Some complaints that pool can get crowded with non-guests on weekends
Located on a prime piece of Las Ramblas real estate, the Hotel 1898 evokes Spain's opulent late 19th-century past with its architecture and decor. But guests get thoroughly modern pampering, with sterling service, plush rooms, a spa, and fine dining. And unlike other Las Ramblas area hotels such as Casa Camper, Hotel 1898 has not one but two pools: an indoor pool in an atmospheric grotto and a rooftop pool with panoramic Barcelona views. The property is the perfect pick for travelers willing to spend more for historic style and upscale comfort in a location right on the bustling Las Ramblas, near Passeig de Gracia shopping.
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.
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.
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.