Hotel Duquesa de Cardona
What We Love
- Sensational views of the Port Vell from the roof terrace and pool
- Lovely service and an unpretentious atmosphere
- Historic property with plenty of original features
What To Know
- A city tax of approximately $2 per person, per night, will be collected by the hotel at checkout.
- The spacious rooms are soundproofed, but not sound-tight
- There’s no formal restaurant, but light meals and snacks are served throughout the day
- Free WiFi
A former palace and noble residence dating from the 16th century, Hotel Duquesa de Cardona is a stately sleep on Passeig Marítim, overlooking Barcelona’s bustling harbor. A drawing of how the street once looked hangs in the lobby, along with a copy of Cervantes’s Don Quixote in which he describes the area. The building was bought by the Duchy of Cardona in the 1930s, and although the Torres family has owned it since 2003, plenty of original features remain, such as the swirling staircases and Modernisme tiles laid like carpets on the floors, and the soaring columns and arches in the ground-floor dining room, which housed a horse and carriage in the 19th century.
Bed and Bath
The most recent renovation, completed in January 2013, spruced up nearly all of the hotel’s 44 guestrooms in muted tones of oatmeal, ecru and beige. It’s not the most exciting decor on earth, but it is calm and unobtrusive, which makes for a supremely comfortable stay. In Barcelona’s old city spacious rooms are something of a rarity, so it’s a plus to come across a place where even the smallest rooms (interior) are well proportioned. Book a room at the front for views of the port or at the back to overlook the Gothic quarter. Damask cushions depicting country scenes in sage and duck egg–blue combine with cozy throws to create a restful vibe, and the bathrooms are spacious too, especially in the Deluxe Rooms, which are painted in a sultry elephant gray and have a tub and walk-in shower. Cable TV, decent toiletries, fluffy bathrobes and a kettle with free tea and coffee, complete the offering.
The jewel in the hotel’s crown is its roof terrace and plunge pool, where guests, and indeed many Barcelona residents, chill beneath a balmy night sky from May to September. The recent addition of heaters and blankets should extend the season well into the winter, when the sunsets are spectacular. The carriage house on the ground floor makes for an impressive start to the day, with a generous breakfast buffet including eggs cooked to order and the more traditionally Catalan pan amb tomaquet (toast rubbed with tomato, olive oil and salt) with cold cuts and cheeses. The rest of the menu is fairly simple — tapas, salads, sandwiches — but it’s tasty enough. The intimate library on the mezzanine is a lovely place for a glass of wine on chilly evenings. There’s no spa, but the hotel can arrange for in-room massages as well as tours of the city’s highlights.
In the Area
The back of the hotel leads onto Carrer de la Merce, Barcelona’s emblematic tapas street. There’s no finer time to be had than bar hopping along it in the early evening, stopping at Bar Celta for Galician octopus and the best patatas bravas in the city, La Plata, one of Ferran Adrià’s favorite bars for little fried fish, and El Corral for chorizo flambéed in Galician orujo (a grappa-like brandy). On the other side you have the Port Vell, home to Maremagnum, a floating mall, and Barceloneta, the fishermen’s district, with its myriad seafood restaurants. Among the best are La Mar Salada for an excellent value lunch menu and Kaiku on the beach for smoked rice paella.
How to Get There
We chose this hotel to stay the night before our cruise, because it is close to the cruise terminal. Unfortunately, due to an incident on the metro from the airport, we arrived at the hotel rather stressed, and were very grateful to David Barros on the reception desk for helping us to resolve the issue, and he ensured that our stay was comfortable and otherwise trouble free. We were very touched when a bottle of sparkling wine appeared in our room, as a gesture of compensation for our unfortunate experience. We had dinner in the restaurant on the terrace, which provided a marvellous view over the promenade port area, and had a restful night in one of the upper rooms overlooking the inner courtyard. Breakfast the following morning was plentiful, and taken in the ground floor in what what once must have been the reception hall of this historic building.
The hotel is perfectly located, the rooms quiet and comfortable and amazing ! ( showers are stunning!) also the breakfast was good with a great choice of cold and hot food. I will be back next time I am on vacation without hesitation!
Awesome hotel in Barcelona in the perfect location. Overlooking the marina and a very short walk from La Rambla without being right on the strip. Close to all the sites whether by metro or walking. We walked everywhere! The staff was wonderful. So accommodating and helpful. The roof top bar and pool area was a great addition. Rooms fully equipped with the best shower!