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“Hosts made all the difference!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of El Balcon del Born

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El Balcon del Born
Ranked #32 of 326 Barcelona B&B and Inns
Meredith, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Hosts made all the difference!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2013

My husband and I spent six nights at El Balcon del Born in mid-October and had a lovely stay. Our arrival was a bit challenging…no reflection on the B&B…my phone had been stolen in Portugal and the information/photos provided by Roberto that were designed to help us with directions, etc. were no longer available. Those directions would have been very helpful, so be sure to bring them with you if your plans include El Balcon del Born. We asked some shop-keepers in the area for assistance and they pointed the way to the right door. We were met by Anna and Pablo and a nice cold glass of water. That evening, Pablo provided a map of Barcelona with suggestions on things to do and places to eat. All of the staff provided on-going information and recommendations throughout our stay. We never had the sense that we were bothering them or taking up too much of their time when we asked for clarification. When we encountered difficulty obtaining tickets for the Sagrada Familia, Anna accompanied us to the local bank that normally provided these tickets.

Our room was #1, and we found it spacious, comfortable, and clean. Loved the balcony, especially when we returned to the B&B after a busy afternoon of sightseeing. Sitting out there with a cold drink and watching all of the activity on the street was great. I had some reservations about the lack of a private bath, but this wasn't an issue during our stay. Not once in our six day stay did I have to wait for the bathroom.

Breakfasts were very good. Food was plentiful. We particularly enjoyed the freshly squeezed juices and croissants. Access to the kitchen was a plus as was the availability of bottled water, beer, tea, and coffee. Some mornings we ate on the balcony at a table for two, but during most of our stay we shared the larger table and had fun chatting with folks from Wisconsin, Holland, Quebec, France, England, etc.

The location of El Balcon del Born is perfect as we were within walking distance of almost everything we wanted to see. The daily rate was reasonable; we felt we received great value for the cost.

Other reviewers commented on the noise from the street. We found that this wasn't a problem as we closed our balcony door to sleep and this muffled any noise that might have bothered us. There was a fan in our room, but we never needed it.

Overall, our stay was a very pleasant one in a bustling corner of Barcelona, a city that deserves a longer stay than we could manage. The welcome extended by our hosts, Anna, Pablo, and Roberto made the experience special. If we return to Barcelona, we'll definitely stay at El Balcon del Born.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
97 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2013

First of all, kudos to Roberto who very graciously waited outside of El Balcon del Born for us for over four hours due to my mistake with providing an incorrect arrival time of our plane from Lyon! Poor Roberto tried to text message us and our phones didn't have European access so he didn't know what time we would actually arrive! The bus and trains from the airport were extremely easy to use and the walking route to the B & B from the train station was a snap, using directions from a previous e-mail from Roberto. As we rounded the corner, dragging our luggage, he kindly asked if we were the family looking for El Balcon del Born. When we replied yes, he looked slightly relieved! He helped us with our luggage and up we went into the B & B. It is beautiful! As you walk into the main room with the dining table, you are enchanted with the room, the décor and the view from the balcony. Roberto gave us a tour of the B & B and showed us to our room. He then spent about 20 - 30 minutes showing us maps of Barcelona and providing us with a typed list of suggested sites and restaurants in the area. We had numerous questions and showed him our planned itinerary and he made suggestions as to the best way to combine our choices to make the most of our days. We never felt rushed and didn't even realize that as soon as he felt we were settled in, he could then go home to his own family! We felt terrible when we realized what had happened because of our mistake and the poor man had actually spent over 5 hours waiting for us and then providing us a lengthy orientation. However, he was extremely kind and never implied it was an imposition! We were extremely impressed!

The room itself was large and had a balcony which was fun to sit out on and look down on the pedestrians walking past. We opened up the door so we could hear the quiet sounds of the Barcelona street scene. We never had a problem with waiting to use the bathroom. This was the only place we stayed on our European trip where we did not have a private bathroom and I was a little hesitant about this. However, even with the rooms completely full with other guests, we never had to wait more than a few minutes to use the bathroom. Amenities such as shampoo, shower gel, hair dryers and the like are available in the bathrooms. The breakfast was quite nice with large croissants, toast, granola bars, fresh orange juice, cereals and fruit. The location of the B & B is excellent and walking to the main shopping area of Barcelona and the fruit and vegetable market is easy. We liked that we could go into the kitchen at night and fix our own cup of tea/coffee, etc.

We would definitely recommend El Balcon del Born to travelers going to Barcelona. Hint for anyone who is Barcelona-bound: however many days you have planned to visit Barcelona, it will not be enough! There are so many wonderful architectural sites to see, that one could visit Barcelona for two months and still find more incredible things to see! Enjoy Barcelona!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank cocoanutty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2013

Based on the reviews I read, I expected a charming, lovely B&B with friendly, helpful hosts, in an excellent location. The B&B is in an excellent location (we walked everywhere) and Anna & Thomas were very friendly and helpful, but the B&B itself is far from what I would consider exceptional (which so many reviews led me to believe it would be) and our overall experience was disappointing. We spent 3 nights at El Balcon del Born and I can only speak to our experience with our room, which was room #2, the only room with a private bathroom. In our opinion, this room is in dire need of upgrading; it is worn and very tired looking. The wallpaper was peeling, the floor tiles were cracked, the mattress was thin and hard, the linens were of poor quality, and the bathroom was rather unusual in that not only was it tiny (not a single shelf for toiletries), it was the room you walked into when entering the room. In addition, every time the toilet was flushed or the water ran, the pipes made a rather loud and strange sound. However, on a positive note, the water flow in the shower was good and there was plenty of hot water, too. In both the bathroom and the bedroom, pipes were exposed, which does not create a charming or cozy atmosphere. In other words, the pictures presented by the establishment do not match the room we had; simply put, the room was shabby and because of that, it is hard to say it was clean. I am sure it was clean to the extent that there was not any overt dirt, but it didn't feel clean - it felt, well, shabby; I can't explain that any better.

The breakfast room was nice and the selection of food for breakfast was basic but plentiful and the food itself was good. As I said, Anna and Thomas were very friendly and helpful, and my husband's interaction with Pablo was very positive, but that does not make up for the disappointment and discomfort my husband and I felt every time we walked into our room (never mind the entrance to the building itself and the dark stairway - neither inspired a feeling of warmth or welcome). My husband and I travel quite a bit and we love staying in B&Bs and we have stayed in some really lovely ones; we enjoy the interaction with the hosts and other guests and the feeling of living in a home rather than in a hotel. We do not expect 5 star accommodations every time, but we do expect a certain level of comfort and quality, especially when that is what is promised and for what we are paying and what we anticipate we will be getting. We have never before had this kind of disappointment in a B&B and it brings me no pleasure to write an unflattering review, but I feel if TA is going to remain a reliable source for booking hotels, reviewers must give honest reviews. I am surprised so many others had a different experience of El Balcon del Born - but that does not change or negate what my husband and I experienced. Again, I can only speak to the quality of the room we had - perhaps the other rooms are different. However, if you are looking to book the room with the private bathroom, I think you deserve to know what you will be getting, so in addition to my personal impressions, I have included photos of the room and bathroom.

My bottom line is this: despite the positives of this B&B, and despite the fact we really liked Anna & Thomas, if I had known the condition of the building and the quality of the room, I would have chosen a different B&B.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank angelika711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern Norway, Norway
Level Contributor
163 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2013

What can I say - El Balcon is over all my favorite B&B!!!
We found it here on Tripadvisor and booked it mailing to Roberto - you can see all their rooms on their profil on Facebook. We had no problem with our booking of our 3 rooms for 5 nights.

Make sure to bring the detailed description how to get to El Balcon and give it to the taxi driver if you arrive by taxi. You have to walk around a corner or two from where the cars let you of. We were dropped of at the "wrong" corner, but as the great host Roberto is, he was waiting for us at the B&B and had been looking for us from the veranda, he came down to the street and picked us up!

Standing in the street at the entrance to the B&B and going up the old stairways, witch is old and dark at night, you will never imagine what is waiting for you behind the doors of El Balcon..
(There is a very small elevator - good to bring up and down luggage..)

It is like coming home - and this is really your home away from home!
All the rooms are beautiful decorated, they all had their private balcony overlooking the streets, and very very clean. There is extra linen, towels and hairdryers in the rooms.

There is one room with a private bathroom on this floor, the 4 other rooms are sharing 2 bathrooms. They are also very clean and delicate and there was no problem with waiting in line..

Anna, our great host together with Roberto was there every morning making breakfast.
The breakfast is simple but very good and served in the beautiful breakfast room or you can bring it to your balcony if you like..Breakfast is included in the price and was served between 0800-1100.
The breakfast room is also a great place to meet and talk with the other travelers/guests.

The kitchen has a "honesty bar" with drinks - take what you like, write it on the list and pay when checking out. You can also help your self to coffee or food.

There is a washing machine in the kitchen were you can do your laundry.

Anna and Roberto gave us maps and detailed recommendations on attractions and restaurants. We also met Anna's brother Thomas and the other owner Pablo. The 4 of them will help you with everything!

We had our wedding ceremony in Barcelona - and coming back "home" to El Balcon after the ceremony Anna had put out big white flowers in our room, in the bathrooms and breakfast room. They also greeted us with card and chocolate, we were their first guest ever which had stayed with them on their wedding day/night! The next day we were served breakfast on the balcony - long after breakfast time, Anna was still there:)

The location of El Balcon is also an extra plus. 10 minutes to walk to La Rambla and other attractions, 6 minuttes to walk to the beach, and if you are looking for small shops and great restaurants, it's just to go out in the street and your are right in the middle of it, the Born area!
It is easy to get a taxi 50 meters from the B&B and the metro is also close by.

Many reviewers have written about all the noise from the street restaurants, there are some but we had a perfect sleep. There are no air-con in the rooms but big fans to use if needed.

This was our first time to Barcelona and we fell in love with both the city and El Balcon del Born.
What makes this my overall favorite B&B is the total of great service with booking, our hosts Anna and Roberto and the great atmosphere both inside and around El Balcon.
From the moment you arrive to the moment you leave you are taken such good care of!

I will highly recommend El Balcon del Born to everyone who wants to experience the real feeling of Barcelona and who likes something different - the service and atmosphere is much better then any 5 star hotel..

When back in Barcelona this is the place we will stay - hope to see you soon again Anna and Roberto!

Room Tip: Our group stayed in rooms no 1, 3, 4 and 5 - they were all very clean and nice with their private ba...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Butterflies22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2013

We fell in love with Born. And this B&B is in the heart of it. Location-wise it's just perfect.
Breakfast was nice, fresh croissants and breads available. Beer and drinks available in the fridge. convenient system of leaving additional charges upon check out. Roberto was very helpful, he gave us a printed list of things to see, do and eat upon arrival. Room and bathrooms were clean and comfortable. No queue to use the bathroom. Pablo was a wonderful host. Great staff.

The tiny lift was a unique feature which we've never seen (and heard) before.

Because of the lively location, be prepared to hear some noises and echoes. Our room was non-air conditioned so also be prepared to experience heat in the summer.

Room Tip: Choose rooms at the back, further away from the road for less noise.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TeenieBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2013 via mobile

My fiancé and I stayed for 4 nights at El Balcon del Born and loved it. Pablo was extremely hospitable and made us feel at home away from home. He had great recommendations for places to go and was eager to hear our reactions to all that we visited and experienced. The location was perfect, within walking distance to great restaurants, sights and public transportation. Breakfast was simple, but more than enough to get us going in the morning. The rooms and shared bathrooms were very clean, and the kitchen had a reasonably priced "honesty bar". We would certainly stay there again on future trips to Barcelona.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Kristen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2013

During a recent visit to Barcelona (late September 2013) my wife and I along with two other couples had the opportunity to stay at the El Balcon del Born (B&B) for 3 nights. We all agreed that this was an excellent establishment and a great experience. The rooms are very comfortable. We echo all of the great comments posted by others. Pablo and Roberto are very responsive to their guests needs. If you are looking for a place that gives you a taste of Barcelona life, which is close to the city centre, water and HOHO - this is your place. One item, get good directions from the airport to the B&B for the taxi drivers (who do not speak English), as the B&B is not located on a drive-able road, but located just around the corner from where the driver will drop you off.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank the_colonel_RCAF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Balcon del Born

Property: El Balcon del Born
Address: Carrer Rera Palau 2, Primero 2a, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Location: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Barcelona > Barcelona > El Born / La Ribera
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Casino and Gambling Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 326 B&Bs / Inns in Barcelona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
EL BALCÓN DEL BORN BARCELONAis a guest house just in the centre of Barcelona, in Born, a district with distinctive cafés,bars, restaurants… where many artist live. It's a 5 minutes walk to The Cathedral del Mar or the Picasso Museum, and 10 minutesto Las Ramblas or the Barceloneta beaches. We have a house with 5 bedrooms. One has its own bathroom (suite) and the othersshare one bathroom every two rooms. All the rooms including the dining room have an exterior balcony, and therefore plentyof light.Rates per night for one or two people:Room 1 (El Palau): Our biggest room, with 20 square meters. The room has a kingsize bed or two twin beds and an exterior balcony facing the pedestrian street ReraPalau. 95 €Room 2 (Els Encants): An ample room with its own bathroom (suite) and anexterior balcony facing the street Rera Palau. 100 €Room 3 (La Ribera): Spacious room with a king size bed or two twin beds. Exteriorbalcony to the square El Tripó. 90 €Room 4 (El Racó): Our smallest and coziest room, with a double bed and a balconywith a double view, one side facing the square Plaça de les Olles and the other sidefacing the street Rera Palau. 80 €Room 5 (Les Olles): Spacious room with a king size bed or two twin beds and anexterior balcony facing the square Plaça de les Olles. 90 €The prices include continental breakfast, towels, bathrobes, hairdryer, wifi andhouskeeping. Optional service (extra cost): LaundryOnce you arrive, please pay for your whole stay with us in cash. We do not accept creditcards.You will have your own keys, so a 20 € guarantee deposit is required. You will get itback when you return the keys.Check-in : 3 pmCheck-out: 12 amHow to get there:El Balcón del Born is located almost right in front of the train station Estació deFrança. FROM THE BARCELONA AIRPORT, TERMINAL 2:· By train (the cheapest way to get there): Take the train (Renfe) at the airport andstop at Passeig de Gràcia. Once you get there, take the train that goes to Estacióde França on the very same platform. Get out of the station and cross the avenue;four blocks down you will find the street Carrer Rera Palau.· By bus: Take the Aerobús and get off at Plaza Catalunya (30 minutes). Fromthere, it’s a 5 to 10 minutes taxi ride, depending on the traffic.· By taxi: It’s a 25 minutes taxi ride from the airport. FROM THE BARCELONA AIRPORT, TERMINAL 1:Take the bus that connects with Terminal 2 to get the train that will take youdowntown, take the Aerobús that will take you to Plaza Catalunya, or just take ataxi.! IF YOU COME BY CAR:There is a car park next to the Guest House (Plaça Comercial) that charges 23,15euros per 24 hours (the price is subject to changes in the policy of the car parkcompany). ... more   less 
Also Known As:
El Balcon Del Born Hotel Barcelona
El Balcon Del Born Barcelona, Catalonia

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