Review of Le Méridien Barcelona - SPG Property
I love getting a chance to explore new places around the world with members of my family, and this spring my mom, daughter, and I all got the chance to visit Spain for the first time together. We started our trip with three nights in Madrid staying at both the Westin Palace Madrid and the Radisson Blu Madrid Prado. While we were in Madrid we focused on these family friendly activities, and had a blast playing in parks, eating, visiting a palace, and more.
After our time in Madrid came to a close, we took a very enjoyable high speed train the 2.5 hours or so from Madrid to Barcelona (read about that portion of the trip in the post Taking the Train in Spain: Madrid to Barcelona) and arrived ready to start our time on the Mediterranean Coast. After our arrival by train, we went outside the Barcelona Sants Train Station and easily caught a cab the 5-10 minutes to the Le Méridien Barcelona where we would spend our final few nights in Madrid. This post is dedicated to a review of the SPG property, Le Méridien Barcelona.
Like I try to always do in destinations where the commonly spoken language is not English, I had a print out of the name and address of the hotel at the ready to show the cab driver, but like most of our experiences in Spain, our mix of Spanish and their mix of English usually worked out to come up with a reasonable amount of communication.
Checking In to the Le Méridien Barcelona:
The hotel has 231 rooms and suites and is located right off Las Ramblas, arguably the most famous street in Barcelona. We selected the hotel largely for its location and easy access to lots of the things we wanted to do and see in Barcelona. In contrast, the W Barcelona struck me as being removed from most of the things we wanted to do.
Just like our experience at the Westin in Madrid, we arrived a bit before check-in time so we weren't surprised when we were told our room was not yet ready. We had the hotel hold our bags and we headed out to explore and eat while our room was prepared. Unfortunately, just like in Madrid, the room wasn't ready even once the official time came and went.
Thankfully the hotel had a pretty comfortable lobby to just relax in as everyone was tired by mid-afternoon, and fortunately our delay wasn't terribly long. I believe we were also offered some refreshments or drinks during the delay, thought I think we skipped those since we had just had lunch.
Once the room was ready check-in was otherwise uneventful, and everyone we encountered both at check-in and throughout our stay at the property was very, very nice. We also were given repeated warnings about pick pockets in the area, which is important given the reputation of Las Ramblas. Thankfully we never experienced any pick pockets, scams, or any other issues during our time in Spain (I also typically only carry things in my zipped up jacket pockets when exploring a city, so I'm much less of a target than someone with a purse or similar).
Junior Suite at the Le Méridien Barcelona:
We booked a standard room at the Le Méridien Barcelona on Starwood Preferred Guest points, but since there were three of us we really needed some extra space. As a result, I contacted the hotel via email (personal email, not anything with blog related info on it) and negotiated an upgrade to a junior suite for 90 euros per night + tax. This was an even better deal than it initially sounds because with that upgrade they were also able to waive the regular charge for a rollaway bed which is 55 euros + tax per night. So, our real increased out of pocket cost to go from a standard room to a junior suite was just 35 euros per night. They also offered the family suite at an additional 260 euros per night, but that was out of our price range and we didn't need all that additional space, though a family of four would.
Our junior suite sleeps 3 and was around 45 square meters, which is a little under 500 square feet. It had two twin beds pushed together to form one comfortable king bed, a pull-out sofa bed, a work desk, walk-in closet, mounted TV, and pretty decent view of the city.
My mom stayed on the pull-out couch and she had no complaints about its comfort. It was also handy for her that just out of view in this shot was a charger on the left hand side of the couch for all her electronics.
My daughter and I were very comfortable in our bed(s) and looking out at the city was pretty fun. I will add it got very loud the night that Barcelona beat Real Madrid in soccer! In fact, I think there were parties going on in the city that you could hear from the room until around the time the sun came up! It honestly just added to the ambiance of being in Spain, but is worth a mention in case you are a light sleeper (bring ear plugs).
Obviously we all worked very hard at the one desk in the room - no time to give up work entirely while on vacation! The WiFi at the hotel worked well for us throughout the visit.
The bathroom was very nice and modern with a tub/shower combo that was great for the adults, but still handy for getting the kid clean. I had no issues with water temperature or pressure. We really liked the decorative tiles on the floor to give the room some Spanish charm, but we avoided the scale like the plague. Who wants a scale to go along with their tapas?! There was even one of those fancy TV's built into the mirror in case you wanted to keep up with the news (or cartoons) during your bath!
The junior suite was very well suited for the needs of our group of three and the hotel was the perfect location right off Las Ramblas for our time in Barcelona. We were able to walk either to our destinations or to catch the bus or subway very easily (more on that in a subsequent post). This is an area of town that is known for pick-pocketing, but thankfully through some common sense strategies (and good luck) that was a non-issue for us.
You Can Do it Too:
If you want to book a stay at the Le Méridien Barcelona I recommend comparing paid rates and points rates to make sure you are getting a good value for your SPG points. I personally would want at least 2 cents in value per point, but often more than that. This property is a Category 5 SPG property, meaning that rates will be between 12,000 - 16,000 SPG points per night that you can earn from SPG stays or the Starwood Preferred Guest® Amex or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Amex credit cards. This hotel does have several categories of larger rooms/suites, so if you happen to have SPG Platinum status or suite night awards to use, this could be a decent place to take advantage.
As I mentioned in the post we negotiated a paid upgrade in advance to the junior suite on our points award, and this was a great way to use points to keep the overall cost low, but yet still have enough room for the three of us to be comfortable. I would 100% stay here again on a future trip, and highly recommend the junior suite if you are traveling with a group of three.
If you have stayed at the Le Méridien Barcelona I'd love to hear your experiences!