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Hotel review: El Palauet Living, Barcelona (Spain)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel and/or flight review.

Today (November 9, 2016): Review of El Palauet Living, Barcelona (Spain).

It’s no surprise that Barcelona is one of Europe’s most visited cities. Bursting with art and culture, it also boasts a great climate, fantastic beaches, lively nightlife and of course, iconic architecture including the famous Sagrada Familia, which is an absolute must-see for anyone on their first trip here. There’s no shortage of excellent restaurants and tapas bars, and whether you want to shop, take in the art galleries, enjoy water sports or simply soak up the atmosphere, Barcelona has it all and more.

If you’re looking to book a break here and you’re after a luxury hotel that’s just that little bit special, you definitely need to check out El Palauet Living. In a great central location, this atmospheric hotel is a fabulous combination of old and new. Housed within a beautiful nineteenth century building, stunning original features such as stained glass windows and ornately decorated ceilings are enhanced and complimented by stylish, contemporary décor and furniture. Every room on offer is a suite, and from the moment you arrive, you will be assigned a personal assistant to attend to your every need. The concept enables you to enjoy the privacy and space of your own apartment with the service of a top hotel. There is also an amazing rooftop bar which simply cannot be missed, and a spa offering a Finnish sauna, massage room, Jacuzzi and chillout terrace.

In this review (there is more information below the slideshow):

  • Pros & things I like
  • Cons & things to know
  • My verdict
  • Tips for future guests & save money
  • Best time to visit
  • How to get there

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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • Each suite has its own character, yet one thing they all share is a fabulous design aesthetic with stunning, opulent ceilings decorated with stuccos and moldings – dating back to the nineteenth century – which form a striking and stylish contrast with contemporary furnishing and décor in fresh whites and greys and luxe materials.
  • All suites offer you 150 square meters of space, two bedrooms – each with its own ensuite bathroom, a living room, dining room and kitchen. Some have their own balconies or terraces and all have use of the rooftop terrace. The set-up is perfect for families or two couples travelling together.
  • There are luxury and high tech touches everywhere you look, from Egyptian cotton sheets and Nespresso machines to pieces of designer furniture and an iPad Mini with which to control the lighting, temperature, Smart TV and much more.
  • While you will have the space and privacy of what is essentially your own apartment, the service is what you would expect from a five star hotel, with daily housekeeping, a personal assistant on call 24 hours a day and the option to hire a private chef. Babysitters are also available.
  • Your personal assistant will serve breakfast in your suite each morning. And, while there is no hotel restaurant, you can order room service, with food being provided from local eateries. Alternatively, you could arrange for a private chef to prepare dinner, or cook your own meals. El Palauet gives you the freedom to suit yourself when it comes to dining.
  • There might not be a restaurant, but there is a bar, and it’s a great place to grab a drink or light snack. Located on the rooftop of the hotel, it has a laid-back atmosphere and stunning views of the city.
  • The rooftop is also where you’ll find the hotel spa, where you can enjoy a range of 30 minute or 60 minute massage treatments, a sauna and a Jacuzzi as well as private yoga and Pilates classes. Additionally, you can get manicures and pedicures with or without a semi-permanent finish, not to mention a whole host of other beauty treatments which are available on request.
  • The staff really go above and beyond to make sure you have the best stay possible, with your personal assistant on call for anything you might need from filling the fridge prior to your arrival to organising reservations or tickets. You’ll even receive a welcome gift.
  • If you’re an early (3 months or more in advance) or last minute booker, you can benefit from an impressive 15% discount on your stay.
  • For business or personal events, the hotel offers an impressive setting with stunning, dedicated spaces designed to accommodate parties as small as 10 to as large as 400. The central location and the fabulous modernist style of the building make this a great place to host any event and the events team are more than happy to assist with the planning.
  • There’s no shortage of things to do in Barcelona, but if you’re after some great recommendations, there’s no one better to ask than the hotel staff. They pride themselves on helping their guests to make the most of their time in the city, and there’s even a section on their website dedicated to great places to see during your stay.
  • While the location is central, it’s just outside the busiest tourist areas, with some great restaurants and grocery stores nearby – ideal for the apartment style nature of the accommodation.
  • El Palauet is great for anyone after a luxury stay in Barcelona, but it’s also a smart choice for families who prefer not to book two separate hotel rooms. It just offers that flexibility that isn’t always so easy to find with a standard hotel.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

El Palauet is a beautiful, luxurious and unique hotel, in a great central location, and if you’re looking for the space and privacy of an apartment with the service of a five star hotel, it’s difficult to find any faults with it. However, there are one or two things worth bearing in mind if you’re still trying to decide whether or not you’d like to stay here, so read on for a few insider tips. 

  • While the suites are undoubtedly beautiful and stylish, one thing you might not expect is the fact that the ensuite bathrooms are not separated from the bedrooms by a wall. Depending on who you’re travelling with, this could be an issue.
  • Most guests enjoy the high tech system in the suites, with everything from the air conditioning to the blinds controlled from an iPad. However, if you’re a technophobe, or you’re travelling with one, it’s possible that this could be a source of frustration!
  • The hotel is situated in a city centre location, so a certain amount of street noise is to be expected. However, double glazed windows and blinds keep this to a minimum.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 9/10
  • Design: 9/10
  • Rooms: 9/10
  • Food: 7/10
  • Service: 8/10
  • Overall experience: very good: 8,5/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS
  • Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like El Palauet Living (and/or receive many free perks).
  • Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

July and August are the peak of the tourist season in Barcelona. Temperatures can be sweltering, especially in the city centre, and everywhere is busy, including the beach. From March to June and from September to November, things are a little less crowded, and you can also enjoy warm and pleasant weather. September is particularly good in terms of weather and beach goers can benefit from a sea that still feels blissfully warm after the hot summer months. There’s always a lot going on in Barcelona and there are festivals and events throughout the year, so you might want to research what’s happening and when before making a choice. In terms of booking a suite at El Palauet, the winter months tend to be a little bit cheaper, so that’s worth bearing in mind too.


HOW TO GET THERE

There are plenty of direct flights between London Gatwick and Barcelona, operated by British Airways, EasyJet, Iberia and more. Flight time is just over two hours, and once you’re there, it’s just over a twenty minute drive to El Palauet. If you want to take public transport, there are regular buses from the airport which connect with the metro system, but this will take longer.


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