Several people told me of lovely hotels where they stayed in Barcelona for about 50 Euros per night. Saving money is generally something I like to do, but saving time and having a hotel room with a good quality bed is essential for me. One night on a bad bed and my back can be wrecked for weeks. Upscale hotels are my target lodging due to the consistency of a good hotel bed.
Waking up last Thursday morning in Caldes de Malavella, a small town about 50 miles north of Barcelona, left me with a slight bit of anxiety that I did not have a room booked for my last night in Barcelona before flying back to the states. I booked a 2 nights for the price of 1 night at the Holiday Inn Express City 22 for 66 Euros per night for my stay in Barcelona the week before, but the price for a one night stay would be at least 110 Euros.
Starwood Preferred Guest points came through for me when I discovered I received 7,000 points for my two SPG Amex Star free stays in New York earlier in September for the US Open and NY Fashion Week events.
Four Points Diagonal Barcelona is a SPG category 2 hotel and 4,000 points for a free Thursday night. I booked the room using points, turned off my computer and spent the morning exploring Caldes de Malavella. I didn’t need to spend time researching hotels and trying to find the hotel with the best price, or best location, or free internet included. I had a room waiting for me when I arrived in Barcelona and the rest of my day was open to explore an old town in Catalonia.
Caldes de Malavella 11th century church with bell tower built 1623.
After seeing the Roman ruins and fountains in town there was not a whole lot left to see in Caldes de Malavella besides water bottling plants.
I headed to the train station for the 1:53pm train and arrived in Barcelona Sants train station by 3:10pm. Then I realized that I had not written down the hotel address for the Four Points Diagonal.
Plenty of phone booths, but no telephone books. I could have tried to figure out how to use a Spanish telephone, but I thought it would be easier to ask someone to look up the hotel address on their smartphone.
That turned out not to be so easy.
I rationalized that if the hotel is called Diagonal that it is probably near the Diagonal metro station which was one stop away from Barcelona Sants.
Finally I walked up to the doorman of a 5-star hotel on Passeig de Gracia, the high end shopping district of Barcelona, and asked for help locating the Four Points Diagonal. Five minutes later I was on my way back to the metro when the doorman showed me a map and then I remembered the hotel is in the same general location of the Holiday Inn Express City 22 where I stayed the week before in Barcelona’s Poblenou district.
@22 is the corporate project name for the urban renewal of Barcelona’s former factory and residential district into a high tech business park mixed use development.
International Traveler Tip: Write down the hotel name, address, phone number and basic directions when making a hotel reservation. Do not assume you will have access to the internet or a phone to get that information later. Usually I follow this tip myself, however, days of sleepless nights had me thinking less than clearly.
Four Points Barcelona at corner of Rambla del Poblenou and Avenguda Diagonal.
Four Points Diagonal Barcelona seen from across Avenguda Diagonal. The rooms have floor to ceiling windows and face Avenguda Diagonal.
View from Room 901 Four Points Diagonal Barcelona.
TripAdvisor 2012 Certificate of Excellence is a nice sign to see when checking-in.
The bicycle in the window is a rental. I forgot to ask how much?
Four Points Diagonal Barcelona lobby in early morning. There was free coffee available. The large image on right is an aerial view of Barcelona. The bar and restaurant are behind the wall panel that opens up when these facilities open.
Four Points Diagonal Barcelona El Rincon restaurant.
I love this mural in El Rincon Four Points bar; feels like Parc Guell overlooking the city.
The bar had a 6-7pm Happy Hour for Estrella beer. I also received a chip for 2-for-1 beer at the bar when I checked in and a coupon for 25% off the 12 EUR breakfast. I left to catch the Metro to the airport at 6:40am before the restaurant was open.
The hotel is 12 floors. Room 901 is the lower right corner room on this floor map.
One of my favorite features of this hotel room is a door between the entry hall and bathroom and the bedroom. I was alone, but when I am traveling with my wife I tend to wake up several hours before her. This extra door would allow me to work in the hall and keep the bathroom light on without disturbing her.
Hotel Carlemany, Girona, Spain where I stayed four nights also had this type of bedroom door separating the room from the bathroom and entry hall.
Room 901 bedroom. Column is interesting feature of the room.
Desk and TV in room 901. Wireless internet is complimentary with password.
My only comment about a bidet is this is where I located the washcloth in two of the hotel rooms where I stayed this trip in Spain.
Plenty of bathroom space. This might be the area where much of the corner room space is located.
Four Points Diagonal Barcelona shower.
There was a mini-bar refrigerator with room to stuff the supermarket food I purchased. No electronic sensors.
Doubly refreshing water free and clear.
That was it for the room. One of the bonus features of Room 901 was the hallway window outside my room.
Sagrada Familia, the Gaudi designed cathedral seen from hallway.
Glories shopping center is seen in front of Sagrada Familia. Glories is a major mall with food, typical US-like mall stores and free wireless access.
Glories shopping center five minutes from Four Points Diagonal also has free internet. I went to the mall to buy a Barcelona Football Club jersey for my sister. The price I paid was 4 Euros below the sticker price so I was a happy shopper.
Novotel, an Accor Hotel, in center background is on Avenguda Diagonal.
Glories Barcelona Metro Station is located by the bullet skyscraper and is less less than 10 minutes walk to Four Points Diagonal along Avenguda Diagonal.
The shopping center has a major supermarket. I think there was also another closer supermarket almost across the street from the Four Points hotel.
The other nice thing about the hotel is the 12th floor fitness room.
You can workout with a view.
Or just take in the view.
Rambla del Poblenou pedestrian street leads to the beach. Skyscraper in distance on far right is Hotel Arts, Ritz-Carlton at the beach and near Olympic Village area. Read my post on Tranquilo Life in Poblenou Barcelona to see photos and my description of Rambla del Poblenou and the 15 minute walk to the beach.
Four Points Diagonal Barcelona was available for 99 Euros the night of my stay. I opted to spend 4,000 points rather than USD$135 at the currency exchange rate that day.
p.s. Air conditioner at Four Points Barcelona was the most efficient cooling machine of seven hotels where I stayed in Spain.
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.