There are a few good options of where to stay while in Barcelona. It may depend on if you want to include a beach vacation as well as a city vacation, or whether you want to be in the center of things, close to shopping and the historical sights.
I think we chose the wrong option by staying at The W Hotel. Firstly, we had no time to enjoy the crowded beach, and secondly we are not twenty years old. The hotel has a cool hip vibe, with a very young, and party-seeking crowd.
The hotel itself is well positioned in Barceloneta Beach and dominates the skyline of the waterfront. The hotel towers over the beach and is all glass. The windows in the bedrooms are nine feet tall. The views from the bedrooms are absolutely stunning. It is adjacent to the Olympic village and the nightlife of Port Vell. It isn’t near any points of interest, and it is far from the city center, so you feel disconnected. It is a bit of an inconvenient location, as it is a twenty to thirty minute taxi ride whenever you want to go out for dinner or to tour.
The hotel is shaped like a large sail or some say, wave, and is reminiscent of the Hotel Burj Al Arab in Dubai. It’s huge with 472 rooms and suites. The place is throbbing twenty-four seven, with fun, non-stop music, and high energy. It also reminds me of a mall. The lobby is always crowded, loud, with a poor inexperienced concierge desk. They didn’t know how to book a train ticket or look up a restaurant address. There are delays and huge lines at the reception desk, with little or no customer service.
We were lucky enough to have a nice suite on the 19th floor, with views of the beach and sea. The rooms are simple and minimalist, designed by Anda Andrei Design, with beige textiles, smoky mirrors and blond wood. The beds face the huge picture windows, so you get amazing views. However the room was not without glitches. The air conditioning was not working properly and they had to send up maintenance, as well as the electric blinds needed fixing. The fridge didn’t work, and we asked them to fix this problem every day for four days, but they never got it working, or acknowledged the problem or replaced the fridge. Sometimes the bathroom lights shut off. It was difficult to work the lighting system in the room as well. The rooms are also quite dark and it is difficult to read or put on your makeup. You can hear noisy neighbours as well. I also felt the hotel was already getting tired looking and could stand for a renovation.
There were also some good points to mention too. The rooms were spacious, the Bliss products in the washroom are full size. The gym was great, with every piece of equipment imaginable. There was also a nice spa, and a few restaurants. Although the breakfast served was of poor quality.
It is a self contained resort, with a couple of pools and the beach at your doorstep, as well as many restaurants along the beach, but I can’t vouch for their quality. In the hotel there are long lines to go to the “club” every night, plus the music blasts in all the public areas and is relentless.
So as you can see the hotel was not for me, however our son loved the fun, party vibe.
If I am to ever return to Barcelona, it is the Mandarin Oriental for me.