Two Dirty Dogs

I know I promised you guys I would talk about another hotel, its perks and amenities, and how close it is in relation to tourist spots but first I want to tell you a story.

This story takes place right before I traveled to Spain. I was in the middle of final arrangements for my trip: finalizing my hotel reservations, plane tickets, yada yada yada. You get the picture. Another crucial element of this story is that I have two dogs. They are like children to me, and sometimes, just like children, they can be a bit messy. Let me start from the beginning.

It started out as just another regular weekday. I had gone to work, and it had been a particularly stressful day due to most of my lunch hour spent figuring out why my passport still had not arrived in the mail. I didn’t want to finalize reservations for everything if it turned out I would be turned away at the airport for not having my passport even though I had done the responsible thing and order it months in advance. I couldn’t be blamed for the U.S. Postal Service’s lack of trying. But I digress.

So I had a busy work day and I came home more tired than usual. I could barely stand up long enough to heat up leftovers in the microwave for a measly dinner. I almost completely forgot to let my dogs out, but due to their incessant whining (they can be a bit needy) I let them out. I shut the door, came back to the couch where I had been watching the evening news, and then I completely passed out. I didn’t realize how exhausted I was, but with all my running around preparing for the trip I’d gone and tuckered myself out. The first thing I did was check the clock; I’d been napping for about two hours. My next thought was “oh my god, the DOGS!” I ran to the back door and threw it open. They flew past me into the house.

One more small detail I feel like I need to add is the weather that we’d been experiencing in my neck of the woods for the past few days. I would use the phrase ‘torrential downpours,’ but even that seems like an understatement. Lots of rain; lots and lots and LOTS of rain. I normally just wiped my dogs’ paws off with an old, ratty towel I kept by the back door. Well, in my hazy, after-sleep state of mind, I wasn’t thinking straight and completely forgot how muddy it might have been in the backyard. My dogs also have a tendency to dig if they’re left outside unsupervised for too long. Two hours had been way too long.

I turned around to watch them run through the living room and the amount of mud already tracked through my living room was out of this world. My carpets are light in color so the dark brown mud was a stark contrast. It was also everywhere. Luckily, my dogs knew better than to jump up on the couch after they saw the look on my face and heard the tone of my voice when I yelled “NO!” To prevent them from causing more damage, I put them in their kennels in the garage. I also needed time away from them to think and clear my head and figure out what my next step would be.

I may or may not have panicked for a few minutes. Everything that could have gone wrong that day had. My passport was somewhere in the United States, but the post office just couldn’t be sure where “exactly” it was. The weather had been awful and hadn’t made getting around town to run errands any easier. I had barely started eating dinner when I passed out on the couch, so I was still starving. Since my nap had been so long, now I was completely wide awake, which meant I would be tired tomorrow and getting up tomorrow would prove to be difficult. The stress just seemed to be too much. I wondered if taking this trip was even worth it. I couldn’t leave my house in this state, and I figured even if I cleaned it, my house sitter would make the same mistake I did and the carpet would look like this when I came back home from Spain. This was assuming that my carpet could even be properly cleaned and restored to its previous state. I sat down and just tried to think logically, which is sometimes hard for me. I don’t normally pray for a sign, but when the situation calls for a sign, you pray for a sign.

And I got one. My TV was still blaring from when I had been watching the six o’clock news earlier. A local commercial was currently illuminating the screen. It couldn’t have come at a better time actually. It was for a local carpet cleaners company that boasted great service, great prices, and great cleaning quality. I had nothing else to lose. In fact, I had just received a sign for the first time in my life. I can’t ignore that kind of message, not when I was in such a dire situation.

I scribbled down the number and decided to call in the morning after I’d had a good night’s rest and when I was feeling much calmer. I called first thing the next morning, and they were able to schedule an appointment for that same day much to my relief. I explained that I had dogs and what had transpired the night before. They assured me that it was “no problem,” and that they got this kind of call more frequently than you’d expect. I checked that off my to-do list and went to work ready to tackle the rest of my preparations for my trip.

When I came home that evening, I kid you not, my carpet looked like it was new. I wondered if they had just given up on cleaning it and replaced it with a new carpet, but when I called to thank them for a job well done, they were kind enough to explain to me how they treated the stains and lifted them from the carpet. They had even been able to eliminate deeper stains that I had long forgotten about, like the time I spilled wine when I hosted a New Year’s Eve party (oops) and the time someone (he shall remain nameless) spilled buffalo sauce when I invited friends over to watch the Super Bowl. This company that had worked their magic on my seemingly ruined carpet goes by the name of Katy Carpet Cleaners, (http://www.katycarpetcleaners.com) and they are capable of working miracles. They helped dissipate a lot of unnecessary stress I had during a time when I had far too many other things on my plate to worry about. So nice, so friendly, and so hardworking. I highly recommend Katy Carpet Cleaners for all your pet stain removal needs.  Click Here – Carpet Cleaning Katy TX

Story time is over. I promise next article will be about another great hotel in Barcelona. Thanks for listening to my story about dirty carpet. You guys are a great audience. Stay tuned for next time!

Barcelona Hotel – Hotel Espana

We’ve reached that time, friends. That’s right… It’s the last article, last hotel overview, and last don’t-let-this-happen-to-you story. It’s a sad time for us all, but try to focus only on the happy memories as we go on our last hotel tour together.

Hotel España
Address: Carrer de Sant Pau 9-11, 08001
Barcelona, Spain

Phone: +34 935 50 00 00

Something you may have noticed as I have presented hotel after hotel to you is that each hotel comes with its own background. Most have a rich history, having been department stores, luxe palaces, or antique jewelry workshop before being renovated into the hotels we know them as today. It’s always interesting to me finding out the story behind the hotel. Besides a background story, each hotel comes with its own unique style evident in their interior and exterior design.

This hotel is much the same. Originally built in 1859, this hotel now features a Catalonian Modernism design. Each room is styled with minimalist designs in mind, including a different subdued color theme depending on which room you stay in.

Standard rooms include room service, minibars, and flat-screen TVs. Upgrade your hotel room and the hotel will throw in Nespresso coffee machines and terraces. If you’re not a morning person until you’ve sipped your coffee, an upgrade might be worth it since you can brew your cup in a Nespresso machine and drink your coffee while enjoying the view from your terrace. That should make a morning person out of you, even if you’re like me and waking up for you is like waking a bear out of hibernation.

Suites include separate lounge areas and whirlpool tubs. Apartment-style suites are also available in several rooms and offer a 23 square meter terrace.

Journey outside of your hotel room or suite, and you’ll find a regional restaurant with a gorgeous, high-ceilinged dining area. If the sound of terraces absolutely thrills you, there’s a terrace bar with modern art that mirrors the architectural designs displayed on the outside of the building. Head to the roof for a midnight swim in the hotel’s rooftop pool.

Additional amenities: free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, laundry service, smoke-free environment, and it is handicap accessible.

Liceu’s Grand Theater
Only a 3-minute walk from the hotel is a theater brimming with art history and culture.

With roots dating all the way back to 1837, the idea for this theater came from a society of artists who loved theatre. Before there was a building, an organization of theatre-lovers was encouraging Italian-style singing, music, and theatrical activities in the community. The city of Barcelona was in desperate need of a music conservatory which was highlighted by the rapid growth in the economy and population at that time.

The original building first opened its doors on April 4, 1847 and the system used back then was used for many years until 1980. That system included privately owned boxes and seats since the theatre was funded by selling shares. These shareholders formed an organization called the “Society of Owners” and were in charge of running the theatre from 1855 on. People known as impresarios were in charge of staging a certain number of productions a season in exchange for a percentage of the ticket sale proceeds. Like I said before, that system endured for the next 125 years.

In order to keep the theatre institution alive, a consortium was created to manage the theater. In addition, this consortium incorporated the Barcelona City Council with the Society of Liceu’s Grand Theater. In 1985, the Barcelona Provincial Council was added and the Spanish Ministry of Culture followed suit in 1986 to complete the consortium.

This theatre is familiar with catastrophes starting in 1861 when a fire burned the auditorium and stage portions of the theatre. It took only one year to fix the damages with Josep Oriol Mestres supervising the reconstruction. The theatre was able to reopen on April 20, 1862.

Then in 1893, in the middle of an opening performance for the season an anarchist by the name of Santiago Salvador threw two Orsini bombs into the stalls. Only one of the two bombs exploded, but the blast was severe enough to kill 20 people.

On January 31, 1994, tragedy struck again when a fire destroyed the auditorium and stage of the theater. The theater’s very existence was called into question until it was decided that it would be rebuilt and vastly improved. It was also decided to create a new legal framework so the theatre could be publicly owned. Renovations on the building included adding adjoining lots on the Rambla and installing state-of-the-art technology, though the design elements remained much the same. A grand opening was held on October 7, 1999.

Since its grand opening in 1847, the theatre has housed a number of artists including various set designers, opera singers and composers, and ballet troupes.

And finally, as promised, here is my final don’t-let-this-happen-to-you story.

Believe it or not, not everyone is especially educated when it comes to their gutters. I know, crazy right? You can collect a whole lot of junk up there if you’re not careful. When I say “careful,” I mean if you’re not regularly cleaning your gutters. I know it can be an absolute pain and a hassle. It doesn’t exactly sound like the best Saturday morning bonding activity for you and your spouse.

Instead, have a professional do it while you and your spouse bond over golfing, picking out new living room furniture, or going to see that new Matt Damon movie.

Gutter Cleaning League City knows the ins and outs of the gutter cleaning business and does all the dirty work so you don’t have to. Would you rather spend a day sorting through the debris, dirt, leaves, mud, branches, and various wildlife creatures that have made a home in your gutter or would you rather do anything else? I think we both know the answer.

So call up Gutter Cleaning League City if you’re in their area and don’t let cleaning out your gutters on a Saturday morning happen to you.

Barcelona Hotel – Majestic Hotel & Spa

Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona GL
Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 68, 08007
Barcelona, Spain

Phone: +34 934 88 17 17

Similar to the Ohla Hotel Barcelona, this hotel also features neoclassical designs. As you can see from the address, it is located on the famous Passeig de Gràcia (another name that should be familiar to you by now).

Each room boasts a modern, upscale design with classic décor adorning every inch. Standard rooms, which are anything but standard once you see their elegant layout, come with flat-screen TVs, desks, and tea and coffeemakers. Upgrade to a suite, and the hotel will throw in whirlpool tubs, extra flat-screen TVs, and separate sitting areas. Penthouse suites add scooter rentals and complimentary beach transfers. All rooms come with 24/7 room service.

Other features located throughout the hotel include a gourmet bar located next to the outdoor pool, a fitness center, a piano bar, and a cocktail bar. Stop by the Condal Restaurant for a restaurant featuring a wide range of foods across a varied menu. There are also two other restaurants and a terrace bar with a spectacular view of the city below.

The spa, which makes up half the name of the hotel, includes a range of treatments, steam baths, and a sauna.

Additional amenities include: free Wi-Fi, paid parking upon request, complimentary laundry service, air-conditioning, and it is handicap accessible.

Park Güell

Originally built for the enjoyment of Barcelona aristocracy, the park is now better known to commoners and aristocracy alike for its stone structures, tiling, and buildings. The park also serves as a reflection of Antoni Gaudi’s artistic abilities, and tends to be associated with his naturalist phase, which was sometime during the first decade of the 20th century. Many of the same architectural designs that he played with during the creation of the park are also evident in the Sagrada Família church which apparently I can never talk too much about.

What makes this park so unique is the fact that the buildings and artwork designed by Gaudi was built around the natural park already located there. The Gaudi House museum is also located at the park and for a reduced fee, you can pay to see Gaudi’s house, complete with furniture that he designed, and the Sagrada Família church. The only part of the park that requires an admission fee is the monumental part which is the main entrance and any parts containing mosaics. It is only located 3.2 kilometers away from the hotel.

I know some aspects of these articles may seem repetitive, like when I constantly refer to Passeig de Gràcia or Sagrada Família. But these landmarks are constantly repeated in these articles because they are a huge part of Spain’s history and culture. Hotels are built close to these monuments to Spain because smart business people know that tourists will flock to hotels in areas populated with these historic landmarks, museums, churches, etc. So where there are areas full of tourist attractions, hotels will be built so tourists can stay close to these attractions and feel like they get a comprehensive look into the history and culture of Spain. It’s the same for every country if you do your research. That’s why part of the major appeal for any hotel is how close it is in proximity to attractions tourists might be interested in seeing. You’ll find locations, times, and miles listed on any hotel’s website to attract vacationers into staying at their hotel because they are the closest to the best and most sought-after attractions.

I hope that all made sense. I just don’t want you all to ever feel like I’m just copying and pasting the same hotel and just switching out some key words and phrases. I pinky promise I would never do that to you. I am here to help you find the best hotel for your ideal Barcelona vacation, and I want to be thorough because I know when I do my research, I like looking at only a few dense articles rather than several articles that gloss over the important details. Hopefully I am one of your go-to dense articles and my intention is for you to walk away educated and better prepared for planning that perfect vacation.

Barcelona Hotel – Ohla

This article is going to be a little different formatting than the others because I found two hotels that are in the same area and by the same monuments so I thought it would be easier to include them in the same article. Here we go!

Ohla Hotel Barcelona
Address: Via Laietana, 49, 08003
Barcelona, Spain

Phone: +34 933 41 50 50

Another hotel for you water lovers; this hotel was built on the site of a former Roman water canal and the palace of the first Count of Barcelona Guifre el Pilos. The building that houses the hotel used to be the site of Barcelona’s first department store, Casa Vilardell and it dates back 20 years. Some of the charm from the department stores remains in the hotel’s neoclassical design.

Each of the 74 rooms is designed with a modern and hip feel. Suites and general rooms come with flat-screen TVs, laptop-sized safes (I wonder what goes in those?), iPhone docks (Barcelona is really up-to-date on their technology) and minibars. Suites come with living rooms, and some lucky suite guests receive Nespresso machines, dining areas and balconies. For a small fee, any guest can upgrade their room to include game consoles (for any teenagers you might bring along on the trip), massages (for when those teenagers stress you out), and 24/7 room service (for those midnight cravings).

Outside of the hotel rooms, there’s a tapas spot, conference facilities, a sundeck, a luxurious bar, a lounge located on the terrace, and an acclaimed restaurant. There is also a wellness center (for those of you who want to say well) and a rooftop pool (I’ve heard the view is great). Complimentary breakfast buffets are provided for all guests.

Additional amenities include: free Wi-Fi, free parking, and air-conditioning for those hot summer days in Barcelona.

The hotel is only a 2-minute walk from the Urquinaona metro station, which will take you to several other monuments located in Barcelona, and only 2.6 kilometers from the Sagrada Família (bet you don’t recognize that name by now).


Barcelona Hotel – Hotel Arts

Hotel Arts Barcelona
Address: Carrer de la Marina, 19-21
08005 Barcelona, Spain

Phone: +34 932 21 10 00

This hotel is great for those of you who can’t decide whether you want to stay near the land or by the sea. With this hotel, you get the best of both worlds. In each of the 483 guest rooms and suites, you can look at the sea out one window and the land out the other. Sound like you? Keep reading.

Just like there are views for the land and sea dwellers in all of us, a large variety of both indoor and outdoor activities are offered for guests. Also known for its fabulous service and luxurious experience, each room comes equipped with marble bathrooms, in-room lighting and music control, turndown service, Bang & Olufsen TV with satellite channels and DVD, and a Bang & Olufsen audio center with iPods provided.

If you want an extended and more lavish stay, there are 28 duplex apartments offered on the top ten floors of the hotel. In addition to everything listed in the previous paragraph, the apartments include butler service, terraces, and a personal trainer. If that doesn’t sell you, I’m not sure what will. I wish every hotel room provided a butler and a personal trainer. Then I could gorge myself on the lavish room service carried/wheeled in by my butler and when I started to feel bad about all the calories I had consumed, my personal trainer would be on hand to torture those calories out of me. Balance would be restored.

If you upgrade from a regular room to a club-level room or a suite, Wi-Fi is free and you are also granted access to an exclusive lounge serving food and drinks all day. If you want breakfast and you’ve only paid for a regular-grade room, you’ll have to a pay a fee at one of the five restaurants in the hotel in order to eat breakfast in the hotel. A club-level room or suite may be worth the extra money if you want Wi-Fi, breakfast, lunch, and dinner included as a part of your hotel visit.

The leisure facilities include: a fitness center, swimming pool, beauty salon, designer boutiques, and a dual-level spa located on the 42nd floor with a wide range of treatments to choose from.

Additional amenities: Parking and Wi-Fi are available for a small fee (unless you stay in a club-level room or suite; in that case they are free). Air-conditioning, laundry service, room service, and the outdoor pool are available for free if you’re a guest at the hotel.

Sagrada Família

Remember way back to a few articles ago (the 2nd article), I spoke about a church built by Antoni Gaudi that hadn’t been completed yet, but it was already causing quite a stir among tourists visiting Barcelona.

This is that same hotel, and the featured hotel in this article is only 2.7 kilometers away! So if you liked the sound of that church, but weren’t really sold on the hotel I talked about in that second article (ALMA Barcelona Hotel), here’s your chance to stay at an amazing hotel close to this historic monument.

Plaça de Catalunya

In English this phrase translates to “Catalonia Square,” and it is also referred to as Plaza de Cataluña, which is its Spanish name.

The most notable reason that this is included in most travel guides and list of tourist attractions is because it is one of the largest hubbubs of art, culture, history, and general activity in Barcelona. What is considered to be the old city and the new city meet at this large square located smack dab in the middle of Barcelona. Some important streets meet at this square, including: Passeig de Gràcia (which you may recognize since I mentioned it in a previous article), Rambla de Catalunya, La Rambla or Portal de l’Àngel, Ronda de Sant Pere, and Carrer de Vergara or Carrer de Pelai.

The plaza is great in size, occupying an area of about 50,000 square meters. It is most famous for its fountains and statues, how close it is in proximity to other famous locations in Barcelona, and, strangely enough, for the flocks of pigeons that gather there.

Some of the most famous art pieces, including sculpture and general decorative arts, featured in the square are: Deessa, by Josep Clarà, Pastor de Pau, by Pablo Gargallo, a Francesc Macià monument which reads: “Catalunya a Francesc Macià,” and several of Josep Llimona’s sculptures. Mosaics designed by the pupils of Escola Massana decorate the walls of the underground section of the square.

Though several theatres used to exist in the square, none of them are standing today. There are modern theatres erected in and nearby to the square, but none with as much historical value as these four had: Teatre del Bon Retir, Circ Eqüestre Alegria, Eldorado Concert, and Teatre Barcelona.

Before the Spanish Civil War, cafés and restaurants were locations where famous artists and writers would meet to discuss ideas. Some of the most famous included: Maison Dorée, Café Colón, La Lluna, and Cafè Suís. The only café still standing today that existed before the Spanish Civil War is the Café Zurich.

Notable areas for shopping are El Corte Inglés, El Triangle, and Sfera.

Peix Sculpture

Located in front of the hotel is an iconic fish sculpture known as El Peix. Built for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, this structure still stands today. What makes it such a standout piece is how the gold-colored stainless steel surface changes depending on the sun’s angle and current weather conditions.

So that wraps it up for the Hotel Arts Barcelona! Now time for another “don’t-let-this-happen-to-you” story…

This time it wasn’t me, I swear. One of my friends, bless her heart, came home one day to a malfunctioning garage door. Normally this would have been an easy fix. If it were any other day, she would’ve just called her husband and he would’ve fixed it once he got home from work. On that particular day, coming home from work for her husband would’ve meant flying home from Barcelona where he was on a business trip. So that option was out.

She checked the phone book for the closest garage repair company and came across Katy Garage Door Repairs. She called and explained her predicament to a nice gentleman who promised her someone would be out to her house soon. A few workers arrived promptly and immediately got to work fixing her door. They were able to identify the problem, a relatively easy fix, and repair the garage door. They even congratulated her husband on how well he’d been able to repair the garage door in the past when it had malfunctioned. So that night when she called her husband, she proudly explained how she had fixed the garage door all on her own, with the help of Katy Garage Door Repairs, and how they had complimented his ability to fix the garage door without any outside help. She promised the workers that the next time her husband was out of town on business, she would be sure to call Katy Garage Door Repairs.

So make sure to call them if you live in the Katy area and if you have any last-minute garage door malfunctions before your trip to Barcelona. They’re friendly, available on short notice, and do a job well done every time.

Barcelona Hotel – Bagues

You all know what time it is? Time for another article and another fabulous hotel for you to consider staying in when you make your trip to Barcelona! I had so much fun talking about the first hotel that I couldn’t wait to get started on my next recommendation. I also hope you were able to take some tips from my very first article and I hope none of you had to experience the stressful situation I talked about in my last article. I love my dogs, just not the mess they tend to create. It comes with the territory, I suppose.

Back to the fun stuff!

Bagués Hotel Barcelona

Located at: Les Rambles, 105, 08002
Barcelona, Spain
Phone number: +34 933 43 50 00

This hotel is spectacular. Last time I talked about a hotel, I included how close it was to local landmarks and famous monuments.

With this hotel, you will actually be staying in a monument. Crazy, right?! Not only did this hotel used to be the palace of none other than El Regulador himself, it currently houses a museum commemorating the famous Art Nouveau jeweler: Masriera.

In each one of the hotel’s luxurious 31 rooms, there is an exclusive piece of Masriera jewelry on display as well as dazzling views of Les Rambles and the famous Carme Street. All rooms include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and sofas. The fancier rooms are more ornately decorated and this shows in the gold leaf detailing and ebony wood. The suites are equipped with balconies, hot tubs, and room service.

Additional amenities include: air-conditioning, pets are allowed, laundry service is available, and it is handicap accessible.

If you ever want to go exploring through the hotel, there is a lot to discover.

There’s an outdoor pool, an exercise room, a sauna, a rooftop tapas bar, French bistro, and cocktail bar. In addition, there’s an eatery on the ground floor run by Chef George Pierre with a menu that combines fresh produce from the nearby Boqueria market and Mediterranean cuisine. If you’re in Barcelona on business, the hotel also has a meeting room that easily converts to a multi-purpose room for product presentations, private meals, business meetings, or a party when all the business is done being discussed.

So you can go swimming, have a drink, eat a gourmet dinner (in addition to breakfast and lunch), and explore the Masriera museum all without even leaving the hotel in the first place.

So why should you?

Gothic Quarter

Right outside those hotel doors is a hub of culture, tourist activity, and marvelous sights. You can do just about anything in Gothic Quarter. You can shop, eat, dance, get drinks, and paint. Shopping ranges from little boutiques to more commercial shops.

It was dubbed the Gothic Quarter because it used to be a Roman village and a lot of that history remains mixed in with the newer buildings. You could just walk through the Gothic Quarter with your head tilted back to take in all the sights and you would have experienced more culture in those few hours than most Americans ever will.

The Quarter boasts an epic nightlife and an even busier daytime, but there are areas where you can escape the hustle and bustle in order to relax. The most well-known spot is the massive Cathedral, aptly named Barcelona Cathedral, nestled amongst the shops and restaurants with a courtyard containing plants and 13 geese. The reason for 13 geese is because that is the rumored age of Saint Eulalia of Barcelona when she was martyred, and the church is dedicated to her. Her body lies in the cathedral’s crypt.

La Boqueria

You may recognize the name of the market I mentioned earlier used by Chef George Pierre in his kitchen. This market has a history dating as far back as 1217, when a handful of tables were set up to sell meat. As of December 1470, La Boqueria was a pig market. Until 1794, it was known as a straw market. The market was not enclosed and did not hold an official status until 1826, when it was decided the market would be legally recognized. In 1835, a convention was held to decide whether or not to build an official structure. The response was an overwhelming yes, so construction started on March 19, 1840 directed by Mas Vilà. It was finished and inaugurated in 1853 and the metal roof that still stands was added in 1914.

Now that you’ve had a brief history lesson, the only other thing you need to know about the market is that it offers a wide selection of goods and it’s only a two-minute walk from the hotel!

Bagués-Masriera Museum

Having this museum on the first floor of the hotel makes perfect sense when you learn that the hotel used to be a Masriera jewelry workshop in the 1850s. What better place to commemorate the jeweler than in the very place where it all began?

Lluís Masriera (1872-1958) was known for producing modernist jewelry that centered around quality, perfection, color and the Mediterranean spirit. Common symbolic icons of the modernism movement are evident throughout the standout jewelry pieces like: dragonflies, flowers, nymphs, butterflies and insects. In addition to the dazzling necklaces, earrings, bracelets, brooches and pendants, there are watercolors and Indian ink drawings that Masriera would provide for clients before designing the piece of jewelry. Also on display gold and silver paperweights, cutlery and vases that show off his domestic and religious work.

If you stay in this hotel, you have no excuse not to go check out this museum. You get a sneak peek from whatever piece of jewelry happens to be displayed in your room, and you only have to go as far as the ground floor to see the rest of his artwork.

I hope these hotel reviews are proving to be hopeful and that you all are benefitting from these. Don’t worry if you haven’t found the hotel you want just yet, I’ll cover a few more hotel options in the articles to come. Maybe your dream hotel awaits you in one of those articles. Who knows? Stick around to find out.

Barcelona Hotel – Alma

Hello all! So the main reason for these articles is to use my experiences in Barcelona to help out those who might be curious about taking a trip there. In order to do that, I’m going to present a new hotel each week, talk about the benefits of staying there, what landmarks are closest, and what you can expect from your stay.

Because it’s always better to go somewhere over-prepared than under-prepared. The best way to over-prepare? Read about a bunch of hotels you may never stay at. Or who knows, maybe you’re finally planning that dream vacation and it includes staying in a luxurious, five-star hotel! Either way, I’m here to help.

ALMA Barcelona Hotel
Located at: Carrer de Mallorca, 271, 08008
Barcelona, Spain
Phone number: +34-932-16-44-90

This hotel has a contemporary, modern feel and is great for those who want to experience and see all the architecture Spain has to offer, but don’t necessarily want to live and breathe it on their downtime. Sound like you?

Each room comes with flat-screen TVs, minibars, and free Wi-Fi. Every room is individually decorated, so there will be none of that cookie cutter hotel room design you see so frequently in the States. (That’s what I refer to them as ever since I got back from Spain because that’s what happens you’ve traveled overseas. You earn that right to call the US “the States.” Just go with it; you’ll understand soon enough). Room service is available on request and suites come with separate living areas. One (or a few people, depending on how many people stay in each room) person may even get the one room in the hotel with a balcony! However, fear not if you weren’t so lucky. Every room includes its own unique view of the city.

Those are just the hotel rooms.

In the main areas of the hotel, there is a restaurant for your fancy dining needs, a café/bar for when you want to grab something a la carte or for those of you who think ordering a martini at 11 a.m. is more your style (I am totally not judging you). There is also a beautiful garden terrace for when you want to grab a little fresh air after you eat or maybe first thing in the morning after you’ve just woken up.

Want to relax, but nature’s not really your cup of tea? The hotel also includes a spa area, complete with an indoor pool and an exercise room (hey, just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you can skip leg day. As your unofficial accountability partner, I will not let you skip leg day).

The hotel also comes with a few more amenities, including air-conditioning (they’ve got to combat that Spanish heat somehow), a smoke-free environment, they are child friendly, and handicap-accessible.

Sounds awesome, right? Maybe you’re not totally sold on it just yet. That’s fine because I haven’t even gotten to what is close by to the hotel.

Gaudi’s Casa Milà

Designed by Antoni Gaudi, inspired by the Modernista movement (Spain’s version of Art Nouveau), and built in 1912, this is one of Spain’s greatest architectural wonders. Also known as La Pedera, or the quarry, this structure is said to look more organic than artificial, tricking sightseers into thinking it was carved straight from the ground.

When this building was first constructed, it was very controversial. But like any artwork that sparks controversy, it contributed a great deal to the art movement I mentioned above: the Modernista movement, as well as to modernism as a whole. It pushed the boundaries of linear design and significantly inspired practices of biomimicry. Gaudi tended to base his designs on biomimicry, paying close attention to drawing from natural and organic forms for the building’s shape. He was considered to be a genius of structure and form, and the Casa Milà is a testament to that genius.

To get a general idea of the layout of the building, we can look at it two different ways. The first way is to divide the building into levels, of which there are nine: basement, ground floor, mezzanine, main floor, four upper floors, and attic. When it was first built for Roser Segimon and Pere Milà (hence the name), the ground floor acted as the garage, the mezzanine for entry, the main floor for the family, and the upper floors for rent. On the interior of the building are two courtyards, and the roof houses the famous sculpture terrace.

So, that’s one way to look at it.

We can also split it up into sections; there are three: the street façade, which includes the ground floor. Then there’s the main façade which includes the main and upper floors. Finally, the roof structure, which acts as a support for the roof garden and also includes the attic.

Any way you divide it or look at it, it still represents the architectural genius that was Antoni Gaudi. We have him to thank for this standout landmark.

BONUS: it’s only a 3-minute walk from the ALMA Barcelona Hotel.

Sagrada Família Church

Remember Antoni Gaudi? Well, he’s the man responsible for this Barcelona gem, as well. In 1883, while working on other projects, he added the design of the Sagrada Família to his workload. He spent 43 years working on the temple, all the way up until 1926. The project was so massive and so important to him that in 1914, two years after the Casa Milà was built, he dropped all his other projects, so he could solely work on the church until his untimely death on June 10th, 1926, the result of an accident just days before.

His funeral procession actually finished in the Sagrada Família, where he was buried in the chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel located in the crypt of Sagrada Família.

What’s so unbelievable is that Gaudi wouldn’t have seen his work finished even if he had survived the accident. Construction continues today on the church and they don’t see it being completed until the first third of the 21st century (2026 is the estimated year).

Though it isn’t completed as of right now, it still is quite a spectacle. Each of its 18 towers represents a facet of the church: Jesus Christ, the Gospels, the Virgin Mary, and the 12 Apostles. Gaudi wanted the building to symbolize “elevation towards God,” which is done with a rising pyramidal design outside, the lofty naves, and the pinnacles on top of the towers that appear to fuse with the sky. Including the 18 towers, there are also three facades that represent the three crucial events of Christ’s existence: his birth; his Passion, Death and Resurrection; and his present and future Glory. As the sun rises and sets each day, it shines through the portals on these facades and emphasizes the “generosity, harmony, and drama” of each façade.

Even if you’re not a particularly religious person, the church is a standout architectural landmark of Barcelona, even though it is still 10 years from completion. Pay a visit and see the beauty that has already been established in the church’s design.

BONUS: At the ALMA Barcelona Hotel, you’re only 1.5 kilometers away.

Passeig de Gràcia

This one isn’t an astounding piece of architecture or a breathtaking view, but it is a highly functional stop on your trip. The Passeig de Gràcia station is an underground railway and metro station in Barcelona. It is one of the busiest railway stations in Barcelona because it is an important stop on the Barcelona Metro network.

If you don’t feel like walking too far to get to this excellent source of public transportation, don’t worry. It’s only a five-minute walk from the hotel to the metro station. You’ll be there in a jiffy, and you might just see some interesting sights along the way.

That wraps up the first hotel, complete with all its amenities and real estate value. If you’re planning on staying in that area, check out the hotel and tell them I sent you. ☺

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona, Spain. What comes to mind when you read that?

I think of a place with beautiful architecture. Chock full of culture. History everywhere you step. Art permeates every air molecule; you can even feel it in the atmosphere. Musicians play the native music on various street corners, laughter spills out of dance halls, and the rhythm is one that the whole city functions to.

To say it’s an ideal vacation spot is a gross understatement. That phrase doesn’t even begin to cover all that Barcelona has to offer. Like I’ve already mentioned, it is teeming with art, history, and culture. Not only is it a luxurious stop on the vacation express, it is also ideal for experiencing the arts, opening your mind, and exposing yourself to a culture that’s many years in the making.

When people talk of Europe, they generally think of England, Ireland, Germany, and so on. These places are just as magnificent, but for most Americans these places were our homes long, long ago. These lands reflect our roots, and at various points throughout history, our ancestors fled these roots to escape religious prosecution, certain death, and famine. I’m not saying these countries should still hold that negative connotation for Americans or that we should hold a grudge spanning several generations, but there’s a kind of “been there, done that” feeling associated with those countries in my personal opinion.

On the other hand, Barcelona is exotic. Unless you’re of Spanish descent, this land was never home for your ancestors (as far as I know; your family history may have roots in the Latino culture). The name just rolls off the tongue and promises a new adventure at every turn.
Okay, now I know how that sounds. A little far-fetched, a little cheesy, a little over-the-top. I’d even go so far as to say I sound like a travel agent. Bear with me because I know how you feel. Just a few years ago I was in your place. I had a significant amount of time off intended for vacation, I’d always wanted to travel the world, so there I was faced with the difficult choice of picking just one destination. I had travel agents right and left trying to sell me the perfect vacation and promising me everlasting life and endless riches if I went to certain areas. Maybe they didn’t promise all that, but that’s what it started to feel like.

So I asked if I just could take home a few brochures, come up with my own list, and choose from there. They agreed only after shoving several brochures in my general direction. Later, as I was going down the list, nothing really stood out to me or made my heart race.

Until I got to the fifth destination on my list. When I saw Barcelona, I immediately thought of the dancing, the food, the culture, and the artwork. At that moment, my mind was made up. I was going to Barcelona.

Now I wish the trip planning and traveling had been as easy as picking a city off of a list, but it wasn’t. For anyone who has traveled before you know what I’m talking about. The days before the actual vacation that are spent preparing for the trip, especially a trip out of the country, can be stressful. There’s so much to do and get out of the way before you can leave everything behind, but you’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get those last-minute preparations out of the way while still going to work and maintaining your household. And if you have kids under the age of 18, forget about it.

Lucky for me, I was flying overseas with some of my fellow single friends. We just had to worry about own passports, our own pets, and our own luggage. Speaking of which, before you go off on any overseas vacations, there are certain things you need to do to ensure everything will be the same (or better) when you get back.

The last thing I want to come home to is a messy house, unfed pets, missing mail, or any other sort of mishap that could have been easily avoided. I’m sure you feel the same way. Well, there’s an easy way to avoid this strife. Learn from previous mistakes made by me or my travel companions in order to have a completely stress-free, relaxing time on your vacation.

Get a Pet/House Sitter.

I’ve always thought “house sitting” is such a strange term. Why does anyone need to babysit a house? It’s just furniture, appliances, floorboards, and a roof (essentially).

Trust me. You want a house sitter almost as bad as you want this vacation. Even if it’s just someone who brings home the mail, tidies up the living room, waters the plants, and maybe even feeds and plays with your pet. House sitting is elevated to an entirely different level when you have pets.

If you’re going to leave your pets at home rather than board them at a kennel or local vet’s office, make sure your house/pet sitter is someone who loves animals, is familiar with yours, and is fully capable of feeding, walking, playing, and loving your pet(s) while you’re gone.

Check the Weather.

This is essential to avoiding the whole “rain on my parade” scenario. The last thing you want is to pick a week during the country’s rainiest or bleakest season, unless that’s how you want to experience your country of choice. I hear England is better when visited during the cold and wet seasons.

But if you’re like me and you want to visit a sunny destination, either look up the weather before you set the dates or make sure the weather will be mild enough while you’re on vacation. Some people don’t mind a little rain, snow, or fog while they’re on vacation (like those people visiting England). But we’re talking about Barcelona. I’m assuming you go to Barcelona because you want to experience the sun and all that Latin heat.

Plan Your First Day.

This is my favorite step because it’s the most fun! You get to actually plan a day of your trip before you get there. I highly recommend this because you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to become overwhelmed once you land. You’re jet-lagged, hungry from the less-than-satisfying airplane food, and you probably just want a nice, warm bath and to go to bed. Which is why it makes the most sense to plan out your first day at home where you’re not exhausted, hungry, and totally bewildered by your immediate surroundings.

So that’s it! Three simple steps to preparing for that much-needed vacation. Next time we’ll take a look at some hotels and where they’re located in relation to the best tourist spots.

Welcome to Gullivers Barcelona Hotels

My name is Jake and I’m so glad you stopped by my website dedicated to Barcelona Hotels.  Since I was a kid I’ve always dream of traveling to Barcelona and spending time visiting this wonderful city.

Of course while visiting Barcelona you will need to find a good hotel to stay at.  And this is where my site comes in.  I will do my best to present information pertaining to hotels in Barcelona Spain!