Recently, my husband and I boarded a world-class Viking cruise, and it departed from Barcelona. Where to stay? And where do I recommend? The Kimpton Vividora. It charmed us from the get-go, and even though it’s small in size, it looms large in stature – and luxury. This property is the first hotel in Spain from Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and the first luxury hotel in Barcelona from IHG.
Years ago, when Kimpton first launched its brand, I remember that its tagline was, “We Sell Sleep.” That is still true. After flying into Barcelona, we absolutely crashed in Room 421 for hours, and we were quite cozy, although the room, like many European hotel rooms, was small. I couldn’t get more details about the mattress – but it was a superb sleep, and after the torture of commercial air travel, our room was a haven of rest and hospitality. One of its most adorable features was the vintage phone, which you could use to call the front desk. Kimpton is also known for its “Forgot it? We Got It” bag filled with mouthwash, imported Italian Marvis toothpaste and other useful items, from sanitizer to sunscreen.
It’s important to note that hotel has European outlets, so you need to bring your own or borrow an adapter from the front desk.
Located in the triangle formed by Portal del Ángel, Las Ramblas and Plaça Catalunya, Kimpton Vividora is located in the Gothic Quarter, which can be appreciated from the hotel’s lookout located on the roof, with excellent views of the surroundings. Upon entering the hotel, we were struck by the very attentive service – though the lobby is small and compact, there were several staff members on hand to make sure that your needs were addressed. The hotel, in a really great move, also offers several bicycles that you can rent for free to take in all of the local sights. On the plus side, the hotel is located just 20 minutes from the airport and seaport – so it’s in a great location from where you can make your connections.
This boutique hotel, in addition to its 156 timeless and cosmopolitan rooms, offers three well-differentiated gastronomic venues. Included under the Casa de Vivi concept, which appeals to the comfort of being at home when you are away from home, the hotel features Fauna, GOT Coffee & Cocktails on the first floor and Terraza de Vivi, a rooftop location near the pool on the roof.
We dined at Fauna one evening, and the menu was quite impressive. It featured handcut, corn-fed Iberian ham; a cheese cart with porcini-and-almond-milk croquettes ( a specialty of the house); acorn-fed duck with pears; broccolini with carrots, kale and marinated tomato salad (the fresh tomatoes were extremely delicious); and Normandy oysters. Definitely too gastronomical for our tastes – but we were impressed nonetheless. For dessert, we sampled the World of Chocolate featuring sponge cake, chocolate “sand,” ice cream, mousse and a candy bar. Yum! (I had a portion the size of the Gothic Quarter…)
An important part of Kimpton Vividora’s DNA is reflected in the frequent activities that the hotel offers so that anyone who wants to can enjoy its essence. A clear example is the Social Hour, present in all Kimpton hotels where, every afternoon, from 6 pm to 7 pm, free wine is offered to all guests so that they can meet and feel that they are part of the Kimpton community, giving them the opportunity to socialize and meet new people. At Kimpton Vividora, this experience can be enjoyed at GOT.
Furthermore, the hotel has always welcomed pets. Said a company spokesperson: “At Kimpton, we’ve always loved pets. Bill Kimpton himself would bring his dog, Chianti, to work because they were best friends and he knew that dogs lift people’s spirits. So we’ve always encouraged guests to bring their own Chiantis to Kimpton. Any size, any weight, any breed. If your pet can fit through the door, we welcome them in without extra charge. We’ve long offered pet-friendly amenities like pet-bed loaners in guest rooms, water bowls, mats, courtesy bags and a concierge list of nearby pet-friendly restaurants, parks, groomers and pet boutiques.”
In addition, Kimpton Vividora Hotel also offers additional services such as the Wellness Room (great for a massage featuring locally made Spanish products) and a 24-hour gym. I have to say: the gym was really too small, as it was situated in what would have been a tiny guest room. It had very minimal equipment, and really could not accommodate more than two people at a time (and that was pushing the envelope). I worked out while there was another hotel guest in the fitness center, and there really was no room for the two of us. It features one exercise bike, an elliptical machine, free weights, plus a few kettlebells and a weight bench. (In addition, all rooms have a yoga mat, as well as access to free classes during the summer on the rooftop, usually at sunrise.) The property also offers skateboards free of charge. And coming soon – get ready –are longboards for surfing!
So you can hang ten before you take advantage of tapas.
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