The location of this hotel is fantastic, we arrived into El Prat (Barcelona International) and walked to the airport train station to catch the R2 train into Sants station,(19 mins) you can then just jump on the underground for something like 3 stops, (5-10 mins), make sure you exit via the St Pau exit and as you walk up the steps out of the station, the hotel is right there in front of you - couldnt be easier.
We booked this hotel a few weeks before traveling, for 4 nights and got a very good rate via Hotwire. On arrival the hotel doesn't look anything special from the outside, however as soon as you walk through the doors, greeted by a polite doorman, the interior is very nice indeed.
The gentleman on reception was nice and polite, made conversation with us and in general made check in a more pleasurable experience than most hotels. Check in was quick, easy and very painless. We were given a room on the 2nd floor and on entering we noticed it had one of the dreaded 'interior' windows.
The room itself was not massive, but there was ample space for us to spread out. The room was very modern, spotlessly clean, had a couple of chairs, wardrobe space, desk, safe, an LCD TV, with all the usual european channels, air conditioning and impressively 'FREE WIFI'! The bed was also great, very comfortable after a long day exploring and helped us have a good nights sleep (apart from our first night when we woken by some very loud and extremely selfish guests, shouting along the corridor at 4.30am!)
The bathroom was also extremely clean, with a hairdryer, complimentary toiletries and a very good shower for a hotel. As I mentioned, the room had one of the 'dreaded' interior facing windows, after reading other reviews on here I feared the worst, however there was no need - yes it doesn't face outside, its a kind of an internal courtyard, yes it's frosted glass, and yes there's no view - but the huge plus side is you are not facing the street, there's no noise, and we were out all day anyway, who sits in their room all day looking out the window in a beautiful city like Barcelona!!??
The rooftop pool and terrace area was also a nice surprise, both were clean, towels were provided, and every time we went up, there was hardly anyone around - very peaceful and some fantastic views of the city!
we never had breakfast at the hotel, so can't comment on that - we walked to the market every morning to grab a pastry and some fresh juice.
As for seeing the sights, it's in a fantastic position - 5-10 mins stroll down one street takes you to Palau Guell, La Rambla and the Old Town, a few more minutes gets you to the great market and Placa de Catalunya, 10 minutes walk from the hotel also takes you to Port Vell area.
All tourist areas are within easy reach from this hotel, wether you use the Metro or the Hop on/Hop off bus. The area itself is the the theatre district of Barcelona, some of the nearby streets did seem quite run down, but we never felt uncomfortable walking around.
We also never had a problem with pickpockets, I'm sure they are there, but just take sensible precautions and I'm sure they won't be interested - just be aware like you would in any major city.
Overall we had a great 4 nights in this hotel, couldn't fault it at all - we didn't manage to do everything in Barcelona, which means we will hopefully be making another visit - and my first choice for a hotel will definitely be the Barcelona Universal Hotel - Fabulous Hotel.
A few tips... before arriving book the Hop on/Hop off online and check for discount codes, we got 25% off our tickets. On arriving get a T10 ticket, 10 journeys on the train, bus or metro for 10 euros, and you can share it between whoever you're with, and finally steer clear from the 'restaurants' on La Rambla, we had a terrible, over priced meal there, instead go in to Placa Reial or down to the Port for a better quality meal for a reasonable price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Strategically located just a five-minute walk from Las Ramblas, Hotel Barcelona Universal grants its guests easy access to all parts of the city. Metro lines 2 and 3 stop just outside the main entrance, at “Paral·lel,” and nearby buses can take you to the beaches of Barcelona, Park Güell, and anywhere in between. A stroll from our hotel near Las Ramblas will take you to some of Barcelona’s favorite tourist attractions.Hotel opened in 2001 and renewed in 2011.Hotel Barcelona Universal has 167 rooms, each equipped with free Wi-Fi Internet. Three “Barcelona Skyline Suites” feature a Jacuzzi and private terrace. Families and larger groups may be accommodated in triple or superior rooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Universal Barcelona
- Hotel Barcelona Universal
- Barcelona Universal Hotel Catalonia