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High Water

Barcelona’s Rooftop Pools
  • Melia Barcelona

    Melia Barcelona

  • Pullman Barcelona Skipper

    Pullman Barcelona Skipper

  • Hotel Claris

    Hotel Claris

  • Hotel Claris

    Hotel Claris

  • Grand Hotel Central Barcelona

    Grand Hotel Central Barcelona

  • Grand Hotel Central Barcelona

    Grand Hotel Central Barcelona

CHEAT SHEET
WHERE

Catalonia, in northeastern Spain, on the Mediterranean coast.

WHY GO

Legendary nightlife, numerous beaches and a thriving food scene have combined to make it the easy-living capital of western Europe.

HOW

Any way you like; plentiful direct flights, road and rail links, and a busy seaport.

TABLET TIP

The city is renowned for its gregarious tapas culture and subsequent late-night carousing over cañas of beer at the beach; don’t miss joining in. Just remember, the evening schedule begins later in Spain — crowds for tapas won’t start to assemble until 9 pm.

Barcelona, August, 2013

In Barcelona, rooftops aren’t a privilege of the lucky few, but a part of daily life. Look to the tops of residential buildings and you might see someone hanging up laundry, or tending to their patch of tomatoes, or just having a chat with the neighbor while watching the street life below. Of course the best hotels are less inclined to use their rooftops for laundry lines than for sparkling pools, and the views of city and sea tend toward the stunning. Whether you’re taking care of chores or, more likely, simply attending to your tan, Barcelona’s got a fine high-altitude hotel pool for every hour of the day.

Morning — Meliá Barcelona
If walking ten minutes to the beach and jumping headlong into the waves sounds a bit intense for the morning hours, Meliá Barcelona’s saltwater pool is just an elevator ride away. Open at 10 a.m., the pool is surrounded by comfy daybeds, with the distant, swooshing sound of the sea lulling you to back to sleep.

Noon — Pullman Barcelona Skipper
The midday sun burns hot this time of year in Barcelona, and you’ll be thankful for fresh fruit shakes and cool sea breezes, both easy to come by at Pullman’s rooftop. After a dip in the gorgeous pool, a fresh salad and a glass of cava, you’ll be ready to take on the brightest summer day.

Afternoon — Hotel Claris
Feeling like you should really check some of those world-class museums off your to-do list, but don’t want miss the opportunity for some fine poolside lazing? Hotel Claris has an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, and treasures from ancient Egypt, easy enough to browse on your way to the pool. Having dutifully gotten your culture fix, it’s time to indulge in the views, and perhaps their signature Wasabi Drop cocktail.

Night — Grand Hotel Central Barcelona
The name gives it away: this is the grand finale. After dinner at the surprisingly affordable Michelin-starred Ávalon, it’s up to the roof, where the sound of clinking glasses is a fitting soundtrack for the drama of a moon rising over the illuminated infinity pool. If you can’t bring yourself to go back downstairs, just stay out; Barcelona is a famously late-to-bed town, and anyway, they serve breakfast up here, too.

Ela Marx

BOOK THIS STORY

CHEAT SHEET
WHERE

Catalonia, in northeastern Spain, on the Mediterranean coast.

WHY GO

Legendary nightlife, numerous beaches and a thriving food scene have combined to make it the easy-living capital of western Europe.

HOW

Any way you like; plentiful direct flights, road and rail links, and a busy seaport.

TABLET TIP

The city is renowned for its gregarious tapas culture and subsequent late-night carousing over cañas of beer at the beach; don’t miss joining in. Just remember, the evening schedule begins later in Spain — crowds for tapas won’t start to assemble until 9 pm.


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