Continuing our journey around Europe as a family of six travelling by rail only, we decided to spend four nights in the centre of Barcelona. Having stayed with Le Meridien before, we thought this might be a good time to see if the friendly family approach extends into their Spanish hotels.
Le Meridien Las Ramblas Barcelona couldn’t be more centrally located; right slap bang in the middle of the Las Ramblas.
The view upon stepping out of the hotel, right in the centre of Barcelona.
We arrived at the hotel and were greeted in typical Le Meridien style by traditional porters, who helped us into the hotel ready to check in.
The hotel is grandly yet still modernly decorated, with an attractive balance of traditional Spanish artwork and technology.
We were unable to book rooms via the website, but upon calling the hotel were told to make our way there anyway, as they were sure they could arrange something for us.
After some initial confusion about room choices, we were helped by a lady who did her best to accommodate us at short notice. Le Meridien currently offer a second room for families at half price, which is excellent considering the quality and service one can expect here.
At this point, our two year old had a full on meltdown; complete with rolling around on the floor screaming after a disagreement with her older sister about ownership of colouring pens. The staff were fine with this, and didn’t make us feel too awful.
Unfortunately, Le Meridien currently charge up to €50 for rollaway beds in the rooms. We found that these aren’t rollaway beds at all, rather sofa beds which are already in the room. The charge is for a maid to come and make up the bed, which is compulsory. This of course affects the price, and in my opinion makes the 50% discount on the second room fairly benign. We discussed this with the hotel staff at length, but found that this policy is set in stone. Not a great incentive for families to stay here, unless pricing or budget is not an issue.
We checked into our rooms on the second floor, and were impressed with the space and furnishings in the rooms. Similar to the Pullman in Marseille, we were also given rooms with their own private ‘walkway’, allowing us total privacy between rooms, not to mention an added layer of security ensuring other hotel guest were not able to gain access to our rooms without a specific room key.
In room facilities at Le Meridien Las Ramblas are excellent; with 42 plasma screen TV’s, excellent internet connectivity. The free Wifi option is perfect for the kids using tablets or phones, and a paid option offers secure and speedy access to the internet via Wifi or Ethernet. The bathrooms are large and well equipped, either offering a large bath/shower or a walk in shower with slate/stone floors.
Bedding at Le Meridien is excellent, offering King Size beds and fluffy pristine sheets and pillows. We all slept soundly as did the children, who actually woke up slightly later than usual.
The hotel is also served with an excellent and spacious business centre located on the lower ground floor; containing PC terminals, empty desk space, ethernet connection (as well as Wifi) and a printer or two.
The restaurant in the hotel was good, although not as good as we were expecting considering that the reception staff warned us that it gets booked very quickly. We enjoyed drinks and olives at the bar, but were disappointed with the choices on the menu and opted for the Attic Restaurant, serving traditional Spanish dishes as well as truly amazing tapas across the road, which was absolutely fantastic.
Incidentally, if you are a member of the SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) scheme, you can redeem your points on food and drink at the bar, for breakfast or in the restaurant. Useful if you have accrued any points from previous stays at SPG hotels.
Unfortunately, the hotel does not have a pool. Upon check in, were told that there is a pool but children must swim under supervision. Unfortunately, this was not the case. There was a spa, but this was for adult use only. This was disappointing, especially after we had told the children they could swim after a hot day shopping in the Spain’s second capital!
The area surrounding the hotel (Las Ramblas) is of course fantastic. Teaming with shops including the huge El Corte Ingles, Fnac and of course the beautiful Apple Store on the corner of Passeig De Gracia overlooking the waterfalls. You are simply spoilt for choice with fantastic restaurants, bars and street food on every corner ranging from Churros to Chorizo baguettes.
The waterfall outside El Corte Ingles and the Apple store, Las Ramblas, Barcelona.
Although Le Meridien Las Ramblas Barcelona is a nice hotel, it’s expensive and not particularly family friendly. I say this largely because of the extra charge for rollaway beds, the lack of swimming pool and the fact that we would feel uncomfortable taking our children into the restaurant in the evenings. Having said that, the location is simply unbeatable, and I think Le Meridien know this. For a weekend getaway for Mum and Dad without the kids in tow it would be great, but not with children. We would recommend the more reasonably priced Novotel, located a few minutes away from the town centre.
Deluxe double rooms at Le Meridien Las Ramblas Barcelona currently cost around €219 (approx £185), with 50% off the second room for families. Please bare in mind that rollaway beds for the children are charged at €50 (approx £42) per bed per night.
For more information, or to make a booking, please visit: http://www.lemeridienbarcelona.com