Typically I avoid airport hotels, particularly when arriving in a major international city. My primary reason for choosing an airport hotel in Barcelona was my late arrival time of 9:30pm and I did not want to try and negotiate public transportation into Barcelona.
In my case the decision to stay at a Barcelona Airport hotel was even a better choice since I arrived at the BCN Airport to find a sign posted that airport transportation was severely limited due to a two-day airport transportation strike by train and bus drivers.
Barcelona Airport Train and Bus Strike Notice
Airport Information operates a booth in the T1 terminal lobby of the Barcelona Airport. The young man communicated clearly in English and directed me to the place where hotel shuttles pick up guests outside the modern Terminal 1 where many international flights arrive and depart. I had flown British Airways to Barcelona from London Heathrow.
I saw the Renaissance Barcelona Airport shuttle and the Tryp Barcelona Aeropuerto shuttle (Tryp is a Wyndham Rewards hotel partner) before the poorly marked Best Western shuttle arrived after about 10 to 15 minutes. The Best Western shuttle did not have a detailed sign on the side of the van. There was simply paper taped to the side windows reading Hotel Alfa Best Western.
The hotel is about 3 miles from the airport and the van first went to the other airport terminal prior to heading to the Best Western Alfa.
Best Western Hotel Alfa Aeropuerto Barcelona
The hotel had a welcoming lobby with comfortable seating, a computer for internet with printer, a small store with limited food items and the restaurant still open to 11:00pm and bar open to 1am.
Best Western Alfa hotel café. Breakfast express was a 5 euro deal, but regular menu food was more than I would have expected. I thought prices were kind of high at around 10 Euro for most entrees.
View from my room with BCN airport tower visible in distance.
There did not seem to be many other options around the hotel in a somewhat industrial airport area surrounded by large roads.
A couple of comfortable couches and chairs were in the main lobby entrance area.
One computer and printer in lobby were available for guests. There was free wireless internet in the hotel. No password required. The hotel lobby also had several newspapers, magazines, books and tour guides for guest reading.
Lobby reading area with newspapers, magazines and books.
There were several other people who had arrived on the shuttle bus with me. I checked out the lobby waiting for my turn to check-in.
I was pleasantly surprised at the fashionable space and happy to be in a hotel just an hour after arriving in Barcelona Airport. My two trips from the airport to city center using the airport train and then the Barcelona Metro required 90 minutes to 2 hours to go from the airport terminal to the hotels in central Barcelona.
The first surprise came when the desk clerk explained that the main elevators were inoperable and directed me to the service elevator. I did not quite understand at the time after having been traveling for 24 hours. The elevator was small and there was some apprehension at the elevator sounds being heard by me and an American couple in the elevator with me.
We all stepped out of the elevator and entered the hallway for our Floor 3 rooms. The hallway grunginess gave me real concern that the lobby décor was a façade to something kind of gross behind the door to my room.
I could not have been more wrong.
Standard room at Best Western Alfa Aeropuerto Barcelona
The room was simply, yet finely furnished and looked refreshingly modern.
Wireless internet worked fine in the room.
I immediately jumped in the shower of a modern looking tiled bathroom.
Best Western Alfa Aeropuerto Barcelona bathroom
Sink and refillable soap dispenser. Magnifying mirror on wall.
Bathroom rain shower and refillable soap dispenser
One of my observations in Spain was the environmental measures used in hotels. Several hotels I saw offered refillable dispensers rather than individual soaps. Few public bathrooms I saw in restaurants and hotels offer paper towels. Generally there is only an electric hand dryer.
I walked down the stairs rather than taking the service elevator to check out the food selection at the restaurant.
I really loved the stairway with chairs in the corridor on each floor.
Turns out other floors at the hotel had nicely designed hallways. Apparently I was staying on the floor where the hallway corridor had not yet been remodeled or painted.
Main hotel elevators were out of service for my stay.
The only other aspect of the hotel to share is the indoor pool. I was underwhelmed at the small size of the pool and it did not look like an inviting space. There were stains in the pool tile. I don’t think I have ever seen a smaller pool in a hotel, except perhaps the lap pool at the InterContinental Monterey.
Best Western Alfa Aeropuerto Barcelona indoor pool and exercise room.
Another observation that I noticed at other hotels too on my trip is the requirement for wearing a swimming cap. Is this a Spanish law?
Bathing cap required for swimming pool.
My room rate was 80 Euros, VAT included (USD$107).
Airport Transportation Note: The train to Barcelona city center leaves from BCN Terminal 2. You may need to take a free and frequent shuttle bus about two miles between Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 if you are taking the train into Barcelona or arriving from the city by train into Terminal 2.
Also buy a T10 pass when you are at the Airport Terminal 2 train station. The T10 is good for 10 Metro rides and costs 9.40 Euro. This one reusable ticket allows you to travel by train from Barcelona Airport to the city center, then transfer to a metro or bus to reach your hotel. I read that you can use your ticket over a 75-minute period and only one ride is deducted, even if using the ticket for multiple entries on the train into the city, the metro and the bus.
Total cost = 0.94 Euro can take you from the airport to your hotel in 90 minutes to 2 hours compared to about 35 to 40 Euros for a taxi ride that might be 20 to 30 minutes.
Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.