Now we know why the Mediterranean suites were so cheap. The room itself is nice enough (with a large bed, deep loveseat and chair, Mediterranean-themed carpet and wall colors, decent-size TV, etc...), but the views from the terrace can be marginal (unless you like looking down on alleyways, tin roofs, and into other people's apartments nearby), and the air conditioning doesn't seem to work.
Oh, and the hotel doesn't have any fans. Fortunately, there is a supermarket a half-block up Las Ramblas (on the same side of the street), owned by the Carrefour consortium (which means it's much like most any other major supermarket chain you might encounter in Europe). On the first floor, they've got fresh vegetables, drinks, personal grooming products, electrical equipment (including fans), etc.... Make sure to check your bag in at the front desk before you enter the store, and keep in mind that if you're going to use a shopping cart that the only way downstairs (to all the packaged food, dairy products, fresh meats and cheeses, etc...) will be the elevator on the right, and is not well marked unless you're looking up at the signs above your heads. Otherwise, you'll want to stick with a hand-basket and the escalator or stairs.
The bed in this room is amazingly hard -- the hardest bed I think I've ever tried to sleep on. I'm not sure, but I may have had a softer "bed" at times in the past when I was camping, with my sleeping bag on the ground. Or when I was crashing with friends, laying directly on a hard concrete floor with a thin layer of carpet. But my wife is absolutely in love with the pillows -- they give each of you a huge two foot by two foot "back" pillow, and a smaller pillow to use while sleeping, and they are high quality down/feather.
But why have a nice bathroom with lots of marble and mirrors, if you're going to get a sewer stink? We passed a sewer on Las Ramblas, so we know for sure what that smell is, we just can't be 100% certain where it's coming from in the bathroom. And why have just one bar of soap in the bathroom? Don't you want a large one in or near the bath/shower, and a smaller one near the sinks? After you've washed yourself in the shower with the large bath bar, do you want to use that same bar again to wash your hands or face in or over the sink?
Note that the shower is very powerful (enough to hurt, if you turn it on full strength), and can get very, very hot -- Think McDonald's coffee hot. I like hot showers, and I like long showers. I could only turn the handle very slightly past the halfway point before I felt like I was being scalded. And the hot water never ran out. The tub is also very deep, but is made out of plastic and was rather disconcerting to feel it moving underneath my feet. I later decided that it was intentional to have the floor of the tub have a slight "give" to it, to make it feel a bit softer and more comfortable. It also has raised spots spread throughout, which I presume is intended to have some sort of massage effect on your feet.
The electrical power in the room is also marginal -- we lost all power earlier today, but we're not sure if it was a breaker that flipped or a result of the construction. We were leaving at the time, so it didn't really matter. But I would be very concerned if that kind of thing happened when we were going to be in the room for a while. Tonight, we've noticed that all the other lights in the room will flicker when you turn on another electrical device.
Also note that most of the lights in the room are compact fluorescent, which tend to give off a kind of greenish glow, and don't put out a lot of light. If you have seasonal affective disorder, or get depressed at night if you have bad lighting, be warned. There are lights on the terrace, and they can feel pretty bright at night.
The light switch by the door controls the power to the small halogen lamps in the ceiling near the door (over the desk), but also controls the power to the small halogen lamps in the alcoves and the floor-standing halogen lamp in the bedroom. Unfortunately, the floor-standing lamp is fairly weak (I'm guessing 100 watt or 150 watt, instead of the standard 300 watt). It took us a while to figure out how to turn on the floor-standing lamp, and even had the engineer come up to take a look at it to see what needed to be fixed.
Avoid room 627 at all possible costs. It is long and thin (and weirdly shaped), with a tiny breakfast/living area at one end, and a tiny bedroom area at the other (just barely large enough to contain the bed). The air conditioning does work well, but it drips -- make sure you don't put anything underneath the vents on the ceiling in the hallway area.
This room may have two TVs (one in the living area and one in the bedroom area), but the one in the bedroom area can't display any of the on-demand movies or other special content. You can get the small selection of satellite TV channels, and that's it.
The one saving grace of room 627 is that it has a much larger and nicer terrace than any of the other Mediterranean suites, with views of three sides of the hotel. The other suites on the sixth floor look out mostly onto other nearby buildings.
As far as the food is concerned, the room service menu is very minimal. The soups have been good, the single-serving size margarita (only cheese, no sauce or other toppings) pizza is hand-tossed thin-crust style (which my wife likes but I don't), the club sandwich is very good, the chicken with green tagliatelle pasta was okay.
But whatever you do, do *NOT* eat dinner in the restaurant downstairs. It looks nice enough, the dinner is buffet-style (which my wife and I thought we would appreciate), but the food itself was marginal at best. It took me a long time to figure out when I last had cafeteria style food that was worse -- I had to go back to school lunches that I had in sixth grade, and even some of them were better. And the restaurant downstairs is Euro-style expensive, with dinner for one person running something like 30 Euros.
The bar looks nice, and they're supposed to have live entertainment Tuesday through Saturdays. We haven't actually done anything there, but I think it would be hard to screw that up too badly.
If your room is on the fifth floor or below, you have two elevators to choose from. If you're on the sixth floor or above, there is only one elevator, which is apparently also shared with the staff. You can get three people in one of these elevators, but that can be a tight fit.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perfectly positioned for discovering the rich artistic heritage represented by Barcelona's museums, music and architecture, Le Meridien Barcelona is a five star hotel located on the city's most famous street, Las Ramblas. With examples of Gaudi's architecture, the Liceo opera house, MACBA and the Gothic Quarter, all main attractions within walking distance, guests can immerse themselves in local culture. Throughout the hotel art and architectural detailing catch the eye. In the central lobby is Le Meridien's HUB, a perfect place to rendezvous with friends and family. Furnished with contemporary designer pieces and decorated with specially curated art installations. The Hub is a great place to meet and offers a stimulating and fascinating environment. Each of the 231 rooms and suites combines comfortable living with art and design elements, including original works by contemporary local artists. Sublimely comfortable Le Meridien furnishings and multiple entertainment options ensure a relaxed stay. The Longitude 02º 10' Bar in the HUB is the place to enjoy a delicious Illy coffee, fresh cakes or a glass of wine or cava. Alternatively, CentOnze Restaurant offers great views of Las Ramblas along with the gastronomic creations of Chef Eugeni Cortes who reinterprets local cuisine using fresh ingredients sourced from the nearby Boqueria Market. Le Pop Cocktail Bar stimulates your senses with an exciting blend of cocktails, music and vintage savoir vivre with a modern twist. Located on the sixth floor of the hotel, the Explore Spa Studio is a blissful oasis of relaxation offering treatments and therapies based on renowned French Cinq Mondes beauty products. Open to both guests and members of the public who, in consultation with a beauty therapist, can choose from a range of offerings designed to aid skin rejuvenation and promote personal wellbeing. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Le Meridien Barcelona Hotel Barcelona
- Barcelona Le Meridien
- Meridien Barcelona
- Le Meridien Barcelona Catalonia