Category: Barcelona

My first night, we decided to have a drink at the W hotel. The W Barcelona opened recently and is designed by world-famed architect Ricardo Bofill. If you are not familiar with his work, he has also designed the city’s airport who received the award for the best airport in Europe.

“W”, located along the famed boardwalk La Barceloneta, strangely reminds you of the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai.

When you enter to the hotel, you notice it is very modern. Like almost all the W hotels are, it is very dark with some bright purple lights. It is beautiful, but didn’t make me feel comfy and homy.

It was too windy, and they didn’t have warmers at the terrace, so we sat at the indoor bar. Half full, with a DJ playing with a way too loud music . Let me tell you, I am happy that we stayed at the Hotel Arts.

After a quick drink, we all went to Botafumeiro. This restaurant, has opened its doors more than 25 years ago, and serves amazing seafood. It has a long bar where you can also eat. We opted for a table.
As Magician and Twinkie were not hungry, we ate our food and theirs…

You know how they say, “your eyes are bigger than your stomach”; well, we wanted to taste everything so we ordered a bit of everything. We have started with seafood croquettas, calamaris and don’t laugh a Russian salad (come on we are with the Russian Ring Ding) which was revised Spanish style. Oh without forgetting a spider crab gratin.

The next plate was a seafood platter and, off course, we had to try the paella. As we couldn’t make up our mind, we opted for one with calamari and squid ink, and one with seafood.

Everything was yummy, but between us, we shouldn’t have lost our time and appetite with the appetizers and start straight with the seafood platter. Then maybe we could have eaten the paella.

After three and a half hour hard work of eating and drinking… we couldn’t move anymore. Even when the mariachi’s came to play for us, I think the only part of my body that could move was my eyes.

I am ashamed to say that, it didn’t stop us to try the cream Catalana.

What do I think about the restaurant? A bit touristic, great food, lovely service and as usual amazing company. Next time (if I ever go back), I will definitely sit at the bar and enjoy a seafood platter with a chilled white wine.

On the other side, we are in Barcelona with so many great addresses, so I guess during my next trip I won’t lose my time and calorie count there, and go to another tapas or seafood restaurant.

That night we were hoping to hit the Casino and gamble a little… but seriously, I am just happy that I managed to walk to a cab….

My friends from NY, “The Marmelade’s”, have decided to go to Barcelona for a week during spring break.

I went to Barcelona couple of years ago, and loved it, so I decided to take Swiss (better than easy jet) on Friday to join them.

I had the feeling to be in Turkey, as almost each passenger had two bags, and we know you are allowed to have only one. They indicate the flight to be 1h30 minutes… but actually the flight is not more than 45 min and the company spends the other 45 minutes to measure and weighing the bags. They also take away the extra ones.

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t this the job of the check-in? I guess they are more concentrated to check on their makeup, than check in your luggage 

Finally, when I arrived at Barcelona, took a cab for the hotel. The distance from the airport to The Hotel Arts is 35 minutes, but I think in Spain people start the week-end early, cause we had huge Friday traffic jam at 2.30 pm. Let me tell you these Spanish know how to live, between good weather, the amazing food, quality naps and long week-ends, no kidding they are smiling more than the Swiss… they have a better life.

It took me more than an hour to arrive at the hotel, and another 50 minutes to arrive to the restaurant and join my friends. Let me tell you for a 45 minutes flight, I left home at 11 am and arrived at my destination (the restaurant) at 4 pm… Thanks god it was yummy ;)

I will talk about the food a bit later, let’s step back a minute to talk about my hotel.

The Hotel Arts Barcelona is one of the most popular hotel in the city. Owned by the Ritz Carlton group, it is situated in the marina of Port Olimpico. The hotel is literally steps away from the beach. Did I tell you all the happening restaurants and bars are on the beach????

….and minutes away from the city center (if no traffic).

The hotel is very modern, with great rooms. The down side… at the lobby they offer you water and candies all day long. Excuse me who goes to Spain to drink water and eat candies… even kids want to experience more exciting things.

Another thing that I should point out… I understand they are all about the service, they want to satisfy the customer and get feedback to improve… but they should stop harassing their guests… especially when you put a “do not disturb” sign on your door. I received two calls: The first one was to make a satisfaction survey during my nap…

And the second one was from housekeeping. Apparently they saw the do not disturb sign, and wanted to make sure that I don’t want them to open my bed…. Guess what I am already in bed, and if I put the sign out, it is “NOT” to be disturbed….

Ohhh, and without forgetting the several e-mails that I received since I left the hotel, from the general manager and from the satisfaction survey.

I know I am a “VIP”, but it kind of feels that the hotel is my new harasser, lol. What would have happened if I were a real celebrity? Will I find someone back In Geneva to ask my experience at the hotel?

Joke aside, the hotel is great and I will definitely return there. I checked out the new W hotel while I was there, beautiful, but too impersonal. Hotel Arts is modern, but has also this comfy style that makes you want to hang out.