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“Would stay here again in a heart beat” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelona Universal Hotel

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Barcelona Universal Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Avda Paral.lel 76-80, 08001 Barcelona, Spain   |  
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Ranked #50 of 518 Hotels in Barcelona
Seattle, Washington
1 review
“Would stay here again in a heart beat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2011

Very nice hotel. Great friendly and helpful staff. They gave us a list of excellent restaurants to visit and were always very helpful in pointing us in the correct direction. We stayed there before & after our cruise and the front desk staff remembered us when we checked back in a week later. Great touch!! Really great location, close to everything. Ask to be placed on the quiet side of the hotel, there might not be the greatest view, but it's much better then being on the side that faces the street. We arrived early and our room was ready for us. The second time we arrived, our room wasn't ready, but they stored our luggage without issue. The breakfast buffet was decent. The rooms were very comfy, clean, and secure.

Room Tip: Ask for the quiet side of the hotel.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,165 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (446)
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Bedford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2011

My husband and I visited Barcelona for 4 days/3 nights. The hotel is 4 stars and definitely strives to exemplify that as soon as you walk in. Still, it doesn't seem that nice. It is a basic hotel that would have more of a 3 star rating. The rooms are large compared to European standards but a large room does not equal a higher rating in my opinion. The staff was friendly enough but some were a little too "snobby" in speaking with guests. Also, I requested a printer to print our boarding passes and unfortunately they did not have one available to the guests. Luckily they were obliging enough to allow me to use their work computers. Still, they made it clear it really wasn't for guest use and I needed to hurry up.

The buffet breakfast was basic. Nothing 4 star in terms of food. We previously were at a 3 star hotel in Malaga and received the same type of buffet breakfast.

The one major issue with our stay was that our room was facing the street. Unfortunately, this 4 star hotel never invested in double paned windows or something because we could here every little noise from the street and we were on the 3rd floor.

Overall, we got a good deal to have a large room in a some what decent location in Barcelona.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2011

The hotel is a solid 2 star, but certainly nowhere near the raves on this site and others.
Positives-The hotel is clean, the staff is friendly, the temperature control works well and the metro stops right in front.
Negatives-It is not located in the best part of town; during the day it is loud and lacks charm and at night it is somewhat sketchy. The room choices are either facing the loud major thoroughfare in front or the quiet view of staring across the alley into an apartment building in the back.
Inside the room the king size bed was actually two doubles pushed (but not strapped) together; I rolled over during the night and fell between the beds sitcom style. And although I prefer a firm bed, I was surprised by how hard both of them were.
All said and done the hotel is not that bad but do not be misled by the reviews on this site, the quality is on par with your average Courtyard by Marriott.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manageruniversal, Manager at Barcelona Universal Hotel, responded to this review, May 27, 2011
Thank you for this review. I would like to thank this client for being so honest by recognizing some good things about our hotel, such as the cleanliness, the friendliness of the staff and the proximity of the metro station.
Regarding the rating considered by this client for our hotel, we read in the review that he considers we are a 2-star hotel, we can respect all the opinions of all the clients but we must inform that our hotel has a license of 4-star hotel and it is considered oficially a 4-star hotel by Tourism of Barcelona.
We think that to rate a hotel as a 2-star hotel you must have more reasons apart from how nice the area is.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, England
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2011

I would definitely recommend this hotel. We had one of the Skyline Suites and a room for three on the ninth floor. Both were very well presented and clean with good a/c and equipment (TVs, hairdryers, bathroom sundries etc.). There were also two PCs with access to the internet available on the ninth floor.

There is a good range for breakfast including cereals, fruits, yogurts, cakes, cheese, ham, breads, pastries and a small selection of cooked breakfast items (eggs, bacon, mini sausages etc.). Breakfast was served until 11am, good if you've had a late night before!

The staff were excellent, friendly and helpful with excellent English.

The pool area is quite small and was very busy when we were there so we made use of our Skyline Suite balcony for sun-bathing although there were other areas on the roof and the top floor balconies with sun-loungers.

Location-wise you don't fall out of the hotel onto an interesting site but La Rambla really is just a 5 minute walk away (if you walk the right way!). The marina is about 10 minutes away and the Paral'lel underground station is right outside.

The only thing to be aware of is that some of the rooms don't have windows with views. Our room-for-three had a window but it was frosted because its view was just into a kind of enclosed inner ‘courtyard’. The only view was other rooms’ windows that did the same thing. I think this was only a problem on the higher floors which had communal balconies around the top of the building. The lower floors had rooms on the outside of the building so I expect their windows have views outside.

Not really related to the hotel but a fantastic find not far away is the Italian restaurant La Bella Napoli about 5 - 10 minutes walk from the hotel on Carrer de Margarit. We turned up without a reservation and were very lucky to get a table - five minutes after we arrived, the place was packed and rightly so - the service and food was fantastic. Just brush up on your Spanish / Italian before you go as they are the only languages on the menu.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gothenburg
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2011

The old adage goes; you get what you pay for.

In all things this is mostly true - however there are a few rare exceptions out there and Hotel Barcelona Universal is one of them.

Hotel Barcelona Universal is one of these rare cases where you get so much more than what you pay for - you get true value for each penny spent. I cannot even begin to list how impressed I was with what this hotel provided. We felt truly cared for; and while this is commonplace at hotels such as the Waldorf in New York, the d'Angleterre in Copenhagen, the Mamonia in Marrakesh it was not what I expected from a fairly cheap hotel picked by more or less chance on a vague recommendation from a friend.

The Hotel is located a few minutes walk from the Rambla. A few minutes walk from the Port Vell and the Rambla del Mar, and a mere second away from the closest subway. A walk to place Catalunya takes about 10 mins at a slow pace looking at the shops in the backalleys and is quite a charming experience. The Barcelona Universal gives you the opportunity to experience life in Barcelona by making you take a short walk through a few genuine, "untouristy" blocks before landing you smack down in the middle of the Rambla. Or you could simply hop on the metro outside the hotel and go where ever you like.

Inside the hotel itself we were greeted by the doorman every time we came or went, and the staff were always very helpful no matter what we asked for. The rooms were meticulously clean and tastefully decorated. Minibar, TV with USB (Just bring what you want to watch on a USB stick, plug it in on the back of the TV and use the remote) and bathtub was standard as was WiFi albeit it was a bit shaky and up and down at times.

The breakfast buffet deserves special attention since it was on par with the most exclusive hotels I've visited (see above) although somewhat smaller. Several kinds of bread, including rye and darker breads, eggs, bacon, sausages (worth trying, they were excellent) quiches, juices, yoghurts, fruits, croissantes, and more where aplenty. Worth mentioning for those of you with a sweet tooth is that at each buffet were atleast two kinds of cake and several kinds of doughnuts and muffins. ;-)

As for other accommodations worth mentioning one cannot forget the rooftop pool and the astroturf garden / sundeck on the top floor together with the small but clean and well stocked gym also on the top floor located next to the pool. The surrounding decked area is stocked with comfortable lounge chairs and as made for bringing your own beer and taking in the panoramic view over the city.

All in all - this hotel gives you the most bang for your buck I've ever come across. Friendly and helpful staff, clean and tasteful rooms, freedom to move around and simply enjoy the city and your accommodation to the fullest.

Four stars in the guide - I'd give it Four+ and a half :P

Enjoy your stay as much as we did!

H. Hanning

Room Tip: Get a room 7-9floor, overlooking back of hotel.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manageruniversal, Manager at Barcelona Universal Hotel, responded to this review, May 4, 2011
Thank you!!! We are happy to read a comment like this one. Thank you Mr Hanning for your time dedicated to write this review. Thanks for highlighting a lot of things that normally no one thinks about but they are very important. This, of course, helps us to continue working every day in this direction.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karlstad, Sweden
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2011

An excellent hotel, clean big rooms, we had a triple room that actually was two rooms. Very fine bath room and the buffet breakfast was marvelous. THe only drawback is the area around the hotel that's not so good but the subway station was just outside the hotel entrance.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2011

I stayed here for 4 nights in early April - it was my first trip to Barcelona and we (a friend and I) stayed here based on the other trip adviser reviews. The staff was extremely helpful and knowledgeable and I appreciated that they answered each of my many questions. The rooms were a nice size and we had no problems with the size of the bathrooms (I find often American travelers are not used to the size of European hotel bathrooms). The hotel also had a solarium (roof deck) which we took advantage of for some R&R after long days of sightseeing and small locker rooms on the top floor which came in handy since we arrived at the hotel before check-in. Breakfast was included in our room and it was a nice spread with something for everyone (I happen to be a vegetarian). The only negative I found was that I didn't love the location - it was located about 10 minutes from Las Ramblas - a really easy walk during the day when it was light out but a little sketchy and harder to navigate at night (due to the smaller, winding streets). If you are OK taking a taxi or the metro (literally outside the hotel) at night, I would 100% recommended this hotel - the staff was great, the rooms were clean, the price was right and overall it was a great experience.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Barcelona Universal Hotel

Address: Avda Paral.lel 76-80, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Phone Number:
Location: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Barcelona > Barcelona
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#39 Luxury Hotel in Barcelona
#42 Romantic Hotel in Barcelona
#44 Family Hotel in Barcelona
#62 Business Hotel in Barcelona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelona Universal Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 167
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Strategically located just a five-minute walk from Las Ramblas, Hotel Barcelona Universal grants its guests easy access to all parts of the city. Metro lines 2 and 3 stop just outside the main entrance, at “Paral·lel,” and nearby buses can take you to the beaches of Barcelona, Park Güell, and anywhere in between. A stroll from our hotel near Las Ramblas will take you to some of Barcelona’s favorite tourist attractions.Hotel opened in 2001 and renewed in 2011.Hotel Barcelona Universal has 167 rooms, each equipped with free Wi-Fi Internet. Three “Barcelona Skyline Suites” feature a Jacuzzi and private terrace. Families and larger groups may be accommodated in triple or superior rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Universal Barcelona
Hotel Barcelona Universal
Barcelona Universal Hotel Catalonia

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