Reviews summary

( 1692 reviews)

17 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Great hotel, excellent staff.

Reviewed Thu 21st of March 2013

"My wife and I have just returned from a 5 night break over the May day weekend.
The reservation was booked through Amex FHR and we arrived a little early to check in.
The room was not quite ready and we left our bags with reception and went to explore the city and a late lunch. We returned just before 4.30 to find still no room, eventually we unpacked our suitcase around 6.30.
These things happen and the whote delay was dealt with in a very professional manner and I did not push the point.
From the Bell boy all the way up the staff were fantastic, this I beleive is what makes the hotel.
The weather took a turn for the worse and meant we took full advantage of the Bankers bar, room service and both the garden and resturant.
The only issue I had was mystery items popping onto my bill, again this was dealt with to my satisfaction.
The only real gripe is the shower is not usable and floods the bathroom floor, this was news to the staff, but i have seen comments before.
To my surprise the hotel even though quite new was starting to become a little grubby and some fixtures were slightly damaged.
As a glass half full kind of a guy, these little wrinkles are overlooked and I will use the Mandarin for my next visit."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 8th of May 2010

Great Location, Small rooms

Reviewed Sat 30th of March 2013

"This is a tough one – This Mandarin Oriental has so many plusses and minuses:

The staff is friendly and kind and they try very hard to be helpful, but some staff simply is not all that well trained or knowledgeable. But, that’s management’s fault.

The concierges need to get a better feel for the city and there can be quite a lineup of guests awaiting assistance. However, they go out of their way to be helpful and provide assistance. You could not ask for a more generous staff throughout the hotel.

The in-room check in is a nice idea, but the person who checked us in to our room didn’t show us how to operate anything in the room, which was extremely high tech. I have a feeling that was because she didn’t know how to operate the various gadgets. On the plus side, the rooms have all the necessary plugs and connectors in a nicely packaged box, however the plug location behind the desk made it very difficult to charge electronics.

Our room was extremely small with only one drawer in the closet; even the nightstands have no drawers. As we were staying for 5 nights and are traveling for two months, this made for a difficult stay. There was no room to store luggage or clothes.

Again, on the plus side, the breakfast was excellent and the breakfast staff was amazingly good.

Here’s the dilemma, if you like to get fresh air and keep your windows/doors open, you need to have a room on the courtyard side – half the rooms are on a main road, the other half on the courtyard. But, by about 8:30 am the schoolyard, which these rooms overlook, comes alive and there’s no chance of sleeping and the playground can stay active until well past 8 pm. In addition, we had jackhammers beginning at 8 am so the hotel could finish the Mimosa garden (now complete). However, if you prefer air conditioning, the rooms can be relatively quiet with your windows/doors closed.

The design of the hotel is imaginative and quite impressive, but it is simply not functional. The location of the hotel is spectacular, but we just don’t think it’s worth the price if you are paying rack. In addition, the Internet costs at about $35 US for 24 hours and the parking, which approaches $60 US per night, are ridiculously high—verging on the absurd,"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 6th of May 2010

Perfect Location, Great Service

Reviewed Thu 28th of March 2013

"Forget about the Ritz-Carlton - The Mandarin has it all - great location, quiet, discreet service. Sure, it doesn't have a Club Level, but, quite frankly, you're in Barcelona - Tapas Bars and great restaurants are everywhere! - Cal Pep, Xampanyet, Dry Martini - lots of power outlets with US and European plugs, if you go through Amex Platinum / Centurion, then you get the upgrades and free breakfast.

One word of caution - this is a small, European hotel - the rooms ARE on the smaller side."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 4th of May 2010

When perfect style meets Mandarin Oriental service...

Reviewed Sun 24th of March 2013

"I've stayed at a number of Mandarin Orientals but this is definitely the most stylish one. Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola did an exceptionally great job!!! The hotel only opened in December 2009 but the system is already perfectly running.
In the best location of Barcelona (Passeig de Gràcia), next door to Gaudi buildings, exquisite shopping and great restaurants you'll find a tranquil, stylish and charming island in hectic Barcelona. Night life and harbor are also close bye and in walking distance.
We stayed three nights over Easter in a Mandarin Terrace room (514) which was superbly furnished and totally quiet. The restaurant Blanc (for breakfast, lunch and dinner) is one of the nicest and well decorated restaurants I've ever eaten at. We just had the longest breakfasts in the mornings since the atmosphere is so great and the waiters so charming. The staff is not only very good looking but warmhearted and always with a smile. Even though the hotel was fully booked everything worked perfectly. The indoor pool and the steam room are also extremely stylish.
The check in staff was super friendly and efficient. The concierge knew everything and helped us a great deal with resos at restaurants (a MUST is "Bar Mut" (a five minute walk from the hotel. They do nice twists on Spanish cuisine (reserve well in advance)) and checking in for our flights.
The plunge pool on the rooftop terrace is not really for swimming but you can dip in and enjoy the beautiful views over the city.
By the time we were there the gardens were not finished but already looked relaxing and great.
The Banker’s Bar is also well designed and drinks are perfectly mixed. Anna is a great bartender.
When I return to Barcelona the Mandarin Oriental will be my first choice again.
We also checked out the W Hotel (loud beats throughout the entire hotel, super unfriendly staff with attitude (especially at all entrances), bad location, loud (mostly American) crowd) and the Grand Hotel la Florida (not even worth talking about since it’s totally run down).
If you want it nice with perfect Mandarin Oriental service, stay at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. It’s pricy but worth every cent."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 12th of April 2010

chris at the mandarin dining room made our stay!!!

Reviewed Mon 1st of April 2013

"My husband and I recently dined at the Mandarin Oriental during our stay in Barcelona with our teenage daughter. From the minute we entered to the minute we left we were treated like royalty. Chris particularty enthralled us all. He was personable, attentive and very knowledgeable. He made our evening a total joy, and the food was good too!!!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 9th of April 2010

Mandarin Oriental- Sorry not for me

Reviewed Tue 26th of March 2013

"Having a very enjoyable stay in The Majestic Hotel Barcelona last December, I noticed walking down Passeig de Gracia the New Mandarin Oriental.
Being a senior citizen travelling alone I promised myself that my next visit to Barcelona I would try this impressive looking hotel for a treat.

My booking was made two months in advance with a debit card for five nights, taking advantage of an opening offer of a third night complimentary- total rate Euro 1605.00
My choice of room was a deluxe terrace room overlooking ‘attractive gardens.’ I also requested a two hour extension for check out at the time of booking.

Checking into the hotel I was asked for a credit card. I only carry debit cards whilst travelling but I was told the Hotel did not accept debit cards.
The reason? A refund can not be given from a debit card.
The outcome? The total amount of Euro 1605.00 was taken from my debit card immediately, which was acceptable to me at that point in time.
I was then asked to leave a deposit of Euro 300 daily for incidentals which was totally unacceptable and unreasonable to me. After expressing my disagreement with this arrangement the amount was eventually reduced to Euro 100 with the proviso that if this amount was not used I would not have to pay again.
I was then escorted to my room expecting my luggage to be in situ having spent a long time at check in.
Two telephone calls later asking for my luggage it arrived after 25 minutes.

I was not given a key for my room at check -in because there was a problem with the 'system'. it was hoped to be corrected in a couple of hours however It was an inconvenience which lasted 24 hours, having to wait for a concierge or bell boy to open the door with a master key. Many guests were complaining.

De-luxe terrace room.
The room was very pleasant, light and airy, functional with a desk, easy chair and small table but the furniture was not of the quality expected in a five star hotel.
The king size bed was comfortable with a linen change every day.
The flooring is wood and I could hear people walking to my left, right and above. Also I could hear quite clearly the doors of the rooms to my left and right banging when closed.

The Bathroom
Robes, slippers, good quality towelling, appealing spa toiletries, with a good rain shower but it did tend to overflow into the bathroom if not careful.

The Terrace
The terrace, facing north overlooking the mimosa garden had one chair and a small table. Next door to the mimosa garden is a large sports ground in use all day and late into the evening, being floodlit. Football and basket ball is played and the noise is loud and disturbing so I had no pleasure sitting on the terrace.
Another disappointing factor was the terrace outlook also faces the back of several apartment buildings with washing hanging out to dry.

Blanc Restaurant and Lounge
I decided to eat in Blanc one evening and was immediately met by someone who suggested I sit in one of the ‘favoured’ tables at the side, seeing as I was dining alone. I hasten to add that these tables were only for two whilst other tables down the centre of the restaurant with cushions and probably more comfortable sofas could sit any number of people by pushing together the tables.
I gave my order for food, Montserrat tomatoes and goats cheese followed by Linguini. To drink I asked for ½ bottle of red wine, preferably a rioja. After much unnecessary fuss I was informed that they did not have ½ bottles of any wine. I then chose a glass of cava for my first course and a glass of rioja for my second course. Once again I was out of luck and they didn’t have my choice. To simplify things, I then requested just to bring me whatever they had available.
I waited 20 minutes for my first course to arrive with numerous waiting staff coming to offer their insincere apologies. The meal itself was reasonable but did not meet expectations, I found the waiting staff to be most insincere and fawning and I did not enjoy the evening.

The day before my departure I reminded reception that I had requested a two hour extension for check out, but once again this hotel let me down.

In all honesty , despite it's prestigious position , I would find it very difficult to recommend this hotel to anyone"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 6th of April 2010

Magical Service

Reviewed Fri 29th of March 2013

"Excellent Hotel.

Small rooms but cleverly laid out. Everything feels a bit special. The service is superb. The hotel must have a policy that no luggage should be seen in the foyer, as it is miraculously whisked away from you to reappear in your room/in the back of your taxi as appropriate. Very very good location too - and the buffet breakfast is a treat. We stayed on a 3 nights for the price of two deal which made our stay affordable and delicious. Recommended."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 3rd of April 2010

The best place to stay in Barcelona - can't wait to return

Reviewed Mon 25th of March 2013

"i have visited Barcelona quite a few times (25+) over the last 8 years or so - sometimes with my partner, on occasions with friends and now with my husband and young son. i have stayed in various hotels including the Claris, the Grand Marina, AC Miramar, the Gran Florida, the Hilton, 1898, the Hesperia Tower, Casa Camper and, without a doubt this is now my hotel of choice in Barca.

Contrary to previous reviews our room was large and spacious with a seating area and beautiful terrace. The pool is fabulous, the bankers bar a great place for a pre dinner drink and the breakfast was the best I have ever had in a hotel.

The location is fantastic and the design features amazing. Stay - you won't regret it."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 28th of March 2010

Despite excellent service/location, not a great value

Reviewed Wed 20th of March 2013

"I booked the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona based upon the reputation of the MO chain (I had never before stayed at an MO hotel), its location, and this hotel's opening special. Because the hotel opened in December 2009, I received one free night of the four I stayed there. I enjoyed my stay during which I experienced excellent service. However, the hotel has design issues and is not a particularly great value, even with the opening special.

The hotel is superbly located. It is literally in front of a metro station, across the street from Gaudi's Casa Batllo, and a 10-minute walk to the old medieval quarter. The reception, concierge, and bell-hop staff are excellent.

I was given a room on the first floor facing the Passeig de Gracia and found the sound-proofing sufficient. The room itself is of decent size though not particularly roomy and is filled with all the modern conveniences and some modern design touches. However, there was no tub (a downside for me), just a large, open shower/hand-held shower. To get to the bathroom you have to walk through the sink/open shower area. There was no bidet. The design is cool (the overhead shower doubles as a light fixture) but practically speaking has flaws. The drainage system is simply not adequate to accommodate the amount of allowable water pressure, which is adjustable, and one evening water seeped/flooded into the rest of the bathroom and underneath the glass shower walls to the bedroom and entry hall. I would suggest that to prevent such problems and the resulting damage to its brand-new floors that the hotel restrict the allowable water pressure in the shower. We solved the problem by reducing water outflow and did not again have an issue. I would also suggest that the hotel adopt a policy of at least offering guests the option of reusing towels/comfy bathrobes over multiple days to conserve energy/reduce waste.

We stayed in Barcelona during a period of very cold weather (it snowed 4-5 inches) and the hotel's common areas (halls/small lobby/downstairs restaurant) were extremely chilly. There really is no genuine lobby to speak of though this is the only area in which the hotel offers free wireless internet to its guests. Surprisingly, the hotel lacks a business center. So, the hotel provided us with a laptop and we paid for limited internet usage from our room. I'm not sure how the hotel would handle requests for printing-we did not try.

Given the room prices, the hotel should at a minimum provide free wireless throughout and/or create a business center as soon as possible. Other optional costs are high. A pay-per-view movie, for instance, costs an astounding 28 euros.

My companion enjoyed the indoor pool and steam room; the fitness room is basic/nothing special.

After driving around Catalonia for several days we returned to Barcelona and stayed at the Omm for our final nights, which I would have to recommend over the MO for its superior value and design."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 16th of March 2010

Great service! Great location! Some start up issues.

Reviewed Wed 27th of March 2013

"I am a fan of the MO chain. This is a neat little addition to the chain; however, it is not as polished as other five star hotels and still needs some work.

Positives: The staff, especially the concierge, were very friendly and helpful. They had great attitude and gave us the feeling that nothing was too much trouble for them. We used them a lot because we were out and about a lot and asked the concierge to print out taxi directions to everywhere we were going. They were alway prompt and nice in rendering their assistance. The bell hops and doormen were always extremely pleasant and helpful too.

The location of the hotel was terrific. We could basically walk to most restaurants and shopping we wanted to go to from the hotel. If not, nothing was more than an affordable 10 to 15 minute cab ride away.

Minor issues that need improvement: Housekeeping was not as prompt or neat as they should be. Once I left a dirty robe on the floor, and housekeeping just hung it back up instead of taking it away for laundering. Also, they missed our turn down a couple of evenings.

Our room was not as well sound proofed as it could be, although the noise would probably only keep you up if you were a moderately light sleeper.

The decor of the hotel could be "cooler." I understand that the appointment of this hotel is minimalist in style, but I still think it could have been done better. It lacks a certain "wow" factor, especially the lobby. Nonetheless, our room was very comfortable and the rain shower was a nice touch.

I would stay here again on my next trip to Barcelona if they could keep rates reasonable. We got a great "opening rate," which is a great way to experience the hotel."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 12th of March 2010

OK hotel but with start-up problems

Reviewed Sat 23rd of March 2013

"The general reputation of a MO property is good with an almost drive to exceed expectations. The MO Barcelona is trying but couldn’t exceed our expectations overall. Let’s start with some up side of this property. The location is really perfect and despite the noisy street, the rooms located at the Passage de Gracia are totally sound proof. The check-in at the reception desk was good organized with a complimentary drink of the house so the staff could prepare our room. After the drink we were escorted to our room and received a quick briefing of the equipment of the room. The room wasn’t that big but please consider, it is a city hotel. The equipment of the room is modern and light furnished. The facilities of the hotel are good, there is a nice swimming pool with a hot steam sauna. The restaurant “MOments” is a real treat, wonderful dishes with marvelous taste sensations. The staff of “MOments” are well trained and keen to service the quests. On all good things comes an end so hereby some negative points. The check-in was good but after we were escorted to the room wasn’t our luggage at the room and I had to call the reception asking when we could receive it. The bellboy at the entrance isn’t always that sharp when you arrive the hotel with a taxi. The Bankers bar wasn’t a success, the staff could be and must be sharper. It took too much time to get attention for signing the bill or ordering a new drink. The Spa is good but not perfect due the swimming pool with steam sauna is also to use for the regular hotel quests. It could be to crowdie which is a shame and doesn’t contribute to a complete SPA relaxation. Overall I will recommend this hotel and I’m sure that they will improve the flaws to align the hotel with their other MO hotel colleagues."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 9th of March 2010

Never again ...

Reviewed Tue 2nd of April 2013

"The new MO is, unfortunately, a big disappointment. Despite the fabulous location (on Passeig the Gracia, lovely street) and quite nice concept for the lobby & atrium, this is not a really MO property: room are very small, full list of troubles like no heating in the middle of the night, 60 minutes waiting time from in room service breakfast (instead of 20, as adviced), low quality food, flooding of the room when using the designer bathtub...

On the good side, I would like to mention the Bankers bar: nice atmosphere, reasonable prices..."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 22nd of February 2010

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