We recently spent five terrific nights at the Hotel Arts. We enjoyed being down on the port, next to the beach, a bit outside of downtown Barcelona, though also appreciated what a quick ride it was by taxi or metro to get into the heart of town. With the exception of the too-small pool (see below) and the somewhat excessive food prices (but not surprising), we found everything at the hotel to be wonderful
The first thing I'll say is that the staff are exceptional. Everyone, with no exceptions, was extremely friendly, professional, and helpful. We were very impressed - management is clearly doing a good job here. The concierges helped us over and over and over again, always with a smile and much patience. Every staff member you encounter says good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, but in a warm and friendly manner (not stiff or overdone).
The rooms were great - spacious, comfortable, nice furnishings, good bed, and amazing shower. We had connecting rooms with our kids, which was great for our family. Our room was on the corner, and so we had a lot of windows with great views of the beach, pool, and the Frank Gehry whale sculpture.
The breakfast room was busy, but we never waited more than a couple of minutes for a table (though saw longer lines later in the morning). Our breakfast was included with our room package, so I can't speak to cost, but will say that there was a great variety of generally good food. Our kids loved the crepe bar, and I loved the fresh smoothies that they made out on the patio.
The hotel gym was good - big variety of equipment in good condition, very clean, with towels and water available.
We had a nice lunch at the Patio restaurant overlooking the pool. The food was good overall, but extremely expensive. You sort of expect this, given it is a Ritz and quite a nice place, but still we suffered a bit of sticker shock. However a pitcher of excellent champagne sangria dulled the pain, and is highly recommended.
Our only real gripe, mentioned by others, is that the pool and pool area (chairs, etc) are vastly undersized for the size of the hotel and number of guests. It is too bad, for it is a lovely pool and very nice setting, but we waited perhaps 90 minutes to get pool chairs the first day, and it was almost always chaotic and packed at the pool. This is simply a design flaw of the hotel, and one they should consider remedying because if the pool was properly sized I would definitely give the hotel a five star review.
We had room 916, a large corner room with kind bed facing the ocean with great views.
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