Hotel Olivia Balmes is, without a doubt, one of my favorite hotels in Barcelona. In fact, I have my little secret list of hotels I have tried and loved in Barcelona and the Olivia Balmes is certainly one of my top choices.
I have stayed in countless Barcelona hotels, hostels, pensiones and apartments over the years.
Although I am from the area of Barcelona, I do not have a relative or a house in central Barcelona so that means I had to always look for accommodation to rent which, in a way, has turned to be a positive point rather than a disadvantage… I have had the opportunity to try so many different places over time.
I can now say that I have stayed in all type of accommodations: from central hosteles and pensiones back when I was doing a Phd at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, to luxury hotels when travelling for business or personal matters! I have always been pretty satisfied with my hotel choices as I was playing with an advantage, I knew which areas to choose beforehand!
Barcelona is a beautiful city with so much to offer! I honestly believe that no matter what type of traveler you are, Barcelona is so versatile that anyone can find it the perfect travel destination.
I always chose the neighborhood where to stay accordingly to the purpose of my trip and the time of the year I am planning to travel.
I discovered the Hotel Olivia Balmes on a romantic trip when searching for a luxurious 2 night stay in my favorite area, however this 4 star hotel is perfect for business stays as well. The Olivia Balmes is located on the Eixample Esquerre of Barcelona, the perfect area if you are looking for a quieter yet very central area.
On a personal note, this is my favourite neighborhood in Barcelona and I always try to stay in this area when visiting Barcelona for a business or leisure short trip.
The Eixample Esquerre is strategically located right by Passeig de Gracia but has a small town feel with its very own Rambla (Rambla de Catalunya), smaller boutiques, countless typical restaurants and outstanding architecture. This area is not so frequented by mass tourists or stag party groups, one of the main problems of the Barceloneta and Las Ramblas hotels. So, all in all, I think the Hotel Olivia Balmes and the area of the Eixample Esquerre is ideal for business and couple travelers, simply because it is an elegant and quiet neighborhood right by the most prestigious and beautiful Barcelona’s avenue: Passeig de Gracia.
The Hotel Olivia Balmes is located in one of the most desired streets of Barcelona (no, I am not talking about the main Ramblas at all): this hotel is on Balmes street, 117. Around the hotel, you can find typical restaurants, boutiques, supermarkets, bakeries, the Rambla de Catalunya next door and loads of outstanding Modernist architecture to look at.
The hotel has a modern and minimalist look from the outside. The main hall and reception area are modern and, as you enter the hotel you feel well looked after and, in fact… you plunge into a very sophisticated universe. You can clearly see that this hotel is used to welcoming international business travelers: all the staff speaks perfect English; they are fast, efficient and very polite. You will find international plugs and desks to work on and, of course, various business and meeting rooms on the ground and first floor. Besides, you can ask reception (almost) anything you need from a restaurant recommendation to a private airport transfer and anything your business trip or romantic getaway requires…. they are really helpful!
What I love the most about this hotel is the general ambiance: elegant, clean, efficient and extremely comfortable.
Despite being a 4 star hotel, the Olivia Balmes hotel feels much more luxurious than a lot of the European 5 star hotels I have stayed in.
The rooms are very well equipped. I stayed in a double room and it was large and cleverly disposed. I was very worried about the noise as my room was facing the main street but the double glassed windows actually do the job, not like in most city hotels! So this hotel is kind of noise-free, a rarity for a big city! The room was large, not huge but of a good size. Everything at the Olivia Balmes is based around comfort: high end mattress and pillows, perfectly working air-con/heating, numerous lights that you can graduate, huge glass panels instead of windows and very, very modern bathroom amenities. Some people can find awkward the fact that the entrance of your room is a bathroom that opens directly into your room but I think this is a very clever way of maximizing space (don’t worry you still have your very private toilets). So, a long story short, even if you go for the cheaper room you will still have a good night sleep.
The Olivia Balmes hotel in Barcelona, also features a very good restaurant that offers traditional Catalan cuisine with a modern (and chic) twist. At lunch time, you can have a full Menu del Dia for 17€ only.
I also love the rooftop area where you can have drinks during the day (unfortunately they close by night) as well as the pool on the roof. Ok, it is not an actually swimming pool, however the pool at Olivia Balmes is one of the largest I have seen on a Barcelona’s hotel rooftop. If you are travelling during the hot season, it is great to know you can go upstairs to cool down, get some tan and enjoy a beautiful glass of bubbly by the infinity pool overlooking Barcelona (you can see Montjuic from the pool area).
So, every time I go to Barcelona for a business or for a romantic short trip I make sure I check availability at the Olivia Balmes hotel. This hotel has it all for a short and comfortable stay in central Barcelona and it’s extremely easy to reach from the airport (a direct train from the airport to Passeig de Gracia and then a10 minutes’ walk on the stunning Passeig de Gracia and Eixample Esquerre).
I hope you enjoy this hotel as much as I do. Please, leave your comments below and, if you want, I would love you to share your travel pics on my Facebook page.