Four rooftop swimming pools with sun decks (seasonal), open late
Communal kitchens for every ten rooms
Central location near Arc de Triomf and Sagrada Familia
Easily accessible to public transportation
Melon Cafe with takeout and self service, all day long
Bright, cheerful design throughout
International atmosphere, with students and single travelers welcome
No kids allowed
No Wi-Fi in rooms
No daily housekeeping
Additional towels cost extra
The 500-room, budget Residencia Melon District Marina is a dorm-turned-hotel, and doesn't pretend to be anything else. Rooms are tiny, but bright and clean, with private bathrooms. There are common cooking facilities on each floor with refrigerators that have lockable compartments for each room. Children are not allowed, but the clientele is young. The location is good for tourists and students, with two metro stations nearby, and views of the Sagrada Familia from the roof decks -- which also have lovely pools.
The Residencia Melon District Marina feels like a dorm, with small spaces brightly painted in chartreuse and hot pink. The residence has plenty of energy, with young clientele adding to the lively atmosphere. Guests enter through a set of turnstiles accessed with keycards, which sets the tone for the place, as do the banks of vending machines found throughout. The Melon Cafe has a cheerful, cafeteria-style setting, with simple white tables and black vinyl chairs, plus an outdoor terrace. Guests gather at the rooftop pools, which are small and sun-drenched, with gorgeous city views. There are plenty of tree-shaded, outdoor communal spaces between the buildings for reading, relaxing, and socializing. Each floor has a communal cooking lounge with flat-screen TVs, large windows, hardwood floors, full kitchens, and lots of seating for hanging out. The meeting lounge is furnished with white tables and chairs, as well as a circle of mod orange and green upholstered chairs for discussion groups.
Near Olympic Port, 20 minutes from Nova Icaria Beach
The Residencia Melon District Marina is located in a working district of Barcelona, just a few minutes' walk from the Olympic Port -- a waterfront area with bars and restaurants, and a Frank Gehry-designed copper fish sculpture, originally built for Olympic sailing events. The Sagrada Familia, a Catholic basilica designed by Gaudi, is a 15-minute stroll from the hotel. There are two nearby metro stops, and it is a 20-minute walk to Nova Icaria Beach. The immediate area has a number of shops, bars, and restaurants -- a great location for tourists and students to soak up the Barcelona atmosphere and explore local culture.
Basic and soundproofed, with private bathrooms and shared cooking facilities
Rooms at the Residencia Melon District Marina are tiny and unmistakably dorm-like, with a well-thought out use of space. Standard rooms are air conditioned and spotless, with double beds, small desks, hardwood floors, a wardrobe, and a flat-screen TV. Bathrooms are basic, with shower stalls and free toiletries, but toiletries, linens, and sheets are only replaced once a week, when rooms are cleaned. Studios have private kitchens; other rooms share cooking facilities in groups of 10. Guests who want to leave food in the communal kitchen can bring a padlock to secure a refrigerator compartment.
Practical amenities, room service, and rooftop pools
The Residencia Melon District Marina has four rooftop pools with decks and spectacular Barcelona views. There are vending machines throughout the buildings, and a cafeteria-style cafe with indoor and outdoor dining options (and room service). Studios have private kitchens, and other rooms share cooking lounges with neighbors. Communal kitchens have refrigerators made up of lockable compartments -- one per guest room. Buildings have coin laundries for guests, and parking is available for a surcharge.
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