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“Great location, but otherwise nothing extraordinary”

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Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa
Ranked #193 of 512 Hotels in Barcelona
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
“Great location, but otherwise nothing extraordinary”
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Staff was mostly friendly/ welcoming. Decor was probably cutting edge when the place first opened over 10 years ago, but now beginning to look a bit dated (the "golden" wallpaper?), even tacky (the picture of the shirtless men on the room safe?), or cheap (banal Ikea-type desks)... But the most surprising -and frustrating- was that the WiFi connection was completely unreliable, and when it did work it was painfully slow. And I happened to be in one of the rooms closest to where the signal was supposed to be coming from! Elevators were also not coordinated and very slow. In 2012, in a major city, and in a somewhat upscale (i.e. not cheap) hotel --come on!! Get your act together, tios.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank QuebecMonde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BORJAJULIA, Director General at Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa, responded to this review, 30 March 2012
Dear Guest,
Thank you for staying with us and thank you for your opinion.
Hope we can see you again with us.
Best regards,
Borja Julia
Axel Hotel Barcelona
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (332)
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London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2012

yeah yeah, so i write a lot of reviews and travel a lot, not easy to impress me, axel was not overimpressive, but there were personal touches in the rooms which i had never seen before in other hotels, small but significant like slippers ( tilled floors are bloody cold) condoms, yes condoms in the bathroom and everything comfortable and tasteful in what is described as a double bed but is actually a king size.
i was living in barcelonan when this hotel opened and there was a little identity crisis in the begining for product placement but i think this hotel is pretty damn cool. Right location, nice rooms, good value for not a tiny price, staff could be a little more elegant but hey....bar at the side of the hotel is a let down, totally unelegant, dark and pink and unnecessary!
Didnt do the gym because i was too busy and a little intimidated by the amount of attention i attracted but hey, if you cant attract attention from guys going into a gym in a gay hotel then taht would make you pretty freaking hideous :-)
I will say one thing more, I am black so when i am showering and look down andd see caucasian hairs in the shower that screams nasty to me. so thats why my cleanliness score is so low.

Room Tip: a city room, its adequate if yoru not into posing and looking at life going by.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank laurentsw1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BORJAJULIA, Director General at Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa, responded to this review, 30 March 2012
Dear Guest,
Thank you for describe us like a cool Hotel.
We hope you had a nice stay and we hope to see you again with us.
Best regards,
Borja Juliá
Axel Hotel Barcelona
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

My partner and I stayed at the Axel for the second time recently taking a number of our friends with us. The last time we stayed was almost 6-years ago and the place has changed quite significantly with a number of the rooms being renovated.

Prior to going I had read in other reviews on this site that standard “city rooms” could be upgraded to premium ones for €40 a night so I emailed the hotel and asked for the upgrade which we were duly received. The room that we were given was one of the latest ones to be updated and was certainly very clean and modern. We particularly liked the shower, one wall of which is glass and open to the room itself (so perhaps only go as a couple, unless you’re “very” good friends).

Our friends were staying in the standard city rooms so we were able to compare them to our own and whilst ours was more modern, particularly in the bathroom, it was not that much bigger than the standard room at all. Knowing that now I perhaps wouldn’t bother with the upgrade, certainly not for €40 a night.

The rest of the hotel is nice and there is a lovely roof terrace, although sadly not open in March. We used the spa, which is an additional €7 per person – this was very nice BUT why charge guests to use the spa? We’ve stayed in plenty of 5* hotels that don’t charge their guests and given what we were paying already this seemed a bit unfair.

Breakfast is buffet style and if you have not added it to your reservation in advance it costs €16 per person.

Finally don’t book direct with the hotel, if you use Trivago or Hotels.com you will get a rate that’s about 30%– 50%.

All in all a pleasant stay but the management need to re-think a few things and smarten some aspects of the hotel up.

Room Tip: Don't waste your money on the premium room upgrade, they are not that much different from the st...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Hamish989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BORJAJULIA, Director General at Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa, responded to this review, 19 April 2012
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your good opinion and thank you for staying with us.
About the Spa is an extra (in almost all 4 stars hotel around the world we are not a 5 stars hotel) but you can use the gym and the pool and the jacuzzi on the terrace for free!
Hope to see you very soon in any Axel Hotels around the world
Best regards
Borja Julia
Axel Hotel Barcelona
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
129 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2012

Myself and my partner are just back from the Axel.

Overall we had a very enjoyable stay and enjoyed the experience of completely relaxing as a gay couple in the hotel -having travelled extensively, the reality of most 'gay friendly' hotels is the sight of two guys being in any way affectionate would raise more than a few eyebrows from other guests and staff. The Axel was a refreshing change. As other guests have commented the vast majority of other guests were also gay but there were some couples and indeed one or two families in the hotel too.

Our room was very good. We had booked a standard room but were offered an upgrade on arrival for a good rate and took up the offer to get a superior room. The room was very nice with a comfortable bed, large powerful shower, and a modern look, as well as a nice small balcony overlooking the street outside. Other guests have described their discomfort with the see-through shower cabinets. It was fine for us as a couple together for a number of years but even took us a day or so to get used to it (especially as our main window opened directly to the street!) and can understand how others would dislike it.

On the downside in the room there is very poor storage provided, a real lack of drawer space, and only four hangers - not wanting to play to the stereotype, but not good for two gay men and their clothes!!! On the same theme not having an iron and ironing board in each room in a 4* hotel is a disappointment

I cant comment on the standard rooms but when selling us the upgrade the check in staff described it as smaller, facing an internal courtyard, and having no natural light!!!! So he sold us the upgrade well :)

The rooftop is beautiful and I think it would be amazing when the weather is a little warmer. I was however surprised at the small size of the pool - it is very small and only a little bigger than a plunge pool.

Very disappointingly for us we checked in on a Saturday and out on a Tuesday but notices were posted on Monday and Tuesday that the pool and Jacuzzi and entire rooftop was closed for technical maintenance - having enjoyed the facilities on Sunday and looking forward to using them again it was very disappointing and not acknowledged in anyway during check in or check out or any other complimentary service or discount. I understand maintenance is required but the point is there was no acknowledgement made

Breakfast was pretty good by continental standards. The staff in general were efficient and helpful in the main if a little curt and unfriendly when dealing with questions and requests. Conveniently it was served until 12 noon on weekends and 11 on weekdays, meaning no annoying early alarms whilst on holiday and perhaps after a night out

Finally regarding the 'seediness' commented on by other guests, we weren't particularly bothered by this. However, it must be noted that the 'D' door hanger inviting 'other guests to knock on your door' is, in my opinion, ill advised - it would never be found in any 'straight' hotel of any standard, never mind 4*. Also ill advised is the 'Axel People' social network to allow you to 'socialise ' with other guests over the internet. Equally the fliers in the room for 'Manhunt.net' just complete the set of somewhat uncomfortable layer of sexual prowling in the hotel.

As for the artwork - what we saw was completely mundane. As one would expect there were some pictures of buff men in skimpy swimwear here and there in the public areas but it is by no means in your face.

Room Tip: Suggest a superior room, high floor, facing street
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank journeyman29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BORJAJULIA, Director General at Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa, responded to this review, 19 March 2012
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your positive opinion and thank you for staying with us.
I´m so sorry if you found our terrace closed for refushment, but we must to did it before high summer season. Hope you can come back and use this area during summer.
Thank you
Borja Julia
Axel Hotel Barcelona
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2012

My partner and I stayed here for a long weekend! This was booked without me realising it was a 'gay' hotel! Nevertheless we had a wonderful stay and were made to feel so welcome! Room service was fantastic and the bar downstairs was great fun! All staff were very helpful and very polite! Wouldn't reccomended if people aren't totally comfortable with such surroundings!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Katie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BORJAJULIA, Director General at Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa, responded to this review, 12 March 2012
Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for your opinion and for staying with us.
You are always very welcome!
Best regards
Borja Julia
Axel Hotel Barcelona
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa

Property: Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa
Address: Aribau 33, 08011 Barcelona, Spain
Phone Number:
Region: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Barcelona > Barcelona > Eixample
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#25 Spa Hotel in Barcelona
#130 Business Hotel in Barcelona
#134 Luxury Hotel in Barcelona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): €€
Hotel Class:4 star — Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Faithful to the concept and style of Axel-design, comfortable, cosmopolitan atmosphere, is a good value for price. The 105 rooms combine the touch of decoration from Modernism with the warmth and elegance of the Mediterranean. New spaces at Axel Hotel Barcelona, will become the urban meeting point of the heterofriendly. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Axel Hotel Barcelona & Urban Spa Catalonia

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