Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Near the shore in Poblenou, an up-and-coming area
The Icaria Hotel is located in the heart of Poblenou, an area that is starting to experience a major overhaul but still preserves the local flavor of a working class neighborhood. The first step towards its transformation was the adoption of a fancier (and somewhat cheesy) name-- District 22@, but few locals use it. That name is mostly used when referring to the far eastern part of the neighborhood, where most multinationals and large corporations have their headquarters-- while the western part is still known as Poblenou.
In this area, modern, trendy hotels and corporate buildings tower over low-rises and local businesses. It is working towards becoming a modern and high-tech neighborhood, but is not quite there yet. There are few interesting restaurants and shops, but everything seems to be still under construction. However, it is close to the beach and the bustling waterfront, and is well connected via public transportation to the rest of the city and the main tourist attractions. Also, its proximity to the Ronda del Litoral, one of the main thoroughfares in Barcelona, makes for easy access to the airport.
The Icaria Hotel is a great value option in an up-and-coming section of Barcelona, near the beach and Olympic Park. The 180 modern and stylish rooms offer hardwood floors, flat-screen TVs, and large marble bathrooms. One highlight here is the outdoor rooftop pool with Jacuzzi and lounge chairs. Nightlife is also available, at the chic hotel cocktail bar called Vanity Room. Additional features include a big, sunny fitness center, free Wi-Fi, and free breakfast. While there are some complaints about traffic noise and the hotel isn't walking distance to big tourist attractions, electric scooters are available for rent inside the lobby for exploring Barcelona.