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At Crowne Plaza Barcelona we believe in a better world. Which is why we have brought to you the different iniciatives and projects that year after year we collaborate in!

Crowne Plaza Barcelona isn’t just a hotel in the Condal City. It is also a firm that throughout the year supports different actions based on social, cultural and sustainable values to look after the world that surrounds us. Here are some of our initiatives that took place during 2017!

These projects are carried out throughout the whole year as we firmly believe that by playing a small part we will together achieve important changes in the environment and our society. The list is long, so let’s go for it!

 

What social actions have we carried out at Crowne Plaza Barcelona?

Regarding social activities, we focus mainly in projects to fight hunger and dehydration.

Crowne Plaza Barcelona received the Rotary Club certificate for having donated 2.350 solidary menus throughout 2016 under the initiative “Alimentos para Necesitados” – A.L.P.A.N (Foods for Needed) who also belongs to the club. Furthermor,e we collaborated with the catalan initiative “La Fam no fa vacances” (Hunger doesn’t get holidays), where we collected 175kg of food to help the most needed during the summer. “BCN Comparteix el menjar” (Barcelona shares their food) belongs to Nutrició sense Fronteres, another initiative in which we participated by providing hotel meals to social dinings.

We also participated with “Restaurantes contra el hambre” (Restaurants against hunger), a solidary initiative by “Acción contra el hambre” (Action against hunger) together with the Spanish Hostelry Federation, fighting against childhood malnutrition. Crowne Plaza joined the Project by providing 2€ per each dish consumed at the hotel’s restaurant El Mall.

Oxfam Intermon Trailwalker in Girona: for the second year in a row, part of Crowne Plaza Barcelona’s team joined this 100km trailwalk collecting more than 1.500€ to donate to this organization. An action put together for women and girls that each day have to walk for hours in the search of safe drinking water. We also cooperated with the program “IHG shelter in a storm” by IHG in an organized “Nordic Hike” in Montjuïc, to support the fight against the effects of natural disasters.

oxfam-crowne-plaza-barcelonaIntermón Oxfam Trailwalker

igh-crowne-plaza-barcelonaIHG Foundation – Nordic Hike

 

All of this without forgetting about the toiletries that each of our rooms has, all of which are 100% fair trade.

 

How about cultural initiatives?

During Christmas a big part of Crowne Plaza Barcelona’s team donated their gift sets to the neighbourhood of Poble Sec, to a catalan NGO “Bona Voluntat en Acció” (Good Will in Action) which works to erradicate poverty in the fourth world. Aside from that we also gave toys to the little ones of this same area, because Santa doesn’t forget about them! We collaborated with this organization in another project “Hotel Tapa Tour”, where they organized a tapas tour and all money went directly to the cause.

lotes-navidad-cpbDonation of Crowne Plaza Barcelona’s staff gift sets

regalos-navidad-crowne-plaza-barcelonaToys for children in need in the neighbourhood of Poble Sec

 

The “Interhotel Games” are Charity Olympics where several 4 and 5 star hotels participate to collect funds. This 2017 the money was destined to “Nutrición sin Fronteras” (Nutrition without borders) and their project “Barcelona comparteix el menjar” (Barcelona shares their food).

Crowne Plaza Barcelona was the main sponsor at their charity event “Cena Solidaria Esclat”, a charity dinner where all funds were destined to professional integration and personal development of people with cerebral paralysis.

Regarding the big screen, Crowne Plaza Fira-Center also collaborated with the 4th Edition of the Asian Cinema Festival in Barcelona, organized by Casa Asia, who gave out a honorary prize to the movie “Redha” for the treatment and sensibility towards autism. Related to this illness, to celebrate the International Day of Awareness about Autism we illuminated our main façade in blue and joined the campaign #ConnectatAlBlau (#connectedtoblue).

Furthermore, our El Mall restaurant participated in the latest version of the Barcelona Restaurant Week with an elaborated tasting menu. Included in the price was a solidary euro which was then destined to ”Menudos Corazones Foundation”, a music therapy project for pediatric ICU’s.

 

In terms of energetic efficiency and sustainability, what have you done?

tesla-crowne-plaza-barcelonaTesla chargers for electric cars

 

We obtained the IHG Green Engage Level 1 Certificate, which means that all of our hotel’s facilities are designed under sustainable parameters and accredits us for one of the best practices in matters of saving energy and costs.

We also received the Quality Ecoleader Certificate Platinum Level by TripAdvisor that promotes the reutilization of bedding and towels, the use of energy-efficient bulbs throughout the hotel, a cautious control of the use of A/C and heaters, recycling… among many other aspects.

As in the tourism of Barcelona, we also contributed with our grain of sand by participating in the initiative “Barcelona Sustainable Tourism” where different projects are carried out related to sustainability, environmental and socio-economical matters surrounding the city’s tourism.

Our latest news regarding energy efficiency is that since last October we have added in our hotel two Tesla chargers, the number one company in premium electric cars, which are free to use and completely compatible with any electric vehicle from hotel’ guests.

 

As you can see this is a summary of the actions that we have been contributing with at Crowne Plaza Barcelona throughout 2017, and there will still be more. Most important of all, we are determined to keep on participating in solidary actions that fight for social causes, equality, the environment and culture, as we strongly believe in our values and the kind of world we want to be living in.

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A talk with Pau Santamaroa, one of the most renowned grower’s and land produce’ providers by gourmet restaurants in Spain

Now that we are venturing into autumn, Mother Earth has begun to offer many different products compared to those during the summer months. The look of our pantry has changed and we slowly transition from colourful and exotic flavours to eating more inviting ingredients, subtle yet very intense.

Taking this as our starting point, today we want to dig deeper into Pau Santamaria’s world, one of our most famous vegetable grower and provider that we currently have nationally. His knowledge towards the Earth’s products comes mainly from the passion that his dad passed on to him: deceased chef Santi Santamaria, owner of the Can Fabes restaurant already closed down and one of the most awarded Michelin Star chef in Spain together with Ferran Adrià, catalogued as one of the world’s best chefs.

Pau, where does your passion for the Earth’s products come from?
My dad was who passed on to me all his enthusiasm for cooking and the foods that the Earth gifts us. Since I was a small kid I lived through this passion and was always surrounded by mushroom-pickers and farmers from Montseny.

How did you start the project of distributing products to so many locals?
My wife, my father-in-low and myself are who all started this project. We were looking to reinvent ourselves professionally and it all began when the Via Veneto restaurant, with a Michelin Start, ordered us our very first command the day after I had personally visited them with a basket full of fresh vegetables for them to try and get to know our product. Ever since they turned on the engines and more restaurants started coming to us.

What is your secret to serve to high range restaurants in Barcelona and other regions?
Everything we produce is organic, and therefore the flavours and quality of the product we serve is excellent and very well taken care of.

Mushrooms are a typical product of autumn and you know that from first hand. Could you recommend any recipes using this ingredient?
In this case I’d definitely recommend one of my dad’s recipes, Santi Santamaria: Red Prawn Raviolis with “Ceps” oil, one of the most characteristic species of wild mushrooms in our region. In general this dish consists of serving the ravioli wrapped with the red prawn, and using as condiment glazed onion and mushrooms. Then, all you have to do is cover it with oil flavoured with these wild mushrooms, “ceps”. The result is extraordinary.

In what new growing techniques have you been part of? Could you give us some details?
One of the most relevant is the re-discovery of the hitlacoche, a fungus that grows in corn fields. In many countries it is considered a plague, however in Mexico it is consumed and even considered a gourmet product. Now we’ve discovered how to grow it here too. This year we’ve been growing a lot of green chickpeas, an ingredient that has been very solicited by the restaurants kitchens.

We would love to have kept asking Pau more questions but it’ll have to wait for next time. Until then, we’re pretty sure Pau will keep on adding value and knowledge to the agriculture sector.

If after reading our post you’d like to taste some of these delicious autumn flavours we’ve been talking about, come visit El Mall restaurant at Crowne Plaza Barcelona and we’ll surprise you with all the different flavours and emotions that this season’s dishes will evoke. Come and visit us!

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The most delicious recipes for this Summer… at 173 metres above sea level

Every season of the year has its own tasty seasonal dishes and Summer is not an exception. During these hot months dishes tend to be lighter and fresh, and still as tasty!

At Crowne Plaza Barcelona we know that one of the main factors to consider when looking for a new full gastronomic experience is the place. For this reason at 173 Rooftop Terrace we offer not only a selection of delicious dishes to enjoy every single bite but also a unique venue with enchanting views.

To open your appetite you can choose from the finest quality Ibérico charcuterie such as Jamón Ibérico de Bellota or a selected cheese platter full of intense flavours. For more you can also choose among our spicy bravas potatoes or some nachos with guacamole, cheese and Mexican salsa.

Honouring one of the Spanish gastronomic concepts by excellence, 173 Rooftop Terrace’ menu includes some of the best tapas and dishes to share: salmon tartar with side vegetables, barbeque chicken wings or a foie bombon with mango chutney sauce are just some of the delights that we offer.

In our new terrace menu we couldn’t miss out on fresh and light dishes such as our tuna ventresca or Ceasar salads, Salmorejo or artisan burrata with tomatoe, basil and nuts among many others.

And for those of you who prefer a warm and abundant plate you can choose from our different culinary options of meat, fish or greens.

As our special meat dish we recommend our first-class beef steak with a maturation process of 60 days and accompanied by grilled vegetables and roasted potato, although you can also choose from some some of the tastiest sandwiches with our star Burger 173, a beef burger of up to 200 grams with the chef’s special sauce, Jamón Ibérico, goat cheese and all with a brown ale beer.

If you tend to have more of a seafood palate we also have fresh fish straight from the market with natural herbal essence grilled or roasted. If you wish to go for something greener you can also try our grilled vegetables with romesco sauce, definitely a must-try!

As you might imagine we could not forget about the little ones of the family, we also have special dishes for them! Our kid’s menu has several options: from Bolognese pasta to chicken escalope, nuggets and pizza.

And as our final touch, the biggest temptation: desserts at 173 Rooftop Terrace. Apple pie with vanilla ice-cream, fresh fruit of the season, guanaja chocolate with vanilla and Macadamia crunch or our tiramisu… we wouldn’t know where to start with!

These are just a few of the dishes on the menu of our new 173 Rooftop Terrace by Crowne Plaza Barcelona, but it definitely doesn’t end here! Adding to all of these delicacies we also have a wide drinks menu: healthy juices, tea, coffee, cava wine, champagne, cocktails, appetizers or beers are just some of them.

173 Rooftop Terrace offers all of the flavours of the Mediterranean to make your experience at 173 metres above sea level the most delicious in every sense.

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Which of 173 Rooftop Terrace’ cocktails fits you best?

Now that the Summer is here it is the best time to make the most of hotel rooftops to enjoy the sunset and cheer with a drink or cocktail and friends. At 173 Rooftop Terrace in Crowne Plaza Barcelona we have a great variety of drinks and cocktails to suit all tastes. They say your shoes or watch will say a lot about you,… so what about the cocktail that best fits your personality?

Let’s find out if you identify with some of our proposals!

 

Cocktails
You are thoughtful and pay attention to detail, taking care and treating with care everything that surrounds you. You’re also a lover of anything exotic and different, tropical and interesting.

There are thousands of cocktail combinations for every personality. At 173 Rooftop Terrace, among many of our cocktails, here are some you may identify more with:

  • Dry Martini: the cocktail for the chic and classy. For simple personalities who look for a moment relax at the end of the day with a drink in hand. Someone who likes little but good, like the delicacy of a Martini with the taste of an olive.
  • Bloody Mary: the combination of tabasco with pepper and tomato juice make it the perfect mix for the passionate and adventurous, perfect for energic and extrovert personalities that are willing to try strong tastes with a touch of mischievous.
  • Cosmopolitan: for urban people who like simple things with a touch of glamour. They say it is one of the most feminine cocktails…although the mix of cranberry juice and lime sounds attractive for everyone!
  • Caipiriña: the drink for the warm hearted who enjoy dancing to the rhythm of Brazilian samba. The perfect balance between acid and sweetness, instinct and reason and depending on the moment, the best drink to let loose and let yourself go.
  • Mojito: original from Cuba, it is one of the most popular Caribbean drinks. Thought for those who are looking for something sweet but with character. Rum goes with strong personalities whilst mint is for those in search for a fresh and groundbreaking touch. Sugar adds the sweetness of audacity whilst lemon is the acid touch that is often needed to create a balance.

 

Aside from these cocktails, at 173 Rooftop Terrace you can also enjoy a drink of Rum, Tequila, Whiskey, Brandy, Gin and liquors. The combinations with these drinks are infinite, but you can also enjoy of the drink itself like a dry whiskey or brandy for those people who choose the perfect moment to take their time with their drink. Moments where one enjoys the taste of every instant. Those who prefer a more subtle drink can go with a a liquor or a Gin & Tonic, where every sip can be as cautious or vigorous as one decides.

However, if you are not a big fan of cocktails at 173 we also offer other drinks like Spritz, Vermouth or Martini, a wide selection of beers as well as Cava, wine and Champagne, or other beverages including teas, coffee and healthy juices!

 

So with all of these options, have you identified which of our drinks at 173 Rooftop Terrace fits best with your personality?

Come and discover more!

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Tips and advantages of sun bathing this summer in Barcelona, and getting a tan like nobody else!

When Summer arrives it is usual that we spend much more time outdoors: whether it is at the beach, in the mountain, doing sport or just relaxing at a terrace, which is why we all tend to get tan. And one of the best ways that we can think of sun bathing is by doing it in the new rooftop terrace at Crowne Plaza Barcelona.

In this post we have collected some of the advantages and tips for you to enjoy the best moments of this summer in 173 Rooftop Terrace.

 

Protect yourself!
Sunscreen is a basic you can’t forget. It is essential to protect your skin from the sun rays, specially between 12 and 4 pm as it is when it hits harder. Furthermore, it is important that you apply it on your body half an hour before exposing it to the sun and repeat the process several times to avoid unnecessary sun burns.

 

Tanning kit
When you have the intention of sunbathing, whether it’s at the beach, countryside or in a swimming pool, there are certain elements you also can’t forget. As we said before sun screen tops the list however you should also consider: sunglasses, a towel, flip flops, a hat, a book or magazine, headphones, some fruit, … and anything else you can think of to keep you busy under the sun!

 

Hydrate
Before getting under the sun you must check if you have water with you to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. By drinking small sips your skin and body will appreciate it! And if water doesn’t convince you, you can also try one of our healthy juices and beverages at 173 Rooftop Terrace.

 

Natural beauty
Don’t expose your skin to the sun if you are wearing any chemical products on your face or body such as make up, deodorant or lotion. It’s also not a good idea if you are wearing perfume or cologne… all of these products can cause sunspots on your skin!

 

Step by step
After Winter where we have spent days and months wearing big cozy jumpers and long jeans, our skin hasn’t been producing any melanin for which it tends to be much more pale than usual. When the summer arrives and the hours of sun increase it is highly recommended to start exposing your skin to the sun in small dosis, in order to prepare your skin and be capable of spending an entire day at the beach without harming it.

 

Smiles and happiness
Vitamin D is one of the main substances that our body gets from the sun and it definitely has a big positive impact on us, helping to improve our mood. What better way to absorb some of that happiness vitamin than in 173 Rooftop Terrace? Just because of its’ views, the stillness you can breathe and the comfort that it offers, it will increase your serotonin to the maximum level!

 

There are many places from which we can enjoy the rays of sun but if you add to it somewhere nice and comfortable, with amazing views and the best services at your reach… 173 Rooftop Terrace at Crowne Plaza Barcelona is your tiny oasis in the middle of the city. Don’t wait any longer and come and visit us for the best sunsets in town!

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173 Rooftop Terrace and the Montjüic Terrace, two of the best hotel’ rooftops in Barcelona

Would you like to drink a cocktail in one of the best hotel’ rooftops in Barcelona? Are you looking for the best city views or searching for the perfect terrace to host an event in Barcelona? Keep on reading!

At Crowne Plaza Barcelona we couldn’t be happier to share these news with you, the opening of two open air spaces that will take your breath away: 173 Rooftop Terrace and the Montjuïc Terrace. The best service at your disposition and some of the best views of Barcelona one can get.

Want to know more?

 

173 Rooftop Terrace

The dreamy rooftop terrace where anything is possible.

173 are the meters above sea level at which you will find our terrace, at the top of Montjüic where Crowne Plaza Barcelona is located. A privileged location in one of Barcelona’s most historical areas with a wide cultural and gastronomic tourism experience.

This perfect situation makes it one of the most unique hotel rooftops in town, with a 360º panoramic view that will let you see from Mediterranean’s horizon to any of the emblematic building’s of the city, such as the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s Cathedral, Tibidabo, the tower of Collserola and of course Montjuïc with all of its attractions.

173 Rooftop Terrace opens to the city to offer our best exclusive services not only to hotel guests but to everyone in town. Among the different areas that make 173 Rooftop Terrace you can find an exterior swimming pool, a solarium and a dedicated culinary space to enjoy the best Mediterranean flavours or cheer with our wide cocktail selection.

173 Rooftop Terrace offers unique and irreplaceable experiences in a cosmopolitan environment thought for you to relax and let go of time. An oasis in the middle of Barcelona. Want to come for a visit?

 

Montjuïc Terrace

The Montjüic Terrace is the perfect venue to organize all sorts of events: weddings, communions, business meetings, launchings, presentations… anything you can imagine.

This terrace also offers amazing views to the city. The National Palace with the National Art Museum of Cataluña (MNAC) as one of the main characters, together with the famous architect’s home Puig i Cadafalach, or the lights at night of the Montjuïc Fountain.

The Montjüic Terrace offers the perfect scenario to celebrate some of the most important and exclusive events in Barcelona. With the best expert team always available we want to make sure that every event is a success and that our clients don’t have to worry about anything but to enjoy the venue.

 

173 Rooftop Terrace and the Montjüic Terrace are your magical places in Barcelona.

Come and enjoy!

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San Juan’s Eve, a night of magic and tradition

San Juan, Saint John’s Eve or Sant Joan, is one of the most expected popular celebrations in Spain of June and the Summer time in general. The eve of the 23rd of June marks the beginning of the Summer, the endless days of sun, holidays, free time and watching sunsets from a rooftop. It is also a day of meeting with friends and family and getting to share this popular tradition, which is why we decided to bring to you in this post some of the most famous traditions on the year’s shortest night in Barcelona and surroundings. Had you heard of any of them?

 

Fire and bonfires
Fire is one of the main characters during San Juan’s Eve, which already reveals part of this night’s traditions. This midsummer night is all about making bonfires, especially at the beach. The tradition dates back to centuries ago when there was a belief that fire symbolized the welcoming of Summer solstice.

Another tradition that still lasts through time is the thought of fire’s light and heat to drive away evil spirits, as well as extending the amount of hours a day to give the Sun more strength, as from this night on the days start becoming shorter and shorter until Fall arrives.

 

Make a wish whilst jumping over a bonfire
It definitely is a risky activity, not suitable for minors and only to be considered if one is fully aware of the situation and its’ risks. During the night of San Juan many are brave enough to challenge the fire and jump over the bonfire while making a wish at the same time. If it becomes true or not, that’s only a matter of luck!

Get a taste of the “Coca of San Juan” and toast with a glass of cava

The “Coca of San Juan” is one of the highlights of June 23rd. This dessert consists of a pie made out of flour covered with glazed fruit and sugar. To go with the pie it is very common to toast with a glass of cava, a traditional sparkling wine from the provinces of Barcelona and Tarragona.

 

Fireworks
Fireworks are also a must on this summer night of celebrations. Explosions filled with colour and spark light up the night sky forming all sorts of shapes and forms and the sound of the firecrackers will be heard from far away. An authentic performance.

 

Swimming in the sea at night
If you celebrate San Juan’s Eve around the coast one of the most magical traditions on this night is to go for a swim after midnight when the sea is completely dark or waiting for the sun to rise, welcoming the next day.

 

Music and dancing
Almost everywhere you go on this night you will find streets and beaches filled with people celebrating and concerts and music going on. Those who make their bonfire will very probably be dancing around the fire. Those who don’t, will probably also be dancing under the moonlight.

 

Burn what is no longer useful
Like we mentioned at the very beginning fire is one of they key elements of the night of San Juan. Many people will follow the tradition of bringing with them what is no longer useful and throw it into the fire to burn. Furniture, paintings, clothing… or even last year’s school books!

 

Now that you’ve learnt a bit more about some of the most typical traditions of San Juan, are you in to join any of them?

 

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Want to find out the “mum prototype” you are or have?

Mother’s Day in Spain is getting very close and in Crowne Plaza Barcelona we cannot resist to celebrate such a special day.

There are plenty of mum’s in the world and every single one of them is unique in their own way. However, sometimes there are some things about mum’s that they share in their personality or in the way that they raise their kids which many of us will probably feel identified with. Some sort of clichés about them. For this reason we have decided to collect a series of “mum prototypes” where one can find out the type of mum they are or have. Let’s go!

 

  1. The supermum who can do it all

These are the all-rounder unstoppable kind of mums. Supermums are those who have the ability to handle different situations at the same time and that don’t stress! Definetely very admirable. Not only that but they also manage to have an incredible memory to cover all of their kids’ needs. An endless amount of energy and a couple hours of sleep will do for them to recover and confront the next day with their best mood.

 

  1. Cooking lovers

There are some mum’s who are great at cooking, some others that aren’t as good… And then there’s those kind of cooking-lover mums who put all their effort into slow cooking the best meals for their family. Pots and pans do not rest in that kitchen and their recipes probably exceed the creativity of many chefs around the world.

Cooking-lover mums who spend hours and hours inside their kitchens enjoying every step of cooking abundant, delicious meals made with all their love.

 

  1. The sportswoman

The habit of being active is healthy and good for you. However when you have an athletic mum there’s definitely some moments where one wishes that she abandoned her sport shoes at least for once.

Athletic mums will not want you sleeping in until late on a Saturday morning, they will very probably be taking you on a hike to the top of the mountain or get some waves at the beach. Who even mentioned taking a nap or a good “siesta” after lunch, there’s definitely no stop here and they will keep pushing you until you can’t keep on anymore. As exhausting as it may be, once the effort is over and you think about all the shared moments with her, you will definitely feel very grateful and very thankful to have done all those things together.

 

  1. The worrying mum

The majority of mums have written in their DNA “protect your little ones”. The love mums have for their family is beyond and this translates into worries whenever they fear something. The worrying mums will need to have everything under control, know who their kids are with, when they are coming back, and sometimes this will limit ones freedom due to overprotection.

As time goes by and kids get older, slowly the worrying mums will start calming down, letting go and trusting their personal autonomy.

 

  1. The lectionary

The lectionaries are those mums who want their kids to learn what life is about on their own. This means learning to fall and stand back up again on their own, the kind of learning based on test-error where they will slowly learn what is good and bad.

Sometimes these kind of mums will be a bit resilient to baby their kids and may even seem strict and harsh, however the reality is that they are protecting their children in their own way. They know there are tough times and they will always protect them doing their best: letting them learn how to protect and figure things out on their own.

 

  1. The patient and the impatient

Mothers have to face every day a constant challenge: patience, with probably many moments where they will have to take in a deep breath.

Those who are patient will know perfectly how to handle these situations, controlling their temper with no problem. But for those who are more impatient, that’s where the challenge comes in to try and stay calm.

Whichever your case is, both patient and impatient mums will share one same thing: there is not a kiss or a hug they will resist to.

 

These are only some of the common prototypes that we share worldwide. Surely by reading this you will feel identified with one of these mum profiles, whether you are already in the mummy or in the children’s team.

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Serena Spa, a new relaxation experience in Crowne Plaza Barcelona.

We have reasons to celebrate in Crowne Plaza Barcelona!

We can now say out loud and proud that we finally have one of the best spa services of the continent: the Serena Spa, by Heaven on Earth.

You might be thinking that we’re exaggerating, but not at all! In Crowne Plaza Barcelona we officially have the second Serena Spa across Europe. A luxury spa brand that belongs to the brand Heaven on Earth, with a high international presence and consideration especially in Asian countries such as Singapore, Seychelles or the Maldives.

The Serena Spa is a new spa concept based in Indian and Eastern treatments, places where the massage tradition and the study of the body’s wellbeing have been grown for thousands of years. Harmony, balance and rest are a priority and therefore the experience we offer our clients is based on relax, pleasure, peace and disconnection.

One of the most relevant and differentiating attributes that we have at the Serena Spa is that all treatments use 100% natural, chemical-free and cruelty-free products, values that faithfully meet our philosophy at Crowne Plaza Barcelona.

We offer essential oils with different fragrances to let our clients choose the smell and treatment they prefer, all surrounded by an intimate, warm, relaxed and minimalistic environment.

Aside from personal care and the constant search of relaxation and balance between body and mind, one of the main characteristics that we have at the Serena Spa is that we offer a unique massage in Spain: the Marma Body, a massage technique that requires of a very specific and specialized professional training.

The Marma Body focuses on 109 points across our body that correspond to nerve endings and that will work to achieve a profound relaxation of our entire body through these points.

Furthermore, the Marma Body at the Serena Spa in Crowne Plaza Barcelona we also offer other treatments to our customers: from beauty treatments or anti-stress massages to rejuvenation, aromatherapy, exfoliation or relaxation treatments among others.

One of the main goals at Serena Spa together with Crowne Plaza Barcelona is to promote a healthy lifestyle, looking for balance between the body and mind through good habits: a healthy and balanced diet, appropriate rest, meditation, exercise, and in conclusion taking care of ourselves as priority factors. For this reason at the Serena Spa we offer not only a gym but also a hydrotherapy pool with a waterfall, water beds, swan’s neck fountains and a cold water area. Clients can also find a steam bath, sauna, caldarium, multi-sensory showers and a pediluvium.

 

The new Serena Spa at Crowne Plaza Barcelona is the ideal place to relax in Barcelona. Because dedicating time to ourselves, taking care of ourselves and disconnecting is necessary. Because you deserve it.

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Books set in Barcelona to read this upcoming Sant Jordi

On the 23rd of April one of the most popular festivities in Catalonia takes place: Sant Jordi, their patron saint. What in other places is celebrated as the World Book Day, in Cataluña there’s a different tradition, a combination of culture and romanticism. A special day dedicated to couples, lovers, roses and books as the main characters.

In Barcelona’s case, streets become decorated with roses, books stalls and people who don’t want to miss out on this special day. Many writers join the streets to sign their books, whilst bookshops open their doors to show readers the best novels up to date. You can find as many genres as you can imagine but just because Barcelona has so much to offer, we have decided to list the best books that set their stories in the Condal City.

 

Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones
2006

Cathedral of the Sea has been one of the latest sensational best sellers there has been with their story based in Barcelona.

Falcones, the writer, after documenting himself in the city’s history, recreates the moment in which the Santa Maria del Mar basilica, located in El Born (or La Ribera) started being constructed back in the 14th century.

The history is set in the medieval times, a period in history where the Condal City lived a moment of fortune and success. The novel tells how the fishing neighbourhood of La Ribera decided to start one of the most ambitious architectonic projects at the time: Santa Maria del Mar, a basilica which would soon become the biggest religious marine temple of the time.

The book travels around some of the outskirts and neighbourhoods of the city such as Plaza Sant Jaume, where today you can find the Generalitat government and the town hall, and also Pla de Palau, the square that back in the day was Barcelona’s most famous as it was located next to the sea and was the door to the city.

 

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
2001

Carlos Ruíz Zafón makes the most of the Condal City to create a mystery-romantic story throughout several areas of the Catalan capital: Tibidabo Avenue, Las Ramblas, Plaza Real or the Gothic area are just some of the recurring sceneries.

The Shadow of the Wind is contextualized in the mid-20th century when you could still breathe some of the last splendours of Modernism until the post-war days.

This novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafón intertwines branches and secrets all together, focusing the whole narrative on Daniel Sempere, a boy who one day finds a cursed book at the Cemetery of the Forgotten Books. Since the moment Daniel reads the first page, he finds himself immersed among mysteries, love stories, intrigue and riddles. Without a doubt, the Shadow of the Wind has been one of the most outstanding best sellers of the recent times.

 

Last Evenings with Teresa by Juan Marsé
1966

With Last Evenings with Teresa, Juan Marsé takes us away from the touristic areas of Barcelona to talk about other neighbourhoods that throughout time have been forgotten. More specifically, Marsé’s story is centred in El Carmel, a quarter which in its’ origins was distinguished by being one of the most insecure and neglected of Barcelona.

The novel is based on a love story between two young adults, Teresa and Manolo, more known as Pijoaparte. Teresa is the daughter of a Catalan bourgeois family and Pijoaparte is a local of El Carmel. She is a bit blatant but with financial means and an “easy life”, whilst he is a mischievous boy who struggles in his neighbourhood and aspires to achieve a higher social status.

Last Evenings with Teresa wanders through all sorts of areas of Barcelona: from the high part of the district of Gràcia, to Turó de la Rovira or Plaza de Sanllehy as some examples. Everything is described with a very subtle sharpness doing a small recall to the tease that helps Marsé criticize the Catalan bourgeois of the times.

 

In Diamond Square by Mercè Rodoreda
1962

In Diamond Square is without a doubt one of the most renown novels set in Barcelona. The title refers to a square located in the Gràcia district, a neighbourhood where most part of the story takes place.

The narrative is contextualized in Barcelona during the Republic, war and post-war times and handles with care the story of how Natalia, also known as Colometa, lives her marriage. Many of the situations described in the book can be extrapolated to the majority of women at the time: doubts, uncertainty, submission, obedience, naivety, joy or happiness among some of the feelings that arouse while you read the novel.

 

The City of Marvels by Eduardo Mendoza
1986

The City of Marvels portrays in a very reliable way the evolution of Barcelona during the World Exhibitions that took place in 1888 in Ciutadella and in 1929 in Montjuïc. Both exhibitions transformed and made the Condal City known to the rest of the world, hence the name of the novel.

Mendoza takes us to that Barcelona generation that evolved to an industrialized society and economic prosperity. The sceneries that appear in the novel are several: Moll de la Fusta, the walk and the monument of Colón, the fountain of Montjuïc or the chimneys of Poble Sec as some of the iconic elements of Barcelona that come up during the story.

 

These are some of the novels set in Barcelona although the list could keep on. Barcelona inspires and makes you fall in love, so are you ready to join us and read one of our recommendations set in Barcelona?

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