Barcelona Travel Diary-Moments of Luxury

Serendipity played its magic as we unknowingly arrived in Barcelona during Merci, the city's biggest festival of the year. The four day celebration set the city ablaze with fiery energy as thousands crowded the streets hopping from concerts to parades to firework displays. I'd never felt more alive or more tired. When we needed a break from the amplified sounds and the shadowed masses we retreated to The Mandarin Oriental, our serene haven away from home.

The hotel’s ninety-eight rooms light up in shades of cream and white with avant-garde furniture sitting well alongside oriental details such as large wall screens and wardrobes inspired by traditional lacquered Chinese boxes. The bathrooms, complete with dramatic oversized walk-in showers, are adorned with mosaics by Mutina and Bisazza. An equally dramatic atrium ramp draws passers-by from the busy central Passeig de Gràcia to the entrance hall of the hotel where guests can view the light filled Blanc restaurant and lounge below.

My mornings were spent swimming laps in the indoor heated pool followed by sweat sessions in the steam room. The peaceful and calming silence served as needed prep time for the day's influx of visual stimulation and boisterous merriment. How I enjoyed those moments! After all, luxury isn't just a noun used to describe extrinsic value. Sometimes, it's simply the sum of a few blissful moments.

At this point in the trip, I was dressing solely for comfort and my maxi dress from LAmade fit the bill perfectly. I layered it with a neon splattered tee and a new purse purchased in Madrid. My Elizabeth James sunnies (similar to this) from Rue La La didn't leave the bridge of my nose in Barcelona as they replaced eyeshadow. And yes, I'm wearing flip flops. I know, what a shoe flop!

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