Carved out of a building that dates to 1876, Hotel Catalonia Portal de l'Àngel is a centrally located property with a stunning façade, marble staircases, and an oasis courtyard that defies the tourist throngs just outside the front door. The hotel is right in the middle of a major shopping street with both high- and low-end stores and easy access to the equally busy Las Ramblas a block away. Combining classic architecture with modern amenities, guests will get a good sense of how Barcelona aristocracy once lived in this ever-vibrant city.
The hotel is dog-friendly in case you want to bring your pup.
Moody rooms are imbued with gray tones with a dearth of natural light. But the rooms are clean with nice hardwood floors and cozy beds. All rooms come with a tea kettle, free bottled water, and a Handy device--a helpful gadget that gives you free Wi-Fi and international calls anywhere in the city.
Ask for a room with a terrace looking over the courtyard or a balcony looking over the busy streets below – these are by far the best rooms in the hotel.
Restrooms have red marble floors and bathtubs which come in the shower/tub combo variety. Lit shaving mirrors and Argan products are standard and if you want to live an Italian or French lifestyle--request a room with a bidet.
The moment you walk into the hotel, you’ll be awed by the mesmerizing atrium and old marble stairs that show off the opulence of this once great Barcelona palace. Passing the stairs, guests will discover the Gourmet Corner, which is a snack bar for sandwiches, beers, pizza, and cocktails.
Open from May-October, the small pool is great for getting you toes wet on a hot day and is surrounded by black wicker loungers and a sizable outdoor terrace.
Look around you and you’ll see realistic murals covering the walls of the surrounding apartments.
The Gourmet Corner off the lobby is open for lunch and dinner with a selection of tapas, burgers, pizza, and booze. Out back, next to the pool, is the tented breakfast area serving a buffet for around 20 Euros.
Hit up the Gourmet Corner from noon-4 pm and then 7-11 pm. They’ll often have the latest football match on their flat screens while you down fried cheese and cold brews.
The hotel is in the very center of the city on a major thoroughfare that connects in a dozen ways to other parts via walking, buses, taxis, and the metro. All around the hotel are great restaurants, bars, shopping streets, and attractions. Mind your wallet as Las Ramblas is known as a pickpockets paradise.
Practically next to the hotel is Els Quatre Gats (1-minute walk) a famous café that was once the hangout of Picasso and Gaudí. One of the best outdoor markets in the world, La Boqueria (7-minute) has dozens of options of every type of Catalan cuisine imaginable.
Boadas Cocteleria (4-minute walk) is the oldest cocktail bar in Barcelona and slings traditional drinks all night long. Just to the east of the hotel is the Born neighborhood, where you’ll find countless drinking options. Check out Paradiso (14-minute walk) for signature cocktails.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Tourism in Barcelona can at times be overwhelming, especially in the area right outside the hotel. What’s great about this property is that they have a perfect courtyard and pool in back that blocks out all the noise and acts as an oasis in the heart of the city. Beyond that, the rooms are spacious and offer terraces looking over the courtyard or the street below. The history is also where this hotel shines, as this former palace is on full display the minute you walk in and features multiple Instagram-worthy moments.