Attempting to wrangle every thought I’ve entertained about a week long trip to Europe would result in my posting about it after weeks if not months passed. Instead, I’ll try to focus rather narrowly on little slices of the journey. Knowing my propensity to go on and on and on, this might also keep my posts to a digestible length for the digital age.
Home away from home: Hotel Catalonia Ramblas
We didn’t choose our Barcelona hotel. It was selected by the organizers of the conference where my husband was speaking. Sometimes, these choices are a disappointment, but something to put up with graciously. After all, I’m tagging along at little to no cost for lodging in an expensive city.
Hotel Catalonia Ramblas was not one of those disappointments. We were incredibly comfortable there as a family of three.*
Often, location is the single biggest factor in how a hotel stacks up. Hotel Catalonia Ramblas is in a prime location just two blocks from the heart of Barcelona, the Plaça de Catalunya. Leading downhill toward the Mediterranean from the Plaça is the famous La Rambla pedestrian thoroughfare.
It’s hard to beat a hotel location this close to two of the must visit sites in a city.
This is also a major shopping district. The grande dame of Spanish department stores, El Corte Inglés, is an imposing presence across the street. Which street? With more than one location near the Plaça, you can take your pick of all clothing to the south or housewares and toys, etc., to the northeast.
You’ll find anything you might need within an easy walk of Hotel Catalonia Ramblas, including access to public transportation and the starting point for popular tours.
I saw internationally recognizable brands as well as shops with a Catalan flavor everywhere along the Carrer de Pelai, home of Hotel Catalonia Ramblas.
My bank has an agreement to waive fees with a group of other large, international financial institutions, and the ATM I needed to avoid paying fees was mere blocks away.
Two’s company; three’s a crowd?
We had what I believe was a standard room (i.e, not a suite), albeit perhaps an oversized one since it included a sofa bed for our son at one end. I know there are suites with private pools(!) available in this hotel, but I didn’t investigate any other room types.
Refer to the first paragraph: I was in residence as a beggar, not a chooser.
One entered our room from the public hallway into a short corridor with doors at both ends; the bathroom entrance opened from this corridor to one side.
The bathroom employed a frosted glass door, but the presence of the additional wooden door between the private hallway and the sleeping space meant no early morning light pollution when one family member rose early to go to work while his spouse and child lazed about for hours’ more sleep!
I dare you. Just ask my opinion of glass walls in double hotel rooms. These rooms are designed to be shared by more than one person who might have very different schedules. My thoughts aren’t positive.
Entering the bedroom from the hall, the closet separated the bathroom from the sleeping space. This no doubt added some sound insulation. I found it easy to sleep through DH’s early morning routine.
One section of the closet had shelves, including a pull out with electric kettle and instant coffee/tea things; the other two thirds offered standard hanging space. Three thick blankets and an extra pillow were at hand in the closet, proving themselves very useful as we experienced a rare run of freezing days during our week in Spain.
You might notice from my photos facing toward the closet that the pulls on the closet doors could serve as makeshift hooks; I kept our light and dark laundry bags there so my family knew where to put soiled clothes.
The main bed(s) were two oversized singles pushed together in the European fashion. I didn’t bring a tape measure, but I’d judge that each of these was closer to an American double/full size (54″ wide) than our twin (36“) beds.