I took the tram up from Plaza de Espanya in Barcelona directly from the airport minus my backpack which did not follow me, owing to Air Canada's tight connexion at Frankfurt. The train, especially in its last few kilometres, switches back and forth up the mountain, relying on cables to arrive at the station. The hotel is right across from the station.
The rooms were plain but clean and comfortable (54.59€). My view was of the side of the very impressive mountain but I had more need of a good sleep than a view. The hotel appears to be part of the Abbey complex, perched on the side of this humongous serrated mountain, overlooking mist-covered plains to Manresa and Barcelona.
Hotel staff registered me quickly and pleasantly (in English), and promised that they would alert me as soon as my luggage arrived--- I left the question of how to hike 1200km without a backpack until later. After vespers and my dinner, the pack was awaiting for me.
I took my dinner in the cafeteria near the souvenir shop and found the food very good for cafeteria food, although perhaps a bit overpriced-- given that the site is a tourist joint, one is not surprised. What is remarkable, aside from the breathtaking views (why have I not heard of this place before?), is the Abbey church with its choir school. I attended a packed vespers and found the choristers, just back from their summer holidays, the equivalent of the best English cathedral choirs. This is a five-star worth-the-detour must for church music freaks.
Unlike many Spanish hotels, breakfast was available at an early hour and was reasonable in quantity and price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The building that now houses the Hotel Abat Cisneros has provided accommodation for pilgrims since its original construction in 1563. The conversion of this old monastery building into a hostel in the late 1950s effectively turned it into an establishment of outstanding interest. Later reforms modernised the facilities, ensuring that services provided to guests by the Hotel Abat Cisneros meet the highest standards as regards quality and comfort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Abat Cisneros Hotel