- Dates of hotel stay: 4 nights – July 31- August 4, 2019
- Where: Barcelona Spain
- Paid stay / points: Paid
I love Barcelona. It is without a doubt one of my favorite European cities. The last time I was in town I remember looking in awe at the sail shaped W Hotel. When the opportunity arose to come back to Barcelona I knew I had to stay at the W.
A stay at the W is not cheap during the summer with rooms priced at over $500 per night. I booked this stay with my Citi Prestige card and took advantage of their 4th night free benefit, which helped ease the sticker shock.
The W is located in the seaside Barceloneta district of Barcelona. I highly recommend that you take a taxi from the airport. It will take you 20-minutes without traffic and cost approximately €40 to reach the hotel by taxi. Add on another 20-minutes and €20 if you arrive during rush hour. The alternative would be to take public transportation, which requires at least 2 changes and will take you well over an hour.
The seaside location of the W is great for beachgoers. However, it’s quite a distance from the city center so be prepared to take a lot of taxis. There’s no Uber in Barcelona, but the hotel has a taxi stand looked after by hotel staff 24/7. To give you a point of reference a taxi to Sagrada Família will take about 20-minutes or 43-minutes if you opt to take public transportation.
Check-in was a breeze. There was a dedicated line for Marriott Bonvoy elite members and with only one person in front of me I only had to wait a few minutes before I was greeted with a smile by the friendly check-in agent. After taking my passport the agent thanked me for being a Bonvoy gold elite member, but that didn’t equate to an upgrade as the hotel was fully booked.
I booked a wonderful sky guest room with ocean view. The room is 430 square feet and features a comfortable king sized bed, electronically operated window shades and plenty of power ports.
Booking a sky room guarantees you a room on floor 15 or above. Not surprisingly rooms on higher floors have the best views. I had a big internal debate about whether to book the Wonderful Room with ocean views or Fabulous Room with city views. The view from the Wonderful Room with ocean views was lovely as you can see below, but in hindsight I think I would have preferred the Fabulous city view room.
Pro tip: Book the Fabulous city view room for a view of the beach, city and ocean.
The one criticism I have of most W Hotels, the W Barcelona included, is their bathrooms are poorly designed. There’s no separation between the bedroom and bathroom. Furthermore, the lighting, while sexy isn’t functional. It’s bright enough to see, but shaving or applying makeup will prove challenging.
The shower on the other hand is amazing. A huge rain shower head is matched with excellent water pressure to create a spa like shower experience. The shower room is big enough to fit several giraffes and there’s even a bench in case you get tired of standing. I didn’t find the textured cotton robe hanging in the shower to be particularly soft so I didn’t end up using it.
The room has plenty of closet space. Each room is outfitted with an iron and ironing board, which I appreciate. I’ve been finding that a lot of luxury hotels have been removing irons and in effect forcing guests to use their overpriced pressing services.
Behind the first closet was a Nespresso machine, glassware, wine, flip flops and a baseball cap. For a brand that is associated with fun and nightlife I was surprised to see only 2 champagne flutes. If I were having a party I would have had to call down and order more champagne flutes. The horror!
The minibar had a limited selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. I did appreciated the local Estrella beer and the cute mini bottle of Moet.
Behind the other closet door were 4 drawers and the safe. It’s worth nothing that I couldn’t get the safe to work for the duration of my stay.
Sun Deck / Wet Deck – a.k.a the Pools
The pièce de résistance, the pools! If you like beautiful views of the beach and beautiful people this is where you’ll want to be during the summer. The W Barcelona has 2 pool areas, the Wet Deck and Sun Deck.
The Wet Deck has seating around a medium sized pool. In the backdrop of the pool is a large bar. Palm trees add to the tropical aesthetic.
The Wet Deck can be setup with a stage, which transforms the area into a full-on electronic dance music party during special events that take place regularly throughout the summer. Oddly enough they didn’t play any music at the pool during my stay. I expected some chill house music. Giraffes love chill house music so I was slightly disappointed.
The mixologists at the Wet Deck know how to make an excellent passion fruit mojito. However, the service was spotty. I had to remind my server several times before my drink was brought out.
One unique feature by the pool was a popsicle cart. They even had alcoholic popsicles with flavors like piña colada and gin & tonic.
Pro Tip: The hotel has 473 rooms and suites so as you can imagine the pool area can get very busy. If you can’t find a seat at the Wet Deck then head over to the Sun Deck for more seating.
While slightly smaller in comparison to the Wet Deck Pool, the Sun Deck pool features an infinity edge. According to the W’s website the Sun Deck Pool is family friendly, but I didn’t see any children in this area during my stay. In fact I thought it was the adult pool, but apparently that doesn’t exist.
With all of the tapas and sangria I’d been having on this trip I had to make several visits to the fitness center, which W Hotels brands “FIT.”
The fitness center is large for a hotel coming in at over 3,300 square feet. Immediately after entering you’ll find a variety of weight machines.
If you’re looking to get buff for the pool or beach then look no further. The W has an olympic bench press setup, smith machine, several adjustable benches and free weights that are heavy enough to satisfy most body builders.
For those looking to do cardio you’ll find treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bikes.
A criticism I have of a lot of hotel gyms is poor views. That’s not a problem at the W. You can run on the treadmill while looking out on to the Mediterranean.
Breakfast is free for Marriott Bonvoy Platinum and above elites. If you don’t have high level elite status it’s a very expensive affair at €32 per person. The spread is good, but I’m not sure it’s worth the cost.
There was a variety of homemade organic jams placed next to a plastic crab. I thought they might have crab legs later in the buffet, but they didn’t so I still can’t figure this out.
The first table was filled with cheeses and smoked salmon. Smoked salmon really isn’t my thing, but it looked fresh.
They had a variety of local honeys and spreads. I normally don’t like sweets, but the organic honey was divine.
The pastry selection was rather limited. I was able to make it past this table without sampling any of the carbs.
Only 3 different cold cereals options were available. I thought the vintage cereal boxes were a nice touch.
To the right of the cereal was an assortment of dried fruits and nuts.
Next there was a table with salads and vegetables.
A Spanish breakfast wouldn’t be complete with lots of cured meats. I sampled some jamón ibérico, which was delicious.
In the center of the breakfast area was a made to order egg station. They were happy to make an egg white omelette.
For those seeking a lighter option than cured meats they had a variety of fresh fruit.
First Class Giraffe Approved
The W Barcelona is an impressive property and I highly recommend it if you’re visiting Barcelona. The views from the rooms are stunning, it’s located right next to the beach and it has a state of the art fitness center. Service is a bit rough around the edges, but in-line with what you see elsewhere in Spain.