Doubles from: $49 to $81
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
The budget-friendly Pension Mari-Luz is situated inside a gorgeous 18th-century building deep inside the Barri Gotic. Sure, it’s on the small side, but the 13-room pension compensates with exceptional charm and a fab location.
Pros: Fun, central location. Historic building. Heart of the Gothic Quarter.
Cons: Can be difficult to find. The Gothic Quarter is popular with pickpockets (because it’s touristy). No elevator.
Almost all of the pension’s orderly rooms have balconies with views of the neighborhood. Many have bunk beds and sleep up to four, making the Mari-Luz a great option for students and families on a shoestring. There are a few rooms with double beds, too, and one large six-bunk room is rented out “hostel-style,” with beds at just €13 a night in low season.
As is typical in Barcelona, the rooms are small at the Pension Mari-Luz. The furnishings are simple and spare: beds or metal bunks, plus maybe a utilitarian nightstand or small desk. Hanging artwork adds pops of color here and there.
Rooms do not have a TV, but are equipped with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. There are lockers in the dorm rooms.
Three rooms at the Mari-Luz have private bathrooms and the other 10 share facilities. All bathrooms are basic, new and clean, if small. Toiletries are not provided, but a hair dryer is available.
Manning reception is the friendly and multi-lingual Simone Nuñez, who credits his wife for the many potted bright red geraniums and the general “homey” atmosphere of the pension. And if you feel like trying your hand at pa amb tomaquet (the classic bread, tomato and olive oil dish that’s sort of like the Catalan hamburger), the Mari-Luz offers a cute kitchen for all your culinary aspirations.
Do note that the pension is located on the third floor of a non-elevator building, in a somewhat confusing area made up of twisting cobblestoned alleyways. That said, if your bags aren’t too heavy and you’re after something special, then this adorable spot with its history, charm and cozy ambiance will be your kind of place.
The Mari-Luz has an Internet station and Wi-Fi throughout, both free of charge. Breakfast is not offered, but there are plenty of cafés in the area.
The Pension Mari-Luz is not the easiest place to locate in Barcelona, but there’s a trade off. Finding this diamond in the rough will get you deep into the Gothic Quarter and off the tourist trail.
The location is totally charming and safe (although in all of downtown Barcelona you have to beware of pickpockets). And because the Mari-Luz is situated on a side-street there should not be too much racket at night.
Once you know where you’re going, you’ll find that the Mari-Luz is close to the Metro and buses, as well as many historical monuments such as Plaça Reial, the Cathedral, La Boqueria Market, the city’s history museum (MUHBA), the Picasso Museum and Barcelona’s Roman sights. The beach and port are about a 10- to 15-minute walk away.
And night owls will love that the Harlem Jazz Club (home to great live music) is located near the Pension Mari-Luz, as are a wide array of bohemian bars and restaurants.
Subway: The Mari-Luz’s Metro line is the Green Line/L3 and its closest stop is Liceu (which takes the name of the well-worth-seeing Opera House across the street). Getting off at Liceu will put you out on Las Ramblas, and there are some twists and turns from there. Follow these directions and you’ll be fine: Walk along Carrer de Ferran, then make a right on Carrer d’Avinyó followed by a left on Carrer d’Arai and then a right on Carrer Palau. The Mari-Luz is a minute down the street. You can also use the Yellow Line Metro stop Jaume I.
From the Airport: The easiest eay to reach the Mari-Luz is to take the RENFE Cercanías (from T2) to Passeig de Gracia, and transfer to the Green Line/L3 Metro to Liceu. Or, catch the the Areobús (from either terminal) to Plaça Catalunya (the last stop). From there, it's a 10- to 15-minute walk or a short cab ride to the pension.
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.
- Reception: 24-Hour
- Wi-Fi: Free
- Air conditioning
- Bathroom: Private
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About the Pension Mari-Luz 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.