Guardian: 'Best Flat in Barcelona'!

Apartment - Entire home/apt · Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Greg

Designer's own flat in the very HEART of Barcelona - literally just one block away from the famous Las Ramblas. Guardian newspaper says 'best flat in BCN!' Sleeps 3, with roof terrace over. Short walk to all the sighs (Gaudi just 200 metres). WIFI

Your host, Greg
9 Reviews
Response rate: 100%
Response time: within an hour

Designer's own flat in the very HEART of Barcelona - literally just one block away from the famous Las Ramblas. Guardian newspaper says 'best flat in BCN!' Sleeps 3, with roof terrace over. Short walk to all the sighs (Gaudi just 200 metres). WIFI

The Space

The UK's Guardian newspaper selected this as their favourite apartment in Barcelona, putting it as their only Spanish property in their 2013 top 10 list of best places in the world to book for a month of your life!

What's included? Basically just bring yourselves, and food and drink. The bed is ready made for you with 100% cotton linen, towels & teatowels provided, fresh dishcloth every time (and washing up liquid, and liquid soap, and first few toilet rolls). The kitchen is equipped. All you need is to relax, get out on the sun terrace with your drink of choice, and start enjoying the world's greatest city!

Note - my availability calendar is 'live' and correct - up to date. You can book in instantly for a confirmed booking, no need to check first if the calendar is correct.

If you're going to stay in Barcelona, one of the greatest cities on earth, then you'll want to be in the centre. Located by the famous Las Ramblas street in the bohemian 'El Raval' district of the Old Town, this apartment is completely 'Barcelona' - a heady mix of traditions and stylishness with more than a touch of craziness. The wall murals were by Dutch industrial designer Jan Habraken, the bedroom by California designer Mina Javid. The flat is owned by Greg who founded and runs Under the Thatch, an award-winning European travel company.

Within a few minutes walk you can be swimming in the Mediterranean, discovering one of Gaudi's masterpieces, or just enjoying the best Tapas in the world from one of the hundreds of restaurants and bars within walking distance; see some local sights that we've snapped. You won't even need to use public transport to see most of the great sights - just walk through the winding streets of the old town. And when you do need to go to the outskirts of town the metro is within sight of your balcony. The newly restored Palau Guell by Gaudi is a mere 250m/ 3 minute walk.

The apartment is 66 m2, and has been converted from three small bedrooms into one semi-open-plan space. There is heating and air conditioning.

Lounge - with two sets of French doors/ Juliette balconies with views over the square.

Kitchen - simple 'industrial' style kitchen with hob, small oven/grill, fridge freezer, extractor, washing machine and dryer, kettle.

Bedroom - double bed with French doors/ Juliette balcony and walk-in dressing area.

Shower room - good size with double shower, small hairdryer and shaver socket

Lobby

Roof terrace over with great views (NB technically shared use but we've never seen a single person use the terrace over our flat).

WIFI included free.

Guest Access

A complete apartment, and roof terrace.

Interaction with Guests

Very little - you meet my housekeeper when you get there (she brings the keys) and you'll meet again on the day you leave.

The Neighborhood

This is the Ramblas part of the Ravel - the very centre of town, and the coolest, most arty and Bohemian neighbourhood.

Getting around

Just two blocks to a Metro (subway) but you won't need it - you can walk to almost everywhere you'll want to visit in the city. It's the people outside the centre (not you!) who need the public transport to get in!

Other Things to Note

Fourth floor apartment, no lift. Stairs probably unsuitable if you have a pushchair.

IMPORTANT - NOTE

We try and be as helpful as possible about check in and check out times.

I pay for my housekeeper to come and meet you until 22.00 with the keys. If you arrive after 22.00 (even if you intended on arriving before 22.00) there is a 50 Euro payment directly to her which MUST be paid on arrival. We've had a few guests 'forget' to pay this and we will pursue you for it as she has to get taxis in to the centre to meet you etc, apart from the inconvenience.

Room type: Entire home/apt
Bed type: Real Bed
Accommodates: 3
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Beds: 1
Extra people: $35 / night after 2 guests
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Weekly Price: $722 /week
Monthly Price: $1798 /month
Security Deposit: $141
Cleaning Fee: $97
Check In: 4:00 PM
Check Out: 10:00 AM
Country:
City:
Neighborhood:
Cancellation: Strict
Overall Guest Satisfaction
Accuracy
Communication
Cleanliness
Location
Check In
Value
  • We stayed at Greg's place for 5 days in June 2014. The apartment was big, clean, and comfortable. It is decorated beautifully and yet still feels like home! They were very accommodating about check in and holding our bags. The location of the apartment is very central - close to the metros and we were also able to walk around and admire the beauty of Barcelona. We always felt safe going to and from the apartment and although there were many, many stairs to climb, it wasn't actually bad to go up and down! All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would recommend this apartment to anyone looking!

    June 2014
    Greg
    Response from Greg:

    great - glad you enjoyed yourselves and many thanks for the review :)

    June 2014
  • Awesome apartment! My friend and I stayed here for 5 nights and LOVED it! It is larger than it looks like in the photos. The decor was as described and as pictured - there were a lot of bright colors and fun details! Also we were surprised to find a large, fully equipped and furnished kitchen - Greg used the word "simple" to describe it but it is a pleasure to use and eat in, especially since the Boqueria is less than a 10 minute walk away. The flat also features an American sized washer and separate dryer. If you are considering a long term stay in Barcelona, this apartment would be perfect.

    Communcation and response time with Greg and his housekeeper were excellent!

    I read the other guests' reviews about the neighborhood. I had visited Barcelona in 2008 so I was somewhat familiar with the neighborhood before booking and this didn't concern me. The area is not dangerous or even iffy. Yes there are people trying to sell you all kinds of things and club promoters on the Rambla. They are annoying, but not dangerous. I find the best strategy is to just not engage or communicate, and they will leave you alone. Same with the people hanging out in the restaurants close to the apartment. For the most part, these people ignored me. The area actually has a lot of people around 24/7 and is very well lit, so I had no problems or concerns walking around the area by myself. The only thing I was worried about were pickpockets.

    Also, there is a 24 hour cab stand right outside the Boqueria, about a 3-4 block walk from the apartment. Whenever we walked by there were always 2-3 empty cabs sitting out there. You probably won't need it unless you have an early or late flight, as there are two subway stops that are a couple of blocks away.

    June 2014
    Greg
    Response from Greg:

    thanks for your kind comments and glad you had a great stay - all the best, Greg

    June 2014
  • We had a really amazing time and absolutely loved Greg's flat. The place was just as described and really conveniently located - about 5 mins walk from Las Ramblas. It has a lovely kitchen, which although we didn't really use, had everything you need to prepare drinks and meals, etc. The only thing I would say is that the area was quite noisy on the Sunday night, which was fine for us as we're used to city living, but if you can't sleep through noise you'd be better staying on a weeknight when there was no noise at all. Also we couldn't get out onto the roof terrace, which I notice has been mentioned in a previous review so perhaps this needs to be checked and sorted out.

    Kerry was really nice and helpful and came out to meet us at half 11. We had to pay extra for this though, so factor this in when you're planning your flights.

    On the whole, I would really recommend staying here. We will definitely stay here again when we come back to Barcelona.

    May 2014
    Greg
    Response from Greg:

    Thanks for your kind comments - glad you enjoyed. :)Thanks for alerting us to problem with door to roof terrace - hoping to sort it this week Greg

    May 2014
  • Although I'd like to give Greg a five-star recommendation, as my girlfriend and me had a (almost) perfect week in Barcelona and Greg was a wonderful host, answering my questions promptly and accurately, I cannot...due to some reasons...

    The and most important reason is that on the first night my mobile phone got stolen in front of the house!! A couple of young guys talked to us and played a typical theft-trick...unfortunately 30 meters from the house-entrance. In theory, I was aware of this trick...but noticing to have pro-thieves in front of the house, was not a great start...

    We saw a lot in Barcelona, as my friend lives there. Compared to other "barrios", this barrio/neighborhood is a little strange...during the night, some strange people are walking and standing around...many weird phone shops and stores...it's an area that I would not recommend to anyone.

    Well...Luckily, they "only" stole my phone...not my wallet with my ID in it...

    The second strange thing was, that the housekeeper that gave us the keys, waited outside on the street. She handed us the keys, told us on which floor the apartment was, and left...well, of course we found the apartment, and everything was ready, Wi-Fi worked, fridge worked, shower worked...but I expected her to show the apartment to us.

    Nevertheless, I guess the fridge is a little leaky...not speaking about water coming out, but it wasn't cooling as much as it should when putting it on max. cold. Not bad at this time of year, but this is more a tip from us that the fridge should be replaced, especially as summer is coming.

    Talking about leaky...and also a tip from me to be replaced...the shower hose is leaky...

    Finally, there was a key lying on the table saying "roof terrace"...we were kind of excited about this rooftop...but the key did not work. As I asked the housekeeper, she only told me to "turn it the other way..."...unfortunately, it did not open the door to the roof terrace.

    To sum it all up, I would highly recommend this apartment, if it was in a different neighborhood, as the interior design was great, A/C was running, shower and toilet were okay and the next supermarket was very close (just around the corner)!! I guess, my opinion looked different if they had not stolen my phone on the first night...

    May 2014
    Greg
    Response from Greg:

    heh - I guess every now and again we get someone who doesn't like it. What can I say? The roofterrace key does work - there are two doors up there, I can only think he was trying the wrong one (the housekeeper uses same key to go on roof terrace at every changeover). The fridge was new last year but sure I'll check it, as was the shower head, will check if it needs tightening. There we go - can't please all the people all the time. I'm afraid petty crime is a problem in all of Barcelona, especially when you're as close to Las Ramblas as my flat - We've had over 300 guests and this is the first time anyone has had a problem in the area around the flat. Tip - don't play card games with strangers on the streets! I hope people will refer to the other reviews and not be put off by this one, which I feel is unfair.

    May 2014
  • It's great apartment in Barcelona.
    Perfect furniture, perfect location, and perfect atmosphere. But if you have heavy luggage, you need to overcome 4th floor to up.
    Anyway overally i had great experience in this place.

    May 2014
    Greg
    Response from Greg:

    glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for the kind comments :)

    May 2014
  • tres bel appartement.. coloré.. fidèle aux photos et au descriptif de l'annonce. bien placé (à 100m du Palau Guell).. ravi de notre séjour et de l'accueil à l'arrivée. parfait!

    May 2014
    Greg
    Response from Greg:

    Merci Beaucoup x

    May 2014
  • In April 2014 we stayed in Greg's apartment. We would highly recommend it for all those who want to stay in El Raval- stylish, spacious and all clean. It's located very central, only a 5 minutes walk from La Rambla. Even thought we never saw Greg, the Contact was very friendly and everything well organized.
    Thanks Greg!

    April 2014
    Greg
    Response from Greg:

    Many thanks for the kind comments - 10% off any of my places (Wales, ireland, krakow, Andalucia) if you ever want to return
    best wishes
    Greg

    April 2014
  • Die Wohnung war wunderschön designed und sehr sauber. In dem Ambiente kann man sich sehr schnell wohl fühlen und die Zeit genießen. Die Lage der Wohnung war ebenfalls TOP. In zwei Minuten ist man auf der La Rambla und mitten drin im Getümmel. Wir haben fussläufig alle sehenswerten Orte gefunden und man konnte sich immer wieder ganz leicht zur Wohnung zurück finden. Kleiner Tipp, mit dem Taxi zahlt man 28 Euro vom Flughafen bis zur Wohnung oder anders rum- und Taxis gibts an jeder Ecke.

    Wir würden zu jeder Zeit wieder in diese Wohnung ziehen. Es war wirklich eine sehr schöne Zeit.

    Beste Grüße,

    Helen & Annette

    March 2014
    Greg
    Response from Greg:

    Danke Schon! :P

    March 2014
  • A friend and I were looking for a unique experience for our trip to Barcelona (her first time), and we decided to book this flat. Overall, we had a great time (I was working), the place really does look like in the photos. The communication for key handover, early check in and arrival was very good. The person that met us even helped us lug our suitcases up the stairs...oh the stairs. I would not recommend this apt if you do not like stairs (winding ones at that), or if you need complete silence to sleep (faces the street), other than that, and what's below, everything was great.

    The Good:
    - Location (very close to La Rambla, and shops)
    - The apartment was a good size, very comfortable for the 2 of us. The bed was very comfy...even though I did not get much sleep (because of work).
    - Wifi worked really well!! Which is a huge plus since I needed to send a million emails.
    - communication with host

    The not so good, but not too bad
    - Location can be pretty interesting at night, I'm usually a solo traveler and I would not want to walk around the area alone...with someone else, fine.
    - Floors in the apt, needed to be deep cleaned, there was dust and some places were dirty (but all else was clean)
    - STAIRS, I was fine but my friend had a bit of an issue with her luggage and woke up the whole building trying to navigate with her luggage at 5 am
    - Taxis never knew where the street was, which was a pain!!
    - no microwave...really a disappointment because we couldnt figure out how to turn the stove on either.
    - Washing machine/dryer which was a great perk...didnt clean the clothes and was just a failure...perhaps it was our fault, but it was very annoying to have to bring wet, slightly dirty clothes home.

    Helpful tips for those that stay:
    - Make sure you have a map of the streets, especially if you dont have a local sim, because they will drive in circles trying to find the little alley its on.
    - Make sure you have your plug adapters...we had a hard time finding any in the neighborhood we were in.
    - I wouldnt recommend venturing out late alone, especially if a female. The area, while rich in character, can be a bit sketchy at night...especially with the people that loiter and try to get you to "party" on a Tuesday
    - There is a Spinneys supermarket right across the way...super helpful!
    - Across the alley on the main street there is a hotel, this is where I usually went to get a taxi as you will find none right out front (which is not really a street with passing traffic).

    March 2014
    Greg
    Response from Greg:

    Thanks Janelle - glad that you both enjoyed your stay. We've checked the washing machine and the oven and both working fine - wish you'd called the housekeeper as she'd have helped out if we'd known you weren't sure how to use them. The tile floor is the original Catalan floor (about 130 years old) - I promise it's clean but yes it has patina. all the best, Greg

    March 2014
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Languages
English, Polski
School
University of Wales, Lampeter
Work
Under the Thatch - holiday homes you'll love - check us out online!
About
I'm an architectural historian and founder of travel company Under the Thatch - I restore unusual and historic buildings across Europe and let them for holidays. I'm a former University lecturer from the University of Wales, and have written several books and TV series on archiecture in the UK. I live my partner and our dogs in Donegal, Ireland. I speak English, Welsh and Polish.
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4 days ago
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