The bottom line: for anyone looking for a reasonably priced, centrally located and clean place to stay in Barcelona, this place is hard to beat. However, it is not a hotel: the clue is in the name. There is no elevator, no 24 hour concierge and no bland uniformity in decor or service. If you want those things, look elsewhere and be prepared to pay more.
We arrived while the usual staff were out, but with a little Spanglish were able to explain ourselves to the maid, who showed us to our room and, moments later, surprised us with complimentary sangria.
While the antique ornaments and furniture aren't to my taste, the building itself has a real warmth and charm and gives you a real sense of the local architecture from the inside. While our room (and the others we saw) aren't very big, they're adequately large, comfortable and are well provided with towels, robes, very effective air conditioning, storage space and so on.
Though the staff aren't preset all the time, they seem to care about their guests. On our first day, the owner spent a good 10 minutes carefully annotating a map of the city for us, pointing out good cafes and restaurants, interesting places to visit, ideal public transport routes, tourist traps to avoid and so on.
As others note, there's no lift/elevator, but it's just a couple flights of steps - they're wide, not steep, and there's a good handrail. If you're not able-bodied, or you're taking very large or heavy luggage, you may wish to look elsewhere.
The room was spotlessly clean throughout our stay, constant supply of clean towels, and the simple but good breakfast of coffee, juice and croissants is served promptly every morning (they'll even surprise you with a cupcake, occasionally).
It's an easy 5 minute walk from the hostel to the bustling centre, and a pleasant 20-30 minute stroll to the beach, la Sagrada Familia, etc. The subway is at the end of the next block - couple of minutes' walk at most.
Within a radius of a couple of blocks, there're almost too many tempting restaurants and cafes, and plenty of convenience stores, pharmacies and suchlike too – all very handy after a long day wandering around.
In short, it's an eccentric little place staffed by very genuine, helpful people. It lacks – but, crucially, neither does it claim – the slick, polished convenience of a proper hotel, but in place of that you get, in my opinion, a much richer and more memorable experience of Barcelona.
Incidentally: some reviewers complain of having to "crawl" through the hostel's small door. It's just a slightly smaller than standard sized door set within a huge, heavy old door: I'm over 6ft tall and managed to use it without trouble. If you're not able-bodied, or have huge quantities of luggage, it might be awkward for you, but in that case the lack of an elevator/lift and relatively small rooms means that this isn't the right hostel for you anyway.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- L´Antic Espai arises after a dream of creating in Barcelona a special space with an old world charm. we create an place in which always, we wished to enjoy a pleasant stay and where you feel like in your own house. Our services and personalized treatment will make you to remember and miss us for ever in all trips you plan. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hostal l` Antic Espai Hotel Barcelona
- Hostal L' Antic Espai Barcelona, Catalonia