Planning the Barcelona Trip
The trip to Barcelona with my parents and their friend E had been a thought in progress for a long time…but due to various unfortunate life circumstances it had been put on the backburner. However, earlier this year it was decided that we WOULD be going to Barcelona in 2011, and that rather than a long weekend, we’d be going for a whole week, giving us plenty of time for sightseeing AND sunbathing!
We decided on mid September so as to avoid the heat and humidity, and crowds (and children) of July & August…and the next thing was finding suitable flights…but more importantly a suitable hotel.
Searching for a hotel
I spent hours on Expedia and the like looking at various options…if it was me going alone I’d have probably picked the cheapest and most hideous place, but VERY thankfully with me being poor (and in DESPERATE need of a holiday in the sun) my parents were paying (of course many WOULD pay for the pleasure of my delightful company), but still it didn’t seem appropriate for me to be making decisions…besides, we were a hard crowd to please:The hotel must:
- Have an outside swimming pool (I think it was me who said this was essential!)
- Be near a beach – essential when there for a week – we spent a whole two days on the beach
- Have easy access to the main part of Barcelona via public transport
- Have breakfast included (definitely one from my parents and E)
So, I left the booking to my Mum, who did very well! And for a very respectable price come to that. In fact this experience has told me that online hotel shopping isn’t always the best option and that even if you find deals online, they can generally be reduced if you actually speak to a real person. After all, according to Expedia there were only 2 hotels in Barcelona (with swimming pools) which included breakfast, and the H10 Marina wasn’t one of them.
My Mum booked through Travel Republic, and the cost was £414pp including breakfast (flights £155pp for anyone who’s interested) – much better than any of the prices I’d found.
Our story of arrival could be a whole review in itself (easyJet were fine I might note), but I’ll wait and see what comes from my Mum’s complaint about the shuttlebus company that were MEANT to pick us up from the airport…oh, and to return us to the airport at the end of the holiday…we won’t talk about that.
Thus began our holiday of waiting around for blue buses and my naming of our party as “Team Blue Bus”. Team Blue Bus had to get a taxi from the airport to H10 Marina, which cost just under €40 – it’s 15km from the airport, so I suppose this isn’t too bad when there’s 4 in a team.
Check in, and the Rooms
My parents had a double room on the 3rd floor, and E and myself shared a twin room on the 6th floor. Although my parents had paid before we got there, on check-in (which was a simple process) they wanted credit card details for any other expenses while we were there (we did charge stuff by the pool to the room), and two of us had to sign for the rooms.