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Arai Aparthotel

Arai Aparthotel

Arai Aparthotel

Arai Aparthotel

Arai Aparthotel

Arai Aparthotel

Arai Aparthotel

Address Avinyó 30; 08002 Barcelona
by Arai and Cervantes, behind Plaça George Orwell
Neighbourhood Barrio Gótico | See on map
Metro Jaume I [L4], Liceu [L3]
Telephone +34 93 320 3950
Website http://www.derbyhotels.com/es/hotel-arai-barcelona/
Price From EUR 200

In the recent past, Plaça George Orwell – or Plaça del Tripi, as it’s known among locals – used to be home to a semi-permanent botellón, and attract mostly pot heads, dealers, and students having pizza at La Verònica. Well, a dozen CCTV security cameras and the opening of a children’s playground have since cleaned up the plaça and, in place of the pizza ovens, now you’ve got this boutique hotel.

Mind you, the area is still no Garden of Eden, so although location is great for exploring the Gothic Quarter, the Arai is not for everybody. But if you’ve got street smarts and aren’t a fan of purpose-designed newbuilds, then you’ll be rewarded with a lovely property that makes the most of the 18th century building’s original features, like the stone walls and ceiling beams that have been beautifully restored and left exposed.

The rooms are relatively spacious, most around 30 square meters, and the ‘aparthotel’ classification means that they come equipped with microwave ovens, refrigerators and kitchenettes. That’s partly to make up for the lack of in-house bar and dining facilities, though you’re really not short of options in this neighbourhood. The larger Jewel rooms have their own private patios with Jacuzzi; the rest will have to make do with the splash pool on the roof.

That rooftop, however, is about all you get in terms of facilities (don’t even bother go looking for the ‘gym’) and, even granting that service is friendly and helpful, the Arai feels slightly pricey for what you get, especially in high season. It should make for a fine stay but you may want to consider spending a little more and upgrade to the Mercer – nearby, yet a class apart – or browse through AirBnB for cheaper private alternatives.