Weekend in Barcelona

By Arlene Lichtenstein
This item appears on page 29 of the February 2013 issue.
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My daughter, Debra, and I spent a lovely weekend in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 19-22, 2012, staying at the 5-star, 18-room, boutique Hotel DO: Plaça Reial (Plaça Reial 1, 08002 Barcelona, Spain; phone +34 934 813 666, fax 933 020 970), located a very short walk from La Rambla. She found it on the Internet, and the cost for three nights was €700 (near $923), including VAT.

Arlene Lichtenstein tempting the Gaudí lizard in Parc Güell — Barcelona.

Although the hotel was beautiful, the room comfortable, the service impeccable, the included breakfast superb and the “pillow menu” interesting (you can choose what type and firmness you like), the location was both the best and the worst. Barcelonans eat late and party long into the wee hours of the morning. The room was noisy Friday and Sunday nights till 5 a.m. Luckily, it rained Saturday night, so silence reigned.

We ate at a wonderful tapas restaurant, Bar Cañete (Carrer de la Unió 17, 08001 Barcelona; phone 932 703 458), a short walk off La Rambla. Not touristy, it had the best sangria and delicious tapas.

We shared four tapas, including a tomato-and-cheese salad, sautéed mushrooms, shrimp and steak (all yummy), and two large sangrias for a total of €70 ($92) — worth the cost for a memorable meal. We planned to return Sunday evening, but they were closed.

Among interesting suggestions for a 2-day stay in Barcelona, Parc Güell is a must; this beautiful park is filled with “Gaudí eye candy.” We also viewed the Hospital de Sant Pau and, following an ITN reader’s suggestion (June ’12, pg. 26), the Palau de la Música Catalana. Both are extraordinarily beautiful buildings. I didn’t find them in guidebooks.

ARLENE LICHTENSTEIN
Commack, NY

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My daughter, Debra, and I spent a lovely weekend in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 19-22, 2012, staying at the 5-star, 18-room, boutique Hotel DO: Plaça Reial (Plaça Reial 1, 08002 Barcelona, Spain; phone +34 934 813 666, fax 933 020 970), located a very short walk from La Rambla. She found it on the Internet, and the cost for three nights was €700 (near $923), including VAT.

Arlene Lichtenstein tempting the Gaudí lizard in Parc Güell — Barcelona.

Although the hotel was beautiful, the room comfortable, the service impeccable, the included breakfast superb and the “pillow menu” interesting (you can choose what type and firmness you like), the location was both the best and the worst. Barcelonans eat late and party long into the wee hours of the morning. The room was noisy Friday and Sunday nights till 5 a.m. Luckily, it rained Saturday night, so silence reigned.

We ate at a wonderful tapas restaurant, Bar Cañete (Carrer de la Unió 17, 08001 Barcelona; phone 932 703 458), a short walk off La Rambla. Not touristy, it had the best sangria and delicious tapas.

We shared four tapas, including a tomato-and-cheese salad, sautéed mushrooms, shrimp and steak (all yummy), and two large sangrias for a total of €70 ($92) — worth the cost for a memorable meal. We planned to return Sunday evening, but they were closed.

Among interesting suggestions for a 2-day stay in Barcelona, Parc Güell is a must; this beautiful park is filled with “Gaudí eye candy.” We also viewed the Hospital de Sant Pau and, following an ITN reader’s suggestion (June ’12, pg. 26), the Palau de la Música Catalana. Both are extraordinarily beautiful buildings. I didn’t find them in guidebooks.

ARLENE LICHTENSTEIN
Commack, NY