Arrival/Check-in: The traditional façade of Casanova Barcelona Hotel belies its hip interior. Before my taxi had even come to a complete stop, two valets were waiting on the curb in front of the kitty-cornered hotel entrance ready to grab my bags and escort me to the front desk. The lobby was something of a Zen experience after a busy morning spent flying in from Madrid and navigating Barcelona’s morning rush-hour traffic. Cool marble, an abundance of right angles and back-lit green panels gave the room a cool yet comforting ambience. Citrus-infused ice water and washcloths set on a side counter provided the perfect opportunity to freshen up while the front desk clerk processed my arrival. (29/30)
Guest Quarters: My corner room, done in tones of cream and brown with green accents, had an Asian flair. A plush comforter, plenty of pillows and an area rug softened the austerity of dark hardwood floors and angular furnishings. A settee in the corner (p ositioned to take full advantage of the view of a small courtyard below) was a nice touch — perfect for curling up with a good book while sipping a glass of Spanish cava. The spacious bath boasted a separate tub and shower. A frosted glass panel separated the bath from the bedroom, offering plenty of privacy but providing soft lighting. I had trouble with the shower drain — the shower stall filled while the water was running — but a quick call to housekeeping and the problem was solved.
A spacious desk allowed plenty of work space and complimentary high-speed Internet access. My only real complaint was the lighting. It seemed designers had gone to great lengths to create an atmosphere of quiet contemplation, but real life occasionally requires a bright light. (26/30)
Services/Amenities: It’s not that I’m not a morning person. It’s just that I prefer to spend the first hour or so of my day alone, getting organized, reading the paper, enjoying the solitude. So it’s no wonder that I’m big on in-room dining when it comes to breakfast. At Casanova, I made sure the door-knob order form was placed on my door before I tucked in for the night. And delivery was right on time every morning, giving me the perfect start to days spent exploring nearby sites and attractions, including the Boqueria, Paseo de Gracia Avenue, Cataluña Square and Las Ramblas.
The second-floor restaurant, Mexiterranée, is known for its Mediterranean, Catalan and Mexican cuisine, and the lobby-level Ceviche Bar is a popular afternoon and evening gathering spot. There’s also a tiny but very well-done spa that offers treatments based on indigenous plants, stones and Spanish olive oil. (38/40)
The Experience: Casanova Barcelona Hotel is situated in a perfect location with easy access to sites and attractions, plus it’s within walking distance of a subway stop that connects to a route that networks the city. It’s a fun hotel with an attentive staff.
Total Score: (93/100)
Casanova Barcelona Hotel
559 Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes
Barcelona, Spain 08011
tel 34 933 964 800
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