4 hotels, 3 cities in this order:
Hotel Gran Ronda, Barcelona
We arrive in Barcelona quite early; so we drag our arrival to the hotel by choosing to travel by subway rather than taxi. Hilarious mind you. Especially since someone didn’t take my packing advice and decided to haul a really big suitcase…but I’m not naming names.
After the subway (and subsequent serenade by an accordion player) we did take a taxi to the hotel because it was “muy cerca, no?” It is now 11am. Check in isn’t until 2pm. We’ve been awake for almost 24 hours. Early check-in was not an option at this place.
The hotel was what I would expect from a European 3 star, small & clean. After dropping our bags and agreeing to scavenge for food, we landed at what we thought was a mile from the hotel. We eventually made our way back and thought maybe if they see us sitting in the tiny 10×6 lobby they will take pity on us and give us a room. Nope. Stupid Americans, always trying to get things. So instead we became part of the furniture for the next two hours, dozing in and out of consciousness.
We realized the next day that we had originally only walked two blocks to our lunch place and that the hotel, although very small, was perfectly located for many destinations. If we had just walked the other direction, not only would it have spared me from witnessing what I consider to be the grossest intersection in the world, but we would have seen the internet cafe and regular cafe all of 15 seconds from the hotel door. Although the staff was a bit awkward and the room small, it was very clean and they did give us the best room: top floor with a balcony, over looking the street.
Another room with a view. We were the top left. The best.
The hotel’s deck was the PERFECT retreat after spending most of the day traveling by train from Barcelona to Seville. The homemade sangria was out of this world and to drink in the shadow of La Giralda…can’t be topped!
We toured La Giralda the next day and from the top we got a pretty good view of our hotel. Yep, the swimming pool in the foreground is our hotel.
It was totally worth it to stay an extra night in Seville because each night my sis and I sat out on the deck and closed the place down. I could have sat staring at the cathedral all night!
Catalonia Las Cortes, Madrid
This hotel was beautiful! (And perfectly located) We only stayed here two nights, but the room was huge (even by American Standards), with yet another balcony (although only from the 3rd floor this time). We were also just across the plaza from this place. Possibly the swanky-est bar I’ve ever been too. A few too many ex-pats, but too cool to not visit at least once. How could we pass up a place that looked like this?
I was wishing we had stayed at this hotel for our first two nights in Barcelona rather the other way around. Ironically, our last night, our last hotel, had the most comfortable beds! I loved everything about this hotel. The staff, the design, the heated towel rack… The only thing I would say I didn’t like much is that it wasn’t super close to the university or Las Ramblas. This may be a bonus for those who don’t want to be in the tourist hub of LR, but how can you visit NYC and not go to Times Square?
We found tripadvisor to be a useful resource, especially if you want to see what a hotel really looks like.