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“It was OK”
Review of El Palace Hotel

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El Palace Hotel
Ranked #9 of 514 Hotels in Barcelona
Certificate of Excellence
East Sussex
Level Contributor
136 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“It was OK”
Reviewed 5 January 2012

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.

Room Tip: Rooms to the front may suffer from traffic noise
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank skyecorrina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Cheshire
Level Contributor
64 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2012

I'm going to go against the grain here and say that I don't think El Palace compares with some of the more famous five star hotels that I've stayed in (George V, The Hassler).

We were picked up by the hotel car and taken swiftly to the hotel, lead into reception and checked in(our room wasn't ready but it was 11.30 am) so we went to the restaurant to have lunch, it is decorated beautifully in keeping with the history of the building,they have done a great job sourcing beautiful reproduction furniture. We had lunch and it was fantastic but there was just no atmosphere, the place felt dead and we were the only people in it making it hard to sit back and relax.

We stayed in a one bedroom suite and it was nice but just nice nothing amazing, the colours of the room were muted and the room felt dark and gloomy, the seating area only had one small sofa and two upright chairs so it wasn't a great place to lounge in. As it was our wedding anniversary my husband had (as a surprise) requested flowers, bubbly & cake in the room on arrival(he booked this two months in advance). They weren't there and when he tried to speak to reception got nowhere so he had to go downstairs and after a long conversation with them they explained they hadn't known if he wanted them on arrival or later in the day, its areas like this that they fall down in, a top 5 star hotel would do their utmost to make find out as it kind of ruined the surprise!

Other things such as a leaking radiator which had obviously been like it for some time as the carpet was discloured, not being able to get through to room service, a breakfast delivered without butter, salt, jam and milk and you can understand why I wasn't blown away.

The staff are friendly but they don't go out of their way to help, we had drink each night when we returned from dinner and bang on 12 the bar was shut, we weren't asked if we would like another drink.....

We were on the 6th floor and you can here the metro, not enough to stop me sleeping but it's there.

We had dinner in their michelin star restaurant and I wasn't impressed with it (please see my seperate review), the breakfast was good, it's in a good spot, walking distance to the shops etc. It was a nice stay but nothing special and for the money I don't think we would return.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank IrishKaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviewed 1 January 2012

At 10 minutes walking distance from Las Rambas, you will find a pure gem.
Everything in this Palace ( and it deserves the term of Palace ), is incredible : space, design, We felt like a royal couple in our room, the bathroom is huge.
If you can afford it, just go for the Suite!
What about service? Every staff is helpful and incredibly gentle whatever you ask for.
I would definitely return and recommend this masterpiece.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Caet R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
103 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2011

Look at the pics - what a gorgeous place and the bathroom was as big as many of the hotel rooms I've stayed in! Rooms were large by European standards, and the walk-in closet was fantastic. Beautiful lobby, and the breakfast buffet was very satisfying. Can't say how good the beds were because we were so jet-lagged we could have slept in the hallway. Most European beds I found hard as a rock and I remember these as being close to that. Very nice location -- close to lots of restaurants, bars, and shopping. Only 10 minute walk to Las Ramblas. The area felt very safe, even at night. Staff was very friendly and helpful. Obviously one of the best hotels in Barcelona. Price was included in my travel package but I'm betting it was astronomical. Stay here if you can afford to pay for first class accommodations -- you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DoubleBock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nelspruit, South Africa
Level Contributor
60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2011

We were blown away with HOTEL EL PALACE BARCELONA (OLD RITZ) - never in all our travels have we had such service from any hotel. 5 Star service in every way. The hotel it self, is so beautiful that we were both blown away. We received exactly what we have asked for, a quiet room, away from the elevators, top floor and received a free upgrade on top of it. Free wi fi is available in the reception and lounge areas. The restaurant;s breakfast is out of this world, the selection so fantastic and well presented.
The room it self, comes with everything you need. Do not expect a view if you want quietness, but this did not matter. This hotel is close to everything you want to experience in Barcelona, on the Las Rambles, close to wonderful restaurantants, all the shops, pharmacies, hop on hop off bus routes, the squares, etc.
We are still blown away with this hotel and it staff - a must for every person who wants to stay in a beautiful 5 star hotel with good rates.
Thank you El Palace for making our stay in Barcelona unforgettable.

Room Tip: top floor, away from the street, away from the elevators
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SUNBIRDnelspruit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jakarta
Level Contributor
62 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2011

it's a grand hotel. straight away feel homey when entering the property. very clean and the room is very spacious. the breakfast variety is not as many compared to some big hotel but very good quality food. lots of variety of spanish ham, iberico. very tasty, it melts in your mouth. the apple turnover is the best yet tasted. we also dine in the cafetaria. the chef is michelin rated so the food is quite good with a reasonable price.

Stayed December 2011, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank mchendra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
106 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 December 2011

First the good, and it really is good: The hotel is elegant and comfortable; the staff are courteous and helpful; and everything is clean and works. The location, close to, but away from, the madding crowd, was perfect for us. The L'Occitane cosmetics are a nice touch. Style and pampering are words that come to mind. Of course, you get what you pay for, and it ain't cheap. We followed advice of previous reviewers and asked for the top floor and an internal room. The less than perfect are that their king-sized bed is really two twins (cleverly connected, but even so...), you can still hear and feel the metro even on the top floor (though it's not nearly as noticeable as in the lobby), we had no traffic noise - but plenty of noise from the airconditioning units on the roof (white noise, but still noise), and they charge for wi-fi in the room (though it's free in the lobby), which I find outrageous.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Max92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Palace Hotel

Property: El Palace Hotel
Address: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 668, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
Phone Number:
Region: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Barcelona > Barcelona > Eixample
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Barcelona
#5 Romantic Hotel in Barcelona
#8 Family Hotel in Barcelona
#9 Luxury Hotel in Barcelona
#29 Business Hotel in Barcelona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — El Palace Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 125
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

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