Friday, November 15, 2013

Hilton Hopping In Barcelona

Today we move from the Hilton Barcelona Hotel to the Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona Hotel. Amusingly, the Hilton Barcelona is located on Avenida Diagonal, while the Hilton Diagonal is located on Passeig Del Taulat, no doubt leading to confusion between tourist and even honest cab drivers (assuming there are any).

By making this move we will requalify on "stays" to renew Hilton Diamond membership for 2014, a useful feature to have, especially when traveling abroad.

Each hotel has its pluses and minuses (and they're mostly pluses). They are both modern facilities with friendly employees and pleasant lounges.

The Hilton Barcelona is a little closer to the Metro, the closest stop being Maria Cristina about two blocks up on Diagonal. Its lounge offerings are significantly superior to those of the other property, including a pleasant variety of hot and cold tapas, and hard liquor, for those who wish it, along with the usual beer and wine during the 6:00-8:30 p.m. Happy Hour. We were also offered the alternatives of eating the buffet breakfast in the lounge or in the ground-floor restaurant. Our room is smallish but pleasant. It appears to be a handicapped-accessible room (judging by the position of light switches). Perhaps that is why there is no bathtub. Unlike the other property, our room also includes a Keurig-style coffee machine with three pods for each of us, a great way to start the day.

The Hilton Diagonal Mar offered us on our previous stay a beautiful corner mini-suite with window views that included expansive ocean vistas. The bathroom included a separate shower and a large soaker-style tub. We put in a friendly request for a similar room on our return and we'll see what we get today. The hotel is in a quieter area but right across the street from a large shopping mall. In the mall is a large supermarket with an excellent selection of wine, including specials. We paid between four and eleven Euros for the wine we took on our first cruise, making them a relative bargain over shipboard prices, even with a $25 corkage fee. We'll be buying wine for our cruise there again either today or Monday (most stores are closed Sunday, making this location very convenient as an embarkation point.

Both hotels are just fine, and we'd happily return to either.

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