Long walks to metro and removed from the city center
Breakfast not included in room rates
Loud music from nightclub may disturb some guests
On-site parking is pricey
The 473-room W Barcelona is a luxury property that's enviably located on Barcelona's beach, close to the port. It's a 10-minute walk to the vibrant Barceloneta neighborhood and a 20-minute walk to the nearest metro, but most guests are here for the beach -- oh, and the views. In a city of fabulous vistas, the W has some of the best, ranging from sea to city. Rooms are spacious and ultra-hip, and come with expected modern amenities like flat-screen TVs and premium bath products. Two restaurants and several bars get good reviews, as do the spa and fitness center. The W is just across from the Eurostars Grand Marina Hotel, which has Mediterranean views for lower rates, but it lacks the W's edge and spa.
Trendy hotel with a youthful, resort-like vibe and party-hearty atmosphere
This modern showcase of glass and steel is visible from a great distance, as its 26 floors tower over the sea and harbor. Designed by world-renowned architect Ricardo Bofill, the building is shaped like a sail, and it shimmers above the sea. Guests enter the glass tower through revolving glass doors and enter into a trendy scene with neon lighting and plenty of glitz -- everywhere (this is the W, after all). The style here isn't for the tame, and like most of this brand's other outposts around the world, artsy accents are blended with edgy colors throughout. The lobby has shimmery silver mosaic walls, purple lacquer panels, and matte black tile floors. Walls and elevator doors are bright red, and hallways to guest rooms maintain the look. Along the way, windows offer glimpses of the beautiful setting right next to the beach and the port. In a city with amazing views all over, the W offers some of the most spectacular, looking out over both the Mediterranean and the city. The hotel attracts all sorts of travelers who don't mind being away from the city center in favor of a resort-like atmosphere. However, more mature guests may feel a bit out place because of its youthful vibe and party-hearty atmosphere.
Right on the beach -- a 10-minute walk to Barceloneta
This trendy hotel stands tall above the sea, right on the beach at the end of Port Vell. The city's buzzing Barceloneta neighborhood -- packed with restaurants and cafes -- takes about 10 minutes to reach on foot, but it will take 20 minutes to reach the closest metro station (also called Barceloneta). There is a bus stop is nearby to help cut down on travel times. Traveling to the city center by public transportation or taxi takes 15 to 25 minutes, or hearty guests can walk and explore along the way (in fact, walking might be the best way to explore Barcelona).
It's a 25-minute walk to the utterly trendy El Born neighborhood, and 30 minutes to the Barcelona Cathedral or the Picasso Museum, in the heart of the city's Barri Gotic. It will take about 50 minutes to reach Sagrada Familia by metro, and about 15 minutes by bus to Plaza Catalunya, at the top of Las Ramblas. Although the hotel is removed from the city center, for most guests, its location on the Mediterranean with access to the beach makes the trek worthwhile. The Barcelona–El Prat Airport is about 20 minutes away by car or about 75 minutes by public transportation. The hotel provides private transportation for a fee.
Spacious rooms high on the hip factor and with amazing views
In typical W style, rooms range all the way from Cozy to Fabulous to Wow and Extreme Wow -- the latter is the ultimate in luxury, and sits at the top of the 26-story building overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. That being said, all rooms are modern and hip, and even the entry-level Cozy Rooms are spacious, although their views are limited by their lower floors. Desks sit behind the bed, which is positioned to take in the sea views from floor-to-ceiling windows. A cushioned window banquette allows guests to get even closer to that amazing view. Furniture is modern, with curved edges, and the headboard and night stands are covered in leather. The color scheme is neutral, with a splash of eggplant for color.
Minibars, called the Munchie Box at W, are well-stocked, and flat-screen TVs sit at the foot of the bed. The entertainment system also features an iPod dock and radio alarm clock. Bathrooms also are ultra-modern and come with rainfall showerheads and Bliss Spa toiletries. In Cozy Rooms, sinks are off to the side of the sleeping area. Guests who step up to Wonderful Rooms will be rewarded with views from higher floors. Mega Rooms offer more space and corner views with port and sea views, and Fabulous Rooms look out over the sea and the city. Suites are larger still and provide room for families or groups of three or four, and the Extreme Wow Suite can sleep six people -- it also has a private terrace with lounge chairs and a hot tub. Keep in mind that some rooms do pick up music from the all-night entertainment taking place on-site.
Two restaurants, several bars, two pools, spa, fitness center, events space
Guests need not stay hungry or thirsty for long at W Barcelona -- which isn't surprising given the hotel's lively reputation and young, party-loving clientele. There are several options for drinking and eating on-site. Open all day, Wave Restaurant serves local fare in a setting overlooking the sea, starting each day with a breakfast buffet or a la carte menu. Breakfast also is served buffet or a la carte at Bravo, a stylish dining room perched on the 26th floor with amazing views. The menu features fresh, seasonal fare with an all-day open tapas bar. The hip Eclipse Bar also is on the 26th floor and is a popular spot for locals and guests, from rock stars to divas. The Salt Restaurant & Sea Club is open seasonally on the beach, and the Wet Bar serves drinks and light fare by the pool. The W Lounge in the lobby is open all day into the early morning hours.
The hotel has two outdoor pools overlooking the sea, and one features a splashing fountain. Cushioned lounge chairs line the pools, and plush cabanas are available for rent. The two-story Bliss Spa offers a long list of treatments in a 7,500-square-foot space, and the well-equipped 24/7 fitness center is a bright space with floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of modern equipment. Events space at the W can be configured in a variety of ways to accommodate all sorts of groups, and the views are a huge plus. The largest space, the ballroom, can host groups of up to 1,000 people. Business-friendly features include free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, but parking can be expensive.