Sleepover: Hotel Rivoli Ramblas

A bed for the night in Barcelona
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The Independent Travel

Where is it?

About two thirds of the way up central Barcelona's gaudy thoroughfare, La Rambla.

Describe the setting

This four-star Art Deco hotel was completely refurbished in the early 1990s; the result is retro-gracious, pocket grand and successfully retains its heritage.

Does it have a USP?

The reception area is taken up by the lively Blue Moon piano bar, but it is probably best not to have a room directly above, as the partying can go on until the wee hours.

Comfort factor

The woman at reception did not want to us to get our hopes up about the hotel's fitness centre. "The machines are all old and the Jacuzzi takes four hours to warm up."However, the rooms were smart and stylish, with white, clean, modern lines.

What's in the bathrooms?

The bath was huge. And his being Spain, there are ashtrays everywhere - even by the toilet and sink. There is lots of marble and white tiling, and a vast mirror is brightly lit for the most minute facial examination.

I'm hungry

The Rambla with all its tourist joints is just outside, but if you just do not feel up to braving society, then the hotel's Le Brut restaurant is better than it might have been. The dishes are well executed but dully "international".

What are the people like?

The staff are friendly and unobtrusive, if perhaps in need of tighter management. The guests seemed to be a mix of middle- to up-market tourists and business folk.

Local interest

Shop for clothes, shoes and leather goods, which are about two-thirds the price they are in the UK. Shoe shops dominate the side streets along La Rambla. The Rivoli is centrally placed for most of the major sights - taxis hang about outside the front door most of the time.

Access for all?

No wheelchair access.

What's the damage?

About €180 (£127) a night for a double room.