More about AC Barcelona
Stayed at AC Barcelona during Teched: IT-forum 13-18 november 2006. The checkin went quick and smooth, the rep wanted a card to swipe and photocopies of the payee's passport. The rep also informed us that the minibar was free, which was a bit of a surprise - I've never stayed at a hotel having this before, and about the restaurant on the 4th floor for breakfast and dinner..
We, the wifey and me, got a non-smoking double-room on the 7th floor. Well up, we checked the beds and bathroom and found them to be very good.
The bathroom had a bidet as well as a bathtub-shower combo, which I find very good to have, to soak in, after a hot day. The bathroom sink is made of glass, so one gets the pleasure(?) to view ones toes when brushing your teeth. Very, uh, snazzy and modern. 8-)
There is a rather irritating lack of electric outlets that doesn't switch of when you turn off the master-lamp switch in the room for the night. This means you can't charge your mobile phone or portable computer during the night, unless you unhook the tv and the ip-box, at which point you have access to two electric outlets that are on at all times. For a techie like me, with all kinds of electric gadgets that needs charging every now and then, this is a real problem.
The doublebed was made up of two separate beds pushed together, something that's preferred in most cases, if you can live with the gap in the middle - it's a tradeoff to the big "real" doublebeds with the feathers softer (a hole really) in the middle.
The tv had mostly spanish (catalan) speaking channels but there were also english-speaking CNN and some other as well. PPV was also available, both regular action and childrens movies and adult as well, neither of which we needed really. CNN as background in the morning and evening is quite enough. Can't say whether the PPV were dubbed to catalan or not.
There was a stereo available in the room too, featuring CD-, tape- and mp3-player and radio which came to some use (bought some CDs in the mall).
The free minibar is actually needed very much, as one tends to go through anything liquid pretty fast (except for the beer [San Miguel, both with and without alcohol]), even in november in Barcelona. Make sure you get some extra bottles to store in the fridge from the supermarket in mall on the other side of the street.
The AC in the room didn't seem to make any difference when twiddling the control panel. Maybe it was off centrally? The only thing that seemed to work with it was the speed of the fans, ranging from noticable buzz over loud to unbearable-during-the-night settings.
The advertised *free* wifi-internet access in the rooms, is available if you buy(...) a voucher in the reception and/or use the it-area on the reception floor, where also printers and portable computers are available for use.
The hotell has a safeboxes in the back which are free (really free) to use during your stay. The room is accessed by going through the hotel managers office in the back. I've managed to storm in a meeting of sorts and startle everybody involved (including myself) and was a accordingly a bit embarrased because of this. Knock first, to make sure your entrance is announced! 8-]
The mall across the street has at least one ATM if you need cash. Several restaurants, which all take the major plastics except for some reason American Express (reason eludes why not Amex is not accepted everywherer - I use Visa and didn't have any problem in Barcelona at all, but a warning is proper), are available there as well. A phone shop is on the 3rd(?) floor where you can get a local sim-card for your mobile phone. A starbucks is available as well for us caffeine-junkies... [The coffee served at teched was next to undrinkable and (triple) espressos were not even available!]
The metro, the preferred mode of transportation, is about a block away. Busstops are just outside the hotel, as well as taxis. Please note that the traffic in Barcelona is hellish (an understatement). If you want to get somewhere in time in Barcelona, use the metro. The busdrive from the airport to AC Barcelona on a monday took 1,5hrs (approx 1900 - apprix 2030hrs), an about 20-30km ride only... The taxi we took at 0600 on the saturday morning returning home from AC Barcelona to the airport however took approx 20 minutes, and the driver didn't go below 70kph at any time really.
Look out for oldish ladies trying to sell you flowers, they usually work in pairs, and their goal is to mug you of your cash and clocks. In our case, they were rather circumspect and managed to tap both me and the wifey on all visible pockets to check their status and contents, check the clock-brands and even take a peek in our wallets (while *we* held them nonetheless...) before we realised what was going on and made a run for it - they were unsuccessful in any case. Beware!
At restaurants and shops, try approaching the staff on their own languange and switch to english or so after having depleted the (possibly low) spanish-reservoirs, you're bound to get better service, not that they are bad otherwise, but at least try to show an effort. It wil pay off later. 8-) BTW, IIRC they speak Catalan in Barcelona. Not "spanish". And definitely not Castillian. You may encounter menus in two languages, catalan and castillian. To me castillian looked like portoguese, but I may be wrong, while catalan more resembles the "spanish" you may know of.
Overall the service and accomodations at AC Barcelona was satisfactory.
And as a final note I'm happy to report that the lift-doors close fairly quick - no waiting for them to close. I like that! Although it may be the caffeine speaking... 8-D
AC Baracelona - Muy Bueno!
Currently at the AC Barcelona during a conference. Knew it was was 15min via Metro from the Old Town, but prefer to be away from the crowds. Rooms, as others have posted, are modern, "hardwood" fake floor (but very clean), green marble bathroom floor with glass shower/tub and glass counter with clear glass sink. Great light blocking curtains which are needed when in an east/ocean facing room.
The fitness center on 13 is great: 3 treadmills, 4 bikes, good selection of free weights and some combo weight machines. Also dry and "Turkish" saunas as well as 3 jacuzzis. Pool patio has spectaculur views but anyone with vertigo needs to stay away from the hip high glass wall that goes straight down to the ground - no ledge.
Walked the 3 kilometers back from Barceloneta along the beach to the hotel. Across from the hotel is a large mall (Diagonal Mar), including an AlCampo supermarket. Cute little cafe for reasonable coffee in the mall too.
Back to the AC Barcelona rooms: good lighting, bedside reading lights, firm comfy beds (2 pushed together for a "king"), good air conditioning as it was still quiet warm, and nice free mini-bar of a few soft drinks, water and 2 beers.
Convenient to Convention Center -- Not to rest of Barcelona
I stayed four nights at the AC Barcelona in June 2007. I attended a conference at the convention center which was just behind the hotel and from a location perspective, the AC Barcelona was hard to beat -- if you are there for a convention. If you are not attending a convention, and don't have any business near the hotel, I would recommend something closer to your desired activities.
The hotel was about average for what one might expect. My room overlooked the ocean, and was clean and simple. A couple of things that I thought might be of interest.
One, there is no "peephole" in the door. Someone knocked at my door, and I went to look only to discover there was no peephole. Seems rather strange for a hotel.
The minibar is free (or in your room rate). However, you really only get one of each beverage, and I could not easily figure out how to turn the minifridge colder. Warm beer anyone?
Breakfast was included in my room rate -- I tred to "takeout" breakfast to another room that we were meeting in and was told that I could not. The food was nothing to write home about -- breakfast or room service. Average to slightly below average for large hotel food.
There is a mall across from the hotel, and the Metro station is close by. If you taxi to old town, you should expect a 10-15 minute ride and a fare of about somewhere between 6 and 10 euros.
Comfortable and new
We found ourselves at the AC Barcelona due to a conference and were very pleased to find it clean and modern, with a helpful pleasant staff and a very nice breakfast. Although it is far - about 15 minutes on the metro - from the center of Barcelona, the metro stop is just a block away and the hop-on-hop-off bus stops nearby as well. The beach nearby isn't worth the effort, but views from the upper floors are lovely. We could see Sagrada Familia from the window in our room. A shopping center across the street is handy for a quick coffee or a cheaper bite to eat than the hotel offers. If you don't mind taking the metro, it's a very nice option in Barcelona.
I was so looking forward to the Hotel AC Barcelona, but I was so disappointed. Firstly, the room was so hot, and I couldnt sleep. All reception would say was open the window since they dont have aircon in November. Anyway, I couldn't sleep with the window open because of the noise from aircon chillers (ironic) from a nearby exhibition hall. But the disappointment started when checking in when I was told there were no non-smoking rooms available!!!
The service in the bars and resturants was poor
No in-room alarm clock
No english channels on TV apart from CNN - no movies (and I dont mean adult)
So all in all I wouldnt go there again.
Clean, efficient business hotel, but not very close to the city center
I just put the finishing touches on a 6-day stay at the AC Barcelona hotel. I have to say that this was one of the better places I've stayed in Spain as it is clean, efficient, and has all the comforts a business traveler demands. Here's what you can expect:
This hotel is not ideal for tourists. I stayed at the AC for a conference at the CCIB convention center, which was a 30-second walk from the hotel and very convenient. Across the street is the Diagonal Mar shopping mall which boasts some good shops and an expansive list of restaurants, but it's not overly "Spanish." A shopping mall is a shopping mall no matter where you are. The main drag in Barcelona is the Barri Gotic and Las Ramblas, and each of these locations is about a 10-minute cab ride from the hotel. It's about a 10-minute walk to the Metro station and a 20-minute subway ride to get to the city center. If you're a business traveler, you should definitely stay here. If you are a tourist, you should stay in the Gothic Quarter or on Las Ramblas. I'd recommend the Hotel Colón in the Gothic Quarter.
The staff was very friendly and all spoke perfect English. I speak Spanish fluently, but it was nice to be greeted in my native language.
The rooms were quite clean and were modernist in style. The bed wasn't your typical small, hard European single bed with flat, uncomfortable pillows, but rather a comfortable, thick mattress with four fluffy pillows. After a long day at a conference, it was wonderful to come back to such a comfortable bed. The room is also outfitted with heavy blackout curtains that totally block incoming light, which was nice, despite the fact that I was frequently up before the sun rose.
The television only had one English channel, which was, of course, CNN world, but I didn't really watch TV except for a few minutes before I went to sleep.
The bathroom was elegantly finished in green marble and was absolutely spotless. It contained a spacious shower/bathtub, toilet, bidet, and a clear glass vanity and sink that gave the bathroom a very modern, clean feel. The shower head was huge and had great water pressure, which made for a very refreshing shower. Each bathroom also has a full-sized hair dryer so you don't have to fumble around with electrical transformers. This was really a nice touch.
Minibar and safe:
Each room has its own complimentary minibar and safe. The minibar is stocked with 2 beers (one is non-alcoholic), 2 Cokes (1 diet), 2 bottles of still water, 2 bottles of sparkling water, and 2 bottles of Fanta. Most hotels in Spain will charge you 3 or 4 Euro for a drink from the minibar, so it's really nice to have it included in your hotel's price.
There are NO irons in the room as Spain has some unique union laws. The maids are unionized, so the hotel is actually prohibited by law from having irons in the room. As I was on an expense account, I really didn't care. I have to say that my shirts were expertly pressed and starched and actually looked better than when I get them back from the dry cleaner's at home.
I only got breakfast with room service, but I have to say that my chorizo (Spanish sausage) omelette was one of the best I've ever had. Plus, it was only 14 Euro, which, when you consider room service prices in America, is really cheap.
Solid breakfast buffet. Typical Spanish fare includes lots of breakfast pastries, donuts, coffee, tea, fresh meats, sausage, and scrambled eggs and bacon.
A good business hotel with the amenities that business travelers count on. Its distance from the city center is definitely a downside for the pleasure traveler, but if you do find yourself here, you won't be disappointed with the rooms or the service.
The 2 night stay was part of a post cruise package. The hotel had a very modern look and feel. The views were specatacular, especially from the pool deck. Rooms were very nice and the hotel provided complimentary breakfast. Located across the street from a modern mall and 2 blocks from the metro. Taxis are located right outside and can get you to the casino or the Olympic Port in less than 10 minutes.
We stayed for 2 nights in Dec 06. Very modern, clean, high rise near the water but not in center of town. Great fitness room with jacuzzis, turkish baths, and sauna. I wouldn't recommend for small kids b/c the windows open in an odd fashion and there are not screens. Also, we stayed in a room facing the water and it got quite hot during the day with the sun beating in on it. We were fine at night though. We skipped breakfast since it was rather expensive. We went across the street to the mall, up to the 2nd floor, and found "Giovanna" a kiosk with coffee, pastries, and crepes. The pan de chocolate and croissants were to die for plus we spent less than 10Euros for the 2 of us. The hotel is easily accessible by metro. The metro stop is El Maresme Forum on L4. To get to the hotel from the airport, get a T10 ticket(good for 10 journeys, can be shared), take the train to Passeig de Gracia and switch to the L4 metro. You will have to leave the station and then enter the Metro again which is a little odd but a worker told us how to do it. The neighborhood of the hotel is mainly other hotels and rather new construction. Not much character. Overall, a good deal, nice hotel & staff.