Sunday, November 24, 2013

Renaissance Barcelona Fira - vibrant modernity, stark beauty

Renaissance Barcelona Fira
Plaza Europa 50-52, 08902
L’Hospitalet de Llobregat
Barcelona, Spain

By Jane Feehan

We made a reservation to stay in Barcelona for one night to decompress from the hustle bustle of the Celebrity Equinox Mediterranean cruise (see directory/labels for several posts about the cruise). Our hotel choice, the Renaissance Barcelona Fira, proved to be a good one.

This sleek, contemporary hotel, in a new business area of the city that includes a convention center and two-level shopping mall, sits halfway
between the popular Las Ramblas and the airport. A 10 to 15 minute cab ride will get you to either place. We chose Fira because of its proximity to the airport. A train station lies across from the hotel, which provides service to the center of the city.

The austere but modern lobby of Renaissance Barcelona Fira bestowed only a hint of what our room was to be. Located on the 24th floor, our upgraded suite was drenched in white bedspreads, white furniture including end tables that also served as lighting, and white, flowing curtains that separated the room into sections for the bathroom, sleeping and sitting areas. And about that unique oval-shaped window … it was something from the Flintstones cartoon imagery of the future. The attractive light wood floor brought everything back to earth. This was a fun room. 

The hallways were open air, yet covered; doors to rooms were nearly inextinguishable except for their electronic access plates because corridor walls appeared as an uninterrupted span of attractive metal sheeting.

Dining floor center of building
We decided to walk to the mall but were almost seduced by the dramatic rooftop pool deck with its stunning view of Barcelona. The pool is seldom open in November so we headed over to the mall after taking photos. The shopping center is just like home. In other words, don’t wait until coming here to buy a trinket with a Spanish splash or Barcelona memory. It’s very American with stores such as Game Stop, and sports shops with clothing bearing the names of American colleges, cities, and sports teams.

Lunch was served between 1 and 3 p.m. at the hotel; it is often the biggest meal of the day in this country. Don’t expect sandwiches and salad fare. Our four course lunch, including a glass of wine, was a
seafood delight of lobster casserole, and grilled salmon and vegetables. The fig bread was superb.  Dinner was not even a passing thought. We slipped into an early, blissful slumber, well-rested for the morning flight home but not before after sampling a wonderful breakfast buffet of Spanish dishes that included eggs, a variety of dried meats, superb cheeses, and a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

Renaissance Barcelona Fira credited my Marriott account with the proper points within two days after I returned home, quite speedy for a Europe stay. I’d recommend the Fira for business or vacation travel.
(There is no concierge level for breakfast or afternoon snacks but the hotel will give you a pass for a free breakfast in their main dining room.)
Lunch - no sandwiches here

Tags: Marriott hotels in Barcelona, Renaissance Barcelona Fira review, Celebrity cruises, Jane Feehan, Barcelona

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