Le Meridien Barcelona
Just under 30 euro cab ride from the airport, and I walk into the hotel and up to the checkin desk. Relatively quick and painless, but not suite available. In fact, no upgrade available. “It is a very nice room, it is an upgrade, trust me you will like it.” It’s the smallest room I’ve ever seen in Europe, and it faces a side street.
Back down to the desk to renegotiate, they give me a somewhat larger standard room – this time facing Las Ramblas with a little standup balcony to walk out on. The only downside is that it’s two beds joined together rather than a true King. Ah, Europe. This is an improvement, at least.
Service isn’t great here, no one helped me with my bags. And my first impression on checkin of being told how wonderful the room I was being given was when it so obviously wasn’t clearly didn’t engender any love from me. But the hotel was legitimately pretty booked up. And I know that they don’t avoid upgrades here by matter of policy. So I let it go and actually came to really enjoy the property.
I really like the renovated rooms. Very stylish. The floors in the entryway and bathrooms are rather neat, there’s a big LCD TV in the room, the bathroom isn’t large but it’s perfectly functional. The shower has dual showerheads – a rainshower from above and a wall-mounted head as well. There’s an LCD TV in the bathroom to boot. Even the nightlight is rather high-tech, when you get out of bed it goes on – it’s floor-level and blue.
There was no problem with the Platinum amenity, or so I assumed – the card was offered at checkin although points for the stay still haven’t posted. I’ll have to followup.
The second room we were given wasn’t on an SPG floor, so no complimentary waters were ever provided. We did get the Meridien teddy bear with a note about ongoing work at the hotel (which I never noticed).
There are two elevators off the lobby. One goes up to floor 5 (the lobby is floor zero and the business center floor -1) and the other skips some middle floors but serves 6-9. Internet cost 17.50 euros for 24 hours, but is free in the business center with free printing as well.
The hotel is right next door to a grocery, where I bought pates and sandwiches and some drinks. It’s right on Las Ramblas so tons of shopping and dining options, most of the latter are of course bad. Just across from the hotel is a little café called Mako where we went for cappuccinos in the morning and after purchasing them at the counter (~ 2.10 euros apiece) sat outside. Starbucks is right across the street from the front of the hotel, which was useful for a to-go cup of coffee on the way to the airport.
Just a few blocks down from the hotel on Las Ramblas is a lovely outdoor market.
Make no mistake, though, the area has a bit of an ‘international’ flair to it.
(notice the young boys peering in)
And then there’s the obligatory…
Fortunately we did leave Las Ramblas to eat!
Next up in the trip report: Dinner at El Bulli!