I needed to book 2 duration of hotel stays - 2 nights prior to the Liberty of the Seas cruise, and 4 nights after the cruise. I didn't have much problems finding a place to stay for 30 Apr - 4 May but it was a big challenge to find lodging for the first 2 nights from 23 - 25 Apr as it was the Holy Weekend (Good Friday and Easter Sunday). Confirmation on the price for my parents to sail with me came pretty late from Royal Caribbean's Singapore office so my search for accomodation was held back.
By the time I started, all the budget hotels in Barcelona city was filled, had only 1 night available, or weren't able to accomodate a triple-share. So I was so glad when I finally found Hostal Les Torres. It was cheap and only 30 minutes by car from the city. In my haste, I booked the stay without further research as all the other hotels I checked were unavailable. While the hotel was extremely good value for money, it was a hefty mistake to stay so far away from the city because transport cost was a real killer!
Hostal Les Torres
Address : Camí Can Prats, s/n 08635 Sant Esteve Sesrovires (Barcelona)
Website : http://www.lestorres.net/
How to Get There : Refer to website for directions. Best way is to take a cab from airport as the hotel is quite obscure. Otherwise, take a feeder bus from the airport to the airport train station (5 mins) then take the RENFE line to Martorell (1 hour), then take a cab from Martorell station to the hotel (10 mins).
You know how some travellers like to say how every place they've stayed, everything they've seen or did in a foreign land is fantastic so that it seems like they've gotten the best deals and how very smart they are? Well, they could be. But I'm not one of those who will say I had roses when what I really had was just the thorny stems without the blooms. And such a case was the stay at Hostal Les Torres.
Don't get me wrong, the hotel was a decent stay, the scenery beautiful and the staff very helpful. But when weighing in on the best investment for a tourist dollar, this place is a bear cave (a bear run on the financial markets is a negative return on investment). It's located 30 minutes from Barcelona city by car and about 45 minutes from the airport. In cab meter milege, that cost us €70 (S$126) to get there from the airport. First time in my life I paid so much for a cab ride! The original fare was about €80 but I negotiated since the driver didn't know his way and got lost. I read from Tripadvisor and other online sources that it should cost about €50-60 to get here from the airport.
|Visage of Hostel Les Torres with an attempt to structurally merge the classical with the modern.|
There are no shops, attractions or any tourist-friendly establishments within the immediate radius of Les Torres. To get to any convenience stores, we had to take a cab to the nearby town centre of Martorell. Now get this. Booking a taxi to pick us up from Les Torres (because no taxis in their right mind goes there) incurred a fee of about €7 (S$12.60). I'm not kidding. I have photos to prove.
Going to Martorell town centre is only about a 5-minutes drive but guess what's the average taxi fare we paid? €12 (S$21.60)! That's one way. So to go from Hostal Les Torres to Martorell town centre where everything is and back, it cost us about S$50 each trip lasting a total duration of only 10 minutes.
|Back of the accomodation block. Our unit was the one at the leftmost corner with an open window. This photo was taken at about 9 pm but check out how bright the sky is!|
For now, we're still on the topic of how costing only S$239.72 for 2 nights for 3 persons (S$39.95 per pax per night) isn't always necessary the best deal for tourists from faraway.
|There is only ONE restaurant there right next to the hotel. But it seems the restaurant does a brisk business in hosting group luncheons and dining events at its function room.|
The hotel rate is relatively cheap but the inconvenience and expense of getting around is not worth it. To get anywhere, we had to book a taxi through the hotel. The cabs will come from Martorell town and they start charging the meter from there to the hotel. So by the time we got on the cab, the meter was already at €6-7 on top of a booking fee. And the cab meters here seem to jump every 2 seconds! Not sure if we've been swindled but the meters of the city cabs don't increase as quickly.
The only great thing about staying here is that it is close to the picturesque Devil's Bridge and the mountain monastery, Montserrat. Montserrat is only 5 train stops away (15 mins) from Martorell compared to the hour ride it takes to get there from Barcelona city.
Although this turned out to be an accomodation mistake, I would still like to thank the staff at Hostal Les Torres for being very friendly and helpful.