Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Barcelona neighborhoods and hotels
Notices

Barcelona neighborhoods and hotels

Reply

May 21st, 2013, 01:02 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 957
Barcelona neighborhoods and hotels

Hi all. We're planning to go to Barcelona next year, and I'm looking at hotels, etc. I'm trying to get a handle on the flavor of the different neighborhoods, to decide on a base. We like architecture, gardens, walking, museums, etc. Not into throbbing nightlife; we tend to eat at a nice upscale restaurant, walk around, and end up reading in our hotel room. It's important to me to have a hotel with light and big windows, and preferably some kind of view (a square, a church, a courtyard - just not looking at another building 20 feet away).

Some of the hotels I've bookmarked are the Alma (near Park Guell) the Neri (Barrio Gotic), the Anba suites (near Plaza Catalunya), the Hotel DO (Placa Reial). I figure the rate will be 225 - 275 E per night; some have booking deals if I do it ahead.

It would really be helpful to understand the neighborhoods more to make a better decision. I have read in several places (though the articles might be old, and things have changed) that the Raval can be a bit iffy at night.

Can you compare them to Paris neighborhoods? What's more like St Germain, the Marais, etc. As always, thank you for any information you can give.
Iwan2go is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 21st, 2013, 01:58 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,934
Stayed at Hotel Neri three weeks ago. Simply the best hotel experience we've ever had. Among all the wonderful things that could be said - tranquile location but as central as it gets, relaxing atmosphere, helpful and friendly staff, elegant design, great roof-top terrace and a huge etc - the bathroom stands out as exceptional. The best four nights sleep I can remember. A hotel you could easily get addicted to.

It is right in the beautiful Gothic quarter which is very popular with tourists. Yet it's somewhat secluded, tucked away down a narrow allyway leading on to small, old and beautiful Plaza San Felipe Neri with a tragic Civil War history still very much visible.

Many of the rooms would have a view over the small plaza and the San Felipe Neri Church, one of Gaudi´s favourite churches in town. About the Plaza: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...and-hotels.cfm

The Gothic quarter can nevertheless be very crowded with tourists, and many of the upscale hotels and restaurants would be in the Eixample (extension) district just inland from the Gothic quarter and the old city walls. Famous and busy Passeig de Gracia divides the Eixample into the Esquerra (left) and Dreta (right) parts. About Eixample: http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...barcelona.html

Some of many upscale restaurants in the Eixample:

Con Gracia: http://www.congracia.es/

Alba Granados: http://grupalba.wordpress.com/

Igueldo: http://www.restauranteigueldo.com/en/

Cinc Sentits: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...Catalonia.html

You should also try Tickets for paradise versions of traditional tapas. Run by the Adrià brothers (El Bulli, the best in the world for the past decade, now closed). Lived up to the high expectations. The basic concept is traditional tapas prepared and presented as you never would imagine and with tastes to the maximum. Iberian ham, Spanish cheeses, olives, croquetas, tomatoes, anchoas, shellfish, Iberian pork etc etc plus some surprises from out of this world. And given what you get, very reasonable prices. You can only book online two months in advance, and up til now you have to do it exactly at midnight two months prior to when you plan to go there. Five-ten minutes past midnight all tables are taken.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...Catalonia.html

And I can very much recommend Barcelona classic 7 Portes for traditional Catalan food in the best atmosphere and with tons of history in the walls. Even with a fabulous night at Tickets, Set Portes again came out on top as a dining experience (But I love history and traditional Catalan food)http://www.7portes.com/catala/index2.php
http://11870.com/pro/restaurant-7-portes

And hotels in Barcelona by districts/reviews/price are easy to find here: http://www.booking.com/city/es/barcelona.en.html
kimhe is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 21st, 2013, 02:24 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,096
The Eixample neighborhood fits your criteria.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 21st, 2013, 03:52 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 12,933
around P. de Gracia is more like St. Germain......upscale and elegant
Gothic... a maze of narrow street....atmospheric......old
El Born .....hip. ....popular with young crowd ....

I prefer Eixample close to Rambla de Catalunya ( not Ramblas)
danon is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 21st, 2013, 06:00 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 957
Thank you all so much! I think that we usually gravitate towards areas that are a little out of the mainstream if they are quieter. For example, in Prague we stayed at the Golden Well in Mala Strana and loved it; it was out of the busy historical area and had a beautiful view. So even though the Neri is in the Barrio Gothic, I liked the way some of the rooms faced the square - although I'm not sure how noisy it would be (no problem with moderate noise, it's a city after all).

I'll look into Eixample a little more. Any other info you can give is appreciated.

And thank you for the restaurant recommendations!
Iwan2go is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 21st, 2013, 10:18 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,934
Agree that Eixample sounds like your area. But noise was no issue with us at all at Neri, and I can't recommend it high enough. Ten minutes walking from Neri into the Eixample district, and taxis are everywhere and very affordable.
http://www.booking.com/hotel/es/nerihr.en.html
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...Catalonia.html

A very nice upscale restaurant at Neri itself run by chef Benito Iranzo. Menú degustación/Tasting menu at 60€:
http://www.hotelneri.com/en/neri-restaurant/restaurant
http://www.hotelneri.com/en/neri-restaurant/gastronomy
kimhe is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 22nd, 2013, 04:51 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,015
we stayed at the Alma and loved it! Our view was of the hotel garden (a nice oasis to relax in) in the back, and probably of other buildings, and I recall that the room had big windows. It was really a comfortable yet interesting place to stay. Initially, I didn't consider it because the rooms looked so spare in the pictures, but I found it so enjoyable.

The Eixample was a fabulous place to stay -- you are right by two Gaudi houses, the surrounding streets are absolutely wonderful to stroll (the balconies of Barcelona are wonderful), shop and eat; it is walking distance of La Sagrada Familia (and almost anything else for that matter; although we did end doing a combination of transportation and taxis depending on our fatigue levels).

The Alma is not near Parc Guell. True, it is further north than the other neighborhoods, but that is it. You will still need transportation to get there (we ran out of time to go there!).
skatedancer is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 22nd, 2013, 07:29 AM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 957
skatedancer, you're right, I was talking about the view of the Casa Mila, not Park Guell. kimhe, did you find the rooms at the Neri bright? I assume I'd need to face the courtyard.

Both of these hotels look wonderful! We'll be going in late April...I just really like to plan ahead. Probably price will figure in somewhat. Thank you for your responses!
Iwan2go is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 22nd, 2013, 08:12 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,934
The junior suite room facing Plaza San Felipe Neri that our friends stayed in was bright. Our standard room nr. 104 was not, facing the other side of the alley 10ft away, but anyhow exceptional.

Large and very laid-back roof-top terrace with bar for hotel guests.

20% discount when payed min 30 days in advance. Non-refundable.
kimhe is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 23rd, 2013, 07:31 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 89
For delicious tapas try Quimet & Quimet, but be aware they might close fairly early around 10pm. When in Eixample, I can highly recommend Paco Meralgo (http://www.restaurantpacomeralgo.com/). For the latter you'd be on the safe side to make a reservation in advance.
MaloBalo is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 23rd, 2013, 09:11 PM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 957
Thank you all so much! Barcelona sounds wonderful and I appreciate your suggestions.
Iwan2go is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 23rd, 2013, 11:26 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 217
We just stayed at the Murmuri on Rambla Catalunya in the Eixample. Loved it! Our room - 302 - had a balcony overlooking the street and was blissfully quiet with the doors closed. It's a small boutique hotel that is beautifully designed and has a friendly and helpful staff. The street is less touristy than passage Gracia. It's also within walking distance to some great restaurants, including Paco Meralgo and several Gaudi sites.
Vonse is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 24th, 2013, 11:27 AM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 957
Thanks for mentioning the Murmuri, Vonse. I had bookmarked it several months ago and took a look again. I liked some of the comments on TA saying that it was near the action but not on a main street. That's very appealing to us; we like walking to restaurants in the evening, then relaxing in our room. The rates are also in line with the other places.

May I ask if you got breakfast included in your room rate, and second, did you have any problems with accessing wi-fi. Looks like free wifi if you book through the hotel (which I would tend to do), but charging otherwise, according to reviews on TA. Was your room a Privilege room?

Thanks agai.
Iwan2go is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 24th, 2013, 10:24 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 217
Agai, we booked directly through the hotel and asked for a room on an upper floor with a balcony facing the street. You can't go wrong with 302, 402, etc. It included wifi, which worked well but only for one device at a time. We did not eat at the hotel. We had breakfast every day a few doors down at Mauri. Great coffee and pastries. When the weather was nice we sat at the tables on the street. When it rained we sat inside where it took a while for us to catch on to the routine. You take a table then go to the counter and order. You will receive what looks like a credit card with your food. The waitress will take it when you order drinks. At the end of your meal you take the card to the cashier and pay.

I really loved this area and this street. I enjoyed the Barri Gotic and El Born, but those areas were crazy crowded. We were comfortable strolling in the Eixample after dinner.
Vonse is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:12 AM.