This past summer, we planned a trip to Barcelona and Majorca. I am a Marriott Rewards member and I am able to secure travel packages through the Marriott Rewards program. Our main trip was to Majorca and we were staying at a Marriott Hotel in area called Son Antem, which is resort, has timeshares units along with a golf course (a side note, the Marriott Hotel was sold although the timeshares are still Marriott). We decided that we should visit Barcelona as well and we agreed on 3 days on the front end of our trip and one day on the back end. The obvious question is where we stay? As I noted, I will try and stay at Marriott hotels as I want a certain level of comfort. When I have traveled to other European cities, staying at hotels that are not Marriott (I suppose other big chains have similar levels) can be quite interesting and in some cases challenging. I guess I am at the stage that I am not interested in the unknown, so Marriott hotels eliminate that fear. Even with Marriott you have different levels and trying to gauge these hotels in Barcelona can be a task. Ultimately, after reading some reviews, I booked the Marriott Renaissance Fira in Barcelona. When I travel in foreign cities, I usually do not drive, so walking and public transportation are very important to me. Everything I read about this hotel seemed to indicate that it would fit into my criteria.
We arrived into Barcelona and after getting our luggage, we got a taxi to the Hotel. It was located about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the airport and the area looked a little barren. Across the street from the Hotel was an IKEA and it did look like a lot of the area was affected by the economic crisis that is occurring in many European Countries. We were in Barcelona at the end of July and the weather was quite warm. We checked into the hotel (we had read that it is quite contemporary) and we found this to be the case. I had two room as my daughters from the U.S. were coming and I have another one who has been working in Germany coming as well. This is high rise building and our rooms were on the 24th floor. We went to our room which was laid out very nicely. Walked in and off to the left the bathroom sink, the shower and the rest room (a separate little room). The sleeping area was beyond that area (separated) and there was sitting area with a view of Barcelona. The room was stark white and very contemporary. The other room on the same level was little different. You walked into the sleeping area and the sitting area and bathroom was further in and separated. This room was in total black, yet it seemed to be extremely warm and inviting. Also, the room had a great view of Barcelona.
We took a walk around the area and you can see the economy in this area was lacking. It was not in disrepair, but the development had stopped or was in a lull. There were businesses opened and you can see that when the economy improves this area will attract new businesses and it is on a commuter rail line. After walking around the area, we were going to meet one of my daughter’s at the pool area of our hotel. She had arrived the day before and was staying with a friend. We went up to the pool area (located on the 27th floor) and to our surprise this was an absolute gem. It was not overly big (pool was very rectangular) but was more than sufficient for hotel guest. The lounge chairs are the best I have ever experienced. They were wide and padded and very comfortable for relaxing and the deck area had the most spectacular views of Barcelona. The weather this time of the year was beautiful and quite warm, so that when we finished our daily touring of Barcelona, we immediately came back to the hotel and changed to go up to the pool area.
As I mentioned, this hotel was on a commuter line rail stop (4 or 5 stops) to connect to the Barcelona Metro system and the train had timely connections so that we were able to go anywhere and make it there in reasonable time frame.
This hotel did not have a lot of extras, like concierge service, but the staff was very friendly and accommodating. On the 14th floor of this hotel was the main restaurant and we did have breakfast there each morning and did eat dinner there one night. The food was good and service was excellent. Even though the hotel was not in a beach or downtown area, it was the perfect for our needs and a very reasonable alternative to some of the other high end Marriott hotels. This hotel provided great value and great location.
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- Also Known As:
- Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel Province Of Barcelona, Spain