Double beds may be just two singles pushed together
The 255-room NH Collection Barcelona Gran Hotel Calderon is an upscale property with a central Eixample location close to restaurants, shops, bars, and Plaza Catalunya. Rooms have an attractive minimalist-chic look, and they offer flat-screen TVs, minibars, and air-conditioning. Some have furnished balconies with stunning city views, especially those on higher floors, though others only look onto backs of buildings. The rooftop pool and terrace also offer incredible views, and make up one of the hotel's standout features. It also gets good marks for its buffet breakfast, and the on-site restaurant, bar, and simple fitness center are additional pluses. As an alternative, the nearby Alma Barcelona has only slightly higher rates with sharp vintage style and adds a spa with a steam room and sauna.
Fresh and modern chain property suitable for all sorts of travelers
Although it's housed in a building that's more than half a century old, this 11-story hotel looks modern and fresh, on par with the other higher-end hotels in this Spanish chain's portfolio. The facade is glass and steel, and guests enter through a revolving glass door with a red carpet underneath. The modern lobby is open and bright, with white tile flooring, a white curved reception desk, and large white columns. In the front, red sofas and suspended chairs provide a hip place for guests to hang out. A curved white staircase with glass sides leads up to the second floor where the meeting spaces are located. A huge mural shows a waterfall scene as guests climb the stairs. There are a number of places to retreat within the hotel, from the rooftop pool and terrace to the sharp restaurant and bar, though it's prime Eixample setting may be its biggest draw. As such, the hotel attracts a wide swath of guests, from couples and families to businesspeople and groups.
In Barcelona's posh and bustling Eixample, a five-minute walk to Las Ramblas
The hotel is located in the Eixample, a bustling and privileged area of the city that's packed with all manner of dining, shopping, drinking, and sightseeing options. The elegant Passeig de Gracia, one of the neighborhood's main thoroughfares, is just around the corner and is lined with upmarket stores and houses by iconic Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. Placa Catalunya is just down the road, less than five minutes away on foot. It takes about 10 minutes to walk to Gaudi's La Pedrera or the ancient Barri Gotic, as well as Las Ramblas. La Boqueria, a classic and colorful market, is a 15-minute walk from the hotel, as is MACBA, the city's contemporary art museum. A taxi stand is just outside the door, and bus stops and metro stations are within a block or two at Passeig de Gracia and Placa Catalunya. It will take about 15 minutes to reach Sagrada Familia by metro, or 10 minutes by car. Barcelona-El Prat Airport is about 25 minutes away by car, or 40 minutes by public transportation.
Modern rooms with flat-screen TVs, minibars, and air-conditioning, some with balconies and stunning views
Rooms are modern and fresh, with soft neutral color schemes of white, beige, and gray plus lovely hardwood floors and sleek white lacquer furniture. Red chairs, pillows, and coffeemakers provide splashes of color, and we love details like funky glass-cone pendant lighting and thick white duvets on the beds. Unfortunately, some of those beds are simply two twins pushed together, which is rarely comfortable. Amenities in all rooms include air-conditioning, wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, minibars, and safes. Bathrooms are small, but modern, and come with rainfall showerheads, bidets, hairdryers, magnifying mirrors, and generic toiletries. While all rooms have at least a bit of seating near the window, suites are larger, with a separate living room featuring a sofa bed. Some rooms and suites have furnished balconies or terraces, and those on higher floors have spectacular views of the city. Other rooms look at the backs of buildings. Connecting rooms are available for families.
Rooftop pool with incredible city views, fitness center, restaurant and bar, and events spaces
The hotel's rooftop swimming pool is a standout feature for its outstanding views of the city and the Mediterranean in the distance. It's not particularly large, but it's open year-round and there are a few lounge chairs for relaxing poolside. The small fitness center has flat-screen TVs for entertainment, and large murals of nature scenes on the walls. Modern cardio and weight training equipment is available, as well as exercise balls and free weights. Water, sports drinks, fruit, and towels are provided.
Led by chef Andrea Tumbarello, the Don Giovanni restaurant serves Italian fare for lunch and dinner. The space is trendy and hip, with a mix of retro patterned chairs and midcentury modern furniture. A bar is adjacent for drinks and tapas, and a buffet breakfast is served daily, though it's very expensive compared to what's on offer around the neighborhood. Meeting space encompasses 10 rooms that can accommodate up to 170 people for social or business gatherings. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel, and there are fees for on-site parking. Late checkout is allowed for no extra charge on Sundays, a perk we can't help loving.
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