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“Very enjoyable stay - small niggles”

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Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa
Ranked #197 of 513 Hotels in Barcelona
Certificate of Excellence
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
188 reviews
125 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 227 helpful votes
“Very enjoyable stay - small niggles”
Reviewed 14 March 2012

Myself and my partner are just back from the Axel.

Overall we had a very enjoyable stay and enjoyed the experience of completely relaxing as a gay couple in the hotel -having travelled extensively, the reality of most 'gay friendly' hotels is the sight of two guys being in any way affectionate would raise more than a few eyebrows from other guests and staff. The Axel was a refreshing change. As other guests have commented the vast majority of other guests were also gay but there were some couples and indeed one or two families in the hotel too.

Our room was very good. We had booked a standard room but were offered an upgrade on arrival for a good rate and took up the offer to get a superior room. The room was very nice with a comfortable bed, large powerful shower, and a modern look, as well as a nice small balcony overlooking the street outside. Other guests have described their discomfort with the see-through shower cabinets. It was fine for us as a couple together for a number of years but even took us a day or so to get used to it (especially as our main window opened directly to the street!) and can understand how others would dislike it.

On the downside in the room there is very poor storage provided, a real lack of drawer space, and only four hangers - not wanting to play to the stereotype, but not good for two gay men and their clothes!!! On the same theme not having an iron and ironing board in each room in a 4* hotel is a disappointment

I cant comment on the standard rooms but when selling us the upgrade the check in staff described it as smaller, facing an internal courtyard, and having no natural light!!!! So he sold us the upgrade well :)

The rooftop is beautiful and I think it would be amazing when the weather is a little warmer. I was however surprised at the small size of the pool - it is very small and only a little bigger than a plunge pool.

Very disappointingly for us we checked in on a Saturday and out on a Tuesday but notices were posted on Monday and Tuesday that the pool and Jacuzzi and entire rooftop was closed for technical maintenance - having enjoyed the facilities on Sunday and looking forward to using them again it was very disappointing and not acknowledged in anyway during check in or check out or any other complimentary service or discount. I understand maintenance is required but the point is there was no acknowledgement made

Breakfast was pretty good by continental standards. The staff in general were efficient and helpful in the main if a little curt and unfriendly when dealing with questions and requests. Conveniently it was served until 12 noon on weekends and 11 on weekdays, meaning no annoying early alarms whilst on holiday and perhaps after a night out

Finally regarding the 'seediness' commented on by other guests, we weren't particularly bothered by this. However, it must be noted that the 'D' door hanger inviting 'other guests to knock on your door' is, in my opinion, ill advised - it would never be found in any 'straight' hotel of any standard, never mind 4*. Also ill advised is the 'Axel People' social network to allow you to 'socialise ' with other guests over the internet. Equally the fliers in the room for 'Manhunt.net' just complete the set of somewhat uncomfortable layer of sexual prowling in the hotel.

As for the artwork - what we saw was completely mundane. As one would expect there were some pictures of buff men in skimpy swimwear here and there in the public areas but it is by no means in your face.

Room Tip: Suggest a superior room, high floor, facing street
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank journeyman29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BORJAJULIA, Director General at Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa, responded to this review, 19 March 2012
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your positive opinion and thank you for staying with us.
I´m so sorry if you found our terrace closed for refushment, but we must to did it before high summer season. Hope you can come back and use this area during summer.
Thank you
Borja Julia
Axel Hotel Barcelona
General Manager
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (328)
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
71 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2012

My partner and I stayed here for a long weekend! This was booked without me realising it was a 'gay' hotel! Nevertheless we had a wonderful stay and were made to feel so welcome! Room service was fantastic and the bar downstairs was great fun! All staff were very helpful and very polite! Wouldn't reccomended if people aren't totally comfortable with such surroundings!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Katie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BORJAJULIA, Director General at Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa, responded to this review, 12 March 2012
Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for your opinion and for staying with us.
You are always very welcome!
Best regards
Borja Julia
Axel Hotel Barcelona
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2012

The hotel should be great but clearly the managment is not interested in providing amazing guest experience. The free WiFI that they speak about hardly works in the rooms. I arrived after 2pm for checkin and was told that I would have to wait for a room. I booked a King sized bed and was told no room was available with a king until 2 hours from then. I ended taking a room next to the elevator with 2 twins pushed together and a view of a wall (they call it a garden because their is some fake grass). The staff is very nice and works with what they are given. But clearly the management has sold out for 100% booking only and not concerned weather you come back. When leaving a guy from Austrailia at 6pm was to his reservation made last July- was there but the hotel had no rooms- they are oversold..... crazy....

Room Tip: Read the fine print very carefully as they advertise a City room but that means nothing-
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank downtownsml
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BORJAJULIA, Director General at Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa, responded to this review, 12 March 2012
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your opinion and thank you for staying with us.
For your information we continue working for an excellent service and that´s ther reason that we are changing our Wi-Fi System.
Also, I would like to inform you that you had a City Room and you got a Premium Interior Room, (better room) more relaxing but unfornatly not your type as you mentioned in your criticism.
Anyway, again, thank you and hope you give us another oportunity.
Sincerely,
Borja Julia
Axel Hotel Barcelona
General Manager
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Manhattan Beach, California
Level Contributor
63 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2012

I have to say I read up on this place before getting there for Mobile World Congress. We knew it was a Hetero Friendly hotel so we were prepared to be the minority. The art work and vibe the other reviews complain about did not bother us in the least. The staff were all awesome from the front desk to the cleaning lady. The room is where this place fails. Our room reeked of mold. You could see where the baseboards and become disconnected and the wallpaper was peeling like major water damage had occurred in our room. The bed linens and bed were uncomfortable and the light fixture in our room was actually just a piece of fabric stretched out over a bulb. To say the least for all the money invested in the common areas they could make the actual room a lot nicer. I could hear the man above us snoring and any time a person flushed the toilet or took a shower the water sounded like it was running right about our head. This is no fault of the hotel but the recycle bins are very noisy, we were directly above them and all night and early morning people were dumping their bottles loudly in the bin. I could care less what you put on the walls and if my neighbors are cruising around looking for a "D" card hanging on the door. These rooms need a major over haul STAT. If you are looking for a clean affordable room and care less about the scene in the lobby don't stay here.

Room Tip: If you need quiet to sleep do not get a street facing room, it is very noisy due to the recycle bins...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank Clemsongal42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BORJAJULIA, Director General at Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa, responded to this review, 6 March 2012
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your constructive criticism.
For your information your opinion it is a great help for us and that make to continue working for an excellent service.
Hope we can see you again with us and see our improvments.
Thank you in advance
Borja Julia
Axel Hotel Barcelona
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2012

Location: quite central, easily accessible from the main train stations or metro, and walking distance to most of the tourist attractions. Several nice eateries nearby
Room: nice with all the essentials. Interesting Facebook like concept for the guests but didn't try it, but like the idea.
Facilities: roof top terrace and gym - very nice. The spa was nice too
Breakfast - not included in ours, didn't try them. Probably cheaper to get breakfast at Cafes around the hotel. Hotel was asking for €16 pp for breakfast or €12 if we booked in advanced for 5 nights.
Cons: no proper lobby area to sit down apart from two enormous chairs at the entrance. Or other choice is to sit at the bar which is quite dark.

We got quite good deal as it was low season, probably won't stay if we have to pay full price. But the staff were very friendly and helpful. We chose to upgrade to premium room - in retrospective, we should have checked the "normal" room first before accepting the offer - but it's only €40 extra. We had lovely time in Barcelona

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gusto2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BORJAJULIA, Director General at Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa, responded to this review, 6 March 2012
Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for your great opinion about us.
Thank you for staying with us during your last visit to Barcelona and we hope you will stay again with us soon.
For your information your opinion it is very important for us.
Best regards,
Borja Julia
Axel Hotel Barcelona
General Manager
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The Netherlands
Level Contributor
48 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2012

After having stayed several (fun) times at its younger sister in Berlin, with some good and not so good experiences, we decided to give Axel Barcelona a chance, also because of the cheap hotel/flight we could book. We were both pleasantly surprised with the room we got, 317, facing the streetside, which had been renovated and where Berlin has a very dark interior, the room was bright, it had an open shower, which I think is quite hip, seperate toilet, quite spacious (compared to e.g. standard rooms in the UK), clean and had some nice toiletries. So after having read several reviews on TA, probably the before the renovation reviews, we did not have to great expectations, but they have proven us wrong! We did not make use of their wellness facilities which you have to pay an additional 7 euros for, we had a sneak peek and it looked fine, and the pool bar on top of the roof looked great, must be fun when it is the right temperature. So, would we stay here again? Yes!!! Actually, we cannot wait to go back to Barcelona, fun city! And since we had a good experience at Axel's, and it's great location with some great restaurants just around the corner like Flamant (!), we most definitely would go back. By the way, their pricey Cosmopolitans taste great! Enjoy...

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank cloudnr9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BORJAJULIA, Director General at Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa, responded to this review, 29 February 2012
Google Translation
Estimado cliente,
Le agradecemos muchísimo sus comentarios.
Esperamos que pueda repetir su experiencia con nosotros.
Un saludo afectuoso
Borja Julia
Axel Hotel Barcelona
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2012

Let me start by saying that we had a very plesant stay at the Axel Barcelona. We found the staff to be friendly and helpful and everyone we spoke with spoke english. We stayed at the hotel twice on our trip so we got to experience two different rooms. Both rooms were spotless and nicely decorated. My only irritation and it was a big one!!! The wireless signal in both the rooms was very poor and at most times we could not connest at all. This is very frustrating as we relied on the wifi to plan our daytrips. I eventually resorted to buying a local data card for Spain. There is a computer on the 1st floor for guests to use, but prefer not to have to leave my room and sit aove the reception. Ther website clearly stated that there was wifi available........

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DunxB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BORJAJULIA, Director General at Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa, responded to this review, 29 February 2012
Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for your opinion and thank you for staying with us during your last visit in Barcelona.
I would like to thank you about your positive criticism about our staff and sevices Hotel.
Also, I would like to apologize to you about our Wi-Fi Connection, we are changing our system and we hope it is going to be better than before. Hope you can stay again with us and see our NEW Wi-Fi connection.
Sincerely
Borja Julia Blanch
Axel Hotel Barcelona
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa

Property: Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa
Address: Aribau 33, 08011 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 ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#26 Spa Hotel in Barcelona
#130 Business Hotel in Barcelona
#134 Luxury Hotel in Barcelona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Faithful to the concept and style of Axel-design, comfortable, cosmopolitan atmosphere, is a good value for price. The 105 rooms combine the touch of decoration from Modernism with the warmth and elegance of the Mediterranean. New spaces at Axel Hotel Barcelona, will become the urban meeting point of the heterofriendly. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa Catalonia

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