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Old Apr 5, 08, 10:34 am   #1
 
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Arrow Le Meridien Ra Beach Hotel & Spa, El Vendrell, near Barcelona, Spain [Master Thread]

Anyone have any experience here? I could only find one reference to it another thread (which was quite positive). Thinking of adding on a day or two here after a stay at the LM Barcelona.
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Old Apr 5, 08, 2:35 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by mtimmer View Post
Anyone have any experience here? I could only find one reference to it another thread (which was quite positive). Thinking of adding on a day or two here after a stay at the LM Barcelona.
I may have been the person who put in the positive reference in the other thread, but I'll do it again here.

We spent a couple of days there on our trip just before a couple of days in Barcelona and loved it. Beautiful location, excellent restaurants, very nice spa (though I'm not a spa extert, we enjoyed it).

It's only about a 90-minute drive south of Barcelona in the wine country, but it is a little hard to find. I'd make sure that you talk to the hotel directly and get good written directions from them based on where you're coming from.
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Old Apr 5, 08, 8:32 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by AlxStevens View Post
I may have been the person who put in the positive reference in the other thread, but I'll do it again here.

We spent a couple of days there on our trip just before a couple of days in Barcelona and loved it. Beautiful location, excellent restaurants, very nice spa (though I'm not a spa extert, we enjoyed it).

It's only about a 90-minute drive south of Barcelona in the wine country, but it is a little hard to find. I'd make sure that you talk to the hotel directly and get good written directions from them based on where you're coming from.
Yes, indeed it was your positive post that first made me think about tagging this onto our Barcelona trip. What was the weather like when you were there? Sounded like it was a recent stay...we'll be there in late April, which I'm worried is a little early from a beach point of view.

And do you know how far it is from the Barcelona airport? I think we'll have an early departure when we leave...
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Old Apr 5, 08, 9:46 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by mtimmer View Post
Yes, indeed it was your positive post that first made me think about tagging this onto our Barcelona trip. What was the weather like when you were there? Sounded like it was a recent stay...we'll be there in late April, which I'm worried is a little early from a beach point of view.

And do you know how far it is from the Barcelona airport? I think we'll have an early departure when we leave...
We were there in late May, and the weather was great. We weren't out on the beach, but could have been. I was just looking at some of our pictures of winery tours we took while there and I was in shorts and a polo shirt and very comfortable.

It's about 90 minutes south of the airport, maybe less if you're a more confident stick driver than I was in our rental car. However, I don't think we hit any traffic on our way out of town and I don't know if there would be any on your schedule.

Last edited by AlxStevens; Apr 5, 08 at 9:47 pm. Reason: Spelling correction
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Old May 5, 08, 11:11 pm   #5
 
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Following up on our one day stay here in late April...

An easy drive south from Barcelona...about 90 mins to get there, while about 60 mins in rush hour traffic to get to the Barcelona airport, which is south of the city anyway.

A bit eerie to drive up to. Driving through town (such that it is), was like entering a ghost town.

Really nice and welcoming on the inside. Surprisingly so given the surroundings. Treated to champagne on check-in and plat upgraded to an extremely spacious sea-view room. Modern, yet tasteful decor, large lobby, bar/restuarant overlooking the beach.

Considering the April weather was perfect, the beach was deserted. In fact, the hotel seemed relatively empty. This could be considered peaceful (which it was), or eerie (which it also was). That said, the property has a large spa and when I tried to get a massage appt that afternoon, they were fully booked, so go figure.

Nice and unusual pool area that is connected to the spa, which has salt water from the Mediterranean. Sort of a cross between a pool and a Turkish bath.

Surprisingly fantastic dinner at the hotel restaurant. There were only three tables booked at dinner, so it once again was empty, but had a delightful Med-style meal.

Overall, this is the only time I've ever felt mildly unsettled at being at such a deserted property. But, the location, service and food all were strikingly good. I'd stay again, but maybe bring along 140 of my closest friends to fill the place up a bit...
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Old Aug 19, 08, 3:21 am   #6
 
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Wonderful property...and excellent service

I've been there twice. First time a weekend in last October. I liked very much the property, and the spa was superb, with plenty of different treatments to choose from. So I decided to come back in the summer and..... I has a wonderful stay in mid-July. Excellent beach, not crowded at all...no big problems to get a shadow. Very good service from the beach boys.
Both times I was upgraded to a beautiful suite with sea-front view. They'll give you a good upgrade (if available) without having to ask for it. Steve is a great front desk manager (I knew him form the Westin Palace in Madrid) and he knows how important is satisfying a customer.
The spa is just one of the best I know. Plenty of availability for treatrments even with short notice...but better if you call them and reserve in advance. Ask for Erika and she'll give you very good advice (she certainly did with me). They recently (after my stay) added a whole bunch of ayurvedic treatments, hiring a doctor and 4 new therapists from India.
I received top notch treatment from everyone during my 1-week stay, and they were quiet helpful when I had some trouble with my car.
Weather in late April is unpredictable, so maybe it will be fine fro the beach, or maybe not...but anyway you can be sure you'll have a great stay there.
Closer than Barcelona from the hoptel you have the nice town of Tarragona. It was founded by the romans more than 2000 years ago, and has beautiful roman ruins and a very interesting archeological museum (mainly with roman pieces, obviously).
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Old Oct 21, 09, 12:46 pm   #7
 
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Good short stay

I stayed (with SO) for two nights in early Oct (points) and overall was happy and would return. It was an easy drive from BCN, although seems a bit out of the way if you're looking for night-life and so forth (we weren't). Quite well situated for touring Penedes wineries. We were u/g to a gorgeous beachfront lofted suite with a terrace, without asking. My only complaint with the room was there were no coffee/tea making facilities...which is pretty minor. I didn't go to the spa, but the gym is great - well equipped and spacious. (Practiced my awful Spanish by watching Sesame Street one morning on the elliptical....) Staff are pleasant - not the warmest ever, but certainly willing to help out with directions, questions, etc, when asked. No free internet in the rooms, but there are three computers near the concierge desk that we used for 10-15 min at a time, and saw others doing so. They charge for parking, but it's easy to find street parking right outside their wall, and it didn't appear to have any restrictions.
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Old Oct 21, 09, 1:51 pm   #8
 
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I used my two free nights there, since I was going to Barcelona for a conference. We really enjoyed our stay. We were given a corner room, which was very large; the hotel was filled up with a Ferrari club, so no suite upgrade. Still, our room was lovely and large. The only negative about the room was that the side windows looked out onto the weird water "pool" that is meant for decoration, and actually it was a bit funky looking and some blinds across the "pond" were broken which made it look like we were looking out onto a warehouse with a flood in front of it. However, the view from the window looking out onto the beach couldn't have been more lovely.

I took many photos of El Vendrell, the beach town where the Ra is. It's very laid back with several nice restaurants. Here are my photos on Flickr.http://www.flickr.com/photos/truejav...7622405279389/

I heartily recommend seeing the bartender Gonzalo. He is great to talk to, and makes extremely good drinks. He is truly an artist!

We did have free internet in our room; not wi-fi, but LAN.
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Old Apr 14, 10, 4:58 am   #9
 
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I had a 3 night c+p stay here last week.

Online, we noticed that our room type had been upgraded to a duplex suite, and, on checking in at 10pm, we really had been upgraded to one of their duplex suites. It's really a junior suite with the bathroom (sink & bath in the first part of the bathroom, toilet & bidet with shower room in the next part), storage and living area on the ground floor, the sleeping area and a toilet in the upstairs area. There was a reasonable sized balcony with table and seats on the ground floor.

It was a great upgrade.

Valet parking was 19 per day....we used it; although there is free parking outside the hotel gates, we were advised not to use it as many cars are broken in to, and others are vandalised.

From the moment we checked in, the staff were wonderful. We did not have one single poor experience with a member of staff; all were excellent; I didn't expect this due to the poor reviews I have read of the hotel. The only thing, I suppose, is that a large number of staff have limited English skills, so, communication can be difficult if you have little spoken Spanish, but it really is not a problem.

The duplex suite was fine; quite contemporary, but when you opened the cupboards, for instance, it felt a little cheaply assembled. Also, there was a rough bit on handrail of the glass stairwell which I cut my hand on. The stairs were also covered in some cheap laminate. I also found a cigarette butt on the balcony edge.

This hotel is a little strange to classify. It's not really a resort hotel even though it is on the beach and has a spa, but it definitely isn't a city hotel. The surrounding area of the hotel is awful, but in it's little compound with it's clean, deserted (when we were there) beach at the back, it feels like a world away from it's local area. It does have a lovely position.

Anyone who knows European four star hotels would know that this hotel is definitely not a four star hotel in European standards....it can only be classified as a five star hotel; however, it is nowhere near the Asian five star hotels most of us are used to.....or the gorgeous five star resorts we have in Greece or other parts of Europe.

Really, France, Italy, the UK and particularly Spain are too loose with their classification of four star hotels and this allows places such as this (which would be a four star in India) to be categorised as 5 star alongside great European resorts.

Don't get me wrong...... we really enjoyed our stay here and we really liked the hotel; the staff were absolutely amazing, brilliant, but you cannot judge it to be a five star hotel of great calibre.....and that may mislead or disappoint some who will stay here.

For us, we loved the architecture and huge safe areas for the kids to play in. We found the food a little bland, and the hotel is in the middle of nowhere. You need a car to travel to anywhere. It was also a shock to be charged 3 for a bucket of ice to be brought to us. I had gone to the bar only to be told it would be delivered to the room.......and that was why a delivery charge was made.

For us, we had a great stay, and we will be back.
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Old May 8, 10, 3:29 pm   #10
 
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couple of infos

hi,

if you arrive at BCN.

get a rental car, and than take C31 towards taragona. C31 will later merge into C32.
exit c32 at Number 6 , san salvador.
(there are two toll stations, you have to pay 5 euro + 3euro )

you can park the car outside the hotel. dont bother to pay the 13euro. there is enough parking space.

checkin is smooth, platinum will get upgraded to a duplex suite.

the view from the seaview duplex suite is very very nice. the beach is great.

hotel has a very nice indoor seawater pool , and a small outdoor pool.

there is a shopping area with a big supermarket 5mins by car. just ask the concierge how to go there. (there is a mac donalds near by, and a gas station)
at the supermarket, try to get your hands on the iberico jamon, 1kg= 87euro, but this one is the best.

there are plenty restaurants near the hotel, a lot tourist traps i guess, but the crepes place, 200m from the hotel on the beach side, is the bomb. try the honey banana waffl, or the apple caramal crepes

i think this hotel is too expansive, the CAT should be CAT3 with 7000 points a night, the hotel is very nice, but compared to asian properties, this would be a cat2-cat3 . (teverything feels a little bit cheap here. material, interioer etc.)
and given the fact, that a platinum doesnt get any benefits here, (internet is free for all) its too expensive.

but, its great, you fly 2hours and you feel like in thailand the beach is amazing, people are great. and its very clean here.

so i can overall recommend this property

dp
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Old Oct 3, 10, 10:42 am   #11
 
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Anyone have any comments on travelling here without a car?
From the RENFE website it is a 1hr trip from Barcelona with trains every half hour till about 11pm.
I can't really tell from the hotel map but is Calafell the nearest station and how far is it from the station to the hotel.
I'll be in Barcelona late Oct spending the weekend (FWNs) at The W but the Mon/Tues/Wed nights only have suites available at both Barcelona properties starting at Euro 500/night whereas this property is available on the Z3R rate for Euro 103/night including breakfast
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Old Oct 29, 10, 2:21 am   #12
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Just completed a nice stay. Booked one paid room and one C&P. Both upgraded to adjoining duplex ocean suites.

The only weird thing was that at check in they said breakfast was free for everyone, then that evening they said, "no, only one of the rooms has free breakfast".

We were very lucky with the weather. Not a cloud in the sky and the sea is still warm enough to swim in.
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Old Feb 6, 11, 6:13 pm   #13
 
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Can anyone comment how easy it is to get to Sitges from here? We will be staying at the W Barcelona and this appears to be a good hotel for a beach stay for 2 days.

There are no *wood or Hyatt properties in Sitges and I found this boutique hotel http://www.hotelalenti.com/ however I'm wary small hotels because if something goes wrong, generally, there's no coporate care to intervene!

I will probably hire a BMW from Avis or Hertz with in-built GPS.
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Old Feb 7, 11, 8:14 am   #14
 
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Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
Can anyone comment how easy it is to get to Sitges from here? We will be staying at the W Barcelona and this appears to be a good hotel for a beach stay for 2 days.

There are no *wood or Hyatt properties in Sitges and I found this boutique hotel http://www.hotelalenti.com/ however I'm wary small hotels because if something goes wrong, generally, there's no coporate care to intervene!

I will probably hire a BMW from Avis or Hertz with in-built GPS.
The Meridien Ra is very nice, you will like it!

Distance from Sitges is about 20 min. by car - all freeway. I made very good experiences with Sixt Car Rental in Barcelona, they have a lot of BMW's (I had 1series, X1 and X5 from them, but they also have others) and usually very reasonable rates.
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Old Feb 7, 11, 8:23 pm   #15
 
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Thanks, the Starpoints redemption for this hotel was in peak season and 36,000 for a junior suite, so I decided we can drive to Sitges for the day, and burn the points in London.
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