As I mentioned in talking about the Maremagnum centre in Barcelona at the end of last year, I am Barcelona bound in 2015 and, having booked flights, we are now in the process of arranging accommodation.
First up for consideration is one of the Barcelona hotels offered by Hoteles-Catalonia
I came across Catalonia Hotels originally when I discovered one of their adult-only hotels (no not that sort of “adult only”!), the Royal Tulum, which is one of 5 hotels they run on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. So to discover that they have a large offering of hotels in and around Barcelona was good news indeed.
Catalonia do not offer “adult only” hotels in Barcelona (their only European adult only hotels are on Ibiza and Mallorca) but they do offer a wide range of hotels for a variety of occasions from romantic get-aways and family breaks to sporting packages and corporate events. There are 25 three and four star Catalonia Hotels in Barcelona.
Our shared occasion, as classmates over 30 years ago, is our 50th birthdays, so it has been decided that a 4 star hotel would be most suitable for our brithday celebration.
The two hotels so far suggested for this trip are the Catalonia Plaza Catalunya and the Catalonia Port. Both have excellent reviews on a variety of review sites and, most importantly, for my well-fed bunch of fellow celebrationalists at least, two excellent restaurants: Restaurant Contempo at the Catalonia Plaza Catalunya and El Racó del Port at the Catalonia Port, both of which won Trip Advisor awards in 2014.
At the El Racó del Port, the chef, rather unsurprisingly, recommends fish, whilst the order for the day at the Restaurant Contempo is a modern take on traditional Catalan recipes – which currently gets my vote.
Both are central, 4 star hotels and remember, these are continental 4 star hotels where they seem much more reluctant to give 5 stars to deserving hotels than we do here in the United Kingdom! The Catalonia Plaza Catalunya is at the Plaza Catalunya end of the world famous Las Rambles and the Catalonia Port Hotel is at the wet end (by the marina) and the afore mentioned Maremagnum.
They both offer excellent spa, pool, bar and restaurant facilities and the ubiquitous free WIFI, so we will be down to splitting hairs when we come to choose: it will probably come down to which deal is best and availability.
Talking about deals, it really is a superb time for Brits to consider a Spanish break. The health of our particular economies means that not only do we benefit from the strong pound against the weak and simpering wreck that is the Euro these days (at the time of writing the exchange rate is about €1.35 to the £1 for tourists) but we can benefit from the cheaper cost of living.
Of course Barcelona is a big thriving cultural city so prices are greater than in much of Spain but if you come from one of our big thriving cultural cities which suffer the same issues of inflated prices you will still be pleasantly surprised!
Expect more reports from Barcelona soon!