While Michelin-starred restaurants can be overly formal, Arola – despite having two of the things – couldn’t be less stuffy if it tried. With a rather zen-like layout of sofas, throw cushions and pop-art décor in purple and lime-green, the atmosphere is fun and relaxed. The outdoor terrace and ocean view behind the towering, glistening Frank Gehry-designed sculpture that is so distinctive at the rear end of the hotel makes this a truly unique destination to dine and exactly what Arola wanted for his Barcelona debut. The pica-pica menu of tiny tapas dishes includes simple favourites like patatas bravas and cockles in a piquant dressing. The main courses are mainly Mediterranean, with classics like seabass, steamed mussels and grilled prawns. Arola, who originally had aspirations as a musician, has a strong hand in the music policy and is heavily involved with the DJs who take residence here. The Michelin stars that are attributed to this fantastic restaurant are testimony enough to the quality of the food but what makes Arola so fantastic is that it’s relaxed, tranquil, unpretentious, and most importantly, right on the edge of the ocean.