Since my boyfriend André has been living in the Barceloneta neighborhood for the past nine months working on his master’s degree, he inevitably caught wind of the legendary Wet Deck Summer Series parties that take place at the W Hotel during the summer. We had to check it out, so when Sunday came, we dressed up, met friends, and walked down the promenade to the hotel. Having never been to such an event before in Europe or elsewhere, I had no idea what to expect.
We could hear the music thumping from halfway down the promenade – that signature electronic bass that is commonplace in Europe and all but nonexistent in the US. In all our good efforts to get there early and beat the crowd, we arrived with 15 minutes to spare before the doors opened.
The Wet Deck where the party took place is actually the main pool deck of the famous W Hotel with a sweeping view of Barcleoneta Beach and the W itself towering above the scene. The whole event was open-air, offering beautiful sunset vistas on a breezy summer night. People filtered in gradually, some dressed casually and others truly to the nines, grabbing a drink by the pool, taking in the view, or making funny faces in front of the photo booth. Before we knew it, the sun was going down and the night was heating up.
The music became much more danceable as the light began to wane and the staff made sure we knew it. An entourage of about 8 costume-clad dancers emerged from the lobby. I, the only American in the group, seemed to be the only one astonished. In places like Ibiza, Mallorca, and nightlife spots across Europe, such sights are apparently quite regular. The women had metal-studded corsets, heels high enough for nosebleeds, and towering feather headdresses. The two men in the group likely came straight out of Chippendales. They stood on tall blocks above the crowd, dancing, posing, and serving their party-motivating purpose. Two of the women even stood on floating circles in the middle of the pool. Seeing as I often trip over perfectly flat ground, I was impressed neither of them ended up in the drink! It was definitely a new and different experience for me.
After dancing for most of the night, I had a newfound appreciation for this electronic music that is so wildly popular throughout Europe. Although it’s not a genre I would exactly listen to in my spare time, it was great dancing music and the DJ that night, Alex Kenji, was so much fun to watch.
When the night was over, we took our shoes off and walked in the sand along Barceloneta beach and back to the apartment. The night did not disappoint and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quintessential slice of Spanish nightlife.
Going yourself? Here’s what you should know:
The party itself is free, but you need to go online at put your name on the guest list beforehand. They’ll check for it at the door. Although anyone can go, when the space fills up, people are no longer allowed in. Make sure you get there a bit early so you don’t get turned away! Dress nicely, anywhere from summer casual to full glamour. Just be sure not to wear flip-flops or anything sporty and you’ll be just fine.
Alcohol here is pricey compared to the rest of Barcelona but is comparable to what you might pay on a night out in the US. We paid about 7€ for a glass of wine, 15-17€ for a mixed drink, and 12€ for a liquor shot. You can also reserve a table or even a cabana for bottle service.
The W Hotel is located on the southernmost point of Barceloneta. The nearest subway station is Barceloneta which services the L4 line. From here, it’s about a 20-minute walk along the ocean. Since the distance may be a bit far if you’re wearing heels, catch a short cab ride instead, or splurge on a bicycle rickshaw ride down the promenade.
The parties take place every Sunday night from 8 pm until 2 am, June through August. If you haven’t had enough when the music stops, take a trip up to the 26th floor of the hotel and check out the club Eclipse, open until 4 am on the weekends.
June 21, 2018