FAQ: Questions about hotel rooms in Barcelona

Not sure what to expect of a Barcelona room? Here are a few frequently asked questions to give you a better idea.

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Are rooms loud? What about light sleepers?

In two words: that depends. In one word: yes. Generally, Barcelona is noisy. Certain ‘hoods are louder than others and a stay on Las Ramblas guarantees a riotous ambiance. Quieter areas include the Right Eixample and uptown around Diagonal. Fashion House and Astoria Hotel are both in peaceful areas.

Also, if you’re a light sleeper do two things to rest well: get an interior room and bring earplugs. Though street-side rooms have better views they are always nosier. An interior room will be darker but also more tranquil. Of course, noise from your neighbor through thin walls can happen in interior rooms or street-side rooms, which is why you have those handy earplugs!

Do hotels have air conditioning? What about heat?

Hotels will have air conditioning and heating.

Non-hotels (B&Bs, hostals, pensions, youth hostels) might not have either. Many hostals will only have a fan to cool you off in the summer months, and it can get hot and sticky in Barcelona come July and August. Make sure to ask because sometimes in a hostal some rooms will have fans and others will have air conditioning. There may be a rate difference between the two.

The same is true for heating. Barcelona gets surprisingly chilly from December to March, and you will most likely want some heat. If the hostal does not have central heating then they may have space heaters. Ask ahead before you freeze.

Do hotels have cable TV? What about international channels?

In non-hotels you may not even get a TV. This has to do with cost and also with noise. One solution to complaints from guests about rude neighbors with the TV blasting all night is to simply remove the TVs.

Still, many of the listings on our site have TVs in the rooms (and we always mention it in the room description). For the most part, non-hotels (pensions, hostels, hostals) will not have American or international channels, but this gives you a chance to improve your Spanish or Catalan.

In three-star hotels the programming is more abundant. Hotel Banys Orientals, for example, offers international channels.

Do hotels have rooms with a view?

Most hotels and non-hotels will have some rooms with views and others that are interior. with views of a light shaft and walls. Of course, a Rambla-view room is more exciting than an interior space, but be careful with views because they tend to be noisier.

If your room doesn’t have air conditioning and you need to sleep with the windows open, views of a bustling street could become quite irritating.

While Las Ramblas is not recommendable, there are some other neighborhoods that are picturesque. Some rooms in the Hostal Lausanne have vistas of the buzzing Portal de l’Angel. Meanwhile, the outstanding Hotel Banys Orientals offers panoramas of Carrer Argenteria, a picture-perfect cobblestoned street lined with unique boutiques and bars.

How large are hotel rooms in Barcelona?

Most rooms in Barcelona are on the tiny side. This is true not just in hotels but also in private apartments, shops and businesses. There is not a lot of space in mountain and sea-locked Barcelona, so square feet are sold at a premium.

We often hear comments from North Americans about how itty-bitty rooms are, even in three-star hotels. If you have the same experience, don’t feel taken advantage of; it’s just the way it it.

Some of the older hostals and pensions that have not been remodeled and were once grand flats or palaces offer quite large rooms. Barebones Hostal Malda is one good example of this, as is centrally-located Hostal Lausanne.

Can I eat in my room?

Sure, why not? While setting up a barbecue will probably be frowned upon, most hostals will not have any issue with you eating a sandwich or some muffins in your room. Some rooms may even have a small fridge for this very reason.

In hotels you can expect some sort of room service, but not in non-hotels. Many youth hostels such as Itaca and HelloBCN offer full kitchens for preparing serious meals and dining areas.

About the author: Regina W. Bryan is EuroCheapo's Barcelona-based correspondent. Read her reviews of hotels in Barcelona and her regular posts in EuroCheapo's Barcelona blog.

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