M Style - - Contents - Text: YVONNE SOLÉ SCHNABEL

The ME Sit­ges breathes glam­our into this city be­side Barcelona.

Cos­mopoli­tan, avant-garde and pi­o­neer­ing, with a vast cul­tural tra­di­tion, Sit­ges has al­ways been a point of ref­er­ence for ar t lovers and beau­ti­ful peo­ple. With the re­cent open­ing of the ME Sit­ges Terramar, it’s taken one step fur­ther to­wards be­com­ing the most chic and trendy spot on Spain’s Mediter­ranean coast.

Sit­ges is of­ten com­pared to Saint-Tropez. And for good rea­son: lo­cated just half an hour from Barcelona, it’s one of the most ex­pen­sive cities per square me­tre in Europe. What makes it so cov­eted? A pleas­ant cli­mate all year round; lovely 17th-cen­tury ar­chi­tec­ture in its charm­ing, lively and per­fectly pre­served his­toric cen­tre; a long sea­side prom­e­nade dot­ted with palm trees that bor­der clean and well-kept beaches; mari­nas where yachts can be docked; and, of course, a past and present teem­ing with art in all its forms. Sit­ges has been home to many artists of every kind. Ac­cord­ing to them, it pro­vides the in­spi­ra­tion they need to create. But they aren’t the only ones who’ve been at­tracted to the city. The early 20th-cen­tury Cat­alo­nian bour­geoisie also dis­cov­ered it, and that’s how it man­aged to po­si­tion it­self as the hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion of the elite.

In that era, the Terramar Palace ho­tel was the req­ui­site meet­ing point for ev­ery­one want­ing to see and be seen. Its grand so­cial lounge hosted birthdays, an­niver­saries, wed­dings and all kinds of high-so­ci­ety gath­er­ings. For a time the Span­ish Civil War turned this iconic ho­tel into a mil­i­tary hospi­tal, but soon after it was once again filled with glam­orous guests who had some­thing to cel­e­brate. With the re­cent open­ing of the ME Sit­ges Terramar, lo­cated in the same his­toric build­ing, this leg­endary space is avail­able to the pub­lic again, now un­der the name of Vin­tage Stu­dio.

In fact, ac­cord­ing to ho­tel man­ager René Hoetschl, ‘it’s one of the most spe­cial spa­ces, since it’s been com­pletely re­formed while main­tain­ing some of the orig­i­nal el­e­ments— like the crys­tal chan­de­liers, the valances and the bath­room sinks—in a nod to its most mag­nif­i­cent era, al­though the rest has been mod­ernised in ac­cor­dance with the es­tab­lish­ment’s aes­thetic’. It’s an aes­thetic that rein­ter­prets lux­ury through a Mediter­ranean lens. The de­sign, an es­sen­tial at­tribute of the ME by Meliá ho­tels, takes a star­ring role at this one in par­tic­u­lar. It seeks bal­ance be­tween min­i­mal­ism and so­phis­ti­ca­tion, cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy and lux­ury, through­out the vast spa­ces, ter­races and gar­dens of the ho­tel.


Just as it was in the past, the ho­tel’s phi­los­o­phy is cen­tred on be­com­ing a gath­er­ing place for the peo­ple of Sit­ges. For this rea­son, its five culi­nary spa­ces are also open to the pub­lic. This as­pect of the ho­tel is man­aged en­tirely by Grupo B (of Bil­bao Ber­ria and Beso Beach), a group that unites the Basque culi­nary tra­di­tion—and the strong life­style com­po­nent of Beso Beach—with ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in man­ag­ing highly

suc­cess­ful restau­rants in For­mentera, Bil­bao, Barcelona and Tu­lum. The ME restau­rants aim to estab­lish them­selves as one of the most im­por­tant parts of the des­ti­na­tion, like the so­phis­ti­cated Ra­dio Rooftop Bar ME Sit­ges, where Asian fu­sion cui­sine and pre­mium drinks take cen­tre stage along with chill-out mu­sic. The main restau­rant, Terramar, has spec­tac­u­lar views of the beach and a menu full of pas­sion— with an edgy twist. The re­laxed, en­ter­tain­ing at­mos­phere is per­fect for sam­pling a whole range of Mediter­ranean cui­sine, in­clud­ing ex­cel­lent paella. After Easter, the Beso Beach Club cre­ates a one-of-a-kind am­bi­ence along with haute cui­sine and the sense of free­dom and pu­rity Beso Beach is known for. The Oys­ter Bar, in the ho­tel’s invit­ing foyer, lets you en­joy oys­ters and other snacks from the sea—plus pre­mium

cheese and char­cu­terie and a long list of wines, cavas and cham­pagne—as soon as you check in. Fi­nally, Pool Bites is a se­duc­tive space open to the sea, with all the com­forts of a pool. Its re­lax­ing en­vi­ron­ment dec­o­rated in shades of white, plus healthy and en­er­gis­ing fruit juices and smooth­ies com­bined with su­per­foods, help guests get over hec­tic nights—or just take care of them­selves while they en­joy the sun and the sea breeze.


In ad­di­tion to cui­sine, guests can en­joy ac­tiv­i­ties that in­dulge the body (like yoga or golf on the nearby greens) and stim­u­late the mind with cul­tural tours of Sit­ges. One in­ter­est­ing ex­am­ple is a tour through the main mod­ernist build­ings. You can start at the train sta­tion and con­tinue with a visit to the Casa Bac­ardí, where you’ll find out about the his­tory of the brand and sam­ple their rum, as well as learn­ing how to mix a cock­tail.

On both the sea­side prom­e­nade and in the his­toric quar­ter you’ll find a unique style of houses, known as 'amer­i­canos' or 'in­di­anos', that were built by Sit­ges lo­cals who re­turned with riches from their jour­neys to the Amer­i­cas. Top it all off with the iconic Mari­cel Palace and the Cau Fer­rat Mu­seum. The for­mer, which cel­e­brates its cen­te­nary this year, houses works by Miquel Utrillo and is one of the most typ­i­cal ex­am­ples of Nou­cen­tisme among all the city’s ar­chi­tec­tural and artis­tic com­plexes. The lat­ter is the for­mer home and work­shop of San­ti­ago Rusiñol. Here you can learn more about the life of one of the best rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Modernism in Cat­alo­nia, while ad­mir­ing works by Pi­casso and El Greco.

It’s also worth vis­it­ing the mod­ern art on dis­play at Fun­dació Stämpfli, the old Mer­cat del Peix (Fish Mar­ket) and the baroque Igle­sia de San Bar­tolomé y Santa Te­cla, a church that rises above the sea and is the most pho­tographed lo­cal land­mark. Events in the city con­tinue nearly non­stop through­out the whole year. Some high­lights in­clude Car­ni­val, Sit­ges Gay Pride, the Sit­ges Film Fes­ti­val, the In­ter­na­tional Tango Fes­ti­val, the Swing Danc­ing Fes­ti­val, the Terramar Gar­den Fes­ti­val and Sit­gestiu Cul­tural.

With this so­cial sched­ule and its in­com­pa­ra­ble sur­round­ings, ‘the ME Sit­ges Terramar will be the ho­tel des­ti­na­tion of the Mediter­ranean coast, a must-visit for a so­phis­ti­cated clien­tele look­ing for a place to rest the body and mind. The ME Sit­ges fully ex­presses the at­tributes of the ME by Meliá brand, which have cap­ti­vated the most de­mand­ing trav­ellers on the beaches of Ibiza, Mal­lorca and Los Ca­bos’, says Hoeltschl. The ho­tel of­fers 213 guest rooms dec­o­rated in soft colours and re­fined lines, al­most all of which have fan­tas­tic sea views. There are the sig­na­ture Chic Suite, Per­son­al­ity Suite and Suite ME, plus en­er­gis­ing rooms that con­nect with the guest: Aura, Vibe, En­ergy and Mode. Every­thing is de­signed to make your stay at ME a spe­cial, ex­clu­sive and unique ex­pe­ri­ence in an un­par­al­leled set­ting.

The ho­tel is lo­cated right by the beach, mak­ing it the per­fect place to go out and en­joy the sun­set.

You can see the city’s stately beach­front homes from the sea­sideprom­e­nade.

Ever ything flows nat­u­rally in the Vibe room, with views of the sea. It strikes the per­fect bal­ance be­tween min­i­mal­ism, tech­nol­ogy and moder­nity.

Above, the Terramar restau­rant in­vites you to dis­cover Mediter­ranean cui­sine with an edgy twist.The beach­side pool is an­other of the ho­tel’s musts.

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