Doubles from: $72 to $116
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
It’s no surprise that the two-star Hostal Mare Nostrum is popular with all sorts of travelers, from backpackers to families. With comfortable rooms, a prime location off Las Ramblas and welcoming extras like continental breakfast and air conditioning, the Mare Nostrum is a good, solid pick.
Pros: Located on Las Ramblas (central and convenient). Clean. Friendly staff.
Cons: Located on Las Ramblas (crowded and noisy). Some showers located in the rooms. Rooms are quite small.
The Hostal Mare Nostrum’s 30 guest rooms cover the basics: telephone, satellite TV and air conditioning, but these small rooms are more about function than style. The white walls feature small mounted desks and “closets,” and beds are backed by a blue panel with mini, mounted night tables. The blue color scheme is interrupted only by peach-colored accent walls.
It’s been a while since a majority of the rooms had a makeover, so get the most bang for your buck by asking for one of the newly remodeled ones, with a balcony overlooking Sant Pau Street. Note that while all rooms have soundproof windows, those with street views will still be noisier (but prettier!). Rooms in the back of the hotel are quieter but darker. Noise is really something to consider when staying on Las Ramblas.
A few of the cheapest doubles share bathrooms, but most rooms have simple, small private bathrooms with showers (some hydro-massage). All bathrooms are clean, white and newish, and stocked with soap, bath gel and shampoo (no hair dryer).
Note that some rooms have oddly placed (think in the room) showers. If this is an issue, ask ahead for a room with an enclosed bathroom.
To be sure, the Hostal Mare Nostrum is about as basic as it gets. That said, the facility is clean and functional, the staff is welcoming and the price is right, especially for so central a location. Breakfast, included in the room rate, can be enjoyed in a small, sunny room with great people-watching views of Las Ramblas.
Wi-Fi is free throughout. Note that you’ll have to heft your bags up some stairs to get from the ground floor to the first-floor reception (an elevator reaches the rest of the floors, but because the building is historic it cannot extend to the ground floor.
In high season, the Mare Nostrum can be pricey for what it is, but the air conditioning (rare in Barcelona hotels) and central location alone may justify a small splurge.
A leisurely walk down Las Ramblas takes you from the Mare Nostrum to the Mediterranean Sea in one direction, and to Plaça Catalunya and city center in the other. Bear in mind that being in the center of the city—and on Las Ramblas—means noise, steeper prices and touristy shops and restaurants.
Don’t eat on Las Ramblas. Don’t order a melon-sized goblet of sangria, either. Instead, dine like the locals do: on the side streets off Las Ramblas. Try Restaurant en Ville for a leafy lunch (c/ Doctor Dou 14) among its hanging plants and flowers, or Pizza Ravalo (Pl. d’Emili Vendrell 1) for, um, excellent pizza. Great tapas are to be had on the Rambla de Raval.
Subway: The Mare Nostrum’s Metro line is the Green Line/L3 and its closest stop is Liceu. Getting off at Liceu will put you out on Las Ramblas, a two-minute walk from the Mare Nostrum.
From the Airport: To reach the Mare Nostrum from the airport, take the RENFE Cercanías train from T2 and get off at the Passeig de Gracia stop, where you can transfer to the Green Line/L3 Metro to Liceu.
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.
- Breakfast Included
- Reception: 24-Hour
- Wi-Fi: Free
- Air conditioning
- Bathroom: Private
- Bathtubs Available
- Cable TV
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Carrer Sant Pau, 2
La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain
Phone: +34 93 318 53 40
Fax: +34 93 412 30 69
About the Hostal Mare Nostrum neighborhood
Stretching about a mile from the port to Plaça de Catalunya, La Rambla is the ever-bustling boulevard to end all boulevards. Along with the Barri Gòtic, it represents the center of the tourist quarter—and the beating heart of the city for locals. Year-round, round-the-clock, street performers, sidewalk artists, lovers, madmen, café patrons, pickpockets and throngs of tourists ramble here.