I booked this trip for myself and my partner's anniversary, having been to Barcelona previously, I knew it was a particularly expensive city to visit, so I was prepared :)
Upon arrival, we were instantly disappointed with the location of the Hesperia, as it seemed to be surrounded by huge tower blocks of flats, with no restaurants, bars, or visible shops. Having read previous trip advisor reviews, I was aware that there wasn't much around, but I was surprised at just how desolate the area seemed - especially as the University was just next door.
Regardless, inside the building was very modern and pretty, with a spacious seating area and helpful bi-lingual members of staff on reception. Check in was effortless, and we were in our room within 5 minutes. First thing to note, was how dimly lighted the bathroom was (although it added to the modern decor, it did make it particularly difficult to initially find things).
I'm not sure about anyone else, but i'm not particularly keen on going to the toilet with the door open if my partner is around... or at all actually; well guess what, you get no choice! Nothing in the bathroom has a lock, the doors just have to be pulled into place, and because everything is covered in mirrors, you get a fabulous view of yourself every time you pull your pants down. Although we found this mildly amusing, it was still a bit disconcerting that you got to see/hear everything your partner was up to in the bathroom.
The bed was no where near as comfortable as other 5* hotel beds i've stayed in, with the mattress being quite hard, and the headboard/wall being an odd velour material (felt a bit like a cheap adult movie room).
The mini bar and chocolate etc. 7 euros for a kitkat, really? Extortion beyond belief. Obviously we'd assumed it would be expensive and we didn't touch anything for that reason :)
On Shrove Tuesday, we decided to get room service. The menu said 7.50 for pancakes 7.50 for waffles and 5euro service charge. We thought that was ideal, so we went for it. We didn't ask for the bill when the food was delivered, we were told to pay on check out.
Here's the extortion part.
Upon check out, we were told our outstanding bill was 49 euros. If your maths is as fantastical-superly-amazingz as mine, you'll have only added up 20 for breakfast. Soooo... the other 29? City tax was added, per person, per night, which equated to around 10 euros overall.
We asked where the rest of the charges had come from, and the girl at reception told us that we'd had a 'promotional breakfast for 16 euros each, instead of the usual 24 euros each'... No where in the room did it say there was a minimum charge for breakfast, why would each other item be priced individually if this were the case??
No way on this earth would I willingly pay 14 euros for 3 crusty pancakes, and a waffle that smelt like fish.
The final part of the fee was a 7 euro charge for having the room cleaned. Funny, they didn't change the sheets, they didn't replace the towels... they literally made the bed.
I stayed in the Bellagio in Vegas in November, and they didn't charge me a penny every time they came in and completely re-did the room.
I think the main issue with this hotel, is that they find very sneaky ways to up your bill. Obviously there were no signs anywhere saying they'll charge you 7 euros for a standard room tidy, nor that there's a minimum spend for breakfast. I suppose the best thing to do would be to just not order anything at all, and to put the 'do not disturb' sign up, so they can't charge you for cleaning the room.
Metro is so cheap, and it takes you everywhere with minimal effort. It takes about 3 minutes to walk to the metro stop just outside the University (through the carpark opposite the hotel). From there it's only two metros (red line to Placa de sants, then blue line to Sagrada) and you're right in the middle of everything.
On our last day we did find a shop hidden in the block of flats about 7/8 minute walk away, where you could buy kitkats for less than a euro... so if you do need to stock up on chocolate, i'd do it that way ;)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The NH Collection Barcelona Tower hotel, formerly known as Hesperia Tower, is in Barcelona’s new business and financial district, between the airport and the city center. It’s just minutes from the fairgrounds too. As for the building itself, it’s a real city landmark, complete with a fabulous glass-roof cupola. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hesperia Hotel Barcelona
- Hesperia Tower Barcelona
- Hesperia Tower Hotel Barcelona
- NH Collection Barcelona Tower Catalonia