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 celebrate our anniversary. The location is great near the port, beach, gothic and Rambla areas: all walking distance. The room , and free wifi handphone and breakfast was delicious. The lounge was great place to end the day with glass of wine. The staff was helpful and took the time to explain us. We had great time in the city and LOVED the hotel !!!
Nice hotel near the harbor and 700m from the Rambla. Easy to reach by cab.
Welcome and friendly staff. The have a very nice rooftop terrace. Recommended!
Customer oriented policy, we were treated with fruits, water and a bottle of cava!
A great 4 day 50th birthday stay. So relaxing to check-in to this hotel on a Thursday early evening, where they had beautifully relaxing piano music coming in the the sherry bar. There was also fresh mint water at the check in. Plus there is quite a nice powdery smell throughout the hotel. The check-in staff was lovely and brought our bags up to our 5th floor harbor view room. Floor to ceiling windows were wonderful to enjoy the view and even let some fresh sea breeze in.
There was a bottle of cavo for our arrival and a Happy birthday message written on the bathroom mirror which was a nice surprise for my husband. The staff was just wonderful, professional and warm-- with a special thank you to Marta at reception and to the young Brazilian woman who works in the sherry bar. The entire staff was always ready to help with any info needed or making dinner reservations etc. Wonderful job to all on taking care of the little details. Bravi!
Only small suggestion: I feel it would be much more appropriate for this kind/level of hotel to leave a short hand-written Happy Birthday note in the room instead of writing a big, white Happy birthday on the bathroom mirror. Would surely be much classier. Ackknowledging my husband's special day was really wonderful,,, thank you. But don't do it on the bathroom mirror! (it's not a teenager, highschool setting).
Another note: Although I am giving the hotel 5 stars for cleanliness there is room for improvement at least where bathroom is concerned. I mentioned 2 times that it hadn't been cleaned..hairs everywhere. After the second time it got cleaned better, even though not perfect. I think it took 2 reminders only because the young man didn't ask for my room number when I told him about about the bathroom. He just apologized and said he would take care of it. I also think the cleaning service should remove any empty bar glasses. We took a couple glasses of wine back to our room 1 night and the glasses stayed there until we left. Not a big deal.
Aside from these 2 suggestions, everything was PERFECT. Thank you!
NOTE to travellers,,, RENT A BIKE! It was the perfect way to see the city and cheap! (€8-10/day) Rental locations on street behind hotel and at Barcellonetta Metro down the street.
Everything about this hotel is perfect! All the people working there are so nice, friendly and really do their best to make your stay perfekt. The rooms are both beautiful and practical. Our bathroom had both bathtub AND a separate shower! Wow!
The rooftop bar has a perfect view over he harbour and the sea. And it's wounderful to take a dip in the pool up there.
The breakfast is so good. The kitchen serve fantasic modern food. Creative and tasty!
And on top of it all it is situated in the best place in Barcelona, close to everything - the beach, the shopping, the lovely old town.
Everyone visiting this hotell fall in love with it!
I travel quite frequently both for work and for leisure, and I never experienced such a nice hotel stay as this one. Everything about it was fantastic: The hotel location is convenient, the room was spacious and with a pretty view of the harbour, breakfast was great (even the coffee!), the restaurant was very chic. And then, the staff: That’s what made THE difference! Professional and friendly, they made our time there unforgettable - specially for my 7 year old daughter, who had a tooth falling off during our trip and found that the Spanish tooth-fairy (el ratoncito Pérez) left her a present under her pillow!!!!