Founded in 1956 in Palma da Mallorca, Spain, Meliá Hotels International is one of the largest hotel companies in the world, and the biggest hotel chain in Spain. The company currently operates more than 370 hotels in 43 countries, across four continents. More than 100 of these properties are located in Spain, where it all began for this prosperous and world-class hospitality brand.

The company is also a trailblazer in its home country’s tourist sector when it comes to sustainability and corporate social responsibility: they recently announced that single-use plastics will be eliminated from all Meliá properties by the end of 2018. The brand also recently announced that they would be working with local artists, designers, restaurateurs, and growers – both to support local communities, and to allow clients to experience an immersive and authentic experience in the country that they are visiting. With innovative concepts, great vision, and new openings every year, the 60-year-old Spanish hotelier is far from being “out of the game”. But with all the new developments in the hotel industry, we decided to explore several of these hotels for ourselves. That’s how we ended up visiting three of the prolific Spanish hotel chain’s properties in its home country. An enviable assignment!

Meliá Barcelona Sky, Barcelona, Spain

The hotel Meliá Barcelona Sky, designed by celebrity architect Dominique Perrault, is located in an iconic skyscraper in one of the most fashionable districts of Barcelona. Far from the crowds, the hotel is nonetheless within walking distance of the Poble Nou subway station. So even though it is easily accessible, the “remote” location, far from La Barceloneta, makes you feel like a local during your stay. The hotel itself is sublime, with features rare among Barcelona hotels, such as an outdoor rooftop pool and a sky terrace to enjoy breakfast or cocktail hour with amazing views of the city’s skyline. And the hotel is not named “Sky” for nothing: all the rooms have a modern, functional, and spacious style that is rare in Barcelona. The only choice you will have to make is between spectacular views of Barcelona, the Mediterranean Sea, or the hotel’s pool, as all the rooms are located “up in the sky”. We must also mention the killer breakfast buffet served at 24 Cielos Terrace—one of the best that we have ever experienced. The view just makes a very nice addition.

Recommended for: Those who enjoy views and heights; and for those who want to live like a local.

ME Sitges Terramar, Sitges, Spain

With the opening of ME Sitges Terramar last spring, ME by Meliá launched its first property on the Catalan coast. Located just 20 miles along the coast from Barcelona, this new opening for the lifestyle brand of the Meliá portfolio was designed to follow the success of ME Mallorca and ME Ibiza in the Balearic Islands. Located directly on the seafront of the Sitges beach town, the brand’s new ME Sitges Terramar is a luxurious addition to one of Spain’s new hotspot destinations. Offering a tranquil, relaxing setting, the interesting beach town of Sitges is slowly becoming a popular destination. If Barcelona feels too overwhelming and you love the beach, then Sitges is an ideal travel destination. While you are only three train stations away from the city centre, you are also miles away from the crowded beaches and streets of Barcelona. Sitges is peaceful — but certainly not boring! The hotel is the epitome of cool: bold and sexy décor that offers a fusion of contemporary and innovative design; a DJ setting the tone in the lobby and the pool deck; and the rooftop bar is always the place to see and be seen in the area. So, why not mix fun and sun? ME Sitges Terramar is a new, cool, sexy hotel where you can enjoy the beach not too far from crazy Barcelona. Also, the rooms are far more spacious than those in the city, and nearly all offer sea views and a balcony.

Recommended for: Those looking for a fun, cool hotel; and for those who love the beach.

Meliá Calvià Beach, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

The Meliá Calvià Beach (formerly the Sol Antillas) is a spectacular new hotel that has been completely renovated and reopened this past year. Ideally located on the coast of Calvià on the Balearic island of Mallorca, it offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel stands out from its competitors as it looks brand new, sophisticated, and very chic. Apart for its impeccable new look, the location of this Meliá hotel is also hard to beat. Built directly in front of the Calvià beach on a natural bay, the surroundings are truly beautiful. The hotel was conceived in such a way that views are impeccable from every angle. After enjoying a drink on the restaurant terrace overlooking the sea, you can decide if you would prefer to refresh in one of the two outdoor pools (one is reserved for The Level guests), the beach (where you will find Cape Nao Beach Club and its comfy Bali beds), or in the hotel luxury spa that offers an indoor pool, sauna, jacuzzi, and other fitness and wellness facilities. Don’t forget: all the rooms offer dreamy views of the coastline and they all have a private balcony or terrace from which to contemplate the beautiful views of the Bay of Palma. A rare find that we will definitely remember.

Recommended for: Those who want to enjoy and see Mallorca tranquilly; and those who love beautiful views.

Our Final Notes

We visited two fairly new properties (ME Sitges opened last spring and Meliá Calvia Beach opened in summer 2017) and one that has been around for a decade (Meliá Barcelona Sky) and they were all impressive. What do they have in common? A touch for design, a sense of luxury, impressive decor, interesting food, stylish rooms, popular pools (even at Meliá Barcelona Sky, a city hotel) and a lot of character. With 50 new hotel openings slated by 2020, the Spanish hotelier is not slowing down. And if you ask us, that’s a very good thing for the travel and hospitality industries!