Hotel Ritz Barcelona
The elegant Catalan art nouveau, or modernista, building on the corner of Gran Via and Carrer Roger de Llúria is Barcelona's former Hotel Ritz. Steeped in history, and classified as 5-star GL, it was the city's first luxury hotel.
It was designed by Eduard Ferrés, one of the architects of Catalonia's home-grown art nouveau. It had 190 guest rooms decorated in a sophisticated French style, with marble baths, walls painted with frescoes, large salons and natural planting.
The Hotel Ritz opened in 1919, after the Catalan politician Francesc Cambó convinced César Ritz that Barcelona was a suitable location for one of his hotels. Until then, the only Ritz hotels in the world were in major capital cities like Paris, Madrid and Rome.
This building, which dates back more than 100 years, has borne witness to the evolution of Barcelona's hotel industry, culture and society. It has also seen many historic and political events. The Hotel Ritz had to adapt when it became the headquarters of the Workers' Federation of Trade Unions of the Food Industry during the Second Republic. It was also a community canteen, air-raid shelter and blood bank during the Spanish Civil War.
Put in a nutshell, the Hotel Ritz is a symbol of luxury in Barcelona. However, it lost its name after a long and drawn-out legal battle, and is currently called the Hotel Palace.
Dinner in honour of Albert Einstein at the Hotel Ritz - 27/2/1923
The walls of the Hotel Ritz hold the secrets of celebrities like Cary Grant, Sofia Loren, Madonna, Noor of Jordan, Michael Douglas, Sean Connery, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Paul McCartney and Camilo José Cela. The eccentric artist Salvador Dalí lived for a time at the hotel and the finest suite is named in his honour.
The Hotel Ritz is also one of the places you can visit on the Einstein Trail. On 27th February 1923, the proponent of the theory of relativity attended a dinner in his honour at the Hotel Ritz in Barcelona. Politicians and scientists from the city attended and ate delicious dishes with mysterious names. Did you know Albert Einstein spent six days in Barcelona?
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