W Barcelona, Spain [Master Thread]

Old Oct 11, 2009, 8:01 pm
  #1  
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Arrow W Barcelona, Spain [Master Thread]

I stayed opening weekend at the W Barcelona and I regret my stay there.

There are some nice things about the hotel. The design is really nice and the furnishings are good quality. The views from the hotel of the water, boats, and city are great. The Living Room is really interesting and chic and is only topped by the W Fort Lauderdale in my book.

The hotel should not be open yet. Lots of drying paint, unfinshed hallways, etc. When you look out the windows, you see construction in all directions (except to the water). The gift shop has not been built, despite the fact that it is in the main lobby. Half of the equipment in the fitness center was not plugged in. The main restaurant is not open, and I'm not sure when it will open. I did eat at their casual restaurant, which made me wait 5 minutes because I didn't have a reservation, despite the fact that only 5 of an estimated 50 tables where being used.

Housekeeping was comical. They didn't clean the rooms until 7:30 p.m. one night, and 6:00 p.m. the next.

As for service....yikes. I TRIED and TRIED and TRIED too order drinks by the pool. They had only a small number of people working and it took forever to get drinks. On Saturday, over the course of three hours, I received two drinks. On Sunday, I didn't get any attention in the first hour and decided to just order drinks myself from one of the bars. The pool is neat but really small. There are perhaps 25 beachchairs next to the pool, which is baffling considering that there are over 450 rooms in the hotel. There are many more chairs around the sun deck, but again they are not next to the pool.

For full disclosure, this was my first trip to Barcelona, and the W is not in a good location for sightseeing. It's at least 30 minutes walk to a subway stop, though there are usually cabs in front of the hotel. The W is basically on the end of this long parkway, so there is not much near the W. There are zero restaurants within a short walk of the hotel -- the closest ones are about 15 minutes away. Also, only 2 of the 7 cabs I took had heard of the W hotel, so bring the address and a map with you. I had to pull out my Blackberry a few times and show them the map.

The W is right on the beach. As it turns out, the W is next to the section of the beach that is 90% populated with full nude naked men. This is not an exaggeration. Other sections of the beach are not like this, only the section near the hotel. Bear in mind though that every time you go for a walk or go jogging, there is no missing this crowd. In America we are not used to this. I would think this would not be a good place for families.

The hotel claims that they have beach chair services, but this was not available when I was there (must not be ready yet).

As this is the SPG forum, I am a Plat but did not receive an upgrade nor was I asked if I wanted an amenity.

I wouldn't recommend this hotel. I assume it will get better with time, but it has a long way to go.

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Oct 12, 2009 at 3:06 am Reason: Pre opening discussion: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starwood-preferred-guest/761203-w-barcelona-open-oct-1-2009-pre-openi
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Old Oct 11, 2009, 10:28 pm
  #2  
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Well, I asked for a first-hand report and then I sure got one.

This certainly keeps out front the idea that itsabouthejourney set forth. Is this new W worth 60,000 points for three nights when Le Meridien is wide open for 36,000?

I've got more than two weeks to decide so I'll be looking out for new information. Thank you very much letsgofire and I am sorry that you had such a tough and unenjoyable weekend.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 3:13 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by monitor
Well, I asked for a first-hand report and then I sure got one.

This certainly keeps out front the idea that itsabouthejourney set forth. Is this new W worth 60,000 points for three nights when Le Meridien is wide open for 36,000?

I've got more than two weeks to decide so I'll be looking out for new information. Thank you very much letsgofire and I am sorry that you had such a tough and unenjoyable weekend.
I look forward to your follow-up trip report towards the end of the month
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 3:28 pm
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Thanks for your report letsgofire.

While I'm sorry your stay was less than stellar, I appreciate your candor.

I also have an upcoming BCN stay later this month (preBooDoo) and while I was tempted to give the new W a spin, I ended up booking the LeM.

Even though I'd hope the every day between now and my stay will results in a closer step towards the end of construction and overall operational normalcy, I chose the LeM for 2 main reasons:

1. I'm not that rich in SPG points and
2. Since this is my 1st trip to BCN I wanted to be a bit closer to the sights.

This will actually be my first award stay at any SPG property and as a Gold my expectations are low, still I'm looking forward to the visit.

Hopefully, more BCN trips will be in my future and I'll have a chance to also sample the W.

Last edited by bk3day; Oct 12, 2009 at 9:14 pm
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 3:51 pm
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I booked my uncle and aunt at the W and they are currently there. I will ask for their input when they return. My uncle is SPG Gold. My aunt heard about the "cool" W building from a colleague, so they picked that over the Le Meridien. I was able to secure a sub 150 euro rate, so paying for the stay was a no-brainer as opposed to 20k points per night.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 4:27 pm
  #6  
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Just got back from BCN, and a great 3 night award stay at Le Meridien. It's location right on Las Ramblas makes it a fantastic pick. First time to Barcelona. But having only seen where the W is located, I would not have picked the W for a general tourist stay.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 4:53 pm
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Le Meridien props

Haven't been to the W, as it just opened. But I really love the Le Meridien. I've stayed there three times -- two since becoming platinum and once as a gold member. I was upgraded every time, twice to suites and once to an amazing corner suite. Love the design since the place was renovated and love the location. And love, love, love the beds! I tried to buy one I liked it so much
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by bk3day
Thanks for your report letsgofire.

While I'm sorry your stay was less than stellar, I appreciate your candor.

I also have an upcoming BCN stay later this moth (preBooDoo) and while I was tempted to give the new W a spin, I ended up booking the LeM.

Even though I'd hope the every day between now and my stay will results in a closer step towards the end of construction and overall operational normalcy, I chose the LeM for 2 main reasons:

1. I'm not the rich in SPG points and
2. Since this is my 1st trip to BCN I wanted to be a bit closer to the sights.

This will actually be my first award stay at any SPG property and as a Gold my expectations are low, still I'm looking forward to the visit.

Hopefully, more BCN trips will be in my future and I'll have a chance to also sample the W.

I think I would do the same. The Le Meridien is right on Las Ramblas, which is a main pedestrian-only street filled with resturants, tourist shops, and street performers.
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Old Oct 12, 2009, 11:55 pm
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Originally Posted by letsgofire
I think I would do the same. The Le Meridien is right on Las Ramblas, which is a main pedestrian-only street filled with resturants, tourist shops, and street performers.
and..too many prostitutes. I did like the LM as well, just never saw so much dodgy activity near a spg property before. If you all go, go try Alkimia restaurant. I thought it was fab!
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 9:19 am
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Originally Posted by letsgofire
In America we are not used to this. I would think this would not be a good place for families.
But did you notice - you are not in America (not even in the us) .... and families in BCN apparently don't see it that "problematic"
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by letsgofire
The W is right on the beach. As it turns out, the W is next to the section of the beach that is 90% populated with full nude naked men. This is not an exaggeration. Other sections of the beach are not like this, only the section near the hotel. Bear in mind though that every time you go for a walk or go jogging, there is no missing this crowd. In America we are not used to this. I would think this would not be a good place for families.


As this is the SPG forum, I am a Plat but did not receive an upgrade nor was I asked if I wanted an amenity.
I understand the hotel was at opening capacity for the weekend so no surprise you did not get an upgrade. Clearly you should have been asked for an amenity, out of interest did you point this oversight out at checkin and was one then offered?

As for the beach situation, European beaches can be like this and while you point out it seemed prominent on the section of the beach near the hotel, it is a European beach and not an American one and thus not exactly unusual!

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Oct 13, 2009 at 11:25 pm Reason: Fixed ubb coding for quote
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by letsgofire
In America we are not used to this. I would think this would not be a good place for families.
Have you stayed at a W before? IME they are not really aimed toward families, or at least the very specific sort of family I expect you're thinking of.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 12:14 pm
  #13  
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Hmmm, the location of the Le Meridien is just outstanding. And I have been really satisfied with their Plat recognition too. Great property, but so so staff, especially when it comes to conceirge related advice.

Originally Posted by letsgofire
The W is right on the beach. As it turns out, the W is next to the section of the beach that is 90% populated with full nude naked men. This is not an exaggeration. Other sections of the beach are not like this, only the section near the hotel.
Originally Posted by itsaboutthejourney
I look forward to your follow-up trip report towards the end of the month
Why do I get a rather strong feeling you'll be testing out this property sooner rather than later yourself! <Cough> Sitges <Cough>
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by AJLondon
Why do I get a rather strong feeling you'll be testing out this property sooner rather than later yourself! <Cough> Sitges <Cough>
Like you have room to talk, mister! FYI certain nocturnal lighting has gone the way of the dodo thanks to "la Crisis".

Back OT - had a look around the property the other day and I have to say it is stuck way out there, looking kind of forlorn. N.b., Barcelona's beaches are not worth a visit, generally speaking. Plenty of beach destinations half an hour up or down the coast but I can't imagine spending any time on one in the city...ick.

One wonders what reaction the OP would have had were he to come face to, erm, face with Barcelona's permissiveness away from the beach - nudity is legal anywhere in the city - you (very) occasionally run across a naked person or two walking down the street. Even the little old ladies don't bother to look.
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Old Oct 13, 2009, 3:15 pm
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Originally Posted by letsgofire
The W is right on the beach. As it turns out, the W is next to the section of the beach that is 90% populated with full nude naked men. This is not an exaggeration.
To clarify the subject: that section of the beach is 90% populated with full nude ugly naked men. The 10% left is only plain ugly men. The hotties that used to go (and play ) there every summer day a few years ago (until it all became a closed and surveilled construction site), now prefer to go to Sitges or to Calella to sunbath and play (naked, of course )

If I can complain about something related with the W, is the downgrade on the sightings we've suffered. Hopefully (and knowing the W target demographics) the play part will arise back in those grounds (now with city views)
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