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Barcelona; Hotel or Apartment and where, oh where?

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Frequent visitor to Spain but first timer to Barcelona next spring. We are traveling with friends who have a slightly more upscale sensibility than my S/O and I - we rate about 70-75 on a luxury scale to 100. My friend's wife is a little hesitant to go the apartment route, but she is not really familiar with the multitude of high quality apartments on offer through much of Spain so I think there is a good chance she will give them fair consideration in the planning.

So, the wish list would be an upscale 2 bedroom apartment, with 2 private bathrooms, or we will need a similar quality hotel and we'll get 2 rooms.

I am not sure if we should be in Ciutat Vella, Barri Gotic, or L'Exiample but it would be one of the three. I think that the some of the "grittiness" of the Gothic quarter or even La Rambla might make L'Eixample preferable for some of us - hey not me, but I have to navigate the wants and desires of many here.

I would appreciate any insight and specific recommendations from those with experience.

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