Date:  26/03/2024

Travel With Tiyana: Madrid & Barcelona

We were invited to discover Madrid & Barcelona and explore all they have to offer as unique destinations for Meeting & Incentive events.


Day 1

We started our adventure in Madrid, soaking in the vibrancy of the city with a lovely lunch at Gran Café El Espejo. An establishment, elegant in its Art Nouveau decor & cosy terrace,  and renowned for its exquisite dining and atmosphere. We enjoyed traditional Spanish Tapas and modern favourites, showcasing this venue as a culinary gem in the heart of the city.


Then we were off to an unforgettable experience, flying in a wind tunnel at Windobona, an innovative entertainment centre offering 2000 square metres to accommodate a wide range of events such as conference meetings or team building workshops. This experience was truly thrilling, giving us the sensation of skydiving and the adrenaline of floating on air!


In the evening we enjoyed dazzling entertainment at the historic Teatro Magno Theatre, known as the house par excellence for flamenco shows and a frequented nightclub. There is truly no better place to capture the nightlife and essence of Madrid. On arrival, we were treated to delicious vermouth cocktails and Spanish appetizers on the private balcony before witnessing an amazing contemporary Flamenco show from.

Day 2

For our second day we explored the outskirts of Madrid, kicking things off with a visit to Jarama RACE Circuit, a masterfully integrated venue, ideal for thrilling team building, leisure activity or automotive events. This historic track provides a compelling and dynamic environment for events that require a touch of excitement and a nod to Spanish sporting heritage.


We then explored further north of Madrid arriving at Aldea Santillana, a hidden gem , just 40 minutes from the city.  A village-style venue perfect for away days, or company offsites with a twist. In the 19th Century palace complex  we immersed ourselves in a series of Spanish workshops, learning the skill of carving Iberian ham, a cherished tradition of Spanish cuisine, matador training and an intimate flamenco class. Once we enjoyed our body weight in jamon, a sumptuous lunch followed, celebrating the region’s gastronomy with fresh market cuisine for a truly unique culinary experience.


After this, we made a quick stop to the medieval village of Buitrago del Lozoya to witness it’s well preserved architecture really showcasing the essence of medieval Spain. The town engages its past in a truly unique way, complete with historical restaurants, coffee shops and bars.


Then we returned to the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, our residence during our time in Madrid, a Belle Epoque palace nestled in the heart of Spain’s vibrant capital, standing as an epitome of luxury and sophistication. Local attractions such as Plaza de Santa Ana, Plaza Mayor and the Palacio Real de Madrid, the beautiful, sprawling Retiro Park and the busy Gran Via are within walking distance.


With elegant suites, complete with luxurious bathrooms, alongside their stunning ballroom and collection of smaller spaces, this venue is ideal for business meetings or parties. The hotel seamlessly blends contemporary elegance with tradition creating an atmosphere that exudes both warmth and modernity. And this was no different as we enjoyed our final meal, with a tasting course highlighting their exceptional menu and culinary excellence.


From Madrid, we headed to Barcelona by train, getting us into the city in just under 2 hours & 30 mins. From there, we enjoyed a guided transfer to Montjuic Olympic Area, learning about the rich cultural history behind the Olympic Stadium, an important hallmark in the 1992 summer games. We then stopped by the iconic Salts Terrace for Barcelona’s best Patatas Bravas, soaking in the panoramic views of the city – a perfect picturesque location to include in an incentive programme.


Just a 5-minute walk away, we visited the Esferic Barcelona, a unique event space with distinctive spherical architecture, ideal for conferences and exhibitions. Filled with natural light, a flexible layout and modern facilities, the Esferic offers elegance and sophistication to suit any occasion.


Then it was time for some gastronomic delights at the gorgeous Fiske Restaurant, a seafood heaven complete with a chic Scandinavian interior. There, we enjoyed a delicious 3-course lunch highlighting the best in Catalonian cuisine. After lunch, we embarked on a guided walk, learning about the city’s history, port, and what’s to come for 2024 ( America’s Cup), arriving at Marina Port Vell a beautiful venue on the Mediterranean sea. An exclusive superyacht marina, this venue provides modern and versatile spaces with state-of-the-art facilities, ideal for occasions seeking a sophisticated and memorable experience.


We continued our cultural walking tour, into the infamous Gothic quarter for a Mosaic experience to create our own ‘Gaudi’ masterpieces in a creative workshop. This was a perfect activity for groups to build something personal or work together on a memorable piece of art.


Our evening concluded at the Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona – an opulent and elegant hotel on the Passeig de Gràcia, the luxury shopping district in the city centre, just a 2-minute walk away from the Casa Batlló by Gaudí. We explored all the hotel had to offer, from the onsite spa & wellness suites, to their al-fresco outdoor event spaces, including an epic rooftop and unique glass-box meeting room, with 360-degree views of the luscious terraced garden. The night was capped off with cocktail dinner, a culinary masterpiece providing the perfect ending to a great experience of Barcelona.

key takeaways

  1. Mandarin Oriental Ritz is the new crown jewel of Madrid, pushing the city forward as the sought after destination for luxury, specifically high-end clients looking for a one-of-a-kind experience.

  2. Both cities have a lot to offer as ideal destinations for Meeting and Incentive events – We saw a different experience of Madrid from the thrilling to the historic culture outside the city.

  3. Already a constant for conferences and events and top destination, Barcelona has a lot of excitement building for 2024 with the anticipated America’s Cup making the city ideal for awaydays, leadership offsites and group incentives to really soak in the culture and buzz of the city.
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