Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. I paid for both stays at the airbnb and Grand Hotel Central. As always all opinions are my own.
With so many options for accommodations, it can be hard to choose. In the past I’ve stayed at hostels, hotels, Airbnb/VRBO or with family and friends. For our stay in Barcelona we decided to mix it up and do two nights in an Airbnb and two nights at the Grand Hotel Central. It ended up being the perfect combination.
When we arrived in Barcelona we followed the directions our Airbnb host gave us to the apartment. Communication was easy and we made it there without a problem. Our place had a little kitchen with the essentials (like coffee, tea and water) provided by our host. We were both recovering from being sick so it was nice to have a kitchen readily available to use to make a cup of tea or small snack. The apartment was clean and I loved the simple decorations. Our wonderful host also provided a list of places to eat and things to do in the neighborhood. This was every useful our first evening as we had no idea where to go for dinner.
After a day of walking around the city R and I were both exhausted and wanted to have a relaxing night in. We went out for a nice dinner and made our way back to the apartment early. Lying on the couch we setup Netflix and watched an episode of the Crown. Now I know what you may be thinking : “you are in beautiful Barcelona and you decide to stay in and watch Netflix?!”. Yes, we did and honestly it was just what we needed. Traveling can take a toll on you and as I had mentioned we had both been sick. We had an incredible day sightseeing but sometimes you just need that night in. We felt like a local couple, enjoying a casual dinner, stopping at the grocery store on the way to pick up some snacks and then going home to watch an episode of our favorite show. That’s one of the great things about staying in an apartment when you travel, you feel like you are coming back to a home.
Checking out of our apartment we made our way through the meandering streets of the gothic quarter to the Grand Hotel Central, a luxurious five star hotel next to the Barcelona Cathedral. We made sure the airbnb and hotel were near each other so we wouldn’t have to carry our luggage far. We chose to stay the last two nights in the hotel because it was New Year’s Eve and we wanted to treat ourselves to a nice spa day at the end of our trip.
Somehow whenever R books a hotel we always get a complimentary upgrade or some extra perk. This time was no exception and we ended up getting upgraded to the largest room on our floor. How do I know it was the biggest room? I always study the fire exit plan on the back of hotel room doors because it shows the layout of the entire floor and each room. I love studying floorplans, I’m an architect remember?
As we swiped our room card and walked into our hotel room it felt like our little Airbnb apartment was a world away. The entry and living room space had a mini fridge stocked with complimentary food and drinks. The bed was huge and of course, perfectly made. Our bathroom and a huge walk in shower and a separate room for the bathtub, toilet and bidet.
Overlooking the entire gothic quarter and a glimpse of the Mediterranean water, the Grand Hotel Central rooftop also has an infinity pool. I wish it had been a bit warmer so we could have jumped in for swim. Instead we went up to the roof to enjoy complimentary coffees and take in the breathtaking view. We also caught the first sunrise of the new year from the rooftop.
One of my favorite things to do is get a massage so if I am traveling somewhere that offers a unique spa experience I like to book it (read my post about the incredible Chakra re-balancing massage I had in Breckenridge last year here). The Grand Hotel Central not only provides massages but has a special amenity: the thermal suite. Guests can rent the private dry sauna and steam shower for forty five minutes. When we heard about the thermal suite we knew this was an experience we had to try. Following our private sauna experience we booked a couples massage. It was the perfect way to celebrate the first day of the New Year.
Overall our stay at the Grand Hotel Central was unforgettable and I have to thank the Carlos and Felipe, the concierge, who were extremely helpful in making reservations for us and recommending places to get the best paella. The hotel is centrally located in the gothic quarter which makes it easily accessible to nearby tourist spots and the metro.
Having stayed two nights in an Airbnb and two nights at the Grand Hotel Central made the trip feel longer and special. Of course staying at a fancy hotel doesn’t compare to an apartment but we did get to experience the best of both worlds: living as a local and staying in a beautiful five star hotel. I think we may do this again on longer trips, we loved staying at both.
This concludes my last post about our trip to Barcelona. It was such a memorable trip and I hope my posts are helpful if you are planning a trip to the beautiful city. To recap my posts:
If you are interested in the airbnb, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you the link!
x the Adventurer
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