I was staying in Barcelona on business, so was there with a colleague, and while we had been promised that it was easy to get to the hotel directly from the airport (the hotel is located at Sants Estacio, right above a major train station in the west of the city), we had had difficulty finding the train at the airport and so got a bus followed by the metro, which was then followed by at least a 10-minute walk. Not the most fun activity at 10pm in a city we don’t know! Nonetheless, this was not the hotel’s fault – probably more thefault of the organisers for not being more explicit.
When we did find the hotel, however, we were pleased to note its access to several helpful amenities, including local tapas bars, vending machines, cashpoints, and of course, Sants Estacio itself. From here, you can indeed access the airport by train, as well as being linked to metro lines that can take you directly to several major tourist attractions, including the Ramblas and the Sagrada Familia.
As you can see from the photograph at the top of this post, the room delivers a clean, light and airy atmosphere (taking this latter quality to the extreme in its slightly chilly and apparently unadjustable air conditioning). There are, however, a large number of glowing lights in the room (TV, air conditioning, clock radio…) which some may find extremely bothersome as they actually light the room quite considerably. Extremely modern and spacious, it had everything you would expect: large shower with excellent water pressure, tea and coffee making facilities, and easy-to-set-up wifi. The only things lacking were tissues and bottled water, but this was more than compensated for by the rest, including turn-down chocolate.
Other hotel facilities
The hotel’s up-to-date astronomic theme lends itself well to the technology and space on offer. A large round table with starry lights in the basement area is replete with desktop Macs for guests’ use at their leisure, and has plenty of plug points for you to use your own laptop. Chargers for all manner of mobile phones and other electronics are also available for rent at a fee. Business-wise there’s little for complaint: the projectors worked well and the sound system was excellent. The air conditioning also worked well and the rooms were kept full of bottled water, although this was accompanied by boiled sweets and not mints, which would have been more refreshing. Tea, coffee, pastries and fruit were also available in abundance during the breaks.
I have rarely experienced such vast and high-quality breakfast choice in any hotel. While what was available here didn’t quite touch the dizzying heights of my experiences in Tenerife or Florida, it certainly didn’t disappoint. You can fight off dodgy filter coffee with ease, as a monster Nespresso machine means that unlimited caffeine is available in a decent concentration. A range of cereals were available, including the chance to make your own by adding seeds with fresh or dried fruits; there were at least four different kinds of juice, of which peach was one; cooked Spanish specialities were also on the menu, such as spiced sausage; there was a variety of types of bread and European pastries; and there was meat and cheese for those that wanted it (which, along with the horizontal rolling toaster, enabled the creation of cheese toasties). This really did well to set us up for the day, and was all laid out in a highly intuitive way, under chandeliers made of bent cutlery.
My employer picked up the tab for this one, benefiting from the group rate of €121 a night including the wonderful breakfast mentioned above. This is compared to the usual rate of €152 B&B (note that this is the rate you get when booking at least three weeks ahead). This is arguably then not a “cheap” option and I’m sure competitive rates abound in Barcelona. However, for this standard of hotel, I would happily pay the €152 a night for the sleek rooms, excellent service, available technology, satisfying breakfast, and easy access to this beautiful city.
Plaça Paisos Catalans, Estacio de Sants 08014 Barcelona, Spain
0034 935 03 53 00