Hello again, just arrived back to the office from a weekend away with Hilton in Barcelona, let me tell you what I got up to…
Friday morning, I set off for my train three hours before my flight (which if anyone knows me, knows this might just be the earliest time I have ever arrived at an airport). Luckily, I was fully prepared for the train journey and spare time at the airport, as it was the semi finals of The French Open, so I took my laptop and enjoyed Nadal vs Federer. Now usually I would not be overly pleased that my flight was delayed but given that it gave me a chance to watch the whole match – I didn’t complain too much! Before I knew it, we were buckled in, listening to where the nearest exits are in case of an emergency and flying through the air.
No sooner had we taken off and I had opened my book (Sophie Kinsella – Can you keep a secret?) we had landed again in Barcelona. I picked up my luggage, and looked for my name on a white board to find my transfer to Hilton Diagonal Mar. After some serious traffic in Barcelona, we arrived at the hotel. I checked in, jumped in the elevator to the 20th floor and quickly changed before heading downstairs to M’ai for dinner and some drinks. Here I was greeted by the familiar face of my account manager Sue, along with the other ladies on the FAM trip, the DMC hosts and the hotel staff. We enjoyed a cocktail masterclass and got to know each other over a Pina Colada or two (maybe five....!).
Saturday morning started at 10am with a guided e-bike tour of the city. What a wonderful way to experience Barcelona! We started cycling across the beach, through Parc de la Ciutadella, along Diagonal and ended up at what is known as the best church in Barcelona – you’re probably thinking La Sagrada Familia (as I did) but no, it is Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar. One thing was very clear on the trip – we would be experiencing Barcelona though the eyes of the locals, not as a tourist. Getting to see the hidden gems of the city. After the cycling tour, we went to Curio Alexander Hotel for a site visit and lunch, such a lovely boutique hotel in the city. The hotel commits to refurbishing one floor of bedrooms in the hotel every year and the meeting space can open out to the terrace for evening drinks and dinners.
From here we took part in mystery hunt around Barcelona which the DMC had organised for us, we were given a set of clues that we had to work out in order to find the next locations and would receive some surprises along the way. We saw Gaudi’s Casa Battlo, walked down Las Ramblas, explored Mercado de La Boqueria, enjoyed some tap dancing, got a little too competitive with another team (running to the final venue, but we did win!) and enjoyed some magic whilst waiting for the final group to arrive.
Once the final group had arrived, we jumped back on the bus to Hilton Diagonal Mar to get changed and we were off to Hilton Barcelona for dinner. With a glass of Sangria on arrival we were greeted by the Director of Sales for an inspection of the hotel’s impressive meeting facilities. We were then taken outside to the terrace for dinner. We had classic tapas food, enjoyed a few glasses of wine and shared blankets on the sofas as the sun disappeared into the night. From here we went to FEROZ which Edgar (the senior sales manager of Hilton Diagonal Mar) described as ‘the best bar in Barcelona’ – a bold statement to make. I walked in and noticed the entire ceiling was covered in chandeliers, music was playing, and people were dancing on the tables!
The next morning we met downstairs in the lobby for a show round of Hilton Diagonal Mar (which I had been excited about since I arrived), starting with the ballroom on the ground floor, which would open out to a terrace area where the hotel can do drinks receptions and have even set up traditional Spanish markets for some clients. We then moved upstairs and saw the smaller meeting rooms which are part of the mindful meeting concept Hilton are are running. We then explored Purobeach, which was where I spent the rest of my day enjoying the sunshine!
Thanks for reading, and if you’re thinking about Barcelona as the next location for your event, give us a call today!