Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 21, 2021
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Barcelona for under $150 a night

APARTMENT If being self-sufficient and having more space is important to you when you travel, then check out Cocoon Barcelona. Created in 2004, the agency boasts 40 apartments throughout the city -- there are many in the oh-so-busy Barri Gòtic as well as in Eixample, La Rambla, el Raval and Barceloneta, the sailing and fishing district known for its seafood restaurants. All of the apartments are privately owned (so each is decorated differently) and range in size from 30 to 150 square metres. They have kitchens and bathrooms (most have one, but a handful have two) and can sleep between one to 12 guests (yes, someone will be spending a few nights on a sofa bed). Many have air conditioning and washing machines, and some have patios. Rates vary from $107 a night for up to two people to $550 for up to 12 ($46 per person or $183 for three families of four). All require stays of at least two nights, some require stays of three or four nights. (011-34-661) 158-852.

HOTEL Prefer hotels? Reserve a room at Hotel Banys Oriental in El Born/La Ribera, home to the Església de Santa Maria del Mar (a Catalan-Gothic church), Capella de Marcús (a Romanesque chapel), Palau de la Música (a concert hall designed by Gaudi), Museu Picasso and lots of bars, restaurants and shops. Housed in a 19th-century building, the hotel opened in 2002. It has 43 sparse yet sophisticated rooms -- think stone, gunmetal greys, black tiles, soft lighting and modern four-poster beds. All have access to free, high-speed Internet. For evenings when you don't feel like venturing too far out, Senyor Parellada, a restaurant that serves Catalan cuisine, is attached to the hotel (the hotel and restaurant have the same owner). Note: while most reviews can't say enough about the hotel's ideal location, the catch for all of this is noise. Ask for a room at the back if you're light sleeper. Rates start at $125 a night, single occupancy, $150, double. (011-34-93) 268-8460.

BED AND BREAKFAST Are B&Bs are your thing? Consider Ally's Guest House off Avenida Diagonal in Eixample. In addition to being close to Diagonal's shops, the B&B is near Plaça de Catalunya (a major square), Passeig de Gràcia (a boulevard of chic stores) and La Sagrada Familia (Gaudi's unfinished cathedral). It's also 50 metres away from the Verdaguer metro station. Housed in a 19th-century building in the Catalán style, the B&B has been in business for four years. It has five bedrooms (three with queens and two with a pair of singles) and two bathrooms. There's a living room, breakfast room and kitchen. WiFi Internet access is also available for techies who can't escape their laptops. High-season rates between March and October are $107 a night, double occupancy, including breakfast (fresh fruit, croissants, marmalades as well as vanilla and chocolate cakes). Low-season rates are $92 a night. (011-34-93) 459-0343.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.