Axel Hotel Barcelona is a sleek boutique hotel located in Barcelona's LGBT-friendly Eixample neighborhood that attracts a primarily gay clientele. The 101 rooms and four suites are contemporary and handsome, with flat-screen TVs, bathrobes, and minibars. While most units overlook the city, a few have interior views. On-site amenities include a well-equipped fitness center, a spa with a steam and spa facilities, a narrow rooftop pool area with a whirlpool and bar, and a restaurant -- Nikkei 103 -- serving Japanese-Peruvian fare. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel, though there have been some complaints of spotty connections. Travelers may want to also consider the nearby Olivia Balmes Hotel, which offers similar amenities and larger rooms, though it isn't specifically marketed at LGBT travelers.
Stylish Axel-brand boutique hotel attracting a primarily gay clientele
Part of the LGBT-focused Axel brand, this boutique property is aimed at gay vacationers wanting easy access to the dining and nightlife in the surrounding Eixample neighborhood, the main gay area of Barcelona. From the outside, the hotel blends well into the late-19th-century neighborhood and is housed in a tall, beige building with a chamfered corner. Inside, the vibe is chic and modern, thanks to white-marble floors and black high-backed vinyl chairs in the lobby, and a sophisticated patio area with sleek, charcoal-hued plush stools and a matching sofa. Other common areas include a rooftop pool deck with plenty of lounge chairs and tables, plus a sleek restaurant with retro-futuristic soft-cornered chairs and recessed lighting. The atmosphere here is fun and friendly, appealing to solo travelers, couples, and groups of friends.
In Barcelona's Eixample neighborhood, a short walk from nightlife, restaurants, and the metro
Axel Hotel Barcelona is located in Barcelona's Eixample neighborhood, an area with lots of gay bars and nightclubs along with fashionable boutiques and bars and restaurants. It's a five-minute walk to the nearest metro station and the University of Barcelona, and a 15-minute bus ride to Gran Teatre del Liceu and a 17-minute bus ride to Parc de la Ciutadella. El Born and the Picasso Museum are both around 20 minutes away by public transit, and it's a 23-minute subway ride to Barceloneta Beach. Casco Antiguo, Barcelona's Old Town in the Gothic Quarter, takes about 25 minutes to reach by public transit, and it's a 25-minute drive to Barcelona Airport.
Sleek, contemporary rooms -- some with city views, others with interior-facing windows
The Axel offers three room types: standard Axel City Rooms with two twins or a king, larger Axel Premium Rooms, which add iPod docks, and Axel Suites, bigger rooms still with spacious private terraces and wireless bluetooth speakers. Decor is fresh and modern across the board, with light-wood floors complemented by solid dark-brown or paisley prints on chairs and framing mirrors. Standard features include minibars, wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, safes, bathrobes, and free Wi-Fi. Note that there have been complaints of hard mattresses. Bathrooms have small walk-in rainfall showers (plus deep tubs in Suites) and a good selection of toiletries are provided. Most rooms have views out on the city, though some have mediocre vistas of the hotel's interior.
Rooftop pool with bar, well-equipped fitness center and spa, and Peruvian-Japanese restaurant
Amenities at the Axel Hotel are focused on leisure and relaxation, and include Wellness Club 33, a fitness center with a huge selection of cardio and weight-training machines along with a spa, complete with steam and sauna facilities. There's also a narrow rooftop pool with fountain features and a whirlpool hot tub, plus a few lounge chairs and covered seating areas. The poolside Sky Bar stays open well into the night. The on-site restaurant, Nikkei 103, offers Japanese-influenced Peruvian fare, known in Peru as Nikkei, but it opens a bit late for lunch and dinner by non-Spanish standards. A large buffet spread of meats, cheeses, and breads is included in room rates. While it's primarily a leisure hotel, there is a business center with a computer and a lounge area, as well as a meeting space. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property, though there have been complaints of spotty connections.
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