The W Hotel, better known as the Hotel Vela, is located in the centre of Barcelona, 20 meters from the seaside in Barceloneta district. It was designed by an architect Ricardo Bofilla Levi. It is an important landmark in Barcelona's panorama, built entirely of glass. It looks like a sailing ship, thus, with the sea as a background, it seems to be sailing.
It is almost 90 meters high, but during the initial stages it was supposed to reach 160 meters- it would have been the highest building in the city. The authorities did not allow it nor the environment protection organisations did. Even now, despite the reduced height, the building is under dispute and controversy. Some of the citizens and environmental organisations claim, that forming the sea-coast using such structures negatively affects habitats of different animals living in that areas and have an unfavourable effect on changes in sea currents.
The hotel was officially opened on 1 September 2009. Despite all of the disputes about the building, it is still functioning as a part of the Starwood Hotels and Resorts chain, which is now a symbol of Barcelona. The hotel offers rooms of a high quality with breath-taking views of the sea and the mountains.