"Del mar" means "of the sea" in Spanish, so if a Barcelona hotel has "del mar" in its name, you can assume it is located near a Barcelona beach, one of the many joys of Barcelona. The city tempts the senses with the bejeweled architecture of Gaudi and stimulates the mind with its museums and historic sites. When your feet cannot take another step along the cobblestone streets, take a day off from sightseeing and luxuriate on a city beach.
Near the Diagonal Mar Shopping Center
Diagonal Mar is a newer Barcelona neighborhood. The beach is not immediately visible because the gigantic Diagonal Mar shopping mall blocks your view of the water, but the swimming pool and some of the rooms at the Hilton Diagonal Mar offer views of the sea. This is primarily a business hotel, with modernized rooms and a full-service restaurant. Breakfast at the top-floor restaurant is expensive. Save your money for dinner at a Barcelona restaurant and opt for the quick breakfast, usually a croissant sandwich and coffee, in the lobby bar. Those on a budget can find plenty of fast food restaurants in the Diagonal Mar Mall across the street from the hotel.
Near the Forum
A striking blue and orange color scheme and a futuristic, avant garde design distinguishes the Hotel Barcelona Princess from the other hotels in the area, and its 364 quest rooms use the same ultra-modern design. Some rooms have views of the sea. The hotel is in front of the triangular-shaped Forum, which was the site of the 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures, a UNESCO event designed to promote cultural diversity and sustainable development. The Forum also has an outdoor exhibition center that features Flamenco dance competitions and other events. Here's an insider's warning: During these events, the city authorizes taxi drivers to charge a surcharge. If possible, take the Metro Line Number Four to the Forum Station to reach the hotel.
Closest to the Sea
The Hilton and the Barcelona Princess suit those looking for a compromise between a city and a beach hotel. The Hotel Hesperia del Mar is a two-minute walk from the beach, and its blue and sea-green rooms blend well with its natural environment. Eat breakfast and dinner at the Noray, the hotel restaurant, or enjoy a drink on the hotel terrace, which overlooks an enclosed park. Those who prefer upscale accommodations will enjoy the Barcelona Skipper, a few yards from the beach. The hotel has 24-hour room service, a spa and multiple restaurants. Rooms have contemporary design, with high-tech amenities. Barcelo Hotel Atenea Mar is across the street from the Nova Mar Bella beach. White fabrics dominate the room decor, giving the accommodations a bright, beach-like ambiance. Rooms have sea or courtyard views.
In the Gothic Quarter
The Hotel del Mar sits between the Barceloneta beach area and the Gothic Quarter. The Picasso Museum is within walking distance of the hotel, which features a maritime theme, complete with nautical memorabilia and detailed harbor maps. Sky-blue fabrics, marble and wood dominate the room decor. Guests enjoy breakfast in the buffet lounge. The hotel does not have any other dining facility, but it is next door to 7 Portes, Barcelona's renowned paella restaurant.
- Barcelona image by Fjaccord from Fotolia.com