Hotels in Barcelona - Accommodation
There is a wide range of hotels in Barcelona, from the simple dosshouse up to the super posh and extravagant luxury hotel. In total, the hotels can accommodate more than 30.000 tourists. This nearly sounds insufficient considering the huge stream fo tourists that are visible in the city. But the major part of the visitors of Barcelona comes form the close holiday resorts (Costa Brava) for only one day into the city and therefore they do not need an accommodation.
But anyhow, there are repeatedely shortages of accommodations. Barcelona is not only a magnet for tourists of all over the world but also an international city of trade fairs and congresses. During the times when there are big events in the city, it is very difficult to find a room. Previous booking is then needed.
Most of the expensive hotels are in the area of the oldtown, where most of the tourists cavort. The more far one lives from the city centre, the cheaper it gets. The big hotels offer an abundant breakfast buffet; the surcharge of 10 € per person is not unusual. The normal Spanish breakfast consists on a small coffee and a croissant; this is not long lasting.
Those who go to Barcelona in the summer should in any case take care that there is an air conditioner in the hotel's room. As in the summer time, the temperatures exceed 30░C and barely go down at nights, a night in a non air conditioned room can be the hell. And there is nothing more pleasant than sleeping in the night in a cooled hotel room after a hot and exhausting day, isn't it?
What is actually the best place to stay over in Barcelona?
The question after which criterions one should choose the hotel in Barcelona depends on one hand on the holiday budget and on the other hand on the time one is on holiday. Those who do not have to take care on their budget can find some dream hotels in the centre or a little more outside, where a double room costs 300 € and more. The sky's the limit. Those who do not want to invest their whole holiday budget in the accommodation are better kept a little outside the city centre; With the subway, one gets rapidly and at a low price into the city. And if one needs to take a taxi in the late night hour, this trip will be still a lot cheaper than an expensive hotel in the centre.
During the search for an hotel one should also consider how long one is going to stay in Barcelona. Those who only spend one or two nights in the city better take an hotel that is close to the famous Rambla. Then, one is amid and does not loose any time in the subway. It is evident that the hotels that are located straight in the touristic centre offer less service for more money as the ones that are located further outside.
For those who spend a couple of days in Barcelona or, like myself, straight two weeks, I recommend to live a little outside the city centre, for example at a 10 minutes trip with the subway. Then, for the same price as in the centre, one gets some luxury, as for example a big breakfast buffet, a big comfortable room or an hotel close to the beach; And in the first instance: one has calmness at night.
The Hotel Hesperia del Mar
As I straight spent two weeks in Barcelona, I consciously did not choose an hotel in the touristc centre but resided at approximately 10 minutes subway from the city centre. I was rewarded by a dream and luxury hotel that was, considering the standard of Barcelona, at a relatively reasonable price and right at the beach.
Some information about the hotel
The Hotel Hesperia del Mar is a 4-stars hotel with 84 rooms. The hotel chain Hesperia has more than 30 hotels in Spain including the Canarian and the Balearic Islands and Venezuela. The hotel was opened on the 17th September 2001 and therewith, it is still young and new.
Approximately 35 staff members take care on the guests. In the hotel there is also a restaurant integrated in which one has breakfast in the mornings, have dinner in the evenings or a snack in between.
The Hotel Hesperia del Mar is not only a tourist hotel, numerous business men who partly arrive by car and park it in the subterranean parking garage of the hotel. As the hotel also offers some rooms for meetings and some small congresses, as a tourist in bathing clothes one sometimes also comes across to one or two suit wearers.
Situation of the Hotels
The hotel Hesperia del Mar is located at the most north eastern beach Platja de la Nova Mar Bella. Between the hotel and the beach there is only the Ronda Litoral (quayside) and the beach promenade. Thus, one is in only 5 minutes in the in my opinion most beautiful beach of the city. I found it specially pleasant to go after breakfast for 1-2 hours to the beach before starting the tourism stress, or between a sightseeing tour and dinner to have a walk in the beach before getting changed and go out again.
From the hotel, one walks for half an hour alongside the beaches up to the Port Olímpic de Barcelona. There, there are numerous restaurants; the march of half an hour alongside the beach does very good after an extended dinner!
From the hotel, one gets to the oldtown centre on foot in one hour. What is more pleasant is the subway that takes one within 10 minutes right into the oldtown; the next subway station is located at 10 minutes from the hotel. But what is more pleasant is the line bus that departs right in front of the hotel and arrives at the oldtown after approximately 20 minutes.
The surrounding of the hotel
The city district where the hotel is located is called Poble Nou. At the end of the last century, this district, specially the quayside, was marked by factory halls and railway lines. The factories disappeared and the railwail line was arranged subterraneously. By this way, a complete new city district with expensive apartments and numerous shopping possibilities is developing.
Poble Nou has a beautiful shopping mile, the Rambla del Poble Nou. From the hotel, one gets there in approximately 10 minutes on foot. This Rambla is nearly as long as the famous La Rambla in the Barri Gòtic. Here, one finds ll kinds of shops and of course also some restaurants.
The fact that the city district Poble Nou developed to a significant city district is also noticeable in the fact that, in the course of the years, 10 further hotels are built within this area. There re still only few shops and restaurants right in the hotel area; but the respective rooms are already there; the restaurant owners and the sellers just have to move in. Also an open air swimming pool is supposed to be built soon in the proximity of the hotel.
The first impression
During the holidays, after the first 10-20 minutes in the hotel one often already knows if one will feel permanently well there or not. By entering into the hotel one of course immediately notices that everything is still shiny and new. At the reception, we were friendly welcomed. We got immediately a city map as also some useful tips for our holiday in Barcelona.
The the first impression of the room: it was fascinating. The parquet floor really shined. On the tables, there were numerous sweets arranged to nice figures. Everything shined and really invited to have a holiday. A view to the terrace and to the sea - what a panorama! The fact that one hour after arriving at the hotel I was already on the beach was of course due to this attracting view to the outside.
After only a few minutes it was clear to me that staying in this hotel would be a pleasure. And in the course of the two weeks, this impression was confirmed.
Out hotel room
Considering the big city standards, our room was huge. Apart from a double bed we found a desk with a minibar, a comfortable arm chair and a chair. On the balcony, there was a further small table with two chairs. The bath room was even so big, that there was a bath tube with an integrated shower in it.
The most important thing of the room was of course the bed. I think I have never slept so well in an hotel bed as I did on this 2,00 x 1,80 m matress. What is laudable is that there were enough cushions in order to support the head comfortably. The other furniture of the room was not less comfortable.
Kudos also to the bathroom, not only beacuse it was clean but also because it looked really inviting and attractive. What was also important is that from the shower and/or the faucet, no runlet but a real water jet came out. In the bathroom, one could find all imaginable utensils: hair dryer, towels, shower gel, shampoo,comb, wet shaver, sponge, soap, tooth brush, tooth paste, kleenex etc. I never found in an hotel room before such an abundance of equipment that was daily refilled.
What was really pleasant was a big TV with a remote control. Unfortnately, this was not very useful for me, as the three german programs were DSF, VOX and RTL. Why such a choice when over satellite one also receives the German channels, or not?
Kudos also to the air conditiong of the room. Of course, this only works by putting the room card into an electric contact; but is can be outsmarted with another card. What was essential is that the air conditioner provided some fresh air without causing too much noise, so that it could also run during the nights.
And kudos again for something I really found unique: each room has a cost free safe in which one can keep the things of value. The safe opens electronically with a number combination that can be determined by oneself. It is the first hotel room that I know where the safe is free of charge; Normally, the use of a safe costs a few euros per day.
The hotel staff
There are about 35 staff members taking care on the guests. The reception is permanently occupied. At the reception, all of my wishes were fulfilled, no matter if I needed an information or just had a wish in the hotel. Also the wish to use the hotel room on the last day until the afternoon at 3 o' clock was fulfilled.
Unfortunately, the air conditioning did not work in the first day. Of course, this was annoying. But what is positive is that the defect was corrected within half a day.
Kudos to the room personnel. Every day, our room was deeply cleaned. If wished, we got four new towels per day; Even all the galsses of the room were daily cleaned and nicely put on their place again. I found absolutely noticeable that the bathing items (shower gel, shampoo, kleenex, shaving foam etc.)were refiled every day - a fantastic service!
The breakfast in the hotel
The early bird catches the worm, or: by beginning the day with a good breakfast, the day must be successful! The breakfast in the hotel restaurant was a simple pleasure. There is nothing better than waking up in the morning and look forward to a good breakfast. During the week days, there was breakfast form 7 o' clock, at the week-ends from 8 o' clock.
The breakfast buffet was huge and offered everything imaginable from croissant up to cake, from müsli up to tortilla, from sausages up to fruit salad. What I specially liked was the choice of Catalan salami. There was also enough fruit: from apples to pears and kiwis there was every day 5-10 different types of fruit.
And the best of the breakfast buffet was that everything was prepared in a very tasty and delicate way.
The half emptied bowles are immediately removed and replaced by full ones. Simply perfect! What was also perfect was the service with coffee as much as wanted, fresh warm milk and a choice of fruit juices.
While during the working days we had breakfast in the interior of the restaurant, we enjoyed our breakfast in the week-ends in the exterior area of the restaurant. One sits in a calmed atmosphere protected by parasols from the hot sun and having a slight sea breeze in a big patio enjoying a really long extended and cozy breakfast...
The Hotel Hesperia del Mar is one of the best of its category that I ever knew. The stay was simply perfect. The nice and well arranged rooms, the perfect service, the very good breakfast and not least the view to the sea and the proximity to the beach made my stay in Barcelona to be an unforgettable experience.
I can highly recomend the Hotel Hesperia del Mar to all visitors of Barcelona. This is the way being on holiday is real fun.
Back to the index Barcelona
Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz