Despite being classified as a 4 Star Hotel, Hotel 1898 definitely offers 5 Star service and installations with top of the range prices to boot prices - I sometimes really do wonder what the criteria are for star rating hotels!
This is an excellent part of The Ramblas to stay on both because of its proximity to metro stations Catalunya and Liceo and because La Rambla de Sant Josep is also known as La Rambla de les Flor,s or the Rambla of the Flowers, and is one of the most picturesque sections of this iconic boulevard.
Furthermore, the three hotels are housed in fine
19th century buildings that form part of the history of La Rambla
Obviously, this is a question of personal taste but if I was staying on one of the world's most famous streets, I'd want my hotel to be in one of its most iconic buildings.
By the way, I've organised the hotels beginning with the nearest to the top and Plaça de Catalunya but they are all so close to each other that it hardly makes any difference.
La Rambla, 111, Ciutat Vella, 08002 Barcelona
Le Méridien Barcelona is located at La Rambla, 111 on the corner of Carrer Pintor Fortuny and La Rambla dels Estudis, so named because it's the section of La Rambla that housed the original University of Barcelona in Medieval Times.
This is a fantastic location at the top of La Rambla halfway between Plaça Catalunya and La Boqueria Market and a short walk from both Catalunya and Liceo Metro stations.
If you venture into El Raval, you're also very close to the MACBA Contemporary Art Museum, to which all Méridien guests get free entry.
In fact, apart from a reputation as the chosen hotel for visiting rock stars, Le Méridien has a strong focus on art which is very much in keeping with the style of Barcelona and boasts a curated art collection displayed throughout the hotel.
Creating an arty atmosphere is a prime objective and the chic Latitude 41' 23º bar in the foyer acts as a hub not only for guests but also for the Barcelona art community as it metamorphoses from upmarket coffee by day to sophisticated wine bar by night.
Cent Onze restaurant specialises in traditional Catalan cuisine and
prides itself on offering top-quality fresh produce bought daily from
the nearby Boqueria Market.
The Hotel itself is spectacular with 231 rooms and suites ranging from highly select to out and out luxurious.
In short, everything you would expect from a 5 Star Ramblas hotel with an exceptional reputation.
La Rambla, 109, Ciutat Vella, 08002 Barcelona
Directly opposite Le Méridien on the other side of Carrer Pintor Fortuny, Hotel 1898 would be my choice of luxury hotel on La Rambla apart from anything else because of its history.
The building housed a religious seminary until 1881 when architect Josep Oriol Mestres converted it into the home of Antonio López i López, the Marquis of Comillas, one of Barcelona's most powerful 19th century industrialists and an early sponsor of Gaudí.
In 1929, the building was converted in the headquarters of the Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas and in 2005 constructors Nuñez i Navarro turned into a luxury hotel.
Hotel 1898's name commemorates the year in which Spain lost its colonial possession in Cuba and the Philippines, by the way.
To be perfectly honest, I just think that Hotel 1898 is a marvellous space that retains its sense of history whilst adding a touch of modernity.
The foyer hits you with its sense of grandeur whilst the ground floor H1898 bar is a welcoming place to stop off for a coffee and has become a popular spot along La Rambla.
The H1898 restaurant under chef Carles Boronat is developing a reputation for cutting edge Catalan signature and traditional cuisine and Terraza La Isabela offers spectacular Barcelona views as well as tapas, cocktails and music alongside the rooftop pool.
Hotel 1898 is littered with cool things - they show silent movies in the lounge, for example, and apparently the sauna and fitness centre is the epitomy of luxury.
As far as the rooms are concerened, they look pretty special to me and range from the standard Classic to the top range Colonial Suite, one of which incidentally was the offices of great Spanish poet Jaime Gil de Biedma, who also worked as manager of the Philippines Tobaco Company.
All in all, Hotel 1898 is a brilliant choice, in my opinion, and definitely one of the hotels where I'd choose to stay myself.
La Rambla, 105, Ciutat Vella, 08002 Barcelona
Run by the Derby Hotels chain, Hotel Bagués is a relatively new hotel but I have to say it is a fantastic addition to the 5 Star Ramblas Hotels on offer.
The Bagués is located in El Palau del Regulador at La Rambla, 105 on the corner of Carrer del Carme right at the start of the lovely Rambla de Sant Josep, better known as La Rambla de les Flors.
What's more the building that Hotel Bagués occupies used to be a Jewellers Shop built by architect Josep Fontseré i Domènech in 1850 and the Derby Hotels chain has turned the first floor into the Masriera Jewellery Museum.
The Masriera Museum features Art Nouveau jewels produced between 1900 and 1915 and jewellery is a definite theme that runs through the hotel design.
The installations are once again quite high tech with areas that go back more than a century so as you move around you get a strange sense of time-travelling.
With only 31 rooms, the Hotel Bagúes is quite exclusive and I really like the rather classic furnishings of the suites.
The modern fusion cuisine served in El Regulador Bistro, which includes creative versions of typical Catalan dishes, is gaining a growing reputation.
Finally, the rooftop pool and bar with fantastic city views is another delightful 5 star feature.
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