We booked a de-luxe double for 5 nights arriving on Christmas Day having been collected from the airport by the hotel car. On arrival we were upgraded to a 1st floor suite with an aspect looking out directly to rooms on the opposit site of former courtyard. To enable privacy, the windows were at least 80% opaque glass and with 3 sets of window dressings, natural light was seriously impeded. However as the weather was brilliant sunshine every day which meant we were out all day we were not too bothered. The room was well appointed with everything as it should be. The suite consisted of a bedroom, lounge, large bathroom with separate shower room and a luggage storage space. The decent sized bedroom had built in wardrobes, a wall-mounted flat screen TV and bedside tables. The bed was exceptionally comfortable with a daily linen change. Lighting was excellent with a nightlight for in-bed reading in addition to lamps. The lounge contained a desk & chair, a sofa, armchairs and a 2nd wall-mounted TV. A mini-bar with limited stock is provided but no courtesy tray for hot drinks but this arrangement is fairly standard in Europe. I cannot function without tea as soon as my eyes are open so took my own travel kettle etc and this did not attract any comment (this has been known in other places but I like tea hot not tepid after a 10 minute journey from a kitchen!).Housekeeping and replenishment services were excellent given it was a holiday period for the local people as well.
The bathroom offered a double wash basin unit with plenty of space for two sets of toiletries etc, a jacuzzi which worked and was spotless, a large walk-in shower with the option of overhead or hand held waterflow. Only slight issue was the decor was very dark in the shower area but lighting and mirrors in the grooming area were excellent.
We took breakfast in a large room with central buffet tables. This area is either a conservatory or is actually outside but cleverly disguised as an indoor room for winter months. It is heated by two types of heating -high wall-mounted electric bar heaters and moveable outdoor patio heaters. Despite their best efforts, these heaters are not adequate. As our visit progressed I was wearing more layers each morning and I observed other guests resorting to outdoor clothing at breakfast. The food was fine but my other half felt that there should have been a cook to order menu for a hotel of this calibre. There was certainly no evidence of this being available.
We had dinner in the AE restaurant on Christmas night which was absolutely fine but not exceptional. We also dined at their Michelin star restaurant Caelis and that's another story! Please see separate review. Suffice to say it was a week ago and we are still awestruck!!!
The location of El Palace is very central with excellent access to good shopping streets, a short distance to the Barrio Gotic, a healthy walk to beach and nearby the Gaudi hotspots. This was our 2nd visit to Barca and we still have not used a bus or underground train. Lots of people comment about noise from the underground. I noticed it but it was not obstrusive. This is a city centre after all.
We tend to use 5 star hotels in cities and although El Palace does not equate to other places we have stayed in recent times it was very good value. We would probably give it another chance.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- El Palace Hotel has been totally refurbished and reopened late 2009. The works have preserved the classic spirit that has always characterised this property, distinguished as a symbol of Barcelona’s hotel tradition. Set in the heart of the city centre, close to Las Ramblas and in the most prestigious shopping area, it is surrounded by boulevards, theatres and main banks. It has an excellent transport connections and it is just 20 min from el Prat Airport.After the restoration, the Hotel will have 125 rooms, 42 of which will be suites and junior suites, all equipped with last-generation technology. A new room design, a soft interior re-decoration of public areas and lounges and the realignment and optimisation of the architectural infrastructure will enhance the beauty and majesty of our Hotel like in the 20’s. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Palace Hotel Barcelona, Catalonia