Myself and my girlfriend recently stayed at Hotel Icaria (March 25th-30th 2012) Our flight arrived in Barcelona at 9:30pm which meant it was dark, so we opted for a taxi to the hotel as we didn't fancy any hastle. The taxi cost 28euros which included all fayres/additional charges. We managed to return to the airport on our way home using public transport (very easily) as we had more idea of where we were going and it cost 50% less than getting a taxi.
We were pleasantly greeted by the staff who were friendly and very helpful throughout our stay. Again, as it was late and we didn't know the area, we decided to get some room service - pizza & sangria (a must) which was lovely.
ACCOMMODATION: The hotel is brilliant, really modern and well looked after in every way. Lovely bathroom with all the amenities you need including: free wifi (hit of miss, but still works fine) air con (we had problems with this, however as soon as we informed the staff they fixed this from the reception desk) tv (with a couple of english channels - channel 4 and some news stations) ice machines on every floor. & a mini bar
LOCATION : The hotel is situated along the newly refurbished costal area, which may not be slap bang in the middle of 'La Rambla' however if you want to get into the city centre you have 2 great options
a) By Foot - Take a 30-40 minute walk along the beach into the city centre. We did this most days as we are more than happy to walk places
b) Metro - the metro station we used was 'ciutadella vila olimpica' this station is a 10 minute walk away from the hotel and takes you into the city centre in a matter of minutes
Also, if you choose to get an open top bus tour, there is a pick up / drop off stop within 1 minutes walk of the hotel
- Cheap food/booze - if you go to la rambla (which is a place we found ourselves visiting every day) you must go to a supermarket called 'Carrefour express' where you can buy 6 small bottles of cider for 1.30euros and wine from as little as 0.93euros! (it depends how fussy you are as to what you think of it, but we really liked the wine, even more so as it was so cheap!!)
** we found ourselves eating out for lunch around 3/4pm then taking some food to the hotel with us from this supermarket to eat for tea e.g baguettes, salami, olives, crisps and salad - all for very cheap!! **
- Eating Tapas & Paelle on La Rambla - This was one of the top 10 things we were told to avoid by our 'top 10 Barcelona' book however you can get plenty of good deals. One thing you need to confirm before sitting down is that you can choose your tapas dishes as we were given random dishes on our first experience. We were more sure of ourselves the second time around and got exactly what we wanted. Its a brilliant experience sitting in the sun, eating gorgeous food, drinking sangria with your partner and enjoying the views and sounds. definitely do it!
- Shopping / BARTER, BARTER, BARTER!! - if you want to get souvenirs, DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THE MAIN STRIP ON THE LA RAMBLA! across the road (either side of the strip) there are plenty of souvenir shops where the shop keepers will offer you discounts to literally anything inside their shop if you pick an item up. most items we managed to get for around 40% off the labeled price. It makes a massive difference to your trip :)
KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR POSSESSIONS - we read loads of articles of advice stating how dangerous Barcelona as an area was for people getting their items stolen. I don't think it is any different to any other capital city i've ever visited, you just have to be vigilant and careful/sensible with your items. Don't panic!
I hope this review comes in useful to your trip. It's a beautiful city. You can view mine and my partners photographs from our trip here:
We stayed with a view of the main road, there were no issues with noise at all, so don't be put...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC