C/Rossello 205, Barcelona, Spain, 08008
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Best for Value for money - Expert review of Room-Mate Emma
The Room-Mate chain is ferociously popular in Madrid, where its hotels are themed around various 'personalities' (Mario, Alicia, Laura and Oscar), taking in the characteristics of each. Its new Barcelona outpost is 'Emma', who, we are told, is a 'creative publicist' with a motorbike and a penchant for the beach, and who on the website says things like 'I love the pleasing effect of a sterile atmosphere'. I'd love to have been in that meeting. Anyway, I'm a big fan of the chain, which offers comfortable, creative design at prices within the reach of most.
At the top end of the Eixample Esquerra (Left Eixample), the Room-Mate Emma is not really central by Barcelona's diminutive standards, but the Passeig de Gràcia is just a couple of blocks' walk away and there are some good restaurants in the vicinity.
Boldly decorated with organic shapes and a minimalist aesthetic, the (quieter) rooms at the back have backlit undulating panels that form oversized headboards, and a splash of colour in the magenta throws on the bed. In the (brighter, noisier) rooms at the front the magenta spreads to the walls. At the top of the hotel there are three 'attic suites' with little terraces and outdoor showers. Some guests have complained of rooms that have a panel of glass bricks rather than a window – it's worth checking when you book.
Walking into the lobby is like setting foot in a space pod, with swooping curves in shades of blue that lead past the reception desk. There is a small reading area with newspapers, magazines and a handful of books.
There is no restaurant but a good (and free) buffet breakfast is served until the luxurious hour of 12 noon.
The service is a real high point at the Emma, and staff deal with any problems swiftly and effectively. Special mention must be made of Oscar, who goes the extra mile to make guests' lives easier.
Mostly twenty- and thirty-somethings. You don't have to be young and design-conscious to sleep here, but it helps.
There are good deals for early bookings (especially of the non-refundable type). WiFi and breakfast is included in all prices. Children under 12 stay free.
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- C/Rossello 205, Barcelona, Spain, 08008
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