As everyone has already noted, this is not a 4-star hotel. More like 2-star. The secret to dealing with this place is to get that into your head and adjust your expectations accordingly.
I stayed here with my wife and daughter for 4 nights in July 2014. Before booking, we read all the reviews about this hotel and still went ahead. Why? Firstly the location was great, close to everything. Secondly the price was great; 2 of the 4 nights cost less than EUR 100/night, including breakfast. Not bad for a triple room in July when Barcelona is completely full.
Upon arrival, we discovered that our request for a “quiet room on a high floor” had been ignored. Instead, we got room 202, facing the street, which was not even a triple; more like a double with an extra bed crammed in. The room was not exactly huge to begin with; with an extra bed, there was barely space to move. We asked to be relocated but were told that there were no other rooms available. Since we had arrived late (11pm) I was prepared to forgive them for this.
As previous reviewers have noted, your chances of getting any sleep in rooms facing the street are next to zero. Although there is very little traffic noise and no noisy clubs nearby, you suffer from all the drunks shouting at the top of their lungs at 4.00 am. And noise really echoes around those old buildings at night!
Next day, after being offered a small “interior” room (606) or a larger "street" room (218) we relocated to room 201, the other side of the corridor from our original room. Not only was this an interior room (the window looks out onto an internal courtyard) but also it was twice the size of our original room; more like a junior suite with a sofa, sofa-bed and walk-in closet, so easily accommodating the 3 of us. The decent-sized bathroom even had a Jacuzzi! For the next 3 nights we slept like babies!
Having wandered around the hotel and looked at the floor plan on the fire escape notice, I’m guessing that there are only 1 or 2 of such rooms on each floor. If you have a chance, grab one! It will make a difference to your stay. Even if there are only 2 of you and you have to pay a small premium for a “triple” room.
1. Breakfast consists of a buffet with 7 kinds of sausage, a vegetable tortilla, hard boiled eggs, bread rolls, cereals, fruit, yoghurt, ham, cheese, fruit juice, tea, coffee. Sounds OK? Not really; the sausages are low quality and greasy, the ham and cheese are industrial & processed, the drinks (hot & cold) come from a machine. If I were in charge, I’d reduce the variety and increase the quality. What’s wrong with Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, fresh coffee & OJ, decent bread? Breakfast was included in our room rate but I would not pay extra for this, especially with so many cafes nearby.
2. The air-conditioning is basic and certainly not to “American” standards. It takes away the worst of the heat, but no more, even with the thermostat to the lowest setting and the fan to the max. Make sure you leave it on when you leave the room.
3. We had no problems with wi-fi. It worked fine in every room we tried as well as in the public areas. Likewise, we had no problems with insects and each room was spotlessly clean. Yes, the furniture and fittings are old but remember, its really a 2-star!
4. Regarding the street noise, Barcelona is a noisy place and if you get a street-facing room in any old building, you will have the same problem.
5. Many reviewers have commented on the “unfriendly” and “unhelpful” staff. This was not our experience. One gentleman on the front desk (Henry) was especially helpful to us when changing rooms. Also, bear in mind that, just as this is not really a 4-star hotel, so most of the people staying here are not really “4-star people”. If I had to deal with them all day, I might have to force the occasional smile. Treat the staff with respect, speak to them in their own language (or at least try) and they will reciprocate. Works everywhere in the world, not just here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of the Gothic quarter, surrounded by shops, restaurants and leisure areas, Gran Hotel Barcino offers you to enjoy Barcelona with all the comforts of a 4 star hotel. Thanks to its excellent location, accessible within a few minutes walking las Ramblas, the beach, the Cathedral... Near the hotel you will find a parking fee and several public transport options to move comfortably through Barcelona. The Gran Hotel Barcino is located at C / Jaume I, 6, street giving to the famous plaza de Sant Jaume, where the Generalitat de Catalunya and the City Hall are located. Its prime location in the famous Gothic quarter, within the historic centre of Barcelona, and its proximity to the Cathedral, las Ramblas, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions, make it the perfect accommodation choice for Barcelona. The Gran Hotel Barcino, located in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona, offers 68 comfortable rooms, decorated in a modern and cosy style with marble floors and spacious bathrooms. All the rooms have: air conditioning and heating, telephone, TV, private bathroom with shower or bathtub, hairdryer and toiletries, safe (with charge) and Wi-Fi Internet. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Hotel Barcelona
- Gran Hotel Barcino Barcelona, Catalonia