Melia Barcelona Sky, El Poblenou, Barcelona **

Q: What is it? A: A brutal, 120 meter high building located in the El Poblenou-district of Barcelona, (read: not central), where the surface has been (and apparently is) way more important than substance, and more importantly – service.

Should we throw in another piece? Or two?

I bet it looked so nice in that nifty PowerPoint presentation from the design agency, but with so limited space, it all felt cluttered – like a traffic jam of furniture.

More is sometimes more. But in this case more is too much.

Not a big room although it had a few nice touches to it. But why throw in that Eames chair? I love those chairs but here it felt weirdly out-of-place. The shower, however, was fantastic.

Fighting for its place next to the Torre Agbar in Barcelona... and the Agbar wins.

The Melia Barcelona Sky is 120 meters high with 33 floors and 259 rooms. French architect Dominique Perrault is responsible for this rather brutal addition to El Poblenou’s (and Barcelona’s) skyline.

Google made me stay here.
A quick search. A few promotional images and I booked the place. I am the first to admit that I didn’t do my homework properly. If I had done so, I would have been more aware of the location. It is not exactly Plaça de Catalunya. In fact it’s 3.7 km from there to the hotel – or a 46-minute walk according to Google Maps. Too late to change it and on arrival, the hotel kicks off with a warm welcome. Thanks. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all?

It’s a leak. Can it get more specific than that?
The friendly guy taking me to the room discovers a malfunctioning light. This causes a maintenance person to run in and out of the room a couple of times. Can’t complain about ambition. Later I step into the bathroom only to discover that there’s a mild waterfall near the sink area. Water is pouring down from the ceiling. My bags are located less than a meter away. Not very cool. The 80-page service guide tells me that the “Everything is possible” number is the one to call. I explain the situation and I get the response “I’m very sorry”. That’s it. After an eternity (which is about 10 minutes with water pouring from above) I’ve had enough and made a quick elevator ride down to the front desk. This results in more action from the hotel staff. I just thought that telephones were invented to make situations like these simpler, (calling the fire brigade should do nicely, right?).

A new room and a new day.
I am quickly transferred to another room on the 22nd floor. It’s identical to my former room but there’s an espresso machine on the desk. I guess that’s an upgrade. In the meantime, Marco, the concierge has delivered a nice restaurant for the evening. Thanks! I would not have found the Pla restaurant in Barrio Gothic without him (according to TripAdvisor the place is rated #11 of 2,473 restaurants in Barça). Sadly, any points collected by the concierge are wiped out the next morning. My name is not properly displayed on the breakfast list. Reason: The room transfer. This causes the waiter to give me a little attitude. No. Erase that. He’s giving me some serious attitude. I hope that the hotel management can feel the stars getting ripped out right now? Maybe I look like a person who would try to sneak into hotels to get a free breakfast?

So what to do with the Melia Barcelona Sky?
It should be added that breakfast at this hotel, once you’ve managed to pass the bullyish waiter, is a superb one. It should again be noted that the concierge, although not overly enthusiastic, did a great job. It should be taken into consideration that the staff members at the front desk are very friendly. The suspicious attitude at breakfast and the slow response to the leak, tell me that the Melia Barcelona still have quite a few miles to go before they’ve secured themselves a slot in the top division. Also, if you name your service line “Everything is possible” then you should make sure that it’s possible to communicate with the staff.

ME Hotel Barcelona
Calle Pere IV 272-286
Barcelona ES 08005

+ 34-93-3672050

Click here to book the Melia Barcelona Sky through!

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