Thursday, 5 June 2014

Barcelona: Hotel Arc La Rambla Review

For the duration of our stay in Barcelona, we stayed at the Hotel Arc La Rambla - a 3* hotel located on one of the main streets of Barcelona, and from where it partly gets its name, Las Ramblas. Going to Barcelona would be the OH and mine's first holiday abroad where we would actually stay overseas. The only other time we have left the country was for a day trip to Paris for Valentine's Day earlier this year so that doesn't count!

I was super excited to go to Barcelona as it combines both a city and beach break, and I just could not wait for the holiday to commence. Having read up on TripAdvisor, we found out the hotel is ranked 204 out of 519 hotels in Barcelona with 73% giving the hotel a thumbs up - sounds alright then!

Feeling super excited about the impending holiday, and taking to twitter, I swiftly got a response from their marketing team. A quick email later, I informed them that it was our first holiday overseas and could we request a bath so that I could use Lush bath bombs? A couple of days later and reading other TripAdvisor reviews, I cheekily asked whether we could request a balcony - the hotel located on Las Ramblas meant that the balcony rooms oversaw this busy street and would be a great viewing point. 

The hotel is quite easy to find considering I had never stepped foot in Barcelona previously. From the airport we could not make sense of directions to the metro station so we opted for the Aerobus to take us the Plaça de Cataluyna, and from there, it was about a 15 minute walk down Las Ramblas to the hotel. We only took hand luggage sized bags, and found out that if we travelled by bus from Plaça de Catalunya it would be for only 2 or 3 stops so opted to walk it because a) it was not that far and b) gave me the opportunity to explore the infamous Las Ramblas at the very start of my holiday.

Upon arrival, we checked in, got the (free) wifi password (essential!), got provided maps of Barcelona (proved to be super useful while travelling around Barcelona and working where everything is) and found our room, to be greeted by this lovely surprise - 

The note said, "Congratulations on your first holiday together", and while our initial thoughts were it looked like something the hotel would do for someone on their honeymoon, the thought was much appreciated. Plus we got all we requested - balcony AND bathroom!

We soon found out the bed was two single beds stuck together which only meant that the beds kept splitting apart whenever we relaxed on it whether it be during the day or other. We couldn't seem to find a locking mechanism for the bed and this was a massive let down on the hotel. To be fair, we didn't really ask reception about it as we could only expect to change rooms and we didn't want to go through the hassle. On another side note, the pillows are super flat! Not sure if you like flat pillows, but if you don't, the hotel is happy to provide more pillows for you so you can double up - we did request this, and was provided within 10 to 15minutes. 

 When was the last time you saw an avocado bathroom??

Room Key ...

Hey there frankfurter legs sunning myself in the solarium...

View from our balcony over looking Las Ramblas...

#ButFirstLetMeTakeASelfie from the hotel balcony...

Check out is at 12pm, and if you have a later flight, you can opt to have a later check in providing the rooms are available - just make sure you check with reception. Be warned, each additional hour will cost you €10, something we avoided. Instead, after checking out at 11.30am, we took advantage of these locker cubicles for €2 that are quite spacious - they fit in both our luggages with room to spare, while we headed out to have brunch at Artisa, pick up some local food from Carrefour up the road and then come back to the lounge, relax, before heading off to the airport.

Facilities wise are not great but that's what can you expect from a 3* hotel. They do have a solarium which you can take advantage of on the 5th floor, but some other hotels we found had rooftop pools! We did not try the breakfast as being the cheapskates we are, it would cost €10 per day (there is a reduced price if you breakfast more than two days during your stay) and being located on Las Ramblas, was quite easy to find somewhere cheap and cheerful for breakfast. They have a luggage weighing scale at €1 a pop so if you are nervous about your luggage being overweight, your worries can disappear with this. 

 Lounge we chilled in after checking out...

Overall, this hotel was a pleasant experience (aside from the bed) and was in a great location. Plaça de Catalunya and the beach is within walking distance, easy to find from the airport, and with helpful staff who spoke English. Worth staying here if you are here for a few days in Barcelona. 

Address: La Rambla, 19, Barcelona, 08002
Contact Number: 00 34 93 301 97 98


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