Places To Stay in Barcelona: Motel One

Images of a bedroom and the lobby of Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella.

It’s unsurprising that as one of the most visited cities in the world, Barcelona has an overwhelming number of hotels to choose from. For the bulk of our trip we chose the sort of boutique hotel we usually stay in (and I’ll review that in the coming weeks) but in my research, Motel One had stood out for me.

It’s another truism of hotels in Barcelona that they’re very expensive: nice rooms being a lot more than they’d be even in other popular, major European cities. So why was Motel One – a brand that tries to be still a budget hotel, but a step up from the hyper big chains when it comes to finish, creature comforts and luxury – so cheap in comparison to everywhere else in town (168.36€ – approx £142 – for a single night in a basic room, which included the 4.68€ per person city tax)? Once we realised it wad cheaper to fly a day earlier than planned and book a room there than to fly when we’d planned, we’d decided to find out!

Painted leaf mural behind the front desk at Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella

Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella is in a good location: just opposite Parc de la Cituadella (which houses Barcelona Zoo as well as some beautiful fountains and sculptures) and within a decent walking distance of the old town and all it’s popular bars and restaurants.

Check in was super helpful and they kept our bags for us the day we checked out until we were ready to move onto our next hotel (an ibis near the race track as we were in town for the Formula 1 which is best not mentioned!) It’s worth nothing that they’re the first hotel we’ve stayed in in ages that don’t arrange airport transfers for you, but that’s quite common in budget hotels as you do get what you pay for, and besides, it’s not really an issue if you’re not confident enough in your Spanish to get a taxi, as Uber operates in the city direct from the airport.

Chairs and decorative lamps in the lobby of Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella.
Lamps hanging from the ceiling of the walkway to the terrace of Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella.
Bar at Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella.

To be honest we did not spend much time in the common areas, but it’s worth nothing they have lots of sitting space, a large outdoor terrace, and a roof terrace that had a bar in, though in slightly misty weather it was not open when we went up there when we’d been told on reception it was supposed to be.

We did not get breakfast included in our room so decided to go elsewhere (I can highly recommend The Egg Lab just 9 minutes walk away who do a fantastic brunch!) but seeing what people were eating when we came down, it seemed decent, and exactly what you’d expect.

Bed with white sheets and blue cushions at Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella.

Whilst small (again, we were only there to sleep – we had a city to explore!) our room was very clean and the rooms were exceptionally comfortable, with a German-style bedding setup (the single duvets on a double bed reminded me of the brilliant Hotel Motto in Vienna) as you’d expect from a hotel group based mostly in that part of the world, and a well equipped and again, very clean bathroom. The room, surprisingly for being on the main road was super quiet too.

If you’re looking for a hotel to sleep in, rather than to spend a lot of time in (I love both types of hotel depending on why I’m in a destination) Motel One is brilliant value for money in the heart of Barcelona, and I’m really glad we stayed. If we consider our last hotel stay – the lovely Palazzo Feroci in Pisa which cost £420 for two nights and which had whilst a much nicer finish similar levels of amenities (minus the fantastic toiletries) – and compare Pisa as a destination to Barcelona, it’s a really great place to stay if you’re trying to cut down on the cost of your Barcelona trip without risking staying somewhere less than comfortable and relaxing.

You can book a room at Motel One Barcelona-Ciutadella (and explore the other destinations in their group) here, and find all my restaurant recommendations from our trip here.