Del Pi 5 1/1, Barcelona, Spain
Doubles from: $28
Note: This hotel does not offer online booking through our reservation partners. To see all available hotels in Barcelona, please search below.
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
It’s not everyday that one can stay in a former Marqués palace for €20 a night. Boasting an ideal location in the Gothic Quarter, the Hostal Maldà is close to important Barcelona sightseeing, as well as transit hub Plaça Catalunya. Plus it has the best Cheapo rate we’ve seen for a private room in Barcelona.
Pros: Inexpensive. Family-run. Interesting and charming location.
Cons: Strictly no-frills. Shared bathrooms. No elevator.
Each of the Hostal Maldà’s 25 rooms is unique. Furnishings are antique—and some are quite worn. It’s bare-bones all the way at this budget palace, but unlike many Barcelona properties, the Maldà’s rooms are large, and, thanks to the hostel’s top-floor location, light filled. (Note that the trade off for natural light is lugging your bags up many stairs.)
Rooms are spare and have an old-fashioned feel, with simple wooden headboards, thin bedspreads in various patterns, and a hodgepodge of wooden furnishings (an armoire here, a small bench there...). Framed vintage artwork rounds out the homey, “a stay at Abuela’s” scene.
There is no air conditioning here, but fans are provided. And that is the extent of amenities at the Maldà...
All bathrooms at the Hostal Maldà are shared, although many of the rooms have sinks and mirrors. Bathrooms, like the rest of the hostel, are old and a bit beaten up, but clean.
To be clear, the Maldà has seen better days, but its mismatched, funky, family feel is what makes it special. There’s no Internet, no elevator, no air conditioning, no kitchen... Basically there aren’t perks of any kind. But the rock-bottom rates are the same all year round, whether you come alone or in a group.
The hostel resides in the former palace of Marqués Maldà (Spanish royalty, similar to a Duke), where fountains once gushed and opulence ruled. It shares the great building with a mini-mall offering cafés, shops and even a small cinema, Cines Maldà.
Auora Alverez and her husband have run Hostal Maldà for the past 40 years, and now split their time between Barcelona and Galicia. Despite these recent changes, the hostel’s cozy family home vibe has been maintained, with books on the shelves and a smattering of knickknacks that tell the family’s history. (If you speak Spanish, ask Auora to tell you about the palace and its history—she’s a great story-teller.)
The Hostal Maldà is located a short cobblestoned jaunt from the enchanting Plaça de Pi and its fantastic church. There is no shortage of bars and restaurants in this area and the shopping, especially for art and clothing, is some of the best in town.
Because the Maldà is situated in a boutique-filled shopping district, the area is pretty quiet after about 9 p.m. While the hostel’s street is safe, you should always watch out for pickpockets in the Gothic Quarter.
Booking at the Hostal Maldà
As we point out in the box above, the Hostal Maldà does not offer booking through any of EuroCheapo’s partners. It has, however, made some leaps into the 21st century—where once you had to call (with your best Spanish) to reserve a room, the hostel now offers booking through its Web site.
It’s important to note, though, that booking online will cost you about €10 more per person. Given the extremely simple nature of the property, we don’t think that the €30 you’d pay to book online is necessarily a good value. On the other hand, if you book over the phone or via email, the rate is around €20, a much better deal—it pays to go to the source! (Aurora, who speaks only Spanish, has also hired English-speaking Delphi, in case your Español is lacking.)
Web devotees looking for a similar nearby hotel with easier booking practices might check out the simple yet charming Hotel Lausanne.
Subway: The Maldà is located about a 10-minute walk from Plaça Catalunya, which is serviced by the Green Line/L3 or the Red Line/L1. The Liceu L3 stop is also close by.
From the Airport: Hop on the Areobús (departs every five minutes, 35-minute journey) to Plaça Catalunya, and from there it's about a 10-minute walk to the hostal.
Reviewed by: Regina WB, EuroCheapo Staff Writer
Note: This hotel was visited by a EuroCheapo editor. This review is based on cleanliness, location, price and overall quality. EuroCheapo did not charge this hotel to be listed.
- Cash Only
- Non-Smoking Hotel
- Reception: 24-Hour
- Steep Stairs
- Balconies/Terraces Available
- Bathroom: Shared
About the Hostal Malda neighborhood
A maze of moody, touristy, twisty streets built atop the ancient Roman city of Barcino, the Barri Gòtic, along with La Rambla, comprises the center of town. Charming gift shops, tacky tourist shops, cute cafés, trendy bars and a zillion restaurants line the cobblestoned streets. The Barri Gòtic is also home to Barcelona's 13th-century gothic cathedral.