AOL Travel reviews the AC Hotel Barcelona Forum, a luxury boutique hotel with affordable rooms and spa treatments
Written by: Dave Leonard
AC Hotel Barcelona Forum
Date published: 06/22/2012
5 / 5 stars
AC Hotel Barcelona
What's to love?
This uber-chic hotel is an effortlessly cool and relaxed retreat away from the bustling centre of Barcelona. And it's just a stone's throw from the beach - in Barcelona's District 22 - so the hotel offers unrivaled views of the beautiful coastline and Barcelona's epic cityscape.
The hotel is closely located to the Forum building and the International Convention Centre. Don't let this put you off. Transport wise, Barcelona's Metro system is an easy 5 minute walk or if you'd like to see a little more of the city, hop on a tram – which takes you through the Diagonal District.
AC Hotel Barcelona
On arrival we found the staff extremely welcoming and friendly - they were keen to offer recommendations on the local and surrounding areas as well as practical advice on getting around the city.
Our trip kicked off on a Thursday and we noticed a lot of business guests attending conferences etc. This does have its advantages ...the hotel's beautiful pool area and spa was almost empty for the majority of the weekend.
The hotel is also conveniently located to the Diagonal Mar shopping centre, perfect for stocking up for beach picnics or treating yourself to some holiday purchases.
This place is perfect if you...
...want a luxury boutique feel at a good price. As the hotel caters heavily for the business market, there are some extremely good deals on weekend rates. Make sure you check out their website for information on all the latest deals. The luxurious pool area is also a great way to wind down and relax, allowing you to combine your city break with some much deserved sunbathing. If you feel like treating yourself you can also indulge in reasonably priced massages, facials or even take a dip in the Turkish Baths.
AC Hotel Barcelona
Best rooms in the house
We stayed in a King Suite on the 22nd Floor. It was amazing. You could sit back and watch the sun set over Barcelona whilst tucking into the free, yes FREE, minibar.
Room with a view - AOL Travel
The suites are ideal for a romantic getaway with huge sunken spa baths and extremely comfortable king size beds that come with huge goose feather pillows – bliss!
Where to eat/drink
Avoid Las Ramblas at all costs. It's overpriced, overcrowded and caters quite heavily for the 'Brits abroad' crowd. If you are after something a little more chilled, check out the Raval Plaza. Lunch for two (Tapas) will set you back around €40 including wine. Most of the restaurants offer typical Catalan dishes such as Bacallà a la llauna (Salted cod baked in tomato, garlic, parsley, paprika and wine).
If you like your views, head down to Las Arenas in Plaça d'Espanya. This extraordinary converted Bullring offers a unique shopping experience and has one of Barcelona's largest roof terraces with stunning panoramic views of the entire city. Kick back with a G&T and enjoy the sunset in one of the many stunning rooftop bars.
Things to do, places to see...
If you visit in the summer, La Barceloneta is a short and relaxed walk away from the hotel. Perfect for people-watching, it's probably one of the most popular city beaches in Barcelona, so head early to grab a good spot! From here, you can also jump on a cable car to Montjuic.
Parc Güell - AOL Travel
Here you can find the botanical gardens, the Joan Miró modern art museum, the amazing Olympic park and the diving pool (setting for Kylie Minogue's "Slow" music video).
A great way to get around the city is by bike. There are a number of bicycle tours in and around the city. Ask at the hotel reception for details. Also, if you like festivals, check out Primavera Sound. The festival site is extremely close to the hotel and plays host to a variety of local and international acts.