If you have read any of my other reviews, you will know that I consider myself to be a savvy traveler, well versed in all classes of travel and I feel I have reasonable expectations dependent on the trip, venues or countries visited and the price paid.
I know Barcelona well. It is a frequent stop for me on business. On this trip, I had a full day in the city (Thanks to early flight arrivals from the US) and so wanted to be somewhere central.
One thing in Barcelona. Very, very few hotels are truly central. (To where most people want to be - Las Ramblas area). There are a few hotels on Las Ramblas and Plaza Catalunya, but for the same price, you can get a much higher grade hotel, a mere five minute walk away. It is all about what is important to you.
I picked the Grand Marina, having never stayed there before, but knowing where it was. It is a five minute spritley walk from the hotel to the Christopher Columbus Statue at the bottom of Las Ramblas. (Or a 10 - 15 minute stroll) During the day, a nice relief. Las Ramblas can be crazy busy. The negative of this though was walking back to the hotel after dark, the area from Las Ramblas to the hotel is very, very quiet and kind of eerie. If I was a single female, I may not have felt so comfortable.
On the location, a previous poster talked about being able to walk to the cruise ship dock from the hotel. That is true for some. The boutique cruise ships can dock at the World Trade Center, next to the hotel. The day that I arrived, Azamara and CDF were docked there. These are smaller ships. If you are sailing with mainstream lines such as Norwegian or Royal Caribbean, the pier is a 10 minute ride away and you should expect to pay $10 - $20, depending on the number of cases you have.
So... the hotel. the lobby area is very bland, but check-in was efficient. I was able to get a room at 9.30am, after an early flight arrival, which is always a blessing.
The room was very nice. Some upholstery was worn and strangely, there was about an inch-wide strip of the hardwood floor missing from near to the entrance door, and the skirting board was badly damaged too. Not a disaster, but not a detail I would expect to be overlooked in a 5 star property.
The room was of a good size and very well laid out. I had a room on the 4th floor, overlooking the courtyard at the back, but that really didn't bother me at all. The room is not set up around the view and there are chairs in front of the windows, so I never even opened the curtains fully.
The bathroom is delightful. Very large and marble-lined everywhere. A decent sized jacuzzi tub (That took 20 minutes to fill) double sinks and a closed off side room with the shower cubicle, toilet and bidet.
The TV in the room had English-language news channels (mostly from the US) and also an English-language entertainment channel from Fox, showing dramas from all of the US networks.
Having stayed many times in Spain, one thing I never get used to is what they consider to be luxury linens. The bed and pillows were comfortable, but very firm, and the sheets were well starched. The bedding was also an old-fashioned bedspread. The bathroom towels were also not what you would be used to in a high-end US hotel, but, as I said, this is what you come to expect in Spain.
Overall... the main three things I rate a hotel on (These items should be the same if it is a $20 or $200 hotel room) were good:
Wifi : Free and fast. I was able to update apps on my iPad with no worries. You do need a code, a different one for each device, so if you have multiple devices, make sure you get the codes at check in.
Shower: Hot water and good water pressure. It was a good shower experience!
Bed: Firm, which I like, but comfortable.
I did the breakfast buffet, open from 7am on the mezzanine floor. The charge was 25 euro. You did get a lot of choices, the hot food wasn't super-hot, but it was OK. Overall, it was no different to what you get at the breakfast buffet on a cruise ship. Some reviewers went over-the-top, in my opinion, on their review of this buffet. It was nice, not amazing. Strangely, there were no bagels, except for ones ready prepared with smoked salmon in. The coffee, as noted on previous reviews, was disgusting. Tasteless sludge. Also, you can request eggs prepared as you wish (There was a menu card on the table), but fried and scrambled eggs were in the buffet already.
Again, as is previously noted, the mini-bar is ridiculously overpriced. I expect a mark-up on these items, but the cost of everything was 5 times what it would be outside the hotel. They are playing on the fact that there is nowhere to buy drinks or snacks within a quick walk.
So, overall, I would give the hotel a 9/10.
This hotel would be a solid 4 star in the US.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.