Priceline for Hotel in Barcelona

Old Feb 10th, 2008, 01:57 PM
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Priceline for Hotel in Barcelona

Recently we had good luck with using PL for a hotel in Vienna. Now we are considering bidding on a hotel in Barcelona on Priceline. Can anyone share experience with selecting a hotel in Barcelona? We know about checking with Bidding for Travel. We have never been to Barcelona and our stay there will be short so a good central location is important.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 09:56 AM
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We stayed at the Hotel Ingleterra, but while we look at travle cites to compare prices, we always book from the hotels' web page.

On the flight home from eight days in Barcelona we made a list of things we thought people might be interested in. This was our first trip but we have made several trips to Paris and the differences and similarities are interesting. I'll post more later.

1. We had no expiriences of pickpockets or attempted theft, even in the most crowded areas. We did come across what we thought was a scam. Someone would come up and ask for the location of a bank that exchaned money. He then asked to see some euros. We politely said we didn't know of one, and after the second time we just said "No," and walked away. I saw one man walk over to another, obviously tourist couple, and do the same thing. No idea what the deal was.

2. Bring a lot of shorts, T's, tank-tops, and comfortable walking shoes or sandels. Barcelona is a great city to walk in and around, but it is hot in the sun. We even wore shorts to dinner at night and it seemed like most other people did, too. We didn't eat at very up-scale restaurants, but did eat at some nice ones.

3. We took a taxi from the airport to our hotel the Ingleterra, which is located just off the top of La Rambla. For two people with two pieces of luggage and two carry-ons: 22.00 euros coming, 33.00 euros going, inc a 2.00 euro tip. I would not bother with a bus.

4. We bought a 10-ride metro ticket and had two rides left. We used these for the trip to the park Guell as it is one of the places that is too far to walk, and once to get back to the hotel late at night and we were too tired to walk. Note that the metro ticket includes entry to the funicular which goes up to the park Montjuic and the Miro museum, which we did. The metro in Barcelona strikes me as easier to use than the one in Paris, but Paris is much bigger. If you go to the park Guell, IIRC the metro stop is Lessups. From the exit you can follow street signs that point the way and give the distance to go. It is 1500 m's.

5. Hotel location. IMO stay somewhere near, but just off, La Rambla. La Rambla is good for first-timers since it is easy to find and makes getting lost less of a problem. Walking all the way down La Rambla takes you to the statue of Columbus and the seaport, and you can walk to most of the things you will want to see; the Quadrat D'Or, Eixemple area, Picasso museum, etc. And there is a tourist information / sign-up-for-tours, office at the Place Catalunya just near the top of La Rambla. We walkked on it several times, but started to avoid it after a few days.

6. More on hotels. I have changed my mind about getting breakfast at the hotel. We are glad we did not do this. There are so many small cafes where you can get a cafe con leche and a pastry that you don't need a bigger, hotel breakfast. And we really did start to eat a big lunch and a smaller, later dinner, so we were not very hungary in the morning. And we loved having breakfast at the Boqueria, but more on that later. And on the pasta Xolate. Secondly, we had a hotel with a fooftop terrace which looked lovely in the photos, but we really didn't use it so don't let this one amenity sway your decision about where to stay. There was no pool.

7. A good guidebook and street map are essential. We used a map from StreetWise Barcelona and the DK Eyewitness Travel book for Barcelona. The map is coated so it wont stain and folds up nicely, and the book is small enough to go into a pocket of a messenger bag. A messenger bag is essential. And we printed Mirabel's Guide which was a lot of help.

8. Various small things. Almost every time I used a credit card I was asked for a photo ID. Where you sit when there are several cafes determines which one you are at. You might sit at one which doesn't serve food when you are actually at another cafe. Sightsee in the late morning or early afternoon, have a late, big lunch, then relax and wander at night. Searching for a restaurant is fun.

9. We usually bought a 1.00 euro bag of grapes either from the Boqueria market or a street market. These are better than a bottle of water for thirst.

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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 10:00 AM
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I haven't been to Barcelona, but my impression from BFT and BetterBidding is that the Priceline zones in Barcelona can get you a rather far-out hotel. So I would not do it given how important location is to you.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 10:04 AM
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I'm one of those people who actually LIKES those hotel breakfasts and if you want to be in a very convenient, central location, have a great hotel breakfast, etc., then take a look at the Apsis hotels...the Atrium Palace in particular.
On out last trip we had friends who used Priceline and got a hotel within two blocks for less money.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 10:56 AM
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Thank you Peter, Willtravel, and Dukey for the advice. We definitely need to be within walking distance of the historic center. Thanks for the info on taxi from airport and hotels. We did notice some PL hotels are further out--especially when they mention a golf course view.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 11:25 AM
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If you want to be fairly sure (as sure as it gets...) to be given a hotel that's central, you should only bid PL on a 4 star BARCELONA EAST and just hope and pray you get the Majestic or Le Meridien!

But do check the Apsis Atrium Palace. Their online booking is easy, it's a great central hotel with *extremely* competitive rates. They have a great 132 euro rate for some summer dates.
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