By Jennifer O’Neill
Barcelona’s Hotel 1898 is an exclusive 4 star hotel that has all the makings and amenities of a 5 star hotel, and in my opinion should thusly be classified as such. Personal bias aside, this historical hotel in the heart of the bustling Las Ramblas district of the city is a quiet oasis and escape from the frenetic touristy pace of the city itself. Although there is a preconceived notion that the Spanish take life at a slower pace, the nonstop influx of tourists looking to invade upon all corners of the city, at all hours, certainly didn’t get that memo.
Which brings me to the unbeatable calm of Hotel 1898. Having moved from an adequate, but rather business-oriented hotel, on the earlier leg of my stay in Barcelona, I felt as though I had entered a hotel paradise. Classy, clean, cool and collected would all be great adjectives to describe my first impressions… and that was just the lobby.
The hotel is midsized with a total of 169 rooms, divided into five types, ranging from Classic rooms to Penthouse suites. I stayed in a Superior type room, which definitely exceeded my basic hotel needs. The room was decorated in a contemporary style of tasteful bold stripes against a neutral palette. The bed (which is really the most important part of the room in my humble opinion) was decadently swathed in high thread count Egyptian sheets. There was a pillow menu, which allowed you to customize your personal pillow choice, however I was quite content with the standard pillow, which was already provided. Shortly upon my arrival, I was greeted with a huge fruit basket, undoubtedly assembled using fresh produce form Barcelona’s famous outdoor market, La Boqueria, located just steps away from Hotel 1898. I won’t dwell upon every detail of the room but suffice to say, all of the markings of a high-end hotel were present: flat screen plasma TV, luxury toiletries, wi-fi, ipod docking station etc.
The true gems of Hotel 1898 were the wrap-around terraced rooftop pool, along with the indoor solarium and spa. Had I stayed at Hotel 1898 for my entire time in Barcelona, I probably wouldn’t have ventured outside of its door, solely based upon these facilities. The rooftop pools’ lounge area would given any celebrity intensive L.A “see and be seen” pool hangout a run for it’s money. I entered full relaxation mode while sipping on copious amounts of some of the best pina coladas I’ve ever tasted. The underground solarium spa was a surreal experience and a polar opposite to the outdoor swimming facilities. The solarium gives the impression of being enveloped in a cocoon-like cave, resplendent in calming amber lighting and Zen music. I alternated between the sauna, stream room, hot tubs and heated pool. In a bustling and busy city like Barcelona, Hotel 1898 will provide the much needed “relaxation” element of your holiday.
La Rambla, 109, 08002, Barcelona
Tel- +34 93 552 95 52