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Cutting a dominating figure over Plaça Espanya, the Catalonia Plaza Hotel is well-located for exploring Montjuic and all it's treasures, and on the metro line for quick access to other districts of the city centre. At the airport side of Barcelona, the airport bus passes the door every 15 minutes until late evening. Must sees in the area are Montjuic Castle, the Grec Amphitheatre and Gardens, the Joan Miro Gallery and the weekend light show at the "Magic Fountain". Don't be put off as you step away from the packed pavements and traffic of the Plaza into the large almost-as-busy lobby and bar area - upstairs it is much more tranquil. The guestrooms are lacking in style but have comfortable beds and furnishings, plenty of space and luckily no noise from the street below. But the rooftop pool was my favourite feature - good for cooling off after a day on the tourist trail.
Looking down on the charming but busy Plaça Reial from the roof terrace of the DO Hotel, you cannot help but feel lucky to be in such a stunning city location. Situated in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona, La Rambla is on your doorstep and runs from Plaça Catalunya down to the Port. You are a pleasant stroll away from the Cathedral, La Boqueria food market and Gaudi's La Pedrera and Casa Batllo. The district is quirky, in parts bohemian and lively throughout, with Plaça Reial definitely at the centre of the action. The hotel itself is a luxury haven, thoughtfully decorated in delightful woods, leathers, metals and upholstery. The suites are large and airy, the staff discrete and professional and the rooftop pool is a gem. Highly recommended.
Jordi Cruz's Michelin-starred Angle Restaurant is one of the treats in store at Hotel Cram, with the views from the Ànemos Terrace Bar and the neatly-decorated spacious Suites a close second and third. I enjoyed the stylish Hotel Cram from top to bottom, and the location is superb for exploring Barcelona. Located in the Eixample district, the upmarket Paseo de Gracia shopping avenue is a few streets away, as well as Gaudi's La Pedrera, Casa Batllo and the famous La Rambla boulevard. If you fancy a change from eating at Angle then I recommend L'Eggs, Paseo de Gracia 116 - a restaurant dedicated to the egg, and with wonderful results! Hotel Cram is one of the classier hotels in town, and at a very reasonable rate.
The rooftop pool of the Catalonia Catedral is a little oasis of calm in a city bursting with things to do - after you've spent the day investigating the nooks and crannies of Barcelona, you'll be very grateful of the chill out area on the terrace! It is the hotel's best but not it's only winning feature - I found the first floor terrace and bar area charming, as were the staff, and the Gotico district where it is located. The Barcelona Cathedral is next door, as you might guess from the name, and Plaza Catalunya, La Rambla and Paseo de Gracia are all within a 5-minute walk. The hotel's open plan mezzanine levels and glass panels give an airy feel and sense of space. Overall a good choice for a Barcelona break.
Located in the Eixample district of Barcelona amongst stylish residential apartments, local businesses, bakeries and bars. When staying at Hotel Dante you have Gaudi's architectural achievements La Pedrera and Casa Batllo a few minutes walk away, as well as Plaza Catalunya, La Rambla and Paseo de Gracia. But you will welcome being off the main tourist thoroughfares which have a constant stream of people passing the door. The hotel is a little dated, but clean, comfortable, safe and reasonable. There are no striking features, just good customer service, breakfast buffet if you would like to eat in and a soft spot to rest your head. For lunch I recommend the 3-course menu at Flamant, and for dinner Futami - both found close by on Carrer d'Enric Granados.
A basic, traditional hostel with small, dated but clean rooms. Whilst many of Barcelona's hostels are in the city centre streets around La Rambla, Hostal Orleans is close to the beach and trendy Born barrio. You have the exciting nightlife of the Paseo del Born on your doorstep where you can enjoy a beer at Bar el Born or Mudanzas and affordable pinxos (tapas on bread) at one of the many bars that decorate the district. Orleans has internet in some of the guestrooms, tea and coffee available at a cost and some noise from the street below. But for the money it's still a deal in my view!
More basic than chic, and not a patch on its sister hotel in the Born area of the city. Nevertheless I liked Chic & Basic Tallers - it offers you everything you need for a vacation in a city with so much to do. You have a comfortable basic white room, on a basic white corridor, with a basic white chill out area and kitchen at one end. Oh, and a large orange Smeg fridge should you choose to chill some drinks or snacks. Breakfast is served at the hotel but I recommend enjoying your first meal of the day on one of the nearby terraces. There's nothing more to it. Of course the appeal is the location, in the heart of the Raval district - you have bars, restaurants, shopping, sights and travel links on your doorstep. The staff are delightful and happy to recommend cool things to see and do. I suggest Calle Joaquin Costa and Calle Carmen by night to see how Barcelona likes to party.
The Astoria Hotel is an impressive establishment downstairs, but a little dated as you ascend to the guestrooms. The bar is decorated with charming Art Nouveau posters, the lobby is inviting, but the décor and bathrooms upstairs are mismatching and past their best. Nevertheless, the rooftop pool, terraces (be sure to pay for a superior room if you can) and location make this hotel worth a stay. Found in the Eixample district, you can navigate from the Astoria to Gaudi's La Pedrera, Casa Batllo, Paseo de Gracia for shopping or the tranquil squares of the Gracia district all within 10 minutes on foot. I recommend eating at the excellent Santa Gula, a 5-minute walk away on Plaça Narcís Oller if you get chance.
Pension Norma is the most basic and dated hostel I have visited in Europe. The price is ok, but in Barcelona you can find better. If destiny brings you hear then you can expect a clean but not so comfortable bed, a private bathroom if you choose one otherwise shared and a whole lot of stairs. Having said that, the location is very good. Located in Gracia, you have the charming plazas of the district within a 5 minute walk (my favourites being Plaza Virreina for a relaxed coffee, or Placa del Sol for a raucous beer) and shopping on the most upmarket boulevard in Barcelona, Paseo de Gracia 5 minutes away in the other direction. You have several of the city's popular sights within a 15mnute walk, but for those further afield you are well-placed for transport links too.
This port-side hotel is not only stuck in a time warp but a nautical-themed one at that! From the wood panelling, to the dated bedspreads and rope details - it could definitely do with a refresh. However, I found the hotel to be clean and safe, the staff polite and the location a good base from which to explore the city. Located between the trendy and pretty Born district of Barcelona, and the beach, Hotel del Mar has restaurants and bars aplenty within 5 minutes walk. The Parc Ciutadella and the city Zoo are a 5 minute stroll away too, making this hotel a good option for families. For a taste of Catalonia on your doorstep, sip Cava and nibble on Jamon at Can Paixano (or the Champagneria as it is more commonly known), which is a busy standing bodega on the next street, Carrer de la Reina Cristina.
Hotel Zenit Barcelona offers simple stylish accommodation close to Avenida Diagonal, from where you can travel easily around the city by foot, bike, taxi, bus or metro. I found the hotel was located in a lively area with plenty of restaurants within a 5 minute walk, as well as bars, cafes and parks. I recommend dining at Santa Gula, in Plaça de Narcís Oller for excellent Mediterranean cuisine in a cosy locale just a 10 minute walk away. For shopping in the neighbourhood, wander to L'Illa on Diagonal. Overall, Hotel Zenit is a good base, with helpful staff and simple spacious rooms. Far enough out of the very centre of the city to not be surrounded by tourists, but close enough to be pretty much anywhere you could have on your BCN wish list in 15 minutes.
Big, bold and located in the business district of Barcelona - I recommend the NH Constanza not only for business travel but also to anyone who prefers to explore the city by being based in the more peaceful location of the Les Corts district than the down-town bustling barrios. Close to the Avenida Diagonal, attached to L'Illa shopping mall and well-connected by bus and metro links - you can find entertainment on your doorstep or easily get into the very centre of city in 15 minutes. The NH Constanza is a modern, metallic and sophisticated hotel with professional staff and sleek comfortable rooms. It gets my vote! Be sure to eat at Mediterranean restaurant Negro and/or it's sister restaurant Rojo for Sushi found in the same space on Avenida Diagonal (640).
Great hotel, conveniently located on top of Barcelona Sants station - which is the city's main train station with connections to the airport, Europe and a Metro line running through it too (L3 - green). If you are planning to take day trips around Catalunya, this is the hotel for you. If you prefer to be in the bustle of the La Rambla, stepping out from your hotel onto crowded pavements, it isn't. However, you only have a 10-minute Metro journey to the very centre of town. The area isn't great for eating out - so I would recommend heading to the nearby Les Corts, Poble Sec & Gotico districts which all offer fab dining options. The hotel itself is modern (space theme!), spacious, clean and calm, and the staff cannot be faulted.
Previously known as HMB Hostel, the Hotel Bonavista is located on the border between the Gracia area of the city and Eixample. The former has a local village feel with small plazas and narrow streets, and the latter displays tall apartment buildings with intricate facades and a whole lot more traffic! The hotel offers small, clean, basic rooms for a very reasonable price for a convenient location just minutes walk from Paseo de Gracia and transport connections. My top recommendation for dinner close by would be Santa Gula, in Plaça de Narcís Oller for excellent Mediterranean cuisine in a cosy locale just a 5 minute walk away. Or for something tasty but at the cheap end of the scale try the quiche at the interestingly named Shhh… No se lo digas a nadie on Placa Virreina.
Suitable for business or leisure, the Renaissance Hotel is located just a few minutes walk from Gaudi's La Pedrera and Casa Batllo, Paseo de Gracia's designer (and non-designer!) shopping treats, and the narrow streets and squares of the Gracia district. The hotel has the minimal contemporary feel that you might expect from a Marriott, a roof terrace with beds to soak up the sun after a day exploring this exciting city, a gym, free wifi and a simple Mediterranean restaurant - although in such a downtown area as Eixample I really recommend stepping out of your accommodation to eat! I discovered Santa Gula restaurant in Plaça Narcís Oller whilst wandering around the Gracia area – found a 15 minute walk or 5 minute cab ride away, it was my personal favourite of the eateries I found close to the Renaissance.