I recently completed a 2-night stay at the fabulous Hotel Arts Barcelona (Marina 19-21, 08005 Barcelona, Spain). This was my first visit to Barcelona, and my first stay at a Ritz-Carlton Hotel! No, I’m not making that up. My love of W Hotels aside, no one ever called me Mr. Fancy Pants when it comes to hotels. Basically, I want a bed, a TV, and wi-fi, and I’m happy. That said, the Hotel Arts was our first stop after a fabulous 14-night cruise which we were taking to celebrate MrsMJ’s (ahem) 29th birthday, and I wanted something nice. I contacted our wonderful travel agent, Michelle Bemis, at McCabe World Travel in McLean, Virginia for advice. She recommended the Hotel Arts, which was a partner hotel with the Virtuoso network. As a result, not only would we be staying at a great hotel, we would receive a room upgrade at check in, an 85 Euro credit to our room for use during our stay, and late checkout, not that we needed that with a 6am flight! I was not disappointed.
We arrived at the hotel rather early following our cruise, just before 10:00am. Early check-in had been requested by our travel agent, so I wasn’t worried. It was likely that our room would be ready, and if not, we would just leave our bags and spend our time touring beautiful Barcelona! Arriving via taxi, we were immediately greeted by Bell staff and sent to the elevator for a short ride to the main lobby. Upon arriving there, we were immediately assisted. We were warmly welcomed, by the front desk assistant. While being checked in, we were even greeted by the hotel concierge. Our front desk assistant recognized not only my Marriott Gold status, but our Virtuoso affiliation as well. She presented us with a card detailing our benefits, and then, much to my surprise, escorted us to our room on the 16th floor of the hotel.
Our room offered a partial sea and city view. I suppose it was the best of both worlds. Our front desk person kindly explained the room and presented us with a map of Barcelona, pointing out important sites and the best ways to get there. I was quite pleased with the room. It was large, offered nice views of the city, a comfortable bed, and a TV that came with a remote control that weighed as much as a baseball bat! Seriously, that was the sturdiest remote control I’ve ever seen! After spending a generous amount of time with us, the front desk attendant left us to our own devices….which after such a long cruise meant, we took a nap! At some point, champagne and strawberries arrived, another Virtuoso amenity compliments of our travel agent. The room was extremely comfortable, and featured wireless internet access. ($28 Euro, but complimentary for me as a Marriott Gold member). The room featured a large bath with separate walk-in shower and tub, dual vanities, etc. It was very nice! I snapped a few photos around the room with my iPhone.
Around the Hotel
There was a nice lounge for elite members that I only caught a glimpse of. Frankly, we had too much to see and too little time, so we did not spend a lot of time just lounging around the hotel. I can say that the fantastic restaurant, Cafe Veranda, offered one of the better breakfast buffets I’ve seen. If you go, do not leave without enjoying one of their phenomenal crepes! I went with strawberries and Nutella. Just sayin’. The hotel is located in the Olympic Village area of Barcelona, next to the sea, and within close proximity to many oceanview restaurants and clubs. We walked everywhere we went, which of course included the Ramblas. However, I think my favorite destination during our short visit was Sagrada Familia.
You are welcome to view my photos of Barcelona. (Added December 6, 2012. More photos will be added as I work through them)
I cannot say enough good things about the Hotel Arts. From the moment we arrived, it exceeded my expectations, and continued to do so throughout our all to short stay. I will not hesitate to stay at this fabulous hotel again.