With warm, sunny days for most of the winter, Barcelona may not be the first city that springs to mind for celebrating the festive season. But don’t fret—El Palace is here to quench your wintry desires.
El Palace Barcelona may be 103 years old, but this grand dame has never looked better. And it is during the festive season that she is at her most sparkling.
The festive program at El Palace Barcelona includes a rooftop Christmas cinema and Christmas market, a Swiss chalet-style restaurant, a live classical music concert with one of the oldest boys’ choirs in Europe, and Afternoon Tea with Santa himself.
Festive open-air cinema
Back by popular demand, the Christmas Cinema returns to El Palace’s dreamy rooftop garden. The setup is as idyllic as it gets: four cozy double wood cabins set among fairy lights and snow-dusted pine trees overlooking the rooftops of Barcelona, each kitted out with tartan blankets, cushions, and hot water bottles for guests to bundle up with. Festive flicks like Love Actually, Home Alone I, Elf, and Miracle on 34th Street all come with popcorn, hot chocolate and mulled wine.
Chalet El Palace: an alpine pop-up in Barcelona
Enjoy the best of the Alps without the hassle of the crowds at El Palace’s rooftop chalet. Decked out with red-and-white-checkered tablecloths, faux sheep furs, and alphorns, this Alpine-inspired ski lodge serves classics like raclette, or cheese fondue with optional truffles. The “cable car” (or elevator) will transport you directly from the lobby to the seventh floor.
Afternoon Tea and Christmas market
Afternoon Tea at El Palace is already a classic and rumor has it none other than Santa himself will be making a special guest appearance this Christmastime. Better still, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been naughty or nice—everyone is welcome!
When you want all the atmosphere of a Northern European Christmas market, with none of the terrible weather, look no further than the Christmas market at El Palace. Bringing together a curated selection of local artisans and craftsmen, this is the ideal spot to pick up something special for your discerning loved ones.
On December 21st, El Palace will host a concert by the Escolania de Montserrat. One of the oldest boys’ choirs in Europe, it comprises more than fifty boy sopranos and altos based at the Benedictine abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat.
When El Palace is not doubling as a winter wonderland, it is best known as one of Barcelona’s most stylish hotels. No surprise, then, that it is also home to one the city’s most exciting new restaurants. Launched earlier this year by super chef Rafa Zafra, ably assisted by Gonzalo Hernández, Amar has quickly become one of the hottest tickets in town. Shellfish and caviar reign supreme on an opulent menu that includes spider crab cannelloni with sea urchin, chicken broth and crispy chicken skin, and a delicious bite-sized brioche topped with butter and caviar, of course.
The festive menu also features seasonal specialties like the sweet green peas from nearby Maresme, nicknamed “green caviar” for the way they pop in your mouth (and their high price), combined with cod tripe, Catalan black pudding and truffle.
Staying at El Palace
El Palace Barcelona opened its doors in 1919 as the Ritz of Barcelona and the first five-star luxury hotel in the Catalan capital. More than a century later, it remains one of Barcelona’s most glamorous hotels, with 120 rooms and suites kitted out in its signature neoclassical-inspired style. Meanwhile, the signature Art Suites, created in 2016, have each been inspired by prominent former guests—from Ronnie Wood, to Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, and Josephine Baker. These six sumptuous suites are identical in size, featuring marble bathrooms and mosaics inspired by Roman baths.