I just landed back in London from an amazing trip to Barcelona, Spain with a girlfriend for a long weekend of drinking wine, eating tapas, luxuriating in a beautiful hotel, and enjoying all that Barcelona has to offer. What a great time we had!
Have you ever wondered about those Travelzoo deals? Do they seem too good to be true? I have to tell you that I couldn’t believe what they were charging for a three-night, four day trip to Barcelona from London Luton in a 4-star hotel. This deal included transfers, hotel, flights, and a sparkling wine breakfast buffet. Our friends over at Fleetway Travel did a great job putting this deal together. All included the price came to £239.00 per person. That equates to about $275.00. You all know that you can’t get a Motel 6 for that price at home. Forget about the transfers and breakfast, and no way would it be for three nights. (I looked it up and our local Motel 6 is well over $115 per night.)
I have to say, I wasn’t really expecting much from the hotel, or the city. My girlfriend Debs actually booked the whole thing for us and all I did was hand over my credit card. (How fabulous is that?)
When we arrived at our hotel, we were a both a little speechless; it was lovely. Actually, the reception area isn’t as refined as the rest of the hotel. It seemed like a good business grade hotel: until we got in the elevators and up to our room, which was simply stunning. The decor was all in white with super modern furnishings and bathroom. Even the door entering our room was super cool. It had a layer of glass over the door with a picture of tropical foliage on it. It gave the hallway and the open atrium area a kinda funky jungle feeling without being overwhelming and in your face. It even managed to somehow be contemporary and arty rather than rustic. Whoever designed the place really understood balance.
Can you see where the room doors are from this photo? Cool huh? It actually took us a minute to figure out how the doors worked because they were so unique. The views out to the city from this area were spectacular.
Our room was amazing. We were really dumbfounded. Now, remember the price we paid for this holiday? Every single thing was done in style. Beautiful lightbox lamps and bedside tables gave the room an ambient glow. The white was so fresh, clean, and chic; perfect for a girl’s weekend.
If that isn’t fabulous enough; this was our view at sunset over Barcelona. It was a WOW. I have been to many many fine hotels and I have to say, this one really had their “A” game going.
This was the actual view from our hotel room at sunset. We were both in complete awe seeing it. This photo was taken with my cell phone!
The bathroom had both a rain waterfall shower and a hand held shower; for those hard to reach places. Shampoos, conditioners, body lotions, soaps, and all of the things you would expect from a fine hotel were there along with ample fluffy towels and easy to find amenities. They even provided two free bottles of water as well as robes and slippers for our use. Great!
All of these things were pleasing but that, in my opinion, didn’t make the hotel outstanding. What did make it so were the staff. I was in the hotel trade for many years and I have to tell you these people had it spot on! It happened to be my companion, Deb’s, birthday. When we arrived we were joking about it with the reception desk. He saw it on her passport. From then on, all of the staff kept wishing her a happy birthday throughout the trip. They brought a cake and a candle to her during breakfast the next day and sang to her.
Then there was the food – the breakfast buffet that was included. Holy cow! We were expecting a sparse continental breakfast and what we got was a huge brunch with just about anything you could want or imagine. Everything was fresh, well presented, plentiful, and tasted great. It started out with a selection of fresh fruit smoothies that greeted you as you went into the dining room. I sampled one that was cantaloupe flavored; it was refreshing and light – the perfect start to the day. The breakfast also featured an omelet station which produced cooked to order omelets.
The selection was fantastic. Local meats and cheeses along with baked goods, cereal, eggs, meat, fresh fruit, yogurt, and the list went on and on. One morning they even had smoked swordfish served like smoked salmon. It was fantastic. They served the butteriest croissants I have ever eaten. (I am not sure butteriest is actually a word but it’s apt.)
I was amazed that they offered us unlimited cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and fresh juices to make mimosas every day. Fantastic! They also served local red or white wine. Well, why not?
The dining room area where we ate breakfast was continued in the modern jungle theme. There were various plants, palms, and printed screens all around giving the effect of being inside foliage. We didn’t eat dinner in the hotel, but from our experience at breakfast, it was lovely.
On our last morning at the hotel, we decided we were going to take it easy and wander up to the rooftop pool. Boy, were we in for a surprise. It was gorgeous. We lounged on the comfortable chairs in the sun and enjoyed the peace and serenity of the space. They do also have a gym and indoor pool for working out, but that was far too much effort. There was alcohol to be consumed and many laughs to be had.
The 360 view of Barcelona, plus the serene atmosphere made it the perfect place to lay in the sun and relax (while drinking cava of course).
Another pleasant surprise came with the price of the cava from the bar. €20.00 which is around $21.00 for a bottle of cava plus two large bottles of water. Ok, name a hotel in the US you can get a decent bottle of wine for under $20.00 delivered to you? It doesn’t happen. I can’t even think of another major European city where that would be true. Awesome value for sure. Come to think of it, I have been charged $20 for two large waters at hotels.
After our fantastic stay and free late checkout, we went down to reception to close out our bill. A staff member we hadn’t yet seen on our trip served us and she again wished Deb a Happy Birthday and presented her with a little gift box. Inside was four Lindt chocolate truffle balls. How lovely was that??
This hotel checked all of the boxes for a fun, luxurious stay and much much more. The only little downside is that it was located slightly out of the city center. (We clocked it at about 12 minutes drive in the taxi). It was however really close to the metro station and there were always taxis waiting to take us the short drive. I can’t fault one thing about our experience and I would highly recommend you to stay there when traveling to Barcelona. We absolutely LOVED our stay at the Renaissance Fira.