Pros: Superb location, stylish, great value for this location
Cons: Basic rooms are compact, can feel enclosed
Of all Eixample’s streets, Rambla de Catalunya is one of my favorites. Partly this is because of the pedestrianized strip down the middle (and the relatively light traffic because of that). Partly it’s because unlike the fancier Passage de Gracia which runs parallel a block away, there are more local stores here too.
So Murmuri is in a a great location.
It is also a hotel that does design well, from the smart entrance and lobby bar to the glass cube lift, things look good. And there are only 53 rooms, so it never feels overwhelmingly large.
Rooms are comfortable too. The basic ones are fairly compact, but still livable.
But the real draw for me is the value – for this location and the smart design, Murmuri is stellar value.
The W Barcelona stands alone, literally, like a giant sail at the edge of the sea.
The W has all the design flair you expect of the W brand, and with its location at at the end of Barcelona’s main beach offers views over the water and beach. The F&B outlets are highly recommended too.
Needless to say, if you’re a fan of the W design, then this one is for you.
This is another hotel that looks expensive at first glance, though the standard rooms at 39sqm are twice the size of some.
Be aware that the W is adjacent to a nudist beach. It was a bit of a shock to open my curtain in the morning, only to see a naked bloke walking around. Where does he keep his keys? So many questions one doesn’t wish to contemplate before the day’s first coffee…or ever.
If you like walking that’s a good thing, because the W is a bit away from things. But you can stroll along the beachfront and past the marina to get to the attractions. Give yourself half an hour to get into the old town.
If the W style does it for you, there’s not much else that comes close.
I’ll admit – it’s been quite a while since I stayed at the Hotel Arts, but that’s not to say it isn’t a good hotel.
Room rates look high at first glance, but considering the rooms start at 40sqm in size, that puts the Hotel Arts pretty much in the Barcelona ballpark.
What you get here that you don’t at most Barcelona hotels is sea views, assuming you book a room facing that direction. I would – that seems to me to be the main attraction in the area.
That said, the Hotel Arts is home to six F&B outlets – including the two-Michelin-star Enoteca Paco Pérez – so foodies may never need to actually leave the premises.
If I sound luke-warm on the Arts, it’s mainly because in my current situation I’m spoiled for ocean views, and because I like the labyrinthine streets of the old town. Arts may not be a small hotel with 483 rooms, but it delivers the service and the standards you expect at this price.
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