Barcelona is renowned for many things with culture high on the agenda, but with my recent visit I would be lying if I said that I partook in much of what this stunning city has to offer. This was because the reason for travelling there was as part of a group of twenty plus gentlemen involved in a stag party. While it may not be the type of travelling I am used to I can safely say that this city is perfect for such a venture, offering sunshine, music, beers and a warm welcome from the locals.
Staying at the Barcelona B-Hotel on the Plaza Espana there was some sense of trepidation as to how a large group of exuberant males would be greeted. They were aware that we were on a stag do and so I knew there would be no major issue but a frosty reception is always a possibility when things get a little rowdy. Firstly, the hotel itself was fantastic. A great location with easy metro access, plenty of local amenities and a stunning rooftop pool with glorious views overlooking the city. The rooms were modern and spacious and excellent value for a half-term trip. However, for me it was the staff who made the experience so wonderful. They not only welcomed us despite the excitable nature of such a large group, often slightly inebriated at best but got involved with the fun and really made the atmosphere such a joy. From the unbelievably helpful reception staff who showed great patience with a complicated check in, as well as ordering countless taxis and providing endless advice, to the amazing pool bar staff who really provided a near infinite supply of cold beers and smiles. They put all of us at ease and allowed us to enjoy our 4 nights there in a completely relaxed environment, and that was crucial in making the trip such a success.
In terms of the city itself, the bars and locals were equally welcoming in Las Ramblas. Somehow such a large group of us only managed to lose one mobile phone between us for the entire duration which is quite some achievement. I would love to give you more details on exactly where we went and what we saw but unfortunately the memories are extremely hazy indeed, hazy but happy!
In one moment of clarity a few of us did manage to visit the Nou Camp, home of Barcelona FC. The whole setup there is quite something, a well oiled machine with constant tours, bars, restaurants and a sea of memorabilia and replica shirts on sale. The tour itself is well worth a visit though for those interested in football. As part of it access to the stadium and as close to the pitch as you could get without touching the grass were the highlights for me, including a frosty Estrella in a delightful café overlooking the pitch itself. The history and stature of the club can be felt from one look at the vast array of trophies in the museum, shimmering with a backdrop of replays of their past glories on huge televisions. It is quite the experience and one I would definitely recommend.
Organising these large group trips can be a difficult business with many hotels refusing to take single sex parties of that size, but I cannot suggest Barcelona and the B-Hotel in particular enough for this type of holiday. The city lends itself perfectly to the perfect balance between city break and beach holiday, ideal for a large group of fun and sun seekers!
If you have a stag or hen do on the horizon, wherever you want to go or whatever you want to do, give me a call and let me take the stress away from you. I will make sure the hotel is perfect for your occasion, much like ours was. I can promise you fantastic times, just not necessarily the memories.