Hotel 1898El Raval, Barcelona, Spain
- Housed in a splendid Modernist structure built in 1891
- Sumptuous interiors blend 19th century and modern styles
- A seventh-floor swimming pool with terrific city views
- Spa with indoor pool, whirlpools, sauna, steam room and massage
- Fitness room, business center and library
- Movie screenings in the lobby
- Upscale rooms with plush bedding, free Wi-Fi and plasma-screen TVs
- Central Las Ramblas location
- Marble bathrooms with luxury toiletries
- Fine dining Mediterranean restaurant
- Roof terrace bar and tapas bar
- Pricey (but good) breakfast
- Some rooms lack views
- Some complaints that pool can get crowded with non-guests on weekends
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A lavish throwback to Spain's imperial heyday
Named not for the year it was built (1891) but for the year Spain lost the Philippines and its overseas empire, the Hotel 1898 is housed in a grand Modernist building that served as the headquarters of the Philippines Tobacco Company. Guests step off the bustling Las Ramblas and into a serene environment with a men's club feel. The hotel's sumptuous interiors blend modern and Spanish colonial styles, and feature exposed brick, sisal floors, lots of stripes, rich leather furniture, and colorful artwork. Guests should dress to impress, because the crowd here is fashionable. The lobby and seventh-floor rooftop swimming pool with panoramic city views are popular mingling spots. The 169 upscale rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and big bathrooms clad in marble.
Right in the heart of Las Ramblas revelry
The Hotel 1898 is situated in a prime location at the north end of the vibrant Las Ramblas, 200 yards south of Plaça de Catalunya. The street outside the hotel features vendors and street performers, and the Liceu Metro and bustling Boqueria open-air market are one block south. Shopaholics need only stroll five minutes north for the Passeig de Gracia, while Gaudi buildings Casa Mila and Casa Batllo are a 15- to 20-minute stroll north. If you're coming from the airport, the hotel is a 20-minute drive northeast.
Handsomely decorated and decked out with goodies
The 169 upscale, understated rooms are spacious and quiet and come in five categories. Decorative details include hardwood floors; dark wood furniture; tufted leather benches; comfy white bedding; bright red, green, gray or white walls; colonial-era maps; and bathrooms clad in marble. Technology features include free Wi-Fi and big plasma-screen TV. Pampering touches include a pillow menu, bathrobes and slippers, and luxury toiletries. Rooms are a real haven to return to after a day of sightseeing.
Indoor and outdoor pools top the bill; other features include a spa and fine dining
The pièce de résistance of the Hotel 1898's fabulous property amenities is its seventh-floor, year-round outdoor pool, situated on a wraparound terrace with teak sun beds, a seasonal tapas and cocktail bar, and a panoramic (yes really) view of Barcelona. If one pool isn't enough, guests get a second one indoors, situated in an atmospheric illuminated grotto with vaulted ceiling. There's more good stuff where that came from: a steam room, sauna and spa tub. Guests can also arrange a massage or beauty treatments (for a fee), watch a classic movie in the lobby, grab a workout in the fitness room, read a book from the library, and dine on innovative Mediterranean cuisine in the restaurant.
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