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Pau Claris, 150
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Just what I want from a hotel in the centre of Barcelona, the Claris Hotel is relatively close to La Rambla and some of the best examples of Modernisme architecture; near the shops and cafés on Passeig Gràcia and yet tucked away up a side-street off the main tourist drag where there are quiet little bars to sit outside looking suitably enigmatic.
The Claris Hotel itself is as chic as the city’s residents with a quasi retro design that doesn’t sacrifice comfort for style. It’s a perfect city centre hotel in many ways apart from the fact that, if your room happens to be on the top floor, its wifi doesn’t live up to the ultra contemporary image or its 5 star status.
That factor wouldn’t stop me recommending it though.
Rooms are quite masculine in a suave bachelor pad way. It looks like the sort of place where Daniel Craig’s Bond might stay; dark drapes and bed linens, sexy grilled headboard, soft leather L-shaped sofa, dark marbau floors, gritty urban artwork contrasting with what could be museum pieces, electric blackout blinds. Rooms at the Claris Hotel look the part and are as comfortable as a perfectly tailored suit. A flat screen TV, hair-dryer in the bathroom and mini bar come as standard. But watch out for those mini bar prices; two small bottles of water came to over €9. As mentioned , wifi on the 6th floor was a problem some reception staff didn’t seem to understand or accept. If I stood on my head at the door I could just about get a signal.
The rooftop bar and swimming pool is the sort of place where you might feel you need visit some of Barcelona’s fashion shops before you want to set foot there whilst the lounges at reception are a wonderfully comfy and casual place to meet up with people as is the adjoining East 47 tapas bar.
The breakfast buffet is quite small but well thought out with a selection of cereals, cold meats, cheese and pastries. Staff in the dining room are especially efficient making it a pleasant environment to come round in the morning. The Claris Hotel has a PR manager on hand who can offer honest and extremely useful advice. She sorted me out advice about where to buy a camera bag and some specialist accessories.
The hotel also offers a bike rental service for anyone who wants to explore Barcelona on two wheels.
Ultimately it’s Barcelona, so you’re not going to spend a lot of time at the Claris Hotel. But it does the job of acting as a luxurious base from which to explore the city and after hours spent pounding the alleys of Ciutat Vella, it’s a welcoming and super-comfy sanctuary to return to.
Prices are from around €190.00 per night for a superior room. Check out best deals here.
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