I took my mother to Hotel 1898 to celebrate her 60th birthday in January 2012. We stayed 3 nights in a Superior room, twin beds, non-smoking. The room we were allocated was clean and pleasant, with a ‘Juliet’ balcony on the corner, overlooking the side street and La Rambla. The room was small, certainly by US standards, but fairly typical for a European hotel, and was well laid out, with somewhere to sit in addition to the bed. We had an issue with the hot water during out stay. At first, I suspect the staff thought we were being obtuse as to working the hot water and were quite dismissive (it isn’t a straightforward tap, but it is one which we have come across in the past and were using correctly) and it took two days for the water to be fixed to allow us to have hot baths (versus lukewarm showers). I felt that there was no sense of urgency – in other hotels when there have been plumbing issues they have sent someone up within minutes – at 1898 it took several phone calls and two front desk visits to have it remedied which I don’t feel is acceptable for a hotel of this calibre.
We ate breakfast each morning at the hotel. It certainly isn’t a cheap option (there are far more inexpensive options a stone’s throw from the hotel if you are budget conscious) but the breakfast was lavish, and allowed us to skip lunch, thus pretty good value for us. Omelettes cooked to order are very good, cava and fresh juices to drink are a treat, and there is a good selection of meats and cheeses, fruit, cereals as well as cooked breakfast items. Service was efficient, if not warm, and the décor in the dining room was lovely.
For our purposes, and in January, the location of the hotel was excellent – central, easy walking distance to shops, restaurants, the metro, and even all the way down to the harbour area. In January, there is some life, but certainly not high levels of noise – compared to the rest of the city, it was rather nice have some vendors on La Rambla (delicious pastries and ice cream), and both locals and tourists walking around in the evening – other parts of the city were very dead in comparison. However, I suspect the pleasant level of activity in winter could become unbearable in summer, and certainly what we did, in leaving the window open all night long, probably wouldn’t be possible in the summer with higher noise levels.
We had some wonderful weather the days we were in Barcelona, and I took advantage of it, having a sunset swim in the rooftop pool. The pool is very small, but on a January evening, I was the only person up there, and it was magical, watching the sun set over the beautiful buildings of the city. The pool was officially open, but I had to bring my own towel up with me, something that could easily be remedied by the hotel by having a stand of towels beside the elevator. Again, I imagine in the height of summer it would be a very different experience, but for me it was perfect. (Note, the bar etc. was not open in January). My mother, on the other hand, didn’t brave an outdoor swim, and instead swam in the basement pool. It was a pretty ‘grotto’ pool, but unfortunately, they had not put the underwater lights on, and my mother bashed her leg very hard on a protruding ledge (the pool is set up with bubble beds etc. within the pool which, given the darkness of the grotto, without the underwater lights, are hard to see). I watched a couple of other people do exactly the same thing as my mother – the lights really should be on all the time from a safety point of view.
The business centre is a nice touch, you are able to do your online check in and print off boarding passes, which is very useful. Security appears to be taken seriously, with key cards needed to access all the floors – however, each guest had to use their key for their floor, which was a little cumbersome in a full elevator.
All in all a pleasant hotel, in a good location, at least for a winter-time visit. The staff could be more service-oriented, as well as friendlier with a smile, and address concerns more promptly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel in Las Ramblas, in the center of Barcelona. Hotel 1898 is the only offering spa and 2 swimming pools all year open. A hotel where luxury and small pleasures will take you to the 19th century and the Spanish colonies in Cuba and the Philippines. Discover our Colonial Suites with private terrace and swimming pool. An authentic oasis in the heart of Barcelona. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- 1898 Hotel Barcelona
- Hotel 1898 Barcelona, Catalonia
- 1898 Barcelona