InterContinental Hotel Group offers a 2 nights for the Price of 1 at select hotels in Europe. Most of the chain hotels in Barcelona were at least 100 EUR per night or about USD $130 to $140 with the exchange rate in September 2012 for the dates I needed hotels.
Holiday Inn Express City 22 in Barcelona was available with the 2-for-1 hotel rate at 66 EUR per night for a 2-night stay midweek with Tuesday check-in and Thursday checkout (about USD$88 per night).
A sample rate check for tonight with Tuesday check-in and Thrusday checkout October 9-11 shows a 2-for-1 rate of 56 EUR per night or USD $72.05.
Barcelona Holiday Inn Express–City 22 IHG 2-for-1 Rate October 9-11, 2012 = 56 EUR or USD $72.05.
HIX-City 22 is located in the Poblenou district of Barcelona which is one of the biggest urban redevelopment projects in Europe. Entire blocks of former factories, warehouses and residential buildings were demolished to build an urban tech center near city center Barcelona.
I had not ready anything about the hotel area prior to my arrival. After taking the train from Barcelona Airport to Barcelona Sants train station and switching to Sants Estacio Metro and making one subway train change enroute, I arrived at Llacuna Metro Station some 90 minutes later. Total fare from BCN to Llacuna Station was 0.94 EUR with a T10 ticket purchased at the airport train station and valid for 10 rides with transfers.
I came up from Barcelona’s underground modern and sleek subway system out of the Llacuna Metro to see this sight.
Construction zone outside Llacuna Metro Station Barcelona.
I looked around and my initial thought, “I am in the slums of Barcelona.”
There was a narrow path to walk between a fence and broken sidewalk.
Walking to the next block did not relieve my anxiety.
Turns out the hotel is one block from here. In all my walking around 20 miles or so of Barcelona, the two block walk from Llacuna Metro Station to the Holiday Inn Express-City 22 was the most rundown part of of the city I saw.
Don’t be frightened away from staying at the Holiday Inn Express-City 22. These areas are under construction and buildings will be demolished with plans for new building replacements like the one below.
Poblenou is being transformed into an urban tech center of Barcelona as the 19th century factories and housing are replaced with new construction.
Empty lot directly across the street from HIX-City 22 Barcelona.
Walk past the HIX hotel to Rambla del Poblenou and the neighborhood looks relatively affluent and safe with pedestrian walkways in the street and numerous sidewalk cafes, restaurants, markets and boutique shops.
Rambla del Poblenou is a pedestrian street in the center with shops and cafes.
Holiday Inn Express – City 22
The hotel reception desk is up one floor from the entrance. This hotel always seemed to have guests at the desk during my two night stay. It looked like a bus tour group checked in on my second day. UK, Americans and Germans seemed to be the predominant guest nationalities based on language and accents at breakfast.
Holiday Inn Express City 22 is a 3-star hotel in Barcelona.
Apparently the graffiti is a popular quote in Barcelona.
The hotel interior gave me a feeling of relief after thinking I was lost in the Bronx of Barcelona.
Front entrance to HIX-City 22. Reception is up one flight of stairs or elevator.
Reception desk to right. Internet terminals required payment, but free wireless included in my room rate.
The hotel had a small bar near the reception desk.
Seating near the bar and around the corner were the breakfast tables and buffet set-up in morning.
Breakfast always seemed crowded and a bit chaotic with all the food in a narrow lane on the left. Large metal racks for depositing used trays and dishes also shared the lane between the columns. Basic food stuffs of fruit cocktail, bananas, oranges and apples, cereal, cheeses, meats and pastries.
Outdoor deck adjacent to lobby.
Lobby art and couches.
The ice machine was one of the finer features of the hotel. Beer is cheap in Spain, but rarely available chilled when store bought.
My room was located on the top level 6th floor.
Basic room design.
A glass window in the bathroom.
The couch by the window.
Closet, coffee maker and hairdryer.
Shower and toilet space.
My only complaint with the room is an inability to get the AC to cool the room.
The temperature hit 80 degrees which is a heatwave for this Monterey guy. Keeping the window open did not help with the humid nights.
Window view of Torre Agbar 38-story skyscraper about five city blocks away gave me a locational beacon to find my way back to the HIX-City 22 from around Barcelona.
Torre Agbar is located next to Glories Metro Station which is an alternative to Llacuna Station.
Thoughts on Holiday Inn Express City 22 Barcelona.
The following week I stayed at Four Points Diagonal just three blocks from HIX-City 22. I preferred the Four Points hotel for location and style and a great working AC. Four Points does not offer free breakfast though, unless you are SPG Platinum and the buffet was 12 EUR or 9 EUR for my stay with a special 25% coupon discount.
Novotel, an Accor Hotel also has a property in the area adjacent to Torre Agbar building.
A rate comparison illustrates how good the IHG 2-for-1 deal is for savings on a chain hotel stay October 9-11 in the Poblenou area of Barcelona:
HIX City 22 = 112.00 EUR total for 2 nights with internet and breakfast included.
Four Points Diagonal Barcelona = 242.42 EUR for 2 nights or 262.80 for free internet and breakfast. 2x more than HIX-City 22.
Novotel Barcelona City = 367.52 EUR for 2 nights with free WiFi. 3x more than HIX-City 22.
Related Posts from my 5 days in Barcelona:
Oh my Gaudi, I’m in Barcelona (Sep 18, 2012)
Street Life in Barcelona and La Mercè Festival (Sep 19, 2012)
W Barcelona Extreme Wow Suite (Sep 19, 2012)
Tranquilo Life in Poblenou, Barcelona (Sep 27, 2012)
Best Western Alfa Aeropuerto Barcelona (Sep 30, 2012)
Park Güell: Gaudi’s Vision in the Hills of Barcelona (Oct 1, 2012)
Four Points Diagonal Barcelona on the Poblenou (Oct 3, 2012)
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.