Style Modern, minimalist and Michelin-starred
Setting Hip heights of Zona Alta
Why this week? Chef Jordi Cruz has been an estrella fugaç (that’s how you say ‘shooting star’ in Catalan, in case you’ve ever wondered) of the Catalan capital’s already exceptional restaurant scene for a while, but now he’s really going supernova. So far this year, he and Restaurant ABaC have won a head-spinning, stomach-filling array of awards, taking home gongs from the Royal Spanish Academy of Gastronomy, Académie Internationale de la Gastronomie, Catalan Academy of Gastronomy and more.
Our favourite bits When you aren’t busy appreciating Cruz’s savvy chef-ery, you’ll find plenty more to like about this minimalist masterpiece, from the sleek bedrooms to the subterranean Elemis spa with its submerged hammocks in the relaxation pool. We’re particularly fond of staying in the Attic; it has two chaise longue-style love seats at the end of the bed and a wrap-around terrace with a Jacuzzi and shower, so you need never leave the room to enjoy the Barcelona sunshine. The bathroom has a limestone island in the centre with double sinks, and a Jacuzzi bath set up for colour therapy sessions.
Mr & Mrs Smith say… ‘Refreshed, we head down to dinner and take our place among the other well-dressed couples in the restaurant. At this point, I must hold my hands up and say that my favourite Spanish restaurants are the ones that only the locals know about; the kind of places with questionable 1970s décor that serve simply grilled prawns and langoustines on a bed of fresh salad. I am a little sceptical, then of a restaurant with two Michelin stars and a famous penchant for El Bullí-style experimental cooking. However, Mrs Smith (who, having grown up on fantastic Spanish food, can be incredibly fussy) and I are completely seduced. From the first mouthful of fabulous, nutty Languedoc olives to the final fork of exquisite mushroom, avocado and crab tartare, the food never stops delighting our tastebuds. In retrospect, my only regret is not getting up in between one of the many light but delicious courses to watch the chef and his team at work. But by the time we drifted contentedly past the kitchen on our way up to bed, there were just a handful of the team left doing the wash down.’
You say… ‘No superlatives are sufficient to describe the restaurant at the hotel (the chef Jordi Cruz, fully meriting his two Michelin stars, will definitely go on to become a huge phenomenon in the near future).’ — Sachin, GoldSmith