Based on the hotel’s whimsical and appealing exterior, and on its membership in the Leading Hotels of the World, I was looking for a superlative experience at Casa Fuster. But it did not meet my lofty expectation and underperformed for the money, especially because there were some issues with internet access.
Casa Fuster looks just gorgeous from the outside, similar in style to some of the Gaudi-designed buildings in the area.
Inside, the rooms are somewhat small and the furniture a bit old-fashioned. In my upgraded room, there was no comfortable desk chair and it was hard to find the single electrical outlet near the small desk. Clearly not meant for the business traveler.
The bathroom, by contrast, was a highlight, reminiscent of a Ritz Carlton or a Four Seasons. Heated towel racks, “rainfall” shower, beautiful fixtures, subdued lighting and a lovely amenity kit made it far superior to the standard hotel bathroom. I wanted to find excuses to spend more time there. Wash my socks in the bidet perhaps?
The view from the balcony was beautiful but without even plastic furniture there was no way to enjoy it for more than a few minutes.
The hotel went out of its way to watch out for some of the little things, such as fancy pastries as a welcome gift. Bell service and front desk response were both quick and courteous.
Breakfast was disappointing. Like a chain hotel, Casa Fuster fed the guests in a large underground room offering bins of warmed over food. There may have been omelets or other fresh food available but no one asked me if I wanted any. Some food was very good (yogurt, fresh fruit etc.). But the buffet was poorly tended even as employees were standing around near the entrance. The person who carefully wrote down my room number then offered me coffee did not bring any. Coffee and tea service at the buffet was somewhat chaotic and there was no one there to clean up the spills. These are minor points in the grand scheme, but since the place is expensive and “exclusive,” I’m pointing it out.
The ground-floor lobby bar is a dream of European belle epoque but when I went to sit down in the sun after breakfast, I was quickly shooed away from the sunniest area. The lone staffer, in a nearly empty room, told me that the area was off limits.
The biggest downside to this hotel was the lack of decent internet access. In this day and age, access at 0.37 MB (akin to a mid-grade dial-up modem) is just not acceptable. I was in and out of the room and decided to just put up with it. When I mentioned it to the desk at the end of my 24-hour stay, they graciously took note. I made a point of using speedtest.net to measure the speed in the lobby, barely faster, and in the basement (super fast). How is that even possible? I can’t imagine that I am the first one who said something.
UPDATE: The next business day after I filled out the online survey regarding this stay, I got a very apologetic but not very specific note from the management. I give them credit for trying. Still, I recommend asking them about internet speed if that is a priority.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of Barcelona, on Passeig de Gràcia, this genuine gem designed by the Catalan architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner symbolises the spirit of modernism in its maximum capacity. Hotel Casa Fuster has traditionally been a meeting point for guests, artists, intellectuals and locals who look for a quiet and unique place for business or pleasure. The superior terrace with swimming pool has become a unique lookout point above the whole Passeig de Gràcia, the Mediterranean Sea, the Tibidabo mountain and the Sagrada Familia. It also has a reading room that is perfect to relax while enjoying a good book. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Casa Fuster
- Casa Fuster Hotel Barcelona, Catalonia