October 10, 2008

Barcelona, Market Hotel

We seem to have a hand on picking hotels with Filipino staff. After Amsterdam 2 years ago, we now find ourselves in Barcelona’s Market Hotel. A block away from the Gran Via where the airport shuttle conveniently dropped us off, this quaint little hotel is hidden in a little alley, but nonetheless easy to find. At the reception D spotted a Filipina employee right away and she soon after gave him the address of the next Pinoy restaurant in town; of course owned by her brother. We soon realized that most of the staff was indeed from the Philippines and that the hotel even had a branch in Sorsogon (trip planned next April!), the hometown of the owner’s wife. After some chitchat we sat down in the hotel restaurant while waiting for our room to be ready. The gorgeous dining area, kept in white with black and gold accents, serves a daily lunch menu for less than 10€. After having read several positive reviews about it, and being tired from yet another early morning, we gladly accepted the opportunity to test the Mediterranean food right where we were, instead of wandering around for a spot to grab a bite. On the menu for D were mixed salad with tuna and bistek a la plancha with potatoes. I had a delicious cream of leeks and duck with soy reduction and vegetables. Finally we both gave in to some sinful turron ice cream. We enjoyed our first meal of the day (no time for breakfast on our way from Paris) and noticed that the restaurant filled up quickly with a diverse crowd of tourists and locals alike. So far, so good.
Our room was another pleasant surprise. Spacious, with modern Asian style, a large bed with cotton sheets and free Wifi; I couldn’t have asked for more. And yet, I got more. The best shower ever! I read about it on Tripadvisor and thought it was exaggerated to rate a hotel according to their showers, but I was wrong. After 4 days in a tiny Parisian bathroom, this black tile bathroom with wonderfully relaxing rainshower was a dream come true. Aside from a walk-in closet, this type of shower will be a must have on my the-day-i-own-a-house list. No longer hungry, freshened up and rested after the obligatory Spanish siesta, we are now ready to explore the city. Barcelona here we come!

Market Hotel
Passatge de Sant Antoni Abad 10
Tel: +34 934 242965

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