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“Disappointed with our stay”
Review of Vrabac Guesthouse

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Vrabac Guesthouse
Ranked #66 of 307 Barcelona B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 16, 2012

Vrabac Guesthouse has all the makings of what could be an unforgettable place to stay. Sadly, it completely misses the mark.

To start with the positives, the location cannot be beaten. It is right in the heart of the Gothic district, moments walk from La Rambla, the Cathedral and markets. It is 2 mins walk from the Airport bus which was a real plus. Secondly, the room and guesthouse are beautiful. They are clean and nicely decorated. We stayed in a deluxe room at the back, and there were no noise complaints- the only thing we could hear are some occasional footsteps from upstairs but nothing to be concerned about.

To the negatives, there is no warmth to the guesthouse. We regularly stay at B&Bs and guesthouses because you expect those warm personal touches, and joy owners always seem to have for their business. This wasnt the case here. We arrived and were greeted to a lady (who spoke very little english) and escorted to our room. From here on, we literally didn't see anyone from the hotel except for a lady in the kitchen at breakfast, who didnt speak a word to us. To be honest, it was all a little uncomfortable.

Breakfast was simple- toast, 2 types of cereal, some meats and cheese and old fruit. This wasn't replenished at all so don't expect anything exciting. Also, there was a strange note saying you have to pay 5 euros if you dont eat everything on your plate.

I expected there to be some shower gel or toiletries in the bathroom but there was nothing. Considering the owners were conscious of the environment you would expect some local organic products, just something to encourage you to get involved too.

To me, when you are staying at a small place like this, its all the little things that make such a big difference. There were small things such as there was only 1 pillow, and there was no one in sight to ask for another one. Or, there was no offer of a map or local guide, and there was no one there to ask for one. When we left, we dropped the key in the letterbox and walked out the door.

I enjoyed my stay in Barcelona because the city is so vibrant, but I would recommend a good search around before you book. Im sure you can find better value for your money, without the attitude and strange atmosphere.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank happytravelling574
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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113 - 119 of 244 reviews

Reviewed November 10, 2012

This guesthouse is in a great location on a side road just off La Rambla. Up on the 3rd floor (no lift), it’s a really attractive apartment style accommodation. We initially received a warm welcome. The Deluxe room looked beautiful, overlooking the main street with a large bathroom and traditional decor.

I’m afraid this is where our being pleased with our choice ended.

Upon trying to have a shower on the first evening there was no hot water (which, to be fair, the owner did very quickly rectify later that night), but it’s still a problem you don’t expect when paying 150 Euros a night & I had to have a cold shower which wasn’t pleasant. There are also no shampoos or toiletries which I had expected given the rate of the room, and so didn’t bring.

Again, we were still optimistic about the place and very excited about the holiday. But I’m afraid this place is let down by the bad attitude some of the people running the place seem to have.

Breakfast was fine, although the buffet rarely replenished. There was usually just bread & some bland cereals. Most other things had run out within an hour of the two hour breakfast window. Why bother unless you’re going to do it well and keep it topped up? There was also a sign saying if you didn’t eat all your food at breakfast, you’d have to pay 5 euros. Not appreciative of the attitude & personal beliefs being forced onto their paying guests. And really not what you expect or want when you’re trying to relax on holiday.

All this was a bit weird, but I wasn’t too bothered by it. That was until I went back to my room after breakfast with an unfinished cup of tea and was told by the manager that I would have to bring the cup back out if I took it to my room & that I shouldn’t have left my room light on for the 10 mins I was at breakfast! Not the way a customer in a guest house should be spoken to by the guest house owner.

Especially not what you need after you’ve had a night of being woken up almost every hour during the night due to the noise outside (drunk people shouting, opera singing and all sorts) that lasts until about 5am (and starts again at 8am).. No sound proofing on the windows, which I understand as it’s a traditional place. But it’s misleading to advertise a room as Deluxe when you can’t get any sleep! And I am not a light sleeper by any means. If you have to stay at this place, perhaps the rooms at the back are quieter (or bring earplugs).

We are reasonable people who've stayed at many different guest houses in many different countries over the years and normally guesthouse owners are incredibly warm, friendly and keen to go the extra mile to see you have a great time in their city or town, it's why we choose these places. These guys sadly seem more pre-occupied with saving the planet than hospitality. We were nothing but polite & friendly, yet felt we were treading on ice 24/7 & not getting any sleep. All for the bargain price of 150 euros a night!

I think there are probably friendlier, better value (and quieter) places out there.

Room Tip: Don't bother with the Deluxe room in the main guest house section unless you bring industrial ea...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Stimpz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2012

My husband and I were travelling on our honeymoon so spent a lot of time choosing accomodation. Vrabrac had a lot of good ratings and location was fabulous in barcelona so seemed a good choice. When we are arrived advised by management they were moving breakfast room one floor up during our stay but they were actually doing major renovations on the floor our room was located on. There was a lot of early morning noise and we could not use our room during the day again due to noise one day because of work. Disappointed that were were not advised at all of these inconveniences in advance and even on arrival the extent of them nor was there any difference in rates charged when we raised this issue. The room itself was ok, very dark rooms not enough light and breakfast good but coffee in limited supply so get in quick.

Room Tip: Ask for room away from front door, floorboards very noisy.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Merrynm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

You really can't beat the location of this guesthouse, right on Las Ramblas!

The cosy interior was charming and welcoming - especially the breakfast room which had nice little touches that you wouldn't get in a larger chain hotel. The service was wonderful and friendly and we had no trouble getting into the building (which I have experienced with other guesthouses/ apartments when you don't speak the language).

The only thing I was slightly disappointed with was the room. Although adequate, it was nothing special and din't carry the charm that the rest of the guesthouse had. However, with Barcelona on the doorstep we didn't really mind. Also it had a rubbish view which was a shame; i was really looking forward to seeing out onto the street as the pictures suggest.

Compared to other hotel/ guesthouses in central Barcelona it is definitely brilliant value without slumming it in a hostel. I wouldn't usually go somewhere with a shared bathroom, but here has changed my mind as we had no trouble with the bathroom and no wait any of the times we wanted a shower.

Would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank m00ncalf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

I loved the location! It was perfect. A few meters away from the La Ramblas and the church. But besides this, there is nothing positive to talk about this place!

I reach the place at 9:45-10pm on day-1. I ring the bell and I'm rudely let into the building. I leave my heavy bag downstairs to go up 2 floors to ask for help, only to see the door closing in my face and opening after 10-12 minutes without a word. So till then, I'm left at the door wondering if it would open again. The gentleman said he'd gone inside to get the keys to the apartment before he could get my bag upstairs. But no warm welcome. Not even a smile.

Next I'm told that he was expecting me to be at the B&B at 1pm(whereas I had clearly shared my arrival time with the owner 2-3 times) and that if I had come even 15 minutes late, I'd have had nowhere to go! Wow! That would have been a great start! But this was just the beginning!

I am given a just painted/renovated room with the paint particles still all over the floor/linen and a huge chunk of white powder in the bathroom. I noticed this only when I got ready for a shower and quickly cleaned the floor as I couldn't stand the white powder sticking to my feet like a feet-pack! There was dust/white particles everywhere and I inhaled them all night, which caused me some throat irritation, besides lack of sleep!

Next day, Nicolas tells me that they had cleaned the room and takes a defensive stance, without a single apology for the inconvenience caused.

I change my room to another one as planned for the rest of my stay. That room stinked with every possible smell you can imagine! There was no cross-ventilation, no fresh air, in fact, no oxygen at all. I kept going into the corridor for some fresh air until 3 am only to fall asleep out of exhaustion! Again, no apology.

My throat-irritation aggravated and I had not rested.

Now, my friends were to join me on day 3 and were to stay in a different room than mine. But, because of this stinky room that I couldn't sleep in, I was ushered into my friend's room(ofcourse without Nicolas feeling guilty or sad). Nicolas just assumed that I'd happily stay in a triple room when I had booked a separate room for myself!!!!

My friends were rudely asked to take their luggage upstairs with their "help" whereas the other person from my day-1 was ready to do it for them. But Nicolas asked him not to, right in front of us! Forget hospitality(the business he is in), these are "basic" manners!

Next morning, there is no hot water in the shower! So we are asked to use the one in the stinky room I had vacated the previous night. We used it for 2 days only to find our toiletteries missing on the 2nd day(my day-4)!! I go to Nicolas to ask about the missing toiletteries and he said that he took them all away because we couldn't leave them in there!!! Huh??!!!! Really??? I left the water heater in the stinky room too but never got to see it in our room again, despite several requests!

I was too busy with my sight-seeing schedule to fight it out with this guy and simply kept compromising on several fronts.

The bathroom was outside the room and wasn't cleaned through the day. So it stinked too!

On our last day, we are asked to take down our heavy bags ourselves again. There was a very nice gentleman who offered to help but Oscar(the other partner) told him not to, right in front of me! Both of them need a 2 year course in hospitality and some basic manners!

Now the breakfast bit. On my day-1, there was one tomato slice and a few cucumber slices left in the buffet. I quickly ate it and left for my walking tour. Day-2: same story, another tour. Day-3 onwards: my friends and I went there early(around 9:30am) everyday before the food would finish only to find most of it finished. We would wait for the boiled-eggs for 15-20 minutes everyday. When we asked for 2 eggs each, we were given only 1 each(after the long wait). We had to insist on having more. The fruit salad was always over and never refilled. One time, It was made for us on our request but quite hesitantly. We would mostly eat bread-butter-jam and the cereal until the eggs arrived. The juice and milk too was clumsily refilled. Once, My friends had to wait for 30 minutes for milk in their cereals. One day, my friend even helped the maid to set the buffet table(to make up for the maid's time lost) as she got some hot water to drink for me(please note that the water-heater was still missing from the room).

If you ask for an early breakfast, you would have to go hungry! It is just not possible in here!

Now on the day of the check-out, besides the bags episode, we are asked to pay for all the food we wasted and some water I had asked to refill into my bottle on day-1!!!! Nope, this isn't funny! The food was seldom there, to begin with!! They wanted us to finish all the butter, jams in the little bowls, all the cereal in the bowl until our eggs finally showed up. If only they have a steady flow of refilling the breakfast buffet, there would be better selection and hence a more satisfactory breakfast and less wastage.

I have travelled and stayed at many B&Bs and Guest-houses and hotels all over the world, but this is the worst experience I've had! I was very impressed by the European hospitality standards but my Barcelona experience with these people has been very bitter!!!

There are far better options available at cheaper rates in the same location. I'll definitely go back to Barcelona but never here!

I went back and forth on whether I should share my negative experience or not but finally did. My experience was really very bad and I only hope nobody else has as bad a stay during their holiday as mine.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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10  Thank Butterfly_Vas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2012

We were group of three woman and we had triple room. There were no another space to suitcases than floor. The light was top of the cabinet and very dim. The biggest problem, however, was the noice from the street. Calle Portaferissa is not a silent side street...
We had the private bathroom no en suite. That was ok, but the shower was horrible!
I hope that they change it in the renovation. They started to move the furnitures while we were there. I didnt ask what kind of renovation they are planning.
The list of recommendation needs an update. Retaurant Julivert Meu is waste of money. Dont go there!
I could go back if I could get a quieter room.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Saippa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

Vrabac's location is KEY! The Aerobus from the airport dropped us off at Placa Cataluyna, located just across the street from Las Ramblas. We walked a few blocks down Las Ramblas to Calle Portaferrisa, ducked into the narrow street to find two big green doors #14. We rang the bell to Vrabac and Nicolas buzzed us up. We carried our bags up to the second floor to find a very clean, cozy, well-decorated guesthouse. Nicolas provided us with a map of the city, keys to access the entry ways, and details regarding breakfast.

Our room was located close to the front door entrance, it was simple, yet stylishly decorated, clean, and comfortable. Because our room was close to the front door, we did hear people coming in at night and leaving in the morning. If you are a light sleeper, you might request a room away from the entrance. Breakfast was a buffet of delicious meats, cheeses, fruits, and cereal, not to mention great coffee, and juice.

Vrabac is in a key location to access so many great neighborhoods and sites in Barcelona. We walked everywhere! I really enjoyed Vrabac because of its quaint, comfortable, cozy charm. It was a nice little retreat after a day cruising around the bustling streets of Barcelona. It was always a little bit of a shock leaving Vrabac and opening the two big green doors to a busy city right outside, and Las Ramblas just a few feet from the front door.

Room Tip: If you are a light sleeper, you might request a room away from the front entrance.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Eunetta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vrabac Guesthouse

Address: Calle Portaferrisa, 14, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Location: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Barcelona > Barcelona > Barrio Gotico (Barri Gotic)
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #66 of 307 B&Bs / Inns in Barcelona
Price Range: $82 - $153 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Vrabac Guesthouse 2*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For further information contact us ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Vrabac Guesthouse Hotel Barcelona
Vrabac Guesthouse Barcelona, Catalonia

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