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“A place with atmosphere”
Review of Hotel El Xalet

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Hotel El Xalet
Ranked #3 of 25 Sitges B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Sofia, Bulgaria
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A place with atmosphere”
Reviewed 3 August 2008

As many of you do, I read the reviews here before I booked my single room at El Xalet in June 2008. And after finishing my stay at this hotel I really wanted to post a good word about the place. Not only because the building is amazing and my room was quite all right (basic but clean and airconditioned), but also because of the great sense of good taste, one can experience here.

The first impression of the place may not be quite "luxury", however, when you feel the specific atmosphere of the green garden and taste the dinner menu served by the pool accompanied by soft chillout music, everithing changes. Yes, the place is not flashy at all, but I cannot think of another hotel in SItges with such pleasant atmosphere. This is what worth to be felt here.

And the staff: As you can see from the comments below, the hotel is operated by a Spanish family (a mother and two sons). Although you will notice that they are not the typical "How can we help you" team, indeed they are doing quite a good job to keep the good taste in the site. Yes, they speak English as good as most of us speak Spanish (as one of the comments below reads), however even this fact can help you better feel the local spirit (you are wrong if you expect any standartized McDonalds approach here). If you like Spain as I do, you will probably agree with me that the more you try to understand it, the more you will love it.

And a special word about a special person I met in El Xalet - Yvonne - the lady at the reception (English). I have been to many hotels across Europe and US, but this is the first receptionist, who was not only extremely helpful and nice (she let me keep my bike in the hotel's warehouse), but also become a friend of mine, although I spent there only four days. Yvonne is a realy nice and openhearted person and her positive and friendly attitude and nice sense of humor are loved by the guests and pefectly fit to the artistic atmosphere of the site.

I recommend experiencing El Xalet with no reservation.

~Ilya

  • Liked — artistic atmsphere
  • Disliked — oldish furniture
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Elias11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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167 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cardiff
Level Contributor
34 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2008

I booked the hotel via sitgesonlin.com and got confirmation. I arrived at the hotel but they had no knowledge of the booking and the hotel was full, an English staff member said this was not uncommon as there were often administrative problems at the hotel.
The staff member found me a room elsewhere in the town (more expensive) and arranged for me to have an upgraded room the following day.
When I arrived the following day the management had decided I did not need an upgraded room and gave me a basic room despite my inconvenience.
Were it not for the help of the English staff member I would have been left with no bed on a Saturday evening.

  • Liked — Character of building
  • Disliked — disorganised and surly staff
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cymro2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 July 2008

We just returned from a 3-night stay at Hotel El Xalet and I'm missing it already. If you prefer a holiday with a great sense of style at reasonable cost, this hotel and it's sister are the perfect choice. Original architecture, beautiful tiling and decor. The rooms are not what would be classed as luxurious, but have exactly the right level of 'shabby chic' to make a stay feel like a real experience. We had a large roof terrace/balcony which was totally unexpected. Everything was clean and well presented, only let down by an ugly desk/fridge which spoiled the otherwise romantic and authentic atmosphere.

Breakfast in the courtyard was a real favourite, lovely continental plate of toast, rolls and croissants with very good, freshly made coffee. The canopy of trees and the blue of the pool coupled with the large coloured glass windows of the main building create a feeling of faded opulence. This hotel will really appeal to those who've become jaded with 'Holiday Inn blandness'. Do try it.

  • Liked — The Spanish authenticity
  • Disliked — The ugly desk/fridge in the bedroom
  • Stayed July 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Virgorama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2008

We've just spent 14 days at El Xalet and really enjoyed it. The building is fabulous and we had a huge room with very high ceiling on the ground floor which suited us down to the ground. The location was perfect for us being so close to the station and within easy reach of the beach. There was some street noise to contend with but the double glazing kept most of it out.

The bathroom was large with high quality modern fittings and ornately patterned tiling. The shower felt like a power shower with great water pressure and instant hot water whenever we needed it. No soap was provided but disposable slippers were. Towels were changed every day and the maids came after 1pm usually which suited us very well.

I lost my wallet some where between Gatwick and the train from the airport and Yvonne (the recently employed ex-pat British receptionist) and the family who own the hotel were very helpful with giving me directions to the police station etc. The safe in the room was free of charge unlike other places we have stayed in the town. We were also given 2 sets of room keys which saved a lot of hassle.

Other reviewers have commented that the family's command of English isn't good so I suspect that Yvonne will be a great asset - always cheerful and she knows the area well.

The continental breakfast by the pool was very pleasant each morning and was served until 10.30am. Each evening except Tuesdays the pool area becomes an outdoor restaurant and is a very pretty setting. We were given complimentary cocktails on the first evening and dined there from the inclusive menu @ 20 euros each including a bottle of local rose wine. The choices of main course were a bit limited but the it was good quality, excellent value and pleasently served. Sitges is so well supplied with restaurants at all price levels that we ate somewhere different virtually every day of our holiday.

All in all if we return to Sitges we would definitely choose this hotel again.

  • Liked — Large airy room with great plumbing in a beautiful building.
  • Disliked — Some street noise and dodgy TV reception
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PeterTLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
scotland
Level Contributor
48 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2008

Beautiful hotel with friendlyservice- you just have to be able to get by with some spanish. If you try they try and the architechture is amazing.
Breakfast is basic but the location and decor make up for the short comings.

stayed for 8 nights and would reccomend this for people who like to live somewhere different and really want to escape.

We made the mistake of leaving our house keys in the safe and they we excellent about posting them back to us.

  • Liked — the architechture roccocco and baroque
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank shawspice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2008

Have just spent 6 nights at the Hotel El Xalet - the last time I stayed here was about 10 years ago.

If you like original architecture (the building and interior are truly original), this is the place for you. Towels were changed every day, the room was cleaned daily and access to the railway station (1 minute) and beach (about a 5 minute walk) was great.

The hotel is run by Pilar and her 2 sons. They are perfectly pleasant and civil without being false or obtrusive. Breakfast in the ornate dining room was more than adequate. No its not 5 star but if you want a central, clean hotel with original architecture and easy access to everything, you can't go wrong.

Thank you for a pleasant stay

  • Liked — Architecture, affordability
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ColinTB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester UK
Level Contributor
42 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2008

I have been staying at El Xalet and it's sister hotel La Noucentista for years. Whilst I understand what people are refering to regarding service, they are missing the point (in my opinion).
They are family run hotels and the go about their family life without being obtrusive, I would recommend both hotels to anyone unless they are looking to be pampered.

Personally I don't feel the need for excessive interaction with the hotel staff as long as I can check in and out when I want and get problems sorted if any arise (all of which have been 100% successful in over 20 stays here)

NOW FOR THE POSITIVES...

Both hotels are absolutely gorgeous period properties from an era when Sitges was a tranquil retreat for ultra rich industrialists from Barcelona. Isla de Cuba (the street they are on) is full of similar beautiful buildings which were built as mini palaces for extremely indulgent millionaire's, and built at the height of the Modernista movement, they offer stunning period features everywhere you look and bristle with antiques and chandeliers from the period.

El Xalet in particular is completely unspoilt and you can imagine how it must have been to live there before Sitges became the popular resort it is today, they have kept the original mosaic floors throughout and have sub-divided the enormous rooms to add bathrooms without disturbing the ornate ceilings.

I can only imagine having looked at which hotels are most highly rated on trip advisor that those people are used to staying in homogenous five star hotels all over the world, I too travel extensively and enjoy staying in those charmless modern hotels where you could sleepwalk and find everythig in the room, but to me the whole point of visiting Barcelona and Sitges is for the Modernista architecture which sets the region apart from other great Euroean cities.

We stay at El Xalet or Noucentista for the Carnaval every February and I am always amazed that the whole hotel has been newly repainted inside and out EVERY YEAR, how many hotels can claim that?

The location is fantastic, from the station you have a one minute walk to the hotel and everything you need in sitges is just around the corner, the walk to the beach takes you through bustling streets full of fabulous individual shops and cafes, you could be on the beach in 5 minutes but no one goes the quick way, it is much more fun walking the long way and soaking up the atmosphere.

From June to September the hotel opens their renowned restaurant where you dine al-fresco in the courtyard by the small swimming pool, this experience is very romantic, quiet classical music drifts through the air and a civilised clientelle chat quietly. the food is prepared to an excellent standard and is very inexpensive.

Breakfast too is served by the pool in summer months which is a very pleasant experience, out of season the breakfast room is a large period room with a very large marble fireplace, murals, heavily sculped plaster ceiling with a massive chandelier, bespoke furniture which has details matching the stonework in the room and a narrow tiled conservatory area which looks onto the courtyard. The breakast itself is very simple but all nice and fresh: a large pot of good coffee, hot milk, and a plate of croisants, small rolls filled with local meats and cheeses. toast and jams.

The terrace area is not so beautiful out of season as they empty the pool and move in a family of turtles, which normally live in one of the fountains! they also park the family cars and bikes in the courtyard, realistically though out of season it is too chilly to use this area for anything else.

Both hotels offer outstanding value for money, i'm almost reluctant to say this (in case I can't get one in the future! ) but the suite rooms at both hotels are the best bargain to be found anywhere, the suite room at El Xalet is massive, the main room is so big that the two queen sized beds, huge antique wardrobes, three piece suite and lots of marble topped furniture sit like dolls house furniture with lots of space around them, then there is a lovely bathroom, a second sitting room in an octagonal room in the tower with original hand painted murals, chandelier, 20ft high doors with etched glass, original louvered shutters, more period furniture, doors lead out to a narrow balcony which wraps around the tower looking over the entire courtyard area (it must be 60ft in length in total!)..... THIS ROOM IS AROUND 100 EURO's A NIGHT !!! ENOUGH SAID !!

The rooms are cleaned every day and fresh towels provided, if you sleep in and miss the maid service they put a stack of fresh towels and a toilet roll on one of the antique sofas outside your room, so again refering to the difficulties in communicating which people are refering to, there is no need.

Don't stay here if you want deep carpets, flat screen tv's with hundreds of channels, butler service, your bath running for you etc... (Radisson seven seas do that very well). Do stay here if you want a large comfortable retreat, in the authentic style of the region, close to everything and at a very reasonable price.

Do ask for the rooms on the first floor in both hotels, the rooms on the upper floors are much smaller than I have described, again this is true to the period as they were most likely the staff quarters.

Having read the terrible reviews here I felt I want to stick up for the family who maintain these beautiful properties with a passion. Raul and his brother speek enough English to communicate and it has improved greatly over the years, their mother speaks English as well as most English people speak Spanish, we must look at ourselves before criticising others'

It really seems a shame that the ten minutes or so that most people spend during a holiday talking to hotel reception staff should marr peoples impression so much and spoil their whole appreciation of such a gem of a hotel.

Remember this is a two star hotel and the star ratings go very much on service standards rather than decor. If this hotel did have room service and a 24 hour reception it would be at least double the price!.... I know which way I would prefer it.

  • Liked — Location, large clean rooms, modernista architecture
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
5 Thank MarkMcr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel El Xalet

Property: Hotel El Xalet
Address: Carrer Illa de Cuba, 35, 08870 Sitges, Spain
Region: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Barcelona > Sitges
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 25 B&Bs / Inns in Sitges
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel El Xalet 2*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in an impressive 19th-century building, Hotel El Xalet maintains original features such as floral stained-glass windows and mosaic floors. It offers an outdoor pool, cocktail bar and free Wi-Fi. Rooms at Hotel El Xalet are decorated with antique furniture. They include a private bathroom and flat-screen TV with satellite channels. El Xalet Restaurant serves traditional Spanish cuisine and an extensive wine list is also available. During summer guests can dine beside the pool. The beach in Sitges is less than 10 minutes' walk from the hotel. Barcelona is 40 minutes away by train. ... more   less 
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