FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

The City of Barcelona Lures Visitors for Memorable Events and Art

by Irvina Lew

Feb 8, 2022

PHOTO: © BARCELONA TOURISM

January/February 2022

As travel for events resumes, the urbane metropolis of Barcelona, which once hosted more than 200 conferences in a year, beckons anew as a welcoming destination for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions. The temperate, seaside resort city — which curves along the Mediterranean at the foot of Mount Tibidabo and a mountain called Montjuïc — sits in the northeast corner of Spain, about 100 miles south of the French border, easily accessed via non-stop flights from major gateways. Barcelona showcases an architectural legacy dating to Roman times, which visitors can view at Casa de l’Ardiaca, site of a portion of an early Roman wall and a replica of the original aqueduct.

Walkers along the narrow, cobblestone side streets winding through El Raval, Barrio Gótico, El Born and La Ribera value the centuries-old buildings, snack in family-owned tapas bars (La Cova Fumada), eat fresh seafood (Can Pepe) and admire the 14th-century Gothic basilica Santa Maria del Mar. La Rambla — the celebrated, tree-shaded, pedestrian promenade crowded with costumed street performers and lined with markets selling flowers and birds — stretches three-quarters of a mile from the Columbus Monument at the port, past the Miró mosaics to the modern city at Plaça de Catalunya. En route along La Rambla, the famous Boquería market dates to 1840. Its neighbor, the horseshoe-shaped opera house Gran Teatre del Liceu, also opened in the mid-19th century. Today the opera house offers a meeting space seating more than 2,200 within its extravagant gold and plaster interior.

Among the city’s four dedicated convention centers, where conferences convene in auditoriums, lecture halls and meeting rooms, the newest and largest is Gran Via Conference Centre — a venue of Fira de Barcelona, a major trade show organization. Designed by Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Toyo Ito, it accommodates 1,272 in one of its 70 conference rooms. The 1 million-square-foot Barcelona International Convention Center is an avant-garde, sea- front building which hosts 15,000 delegates, while another exhibition and meeting venue, CaixaForum, resides within one of the best examples of industrial modernist architecture in Barcelona. MICE attendees also have options to meet in the seafront World Trade Center or at fairgrounds, a beach club, a fútbol stadium (Camp Nou), an Olympic stadium and various museums.

Barcelona celebrates its Catalan culture, especially the legacy of artists whose work lures visitors to the city. Two different museums house the collections of Pablo Picasso, who was born and studied art in Barcelona, and Joan Miró, who created the eponymous foundation which displays his work. The city itself serves as the backdrop for the iconic and extravagant works by Antoni Gaudí. Inside the unfinished, Art Nouveau-style Sagrada Familia cathedral, begun in 1882, spires soar as light streams through tall, Gothic, stained-glass windows. On the rooftop terrace at the lavish Palau Güell, off La Rambla, and throughout the family’s phantasmagorical Parc Güell complex, colorful broken- glass and tile mosaics range across undulating surfaces.

Barcelona

© PATRICIO HIDALGO | DREAMSTIME .COM

Several 5-star hotels welcome MICE guests with ideal amenities. Two boast waterfront settings along Paseo Maritimo, a three-mile promenade between the two busy ports. The stylish Ritz-Carlton Hotel Arts Barcelona, situated near the Olympic Port and Frank Gehry’s El Peix sculpture, features huge, perfectly appointed rooms; a 2-Michelin-starred chef at Enoteca Paco Pérez; a concierge lounge; 32,000 square feet of event space; and a fabulous spa 44 floors above the sea. W Barcelona, nearer the old port, dominates Barceloneta Beach, the fisherfolk enclave with an array of authentic seafood restaurants, including seaside huts called chiringuitos. The sail-shaped hotel offers 473 window-walled, waterfront accommodations; a spa with an indoor pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi; and marvelous waterfront meeting spaces, including the Sun Deck, FIRE grill, Eclipse Asian fusion and the swank Sky Bar.

In a redecorated historic building, Le Méridien Barcelona enjoys an ideal location on La Rambla and offers fabulous street-scene views from the recently renewed Restaurant CentOnze. Schedule an event in any of seven meeting rooms, four of which combine into one; in the top-floor spa, with its outdoor deck and whirlpool; or on the Grand Terrace or Panoramic Terrace. Edition, a highly designed, 100-room, Ian Schrager hotel near Santa Catarina market and the cathedral, features meeting spaces in Bar Veraz; the speakeasy-style Punch Room; in penthouse suites; in the underground Cabaret; and on The Roof with a view, pool and fitness center.

Business visitors are lucky, indeed, when a meeting takes place in Barcelona.

UNIQUE VENUES
On sophisticated Passeig de Gracia, in the 19th- and 20th-century Eixample neighborhood, two of Gaudí’s modernist masterworks — both UNESCO World Heritage sites — offer one-of-a- kind, fantastical settings for events. Casa Milà, an apartment house known as La Pedrera, features ornamental balconies with piecrust-pinched curves on the roof and can host 250 guests. The vibrant Casa Batlló, which houses 100 for meetings, offers a series of concerts and performances that take place on the spectacular Dragon Roof Terrace, beneath strings of twinkling lights.
lapedrera.com
casabatllo.es

From Montjuïc’s Miramar cable car station, visitors soar over the old port to the popular Torre d’Alta Ma seafood restaurant in Tower de San Sebastian, a freestanding, 200-foot-tall, latticework tower which opened in 1931 and offers 360-degree views. The restaurant serves modern Mediterranean cuisine and can accommodate 120 people; you can book the whole restaurant for private events or selected areas for smaller groups.
torredealtamar.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
May 26, 2022

New Golden Rock Resort, Sint Eustatius

Golden Rock Resort, the upscale, contemporary lifestyle property, opened in 2021 on the remote Dutch Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius. Compared to many other Caribbean islands, Sint Eustatius (aka Statia) is not known for mass tourism.

Why the Future of Business Travel Might Look Different

Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.

Daily
May 25, 2022

Princess Cruises Launches All-Inclusive Premier Add-On

Princess Premier, a new add-on recently launched by Princess Cruises, offers cruise-goers unlimited WiFi, premium/top-shelf beverages, photos and more. The new offer builds off the popular Princess Plus add-on to bring guests a more comprehensive bundle and savings of more than 50 percent when all the amenities are purchased separately.

Daily
May 25, 2022

NoMo SoHo Hotel Launches Nation’s First NFT with Hotel Stay Experience

Recently, NoMo SoHo and its ownership, real estate and investment firm Sapir Corp Ltd., launched a curated NFT program, making NoMo SoHO the first hotel in the United States to offer guests an innovative way to book stays using blockchain technology.

TAP Air Portugal’s Porto

When American travelers make plans to visit Portugal, Lisbon is usually their first stop.

Daily
May 25, 2022

Celebrate the King During Memphis Elvis Week

From Aug. 9 to 17, Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, will vibrate to the sound of the world’s favorite Elvis Presley tunes as Elvis Week 2022 gets underway. This year’s event will be a fun-filled mashup of tributes, concerts, special events and celebrity appearances, including actress Barbara Eden, who starred with Elvis in the 1960 film Flaming Star and became a household name for her lead role in the long-running television series I Dream of Jeannie.

eFlyer Deals
May 24, 2022

New Surfing Offer at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

Celebrate summer’s arrival with the new Gili Go Surfing Summer offer at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives. In addition to three days of surf instruction from the pros at luxury surf company Tropicsurf, the multiday offer also includes a one-hour lesson in the calm lagoon.

Discover Egypt in Total Luxury with World’s Most Eminent Archaeologists

THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED

eFlyer Lead
May 24, 2022

Travel Edge Releases Travel Trends for 2022

With a network of more than 450 independent luxury advisors, Travel Edge, the North American leader in luxury travel, released a report on its findings for travel trends in 2022. No doubt the pandemic can be blamed as the main culprit behind many of these changing trends in travel, with travelers attempting to regain moments lost over the last two years.