A few months ago we visited a tourism convention in Berlin, at which we got to meet Anna, a hotel director in Barcelona and Costa Brava. She was excited by the blog and the Israeli audience and invited us to stay at their hotels.
After reading the reviews for their hotels and checking out their locations, the decision was simple, and we ordered flight tickets right away. The hotel we were invited to in Barcelona was the boutique Catedral hotel.
Catedral hotel in Barcelona
We arrived at the hotel by car. In principle, a car isn’t required in Barcelona and might actually prove redundant, but we rented one since we knew we would continue to Costa Brava. The hotel also had a parking lot which is excellent, since parking is difficult to find in Barcelona.
We arrived at the hotel in the afternoon and were really excited by its design, a meticulous, modern design – everything was clean and innovative. There is a lot of greenery and many sitting areas, such as the bar and restaurant area, seating outside, in the lobby, the bottom floor, and the pool area upstairs.
From the entrance to the hotel, reception is immediately in front and the bar is to the left. At the reception we were greeted with a smile, they told us that every day at 17:00 there is a cheese tasting and a free glass of wine for hotel guests, and that on Sundays there is an hour long tour of the gothic quarter and Wednesday evening there is a night fairy-tale tour (The tours are free for hotel guests). Since we were only there for two nights, from Friday to Sunday, we only joined the Sunday morning tour.
The hotel room
We got a room on the 3rd floor. The room was charming, with large windows and a view of the street. It has a luxurious bed (We had a hard time getting up in the morning), an armchair and desk with a coffee stand, a minibar and TV. The shower room has a bath and toilet. As usual I took a few pictures before messing up the room with all of my stuff, then we went up to the hotel’s crown jewel – The rooftop pool.
We arrived on a rather wintry day, but still had a good time resting on the reclining chairs, especially after getting up early, and felt like resting for a bit prior to exploring the area and grabbing lunch. On our last day in the hotel the weather was hot, so after our tour of the gothic quarter we decided to pass two hours in the pool and enjoy the perfect weather.
Of course, no Spanish vacation is complete without a Sangria, so we called room service from the pool and asked them to bring us Sangrias to the pool. We took a few photos and I read a book while Roman was in the water.
Cheeses and wine
At precisely 17:00 we came down for the cheese and wine tasting (It’s one of our favourite activities, so we definitely didn’t want to miss the opportunity). We took a plate of some quality cheeses, crackers and olives. We asked for two glasses of wine and sat down on the sofas next to the bar, enjoying every moment of it. At some point, I wanted to get some more Bree but discovered the cheese station had already been closed (So be aware that the cheese station only lasts 10-15 minutes, so arrive on time :))
Roman is a fan of buffet meals, while I enjoy eating à la carte off the menu. I was glad to see this hotel had a breakfast menu. You may sit inside or outside (There are very nice sitting areas outside). At first, our table was set with a pastry basket, a bread basket, a variety of jams, a plate of purée, a bowl of fruit and milk and coffee pitchers. The menu has a large selection of breakfast dishes and you can order as many as you’d like.
On our first morning, Roman ordered smoked salmon and an English breakfast and I ordered salmon. On the second day I had porridge (I explained to the waiter how I’d like it made and that was exactly what I got – A porridge with soy milk, banana and berries :)), and Roman had salmon and hard-boiled eggs.
There’s also a table with cereal, breads, fruit and desserts to pick from. I was also pleased to discover I could order a Cappuccino with soy milk.
The hotel bar and restaurant
The bar has a food and alcohol menu available to anyone, not only hotel guests. On our final day at the hotel, after spending two hours at the pool, we needed to continue to Costa Brava. We were already hungry and tipsy off the Sangrias 🙂 so we decided to have lunch at the hotel.
We ordered two dishes of poached egg with purée and truffle oil, I also ordered a fish ratatouille and Roman had meatballs with fish and ham. The dishes were excellent. I really liked the poached egg (The secret ingredient is the truffle oil) and the ratatouille with fish was great. Roman was very excited about his food as well, and honestly, the prices were very reasonable. The meal cost us 25 euros for 5 large dishes and a bottle of water.
Tour in the gothic quarter
As I mentioned in the beginning, the hotel offers two free tours to its guests. We joined the tour in the gothic quarter which leaves the hotel at 10am. There’s no need to sign up to it, just show up 10 minutes early and wait at the reception desk. We were a large group of about 20 people and got on our way. The guide gave us a short tour of the central areas of the gothic quarter and told us about the place’s history. It was a nice, light tour and a good way to get to know and learn a bit more about the area.
The hotel’s location
The hotel is located in the gothic quarter, which after this trip, we decided is our favourite part of Barcelona. It’s central and close to everything, yet quieter than Las Ramblas and Catalonia square. I’ve been to Barcelona twice already, staying in the areas I mentioned and honestly didn’t enjoy myself quite as much. Everything felt more touristic and with fewer good places to eat at.
In the gothic quarter are many small, high quality restaurants, as well as boutique cafés. The are itself, with its many little alleys, was much more exciting in my eyes. On Saturday we also went on a tapas tour, part of which was in the gothic quarter, which convinced me even further that it is the best part are to visit. Additionally, it’s close to the main touristic areas and Barcelona’s beaches.
A 3-minute walk away from the hotel is the Santa Caterina market (A smaller version of la Boqueria market), a minute away from the hotel is the only cathedral in Barcelona and about 20 minutes away is the sea. Rambla avenue is a 5-minute walk away. There is also public transport by the hotel.