Novotel City Center, Barcelona, Spain ****

Very good hotel, the room was typical Novotel but with sleeper couch for our two kids (we had reserved a family room). Service at the front desk is excellent with many languages spoken well.
The hotel is just around the corner from a Metro station and there is a mall across the road. Nice section with broad, walkable pedestrian way a few blocks away.

Room price was quite ok, breakfast is completely overpriced at €18 / person - we ended up eating in a small bakery not far from the hotel.

The top terrace is breathtaking, though I would expect it to be quite crowded during the warm months. There is a bar, a sitting area and a small pool / whirlpool. Enclosed on the same level is a Gym with all the basic fixings. You get breathtaking views all around the city from up there; unfortunately, the windows were so dirty that any pictures taken turned out unusable.

One block down is the "Gurken" (or whatever it's called) which is always worth a visit, especially at night.

I would recommend this hotel to anyone and would stay here again.

Old Town Apartamentos, Barcelona ***

What wasn’t very clear from the HRS description of the hotel: the address given is the office of a company that rents out apartments. You go to the office to pick up the key and instructions to the apartment they allocate to you. You then either walk or take some other transport to that address to get to your room(s).

I had booked two rooms, one for two adults and two kids, the other for two adults. Even though I had a confirmation from HRS, when I arrived at the office the second room wasn’t included in the apartment. While they would have charged for a single room only (still expensive at 140€), there wouldn’t have been enough room for all of us. Luckily, they had another apartment (further away) with enough beds and rooms.

The apartment was really quite exceptional - it had three bedrooms: two doubles and a single, as well as a sleeper couch in the living room. It sported a huge patio (enclosed), a TV (not used) and a full kitchen, as well as two full baths.

Recommendation: Seeing as hotels in Barcelona are incredibly expensive, the cost per room through Old Town Apartamentos is ok. The apartment we had was exceptional (I could easily have stayed in it for the entire vacation), but that isn’t a guarantee for others they offer. If you’re traveling in a group with lots of luggage and/or kids, you should consider sending someone from the group to fetch the key and map instructions instead of everyone going to the office and then to the apartment.