada, the concierge of the Monument Hotel (name with which had named to the recently opened hotel) received them in the street, and without allowing that the honoree was too distracted, began to explain the details of the building. “As you will see, Mr. Capdevila, to modernise the building to house our Hotel we have respected this architectural gem, safeguarding the façade, the main staircase and, of course, the beautiful inner courtyard”.
He explained that they had distributed in its interior 84 rooms and suites, which ranged from the 24 square metres to 85, occupying a total 8,000 square meters dedicated to the enjoyment of their customers. “They are, without a doubt, the main star for which the Group Condes Hotels has made this Hotel 5 star Grand luxury” said slowly, to make it clear, “understand me well, Capdevila, this new Hotel is already a member of the LVX of Preferred Hotels & Resorts collection in its own right, as they say”.
Oscar Tusquets worked on the draft, although were Carles Bassó, founding member of WE-Architects and co-founder of Cirici & Basso, and Tote Moreno of Factory UDA, who carried out the rehabilitation of the building of the Passeig de Gràcia 75. Inma had read that this last architect said about his work: “We have been extremely rigorous in the recovery of all the original elements of the building trying to put in value and adapt it to the characteristics of the new building and the current needs”.
Manel was admiring each corner of the building, trying to record the details while the Concierge explained that all the rooms have access to a balcony, either on the Paseo de Gracia, to the Mallorca street or to the inner courtyard of the Eixample district. He heard as they had managed to create an open space in the area of the lounge thanks to the structural reform, this was carried out by removing the walls of load and replacing by a large beam supported by branches of metal that focus the weight of loads in the new foundations.
The tone of voice of the interlocutor could not repress an emotional strangulation when he explained that the Martín Berasategui (7 Michelin stars) chef and his team (with Paolo Casagrande to the head) are responsible for the gastronomic offer. Thus, the Lasarte restaurant occupies a preferential space in the Hotel, and to complete the culinary offerings, the restaurant Oria covers another space (more modern) with marked Mediterranean character.
Mercè Borrell, the interior Designer, played also a prominent role, she has given priority to the recovery of brick walls, combining it with roasted tones and natural oak which is established in the pattern in many of the rooms, both in the indoor as in the outdoor. The oak becomes, with the permission of ceramic brick, in the absolute King of the decoration of the Hotel.
Manel agreed at that time of the Casa Batlló, his admired Gaudi, and could not help to feel an academic pride when he determine that these two architectural wonders are complemented, not only for the time of its construction or the surname of his promoter, also by the love that had been made the most intimate details. Proof of this was the excellent box stairs coated by white marble flooring, with colonnades of the same material, along with black carpentry and the wrought iron railings, form the most elegant contrast.
“And already we arrived at the jewel of the Hotel, the Suite Enric Batlló, your suite these days Mr. Capdevila” Manel did not understand very well what had said the refined Concierge, or, to be more precise, he had not wanted to understand, then he looked at his daughter, Inmaculada Capdevila, and, seeing his wide smile from ear to ear knew that it was not a joke: she had rented the main suite for him, sincerely, he didn’t know if give her a embrace or punish her for about twenty years, finally, he will decide more later.
Of course, the suite owes its name to the original owner of the building and extends by 85 square metres in the top floor of the hotel. It has a spacious bedroom with separate dressing room connected with a bathroom with jacuzzi, living area with kitchen and dining room. Its three balconies offer the best view possible of the elegant and emblematic Paseo de Gracia.
He had three days to enjoy the Super Luxury Hotel, and he was going to use it, definitely yes, he would use without hesitation the services which lent, its incredibles Loewe TVs, he would speak by the exclusive phones Jacob Jensen, he would sleep like a dormouse in the soft Egyptian cotton bed linen with 300 thread. Of course, he would happen hours in the bathroom cooling with the products of Jo Malone, of the Victoria & Albert bath and he would abuse of the independent cabin with effect shower Raindance.
His daughter spoke to him then of the MyMo Experience, an exclusive service that the Monument Hotel offers to enrich the stay of the customers, the face of Manel had rejuvenated, suddenly, twenty years. Didn’t know if he was going to enter the Wellness Center of the complex, or to use their products of the prestigious Swiss cosmetics firm Valmont, didn’t know if he would use the Fitness Room equipped with Technogym machines, weights, pilates and 2 types of sauna, although he did not rule out nothing. He rule out (in full) ask his daughter how much it had cost, he would have time to do it later.
Photo credits: Rafael Vargas