There’s three key factors that people consider when they book a hotel. Price plays a major part, as does location and the quality of the hotels. At times this means we are often more drawn to visiting TripAdvisor to check what others think before we go ahead, but ultimately the choice really comes down to you.
On a recent trip to Barcelona I was driven by a budget and hence found myself with the dilemma of whether I would sacrifice location or quality. A central hotel would have been closer to everything, but the prices we were looking at meant it would not have been quite the type of accommodation we wanted. Those types though were the ones that were further on the outskirts, and in the end this led to me booking up the Vincci Bit, around 15 minutes’ drive away from Las Ramblas.
Was it the right choice? Overall, yes. The walk to the main rail station was not the best when you are dressed up, but train prices are cheap and we got a 10-single trip ticket for EUR10 that served as perfectly over a three-night break. It helps that it runs all hours as it meant we could hop on even on a late night in Port Olimpic. We also found one of the hop-on hop-off tourist bus routes also had a stop nearby, so we could use that as transport for one of our days.
The hotel itself was exactly what I had expected. With a focus on design it had quirky decoration throughout and I found the beds and all chairs to be really comfortable whether we were sat sipping on a cocktail or relaxing with a book after a long day sightseeing.
Sadly on arrival we were forced to wait several hours for our room to be ready. We were offered a free glass of bubbly while we waited and the staff were friendly but it was not quite the start we wanted to our break. After the initial hiccup though we found the hotel as a great base to get out and see the city, and while we were just outside of the central area we still had some brand name neighbours including Marriott’s upscale AC brand, Wyndham’s Tryp and Hilton.
I didn’t expect to use the rooftop bar or pool area but it proved a great spot to have a drink or chill. It wasn’t much, there is no fancy decoration, the pool is small there are not enough sunbeds, but nevertheless it had a decent food and drinks menu.
Instead we found ourselves heading to the beach, and being outside of the central area meant there was plenty of space. Llevant beach was only a five minute walk from the hotel and has a beach club where you can pick up snacks and drinks. The fairly generic Diagonal Mar shopping centre was also close and a good ‘go to’ place for any goods, if a little soulless and typical of any commercial centre.
Catching a metro into Barcelona’s central areas had its novelty at the beginning of the trip, making us feel like locals and adding to the authenticity of the city, but after three days could have become an annoyance. As a weekend break though it was an affordable, quirky choice that I’m glad we risked.