I love the summer in Barcelona and am staying in the city for work occasionally. After having been with the wonderful The Serras last time, I chose the Grand Hotel Central for my most recent stay. The hotel is perfectly located in the El Born neighbourhood and allows for some rooftop pool time as well which I appreciate a lot after a hot day in the city. It is part of a small local chain called “Unico hotels” which features upscale hotels in the major cities as well as a Finca on the island of Mallorca. It’s also part of the Small Luxury Hotels. Read on to discover why the Grand Hotel Central has become a favourite for my travels to the city.
A modern & chic retreat
Our flight arrived early so I was more than happy when the friendly associate at check-in (who happened to grow up in the same neighbourhood like I did) told us that the room is already available. Thanks to the Hotel Collection we received an upgrade to a corner deluxe room on the fourth floor. While the views clearly are nothing to phone home about I loved the light flooding in through the large windows, especially given since Grand Hotel Central features a rather dark, luxurious decor in all its areas. The modern style carries on in the room which was in very good condition and rather spacious.
The integrated bathroom has all the amenities you would want at a 5 star place. Although the shower is not separate, this is the first hotel which manages to provide a solution that none the less feels like a real shower. The minibar is restocked daily with good soft drinks and beers and comes complimentary with your room rate – a nice touch. The Nespresso machine allows you to wake up with a strong Espresso in the (very!) comfortable king size bed. The only real downside is the noise originating from the Via Laietana street, although my room wasn’t even adjacent to it. Funny considering it’s advertised as “sound proofed”. My recommendation to you would be to ask for a high floor which may be less noisy.
Food for heart & soul
Heading down to the lower floor you discover what is home to one of the best breakfasts in Barcelona. An amazing spread of everything you could wish for from healthy options including quinoa, avocado and all the fancy stuff as well as omelette made-to-order, cereals, ham & cheese selection as well as pastries (hey, we’re in Spain here!) allow you to power-up for a day out&about in the city. The staff is lovely and attentive, the large windows make you forget you’re technically in the basement. I would always choose a rate which includes breakfast to start your day right – more so because it comes with a serious price tag of 45 € per person. I’ve heard good things about the City Bar and City Restaurant but was not able to try them during my stay.
From rooftop to the streets and back
Grand Hotel Central advertises their rooftop pool as the largest in Barcelona. While I’m not exactly sure about that, it in fact is a proper pool to swim in (compared to Mandarin Oriental Barcelona 🙄) and allows to properly refresh after a shopping stroll. The only downside is the rather limited amount of sunloungers which occasionally creates an awkward situation with guests on “stand-by” waiting to capture one. I came to notice that umbrellas are missing, maybe to cycle through faster. Pool deck by day (only for hotel guests) the space becomes a romantic sky restaurant by dawn which is also open to external guests. We did not eat here but had some drinks during the day by the pool which were nice & cold.
Passport & Palmtree conclusion
The Grand Hotel Central has a superb location to explore everything in Barcelona easily. While the rooms and breakfast are luxurious and wonderful, the true signature are the wonderful associates. Everybody we met was friendly and helpful and made us feel at home immediately. Barcelona has a lot of upscale hotels and Grand Hotel Central clearly plays in their league. I am happy to be guest again in the future!