Our recent 5-night stay at the Cotton House Autograph Collection hotel in Barcelona was an exceptional experience. The hotel is beautiful and in an excellent location. My Platinum status brought a double upgrade to a “Cotton” room, which was elegantly appointed and very comfortable. The restaurant for breakfast was very well done, even though we only had the continental version. The service overall was very personalized (most staff remember your name) and professional. The Concierge helped with restaurant reservations in advance, and with an unfortunate incident when my wife’s purse was stolen.
The train from Madrid was very nice and quick (300 kph), allowing for a peak at the Spanish countryside. The first-class coach was very comfortable (booked at www.loco2.com) although there was no Wi-Fi on this train. We took an Uber from the Barcelona Sants station to the hotel and it was easy and affordable.
Barcelona was the second city we visited in Spain and it was wonderful. Exploring the city on foot was great fun as we found excellent shopping, food, wine, bakeries and more. We often explored non-tourist neighborhoods and discovered another side of Barcelona. The various Gaudi buildings offer amazing architecture, and the tours told the background story behind a man they call a “genius, artist, engineer and visionary.”
We toured the Sagrada Familia church, Casa Vicens (his first house design), La Pedrera (his last house design), and Park Guell. All were as interesting as they were amazing. Each day we found ourselves walking around the city. El Born is home to the Mercado de Santa Caterina Market, Palau de la Música Catalana (the Opera House) and Casa Gispert, a fabulous store featuring teas, coffees, fruits, nuts, candy and more. The Gothic Quarter is filled with activity, cafes, bars, shops and the beautiful Cathedral of Barcelona.
Finding restaurants was a joy when walking the neighborhoods, and our favorite was Cera 23 in the Sant Antoni neighborhood. At 11 pm this small neighborhood place was still jammed with people and the food was spectacular.
The upside of the stolen purse was visiting the US Consulate for a new passport, which only took about 90 minutes. We finished with an excellent lunch at a new café we stumbled across near the hotel, and a later train trip to Malaga in southern Spain.
Overall it was a wonderful experience (sans stolen purse) and I would highly recommend the Cotton House and the city of Barcelona.