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The Best of Barcelona, Catalonian Capital of Spain   by Beatriz Lopez
Located on the northeastern coast of Spain is the intoxicating city of Barcelona. Set against the Mediterranean Sea, this multifaceted jewel rewards visitors and locals alike with mesmerizing architecture, impressive museums, outstanding cuisine and more... read more
Barcelona Hotels by Area:
Barcelona El Prat Airport Area  - Camp NouDiagonal Avenue Area Barcelona - Diagonal Mar - Gothic Quarter - Güell Park
L'Eixample Area - Las Ramblas - Las Ramblas Area - Olympic Port - Paseo de Gràcia - Plaza de España
Sagrada Familia Area - Sants Station - Via Augusta
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The Eixample (Catalan for "extension", Spanish: Ensanche) is a district of Barcelona between the old city (Ciutat Vella) and what were once surrounding small towns (Sants, Gràcia, Sant Andreu etc.), constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Featured L'Eixample Area Hotels

The Eixample is characterized by long straight streets, a strict grid pattern crossed by wide avenues, and square blocks with chamfered corners (named illes in Catalan, manzanas in Spanish). This was a visionary, pioneering design by Ildefons Cerdà, who considered traffic and transport along with sunlight and ventilation in coming up with his characteristic octagonal blocks, where the streets broaden at every intersection making for greater visibility, better ventilation and (today) some short-stay parking space. The grid pattern remains as a hallmark of Barcelona, but many of his other provisions were unfortunately ignored: the four sides of the blocks and the inner space were built instead of the planned two or three sides around a garden; the streets were narrower; only one of the two diagonal avenues was carried out; the inhabitants were of a higher class than the mixed composition dreamed of by Cerdà. The important needs of the inhabitants were incorporated into his plan, which called for markets, schools, hospitals every so many blocks. Today, most of the markets remain open in the spots they have been from the beginning.

Some parts of the Eixample were influenced by Modernista architects, chief among whom was Antoni Gaudí. His work in the Eixample includes the Casa Milà (nicknamed La Pedrera) and the Casa Batlló, both of which are on the wide Passeig de Gràcia, as well as the Sagrada Família. Other architects who made highly significant, and certainly more numerous, contributions to giving the Eixample its characteristic appearance include Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Josep Domènech i Estapà, Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas and perhaps above all Enric Sagnier i Villavecchia, responsible for a total of over 500 buildings in the city (not all of them in the Eixample).

The Casa Terrades, better known as Casa de les Punxes, is a spectacular building replete with Mediaeval allusions that stands at the junction of Av. Diagonal with Carrer Rosselló. It was built in 1903-5 by the Modernista architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, who used Nordic Gothic and Spanish Plateresque resources side by side, along with traditional Catalan motifs.

The Casa Batlló is part of a block called the Illa de la Discòrdia, along with two other notable Modernista works, Lluís Domènech i Montaner's Casa Lleó Morera and Josep Puig i Cadafalch's Casa Amatller. The block is so named due to the visual clash between the buildings; its Spanish name, Manzana de la Discordia, is also a pun on Eris's Apple of Discord - manzana means both "apple" and "city block".

Featured L'Eixample Area Hotels
Casa Battló - L'Eixample Area:
The magical world of Casa Battló - designed by Antoni Gaudí for the Battló family.  More than a building, it is a legend of art and the masterpiece of Antoni Gaudí.  The Modernist facade represents the waves of a calm sea - the roof tiles look like fanciful scales.  The attics and chimneys never fail to delight and fascinate.  As Gaudí was known to say ".. the only straight line is the horizon..."
Originally the architect was asked by the textile magnate Josep Batlló to demolish a nondescript building designed in the 1870s by Emilio Sala Cortés and create a new house. But Gaudí convinced Batlló that he could keep the existing structural framework and remodel it into a masterpiece that would both shock and delight fin de siècle Barcelona. Casa Batlló is situated on the Paseo de Gracia in L'Eixample, one of Barcelona's most exclusive neighborhoods. Also on this so-called "block of discord" are the houses of other prominent industrialist families such as the Amattlers and the Lleós. At the turn of the century these families were engaged in a battle to "keep up with the Joneses."
If one house featured tile, the next house would incorporate more elaborate tile. If one family hired a particular architect, the next family to build would hire a more prominent one.
Gaudí was the last architect in this competitive sequence to build in the notorious block of discord. By the time he arrived, the stakes were high, and he needed to produce something spectacular. His success is evident; the Batlló house represents a creative tour de force. It is one of Gaudí's last private commissions before he grew more reclusive and dedicated his energies to the Sagrada Familia. 
Featured L'Eixample Area Hotels
Casa Mila - Barcelona - click for larger image
Casa Milà - La Pedrera - L'Eixample Area:
"Casa Milà - La Pedrera" (1906-1912).   In the late 19th and early 20th century the district of Eixample (Passeig de Gràcia and the surrounding areas) became the hub of Barcelona's expansion.  Antoni Gaudí was commissioned by the industrialist, Pere Milà, to construct a building on the boundary of Barcelona and Gràcia, as both a family residence and also to be leased as separate dwellings.
Owing to the way its facade appears to be carved out of rock, the Casa Milà was nicknamed "La Pedrera", which means stone quarry.  In 1984, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site."
Featured L'Eixample Area Hotels
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Barcelona Center Hotel, Barcelona
The Barcelona Center Hotel is located in the Eixample district of central Barcelona, Spain, 300 metres from the designer boutiques of historic Passeig de Gracia avenue. Barcelona's Museum of Modern Art, the lively promenades of Las Ramblas and Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia cathedral are within one-and-a-half kilometres.  The Barcelona Center Hotel's lobby has large windows, striped sofas and orange-and-brown furnishings. There is a sun terrace, and guests can receive sightseeing advice from staff at the 24-hour front desk.  International and local cuisine is served in the modern Balmes 103 Restaurant. Guests can relax on the sofas in the Lobby Bar. In summer, cocktails are served at the alfresco Terrace Bar.  The hotel offers meeting rooms, business services and computer rental.  There are complimentary high-speed Internet connections in public areas.  The hotel has a well-equipped fitness centre and a sauna. 
Bed & Breakfast Barcelona
The Bed and Breakfast Barcelona is located in Barcelona, Spain, 1.5 kilometres from Gaudi's La Pedrera and Las Ramblas. The nearest railway station is 500 metres from the hotel.  This four-storey hotel is set in a period building from 1894. The 24-hour front desk has multilingual staff who can offer tour assistance and concierge services. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in the air- conditioned public areas and a complimentary continental breakfast is served every morning.  The 15 guestrooms are decorated in earth tones and have contemporary furnishings and balconies. All are equipped with televisions and complimentary wireless Internet access. Other standard amenities include tea and coffee facilities and air-conditioning. Bathrooms have designer toiletries and hair dryers. 
Eurostars Gaudi Hotel, Barcelona
The Eurostars Gaudi is located in the center of the Eixample District in Barcelona, Spain. The hotel is 500 meters from Sagrada Familia, the unfinished cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi. The Gothic Quarter, Picasso Museum and shopping at Las Ramblas are within three miles of the hotel. Olympic Village and Barceloneta Beach are six kilometers away.  Patterned marble floors, red chairs and modern lighting accent the hotel's lobby. Buffet-style breakfasts are available daily, while drinks are served in the bar. The hotel's sun terrace offers views of Barcelona. Room service is available 24 hours a day.  Although the hotel faces a busy street, guestrooms are soundproofed to minimize distractions from inside and outside.  Guestrooms at the Eurostars Gaudi are decorated with wood floors and contemporary artwork.
Hotel Alexandra Barcelona
The contemporary Hotel Alexandra is located in central Barcelona, Spain, surrounded by the upmarket boutiques of the Eixample district and two blocks from Gaudi's La Pedrera (Casa Mila). The lively promenades of Las Ramblas, the Picasso Museum and La Barceloneta beach are within two-and-a-half kilometres. The Da Luca Ristorante is an Italian restaurant from the region of Liguria, featuring Genovese dishes. Drinks and snacks are served all day at the quiet Lounge Bar on the mezzanine level.  The hotel offers a boardroom for up to 8 people and a banqueting hall for receptions of up to 100 people. AXB Restaurant also features private function rooms. A high-speed Internet connection is available in the lobby (surcharge).  The Hotel Alexandra's 109 air-conditioned, sound-proofed guestrooms are decorated in soft, neutral shades with cherrywood furnishings.
Hotel Claris Barcelona
The modern Hotel Claris is located in the Eixample district of central Barcelona, Spain, 50 metres from the Egyptian Museum and 300 metres from the modernist architecture of Gaudi's La Pedrera. Passeig de Gracia's designer boutiques and the Old Town are within one kilometre. Passeig de Gracia metro station is 200 metres from the hotel. Hotel Claris occupies a 19th-century building that has a contemporary interior, and is filled with both modern art and antiques.  Andy Warhol prints adorn the walls of modern East 47 Bar and Restaurant. Creative fusion dishes include game and fresh caviar. In summer, La Terraza del Claris offers international and local dishes, and has a resident DJ. Drinks are served in the Hotel Claris bar.  The hotel has an outdoor pool, sauna and fitness centre.
Hotel HCC Regente, Barcelona
Housed in a modernist building built in 1913, the HCC Regente is a modern hotel sitting 150 metres from the sculptures, paintings and library of the Antoni Tàpies. Located in the upscale Eixample district, this historic hotel is three blocks from Gaudí's La Pedrera and about two km (one mile) from the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.  The roof terrace is open during the summer months and features a bar, swimming pool, and solarium. The raised deck offers fantastic views of Barcelona, including the spires of La Sagrada Família, Montjuic, and the distant Tibidabo. The bar at end of the lobby has a modernist stained glass window and still has the original 1913 cash register behind the counter, though nowadays it sits next to a computer. A TV sits in the corner and a large cubist style mural depicts the city. Drinks and light snacks are served all day.
Hotel Omm, Barcelona
The hotel is 100 metres from La Pedrera, the Casa Mila designed by renowned architect Gaudi, and Passeig de Gracia's wide boulevards and boutiques. The lively promenades of Las Ramblas, the Gothic quarter and La Sagrada Familia Cathedral are all within one kilometre. The Diagonal metro station is 100 metres from the hotel. Moo Restaurant is decorated in black-and-white tones with contemporary art and serves local Catalan specialties and fine wines. Moovida Restaurant offers seasonal Mediterranean cuisine. Guests can take in panoramic city views and drinks at the poolside bar with roof terrace. The Omm hotel's nightclub stages live performances and music. The rooftop pool has wooden decking, and a terrace with views of Gaudi's Casa Mila. The health centre includes massage areas, water treatments and hair salon. Decorated in light, neutral colours with modern furnishings, the Omm hotel's 91 air-conditioned guestrooms have balconies and parquet floors.
Majestic Hotel Barcelona
The hotel is located in the elegant Paseo de Gracia, where you can find some of the most famous representatives of Catalan Modernist architecture, such as the Casa Batllo and Pedrera, both by Antonio Gaudi. This area has been chosen by some of the leading international labels , which makes the Paseo de Gracia a must for shooping.  The bedrooms are small but and tastefully decorated with modern and classic furnishings. The en-suite bathrooms are completely marbled. The hotel has been totally renovated to a very high standard.  Majestic hotel has 2 restaurants in total, The Majestic buffet meal served on the ground floor for breakfast, lunch and supper. And the Restaurant Drolma considered one of the city's best haute cuisine restaurants in Barcelona.  Majestic hotel also offers a business center, exterior pool and fitness center including gym, massages, sauna and steam bath.
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Las Ramblas, or La Rambla is a street in central Barcelona, popular with both tourists and locals alike. A 1.2 kilometer-long tree-lined pedestrian mall in the Barri Gòtic, it connects Plaça Catalunya in the center with the Christopher Columbus monument at Port Vell.
La Rambla can be considered a series of shorter streets, each differently named, hence the plural forms Las Ramblas (Spanish) and les Rambles (Catalan). From the Plaça de Catalunya toward the harbor, the street is successively the Rambla de Canaletes, the Rambla dels Estudis, the Rambla de Sant Josep, the Rambla dels Caputxins, and the Rambla de Santa Monica. Construction of the Maremàgnum in the early 1990s resulted in a continuation of La Rambla on a wooden walkway into the harbor, the Rambla de Mar.
La Rambla can be crowded, especially during prime time tourist season. Most of the time, there are many more tourists than locals occupying las Ramblas -- this has changed the shopping selection, as well as the character of the street in general. For this reason also, it has become a prime target for pickpocketing.
Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said that La Rambla was "the only street in the world which I wish would never end".
The name rambla means, in Catalan, but also in Spanish, an intermittent water flow, and is derived from the Arabic 'ramla' which means 'sandy riverbed'.
Panoramic view of Las Ramblas
Eurostars Ramblas Boquería, Barcelona
The Eurostars Ramblas Boquería is an exclusive boutique hotel located in the heart of Barcelona, one of the most exciting cities in the world. This select hotel is set in a 19th century building which has kept its façade but has been completely renovated inside.  All its guestrooms enjoy privileged views of two of the most characteristic landmarks in the city: the legendary Ramblas avenue and the historical market known as the Boquería. Contrasting very kindly with the majestic façade, the interior decoration is modern in style, with minimalist lines and relaxing colours.One of the greatest advantages of the Eurostars Ramblas Boquería is its privileged location. The hotel is set in the heart of the historical city hub, the shopping and tourist centre of Barcelona.
Hotel 1898, Barcelona
Situated on the lively Las Ramblas Street in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, Spain, Hotel 1898 is a refurbished 19th-century property housed in the former head offices of the Philippines Tobacco Company. Guests are within walking distance of Rambla de les Flors, the famous flower-lined street, as well as the Cathedral and Moja Palace. The Picasso Museum, Olympic Stadium and Barceloneta Beach are all within two kilometers of the property. Guests can enjoy the rooftop pool's panoramic city views or visit the spa for relaxing steam and spa baths, saunas or massages. Fitness fans can work out in the on-site gym. During colder weather, guests can lounge in the solarium, swim laps in the indoor pool or visit the reading room and enjoy a book from one of the hotel's two libraries. The colonial-style 1898 Restaurant serves a modern fusion of Catalan and Spanish dishes, while the 1898 Bar offers drinks and light snacks, including tapas and sandwiches. 
Hotel Arc la Rambla, Barcelona
The Hotel Arc La Rambla is located in the heart of Barcelona, on the Ramblas, a picturesque promenade linking the centre of Barcelona with the sea.  From here, you are within walking distance of such unmissable places as the Liceu Opera House, the Cathedral, the City Hall and the Statue of Columbus.  No-one ever leaves Barcelona without seeing the Ramblas.  With all kinds of people strolling up and down, both night and day, La Rambla is a magical place where you can go shopping while taking in the history of Barcelona.  In Hotel Arc La Rambla you are sure to find the kind of room that suits you. We offer a choice of 98, 36 of which have balconies with views over La Rambla, the most famous street in Barcelona.
Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, Barcelona
The Duquesa de Cardona is a sixteenth century hotel located in the centre of Barcelona in the Gothic Quarter, only 100 meters from the cafes of Las Ramblas. Numerous cafes, bars and attractions, such as the Picasso Museum, the Sagrada Familia, Marina and Catalunya Square can be found within three kilometres. In the restaurant La Duquesa guests can sample Catalan and international dishes and wines in an intimate dining room with original 1850s features. The room has columns and arched high ceilings, long windows and tiled floors with contemporary décor and furnishings in warm colours.  During the day, guests can swim in the small outdoor pool on the roof terrace, or simply sunbathe with a drink from the roof terrace bar. Relaxing massage treatments are also on offer and guests can take advantage of 24-hour room service.
Hotel Flor Parks, Barcelona
Hotel Flor Parks is located in Barcelona, Spain, on Las Ramblas, 50 metres from Liceu Metro station. The Gothic Quarter and the Grand Royal Palace are both 300 metres away.  The five-storey Hotel Flor Parks has a solarium and sun terrace and a bar serving drinks and snacks. Wireless Internet access and complimentary newspapers are available, and multilingual staff at the 24-hour front desk can secure valuables in the safe-deposit box. Parking is available nearby.  Lirica Restaurant serves Mediterranean dishes in a modern setting. Breakfast is available daily for a surcharge.  Hotel Flor Parks offers meeting facilities on site.  The 26 air-conditioned guestrooms at Hotel Flor Parks have light modern decor, with wooden furnishings and tiled marble floors. Amenities include satellite television, direct-dial phones, wireless Internet access, minibars, and safes. 
Husa Oriente, Barcelona
The Husa Oriente is a 19th century hotel in Barcelona, Spain. The hotel is 200 meters from the Liceo Theater and the Gothic Quarter. The Picasso Museum is 500 meters from the hotel. Barcelona's El Prat Airport is 18.0 kilometers from the hotel.  A former convent, the Husa Oriente offers complimentary newspapers. La Poma restaurant offers pizza and pasta and Atic restaurant serves Mediterranean dishes for lunches and dinners. The Oriente Bar serves snacks and drinks inside or on La Rambla boulevard outside. High-speed Internet access is available for a fee.  The 142 guestrooms in the Husa Oriente's five floors include in-room safes and private bathrooms. All accommodations offer Internet access.
Le Meridien Barcelona
Le Meridien is a luxury hotel, located nine miles from El Prat Airport, in the center of the city.  The only five-star hotel located on the Ramblas, Le Meridien is a haven of peace in the heart of Barcelona.   Built in the classic Modernismo style in 1956, it was originally called the Hotel Manila.  The guest rooms and public areas were all renovated in 2000-2001 to add a Mediterranean feel to the whole property. In today's Barcelona, all places of interest are minutes away from the hotel's doorstep.  Fine Catalan and Mediterrean cuisine can be enjoyed in the Le Patio restaurant, followed by a cocktail in the Piano Bar. Le Meridien is a few minutes to fine dining, shopping and entertainment venues.  The guest rooms are spacious, comfortable and have double glazed windows to keep the rooms quiet and peaceful. The suites offer some of the best views of the historic quarter of Barcelona. 
Petit Palace Opera Garden, Barcelona
Petit Palace Opera Garden is a restored property with a contemporary interior and courtyard garden situated in Barcelona city centre, 100 metres from Las Ramblas and 500 metres from the cathedral.  Guests can enjoy the breakfast buffet (surcharge), surf the Internet, and relax over drinks in the bar. Multilingual staff at the 24-hour front desk can store valuables in the safe-deposit box for peace of mind. The hotel also offers a business centre, room service, and nearby parking.  The 61 air-conditioned guestrooms are decorated in a contemporary style with modern art and include cable television, direct-dial phones, minibars, and complimentary wireless Internet with use of a laptop. 
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