L'InterContinental Barcelone. The InterContinental Barcelona.

Announced by IHG in the spring

, the InterContinental brand has made its debut in Barcelona with the completion of the transformation of a former Crowne Plaza into a luxury hotel. Located on Montjuïc Hill, the hotel offers 273 rooms with elegant and sophisticated decor, including 17 junior suites and a 180-square-meter presidential suite, all with views overlooking the Catalan city. While the hotel’s gastronomic pretensions are evident with its three restaurants and bars, including its main restaurant, Quirat, led by Victor Torres, Spain’s youngest Michelin-starred chef, it also has a relaxing dimension with its 1,200-square-metre spa and 173 Rooftop Terrace with seasonal pool.

But the InterContinental Barcelona is also set to make its mark on the Catalan MICE scene with a vast 3,000 m² meetings and events space, with a ballroom with a capacity of 1,000 delegates theatre-style and 600 seated for a gala dinner in addition to some 20 meeting rooms. The venue also features state-of-the-art technology with AV equipment ready for hybrid meetings and, on request, full connectivity with 5G speeds of up to 1Gbps. It also has a separate entrance and direct access to the car park.

This opening is part of the development of IHG’s flagship brand which, having just celebrated its 75th anniversary, is still going strong. With 205 hotels already in operation, 70 more will be added in the coming years, including Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates and Kaohsiung in Taiwan, and closer to home, Rome.

The IHG group has made no secret of its development ambitions in Italy and had recently announced several openings

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, for its lifestyle brands voco and Hotel Indigo among others. A new project has just been unveiled and is of direct interest to business travellers, as a Holiday Inn Express has been announced at Rome Fiumicino airport, continuing the airport dimension of the brand that recently appeared near the Nice hub and is expected to open next to Seville and Madrid Barajas airports.

The result of a franchise agreement signed with Borealis Hotel Group, the Holiday Inn Express Rome – Airport will open in 2023 and will feature the brand’s new Next Generation design. It will have 224 rooms and convenient access to the airport. In addition to its convenient location for business travel, it will also be integrated into a shopping and business centre, Parco Leonardo, all with a dedicated metro stop connecting the hotel to the centre of Rome in 20 minutes.