The Hotel Balmes is a very good choice for visitors to Barcelona. It is well located in the Eixample district, quite close to shopping areas (Passeig de Gràcia) and many of the best known tourist attractions, but free of the crowds and noise that travelers encounter when they stay at properties near the Ramblas in the heart of the old city. The modern lobby makes a good first impression and, like other Derby properties, emphasizes art: there is a display of African artifacts downstairs and guest rooms had framed prints, presumably by contemporary artists. Breakfast was served in a large, comfortable space and hotel staff made sure to replenish the buffet as needed.
My standard room was on the small size, which is entirely characteristic of all the various Barcelona hotels I've stayed at. That said, the space was certainly adequate. Since I had work to do in the evenings, I appreciated the ample desk and very good desk lamp. Hotel lighting is often inadequate so the Balmes is to be commended for excellent illumination. I could read, write and edit in comfort. Furniture in the room was beginning to show its age (scuffs and dents) but the bedroom and bathroom were immaculately clean. Toiletries were provided (shampoo, lotion, bath gel) and a chocolate was placed on the night table each evening. There was a full size shower/bathtub with a rain shower head. The bed was perfectly comfortable and I was pleased to see that the air conditioning system was still running in early November, when the city ran into a spell of unusually warm, humid weather.
Apparently the hotel has a pool and garden area but I never found time to check out this feature of the property. One odd feature: both rooms I occupied had a floor-to-ceiling column (in one instance, very inconveniently located right next to the door). I assume this must be a structural feature of the building. Satellite TV offers stations in Castilian, Catalan, English, German, Italian and French.
Front desk staff were very helpful. The first room I was assigned was on the first floor, overlooking the lobby area and elevator. When the noise proved problematic, it was no problem for them to switch me to a room on a higher floor, far from the elevator. I spent the rest of my stay in blissful quiet. There is a single computer located near the lobby that is available for use by guests. If there is one recommendation I would make, it would be to add an additional computer to avoid long waits like I experienced. If you have considerable business to transact or need regular e-mail access you may wish to bring your laptop (the hotel has wi-fi). That's a better alternative than doing your e-mail at 1:30 AM--which I ended up doing--when no one else is around.
The breakfast buffet was more than adequate: pastries, breads, cheeses, several varieties of fresh fruit, tortilla, juices. As is so often the case, coffee was dispensed from a machine. The added charge for breakfast is not inexpensive; however, if you can find a deal that includes it as part of your room rate it's a good option and certainly very convenient, especially if you're in Barcelona for business. A nice plus: a variety of newspapers are available at breakfast.
In sum, this is very comfortable 3-star hotel with good amenities, a central location, and efficient staff. Definitely recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Balmes is a modern four-star hotel just steps away from Barcelona's Avinguda Diagonal in the city's Eixample neighborhood. Minutes from Passeig de Gràcia, the hotel combines its central location with the tranquility of its pool and interior garden. An oasis in the heart of Barcelona's shopping district with a sauna and exclusive services. With 102 comfortable rooms and a range of tailored options, from double and family rooms to exquisite suites and luxurious apartments, guests are ensured the perfect stay for either business or pleasure. In addition to its function rooms and one-of-a-kind dining options for groups and events, the hotel also features a collection of African art that showcases three-dimensional wooden African masks and sculptures from different sub-Saharan African countries. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Barcelona Balmes Hotel
- Balmes Barcelona
- Hotel Balmes Barcelona, Catalonia