Thursday, July 26, 2012

Barcelona, Day 1 - Room and board

A few months ago, when Amanda and I were in the hotel-reservations phase of trip planning, Amanda's mom, Susan, offered to set up reservations at a Renaissance hotel where she had stayed on a recent trip to Barcelona.  At the time we (or, at least, I) had felt some hesitation.  We were up to our elbows in charming riads and ecclectic boutique hotels with local flavor, and I wondered -- were we the sort of travelers that stay in Marriott hotels?

Turns out the answer is yes.  Absolutely yes.  After almost two weeks of local flavor (which included turtles and courtyards, true, but also inconsistent hot water and non-functioning electrical outlets), it was oh so glorious to arrive in Barcelona after a 4 hour drive from Valencia and find myself in a fully modern room with all the amenities of modern life (well, almost all, it took them a while to get the Internet up and running, which was ironic since we had adequate Internet even at the edge of the Sahara desert).  I mean, when I saw the bathroom I basically wanted to spend the next two days just bathing -- that was before I sat on the bed and decided I needed a nap.  Speaking of beds, since we had separate rooms, we didn't have to insist on switching out the king-sized bed for a couple of doubles!  It has been very comfortable and conveniently located; we couldn't have done better if we'd tried.  A very big thanks to Susan!
My room
My bathroom!

The enticements of comfy hotel rooms are all fine and good until the hunger pangs kick in.  We hadn't eaten anything since that many-course lunch in Valencia, and we were starving.  We also weren't in the mood for anything Spanish.  Fortunately, the hotel is located in the sweet spot for good restaurants in Barcelona, so we were able to find a decent Thai place about a block away.  Our waitress couldn't have been less enthusiastic, but the chicken curry was very nice.

Clockwise from top:  Beef with peppers,
chicken basil salad, noodles, chicken curry

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