Ramelleres, 27, Barcelona, Spain star
Doubles from: $77 to $133
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
Although it’s located along the intersection of two bustling pedestrian streets (Ramelleres and Tallers) in the center of Barcelona, the cozy Hosteria Grau feels like a snug Catalan cabin set in a quiet forest. This island of tranquility surrounded by constant action offers cute, clean two-star rooms and incredibly helpful service at reasonable rates.
Pros: Tasteful décor. Nice fireside nook in the common area. Fantastic location. Cool history.
Cons: Street-side rooms can be noisy. Touristy neighborhood. No TVs in the rooms.
Offering 19 single, double and triple rooms with private and shared bathrooms, the Hosteria Grau has options for everyone. Room décor is a bit of a mixed bag, but the general theme is “elegant and airy.” We saw wood-beamed ceilings, wicker chairs, colorful accent walls and an array of framed artwork.
Furniture seems to hearken from IKEA and ranges from modern and boxy to whimsical and shabby-chic in style. Either way, the result is attractive, and homey quilts round out the scene. Rooms don’t have a TV or telephone, but they do have air conditioning, a safe and minibar.
Some rooms have darling balconies that look onto the always entertaining Carrer Ramelleres (ask ahead). Interior rooms are quieter but also much darker. There are also six apartments (three with kitchens) available in the same building and great for groups, families and extended stays.
Three of the Hosteria Grau’s rooms have in-room sinks, share a bathroom and are slightly less expensive. Those with private bathrooms enjoy newly tiled showers, floors and walls. The Grau also provides shampoo, gel and hair dryers.
Back in 1862, the Grau family ancestors opened an unnamed bar in the beautiful building that now houses the hotel. In the early 20th-century, the establishment was named “Bar Centric” and became a popular meeting place for the local Bohemian set. The building is rumored to have housed a basement hideout during the Spanish Civil War, and then the Hosteria Grau opened in 1941. The Grau family runs the hotel and bar in typical Catalan tradition to this day.
The hotel’s communal lounge-loft overlooks the street and is a comfy place to read a book at a charming wicker table beside a huge stone fireplace. It has a rustic feel, with rich woods, wrought iron railings and comfy red sofas. There is also a free Internet station here.
Wi-Fi is free throughout. Breakfast is included in the room rate, which is a nice (and unusual) perk in Barcelona. Another plus: Although historic, the building benefits from a recently added elevator!
The Hosteria Grau is a superb option if you’re looking for something safe and sound in an area with “edge.” As a neighborhood, El Raval can be a mixed bag, with some areas more shady than others. The hotel is located in a hip and alternative—but also safe—section of the barri.
Music lovers will delight in the many CD and guitar shops that line Carrer Tallers, just around the corner. There are also many eateries along Tallers, and it seems like new bars and cafés open daily—this area just gets better and better.
The contemporary art museum CCCB is a couple blocks from the hotel, as is Plaça Catalunya, the city’s main hub. And the branch of the University located near the Grau gives this zone a young, cool vibe.
Subway: The Grau is easily accessible by Metro, located just a few short blocks from both Plaça Catalunya (Green Line/L3) and Universitat (Purple Line/L2).
From the Airport: The Areobús is a quick (about 35 minutes) and regular (it departs from the airport every five minutes) way to get into town. Take it to Plaça Catalunya (the last stop), and from there it’s about an eight-minute walk to the Hosteria Grau.
Reviewed by: Regina WB, EuroCheapo Staff Writer
Note: This hotel was visited by a EuroCheapo editor and is recommended based on cleanliness, location, price and overall quality. EuroCheapo did not charge this hotel to be listed.
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- Bicycle Rental
- Breakfast Extra Charge
- Fax Machine
- Internet Station
- Non-Smoking Hotel
- Reception: 24-Hour
- TV Lounge
- Vending Machines
- Wake-Up Service
- Wi-Fi: Free
- Air conditioning
- Balconies/Terraces Available
- Bathroom: Private
- Bathroom: Shared
- Hair Dryer
El Raval, Barcelona, Spain
About the Hosteria Grau neighborhood
Intriguing, densely populated (but less heavily touristed) El Raval is located to the west of La Rambla. Formerly known as Barrio Chino, the area was historically a slum, notorious for petty crimes and prostitution, and today's cleaner, modern El Raval still has a rough-and-tumble edge. And it's home to open-air markets, legit old eateries and a trendy nightlife scene, as well as the contemporary art museum.