Open since 2004, the Market Hotel Barcelona is a charming boutique hotel in the city’s Sant Antoni district. Part of the flourishing Andilana Group (who own 30 restaurants and six hotels across Spain, France and Madagascar), their name is synonymous with a certain kind of ‘affordable chic’ in both areas of their business. Housed in a renovated building just around the corner from the iconic Sant Antoni market, this three-star hotel works its best assets well, with a large restaurant and cocktail bar on the ground floor and 46 spacious private rooms above. We stayed here for eleven nights in June/July 2018 and this is my review of our visit. To give you a real feel for the hotel, I’ve included my own video above plus images below. If you find my Market Hotel Barcelona review helpful, be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know! 👇
Hotel Market is located in my favourite part of Barcelona: Sant Antoni. Surrounded by the El Raval, Eixample and Poble Sec districts, it has a quiet, leafy and cool vibe – somewhere you would want live (if you were lucky enough to be a resident of Barcelona) as it’s not too busy or noisy but still really central. The hotel is a 3-minute walk from Sant Antoni’s metro station, with other lines close by (Urgell and Poble Sec stations are both 5-10 minutes away). It’s also close to many key areas, with Plaça Catalunya, Las Ramblas and Plaça Espanya all reachable on foot in under 20 minutes. On my last visit to Barcelona, I stayed in the middle of edgy El Raval at a hotel very close to La Ramblas but I much preferred Sant Antoni as there seemed to be fewer tourists (and therefore fewer pickpockets).
One of the best things about this hotel is that it’s surrounded by great places to eat. We rolled out of bed to an amazing brunch spot nearby every day and felt spoilt for choice that we could go in any direction and find a great restaurant or bar in the evening. The area isn’t a banging party area but you’re always a short walk from the more vibrant El Raval, Eixample and Poble Sec, depending on what you’re looking for. I also found this hotel to be a great option to stay at during Barcelona Pride, as we could easily walk to the big party at Plaça Espanya in heels – and the hotel staff loved having two drag queens strutting in and out of the hotel in fab outfits at all hours of the day. For us, the hotel’s location was a huge selling point and, having stayed at many hotels in Barcelona’s city centre over the past 13 years, this was by far one the nicest and most convenient areas I’ve experienced.
📍 Address: Market Hotel, Carrer del Comte Borrell 68, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
☎️ Phone: +34 933 25 12 05
The Market Hotel Barcelona features a range of rooms and suites. Prices are really affordable, ranging from £50 – £150 per night, depending on room type and season. We paid around £140 per night for a Junior Suite with Terrace (their largest room type) at the height of summer, which was still quite reasonable considering how expensive Barcelona is at this time of year.
We stayed in a Junior Suite and Terrace, of which the hotel has two. There’s also a couple of Junior Suites without a terrace for a slightly reduced price – but considering how long we were staying here we figured it was worth splurging a little extra. Not that we used the terrace that much (as we spent pretty much all of our time at the beach) but it was great to have somewhere where we could pop outside – and hang wet swimwear to dry.
We actually managed to stay in both of the two Junior Suite and Terrace rooms over our 11 nights. We were originally booked into 905, which was lovely but had a few issues: the WiFi was a little weak plus two of the power points were broken and on the 2nd or 3rd evening, our air conditioner malfunctioned and started pouring water onto the bedroom floor. The staff kindly offered to move us to a smaller room for one night and then into the other terrace suite the following day. We didn’t want to move all our belongings twice, so we opted to spend the night without an air conditioner and then move rooms the next day. The hotel very kindly offered us both free breakfast the next morning for the inconvenience.
I was actually pretty glad that we had to move. Room 905 was nice and pretty much the same as Room 904, but all marketing images you’ll see of the hotel are taken in 904. I think it has slightly more natural light, and even felt a tiny bit bigger, so I was a little bit disappointed when we were originally booked into 905. That said, my partner thought the opposite and felt that the bathroom was much grander in 905 – so you know, it’s all very subjective. Either way, it’s great that I could experience both room options and review them.
Both rooms had a huge double bed – comprising of two large single beds pushed together. Sometimes this bothers me a little at other hotels, but when the beds were made up as a double, you could barely tell. Surrounding the bed was a large four poster-like structure, that was actually totally separate from the bed itself but gave a really stylish definition to the room. There was also a mini couch, a tv and a small fridge in the room. The wardrobe was very stylish but weirdly laid out, so you couldn’t hang anything longer than a shirt inside it – quite annoying when we both had lots of drag with us. The cupboard also had a laptop-sized safe inside, which was also handy.
Overall, the bedroom was really comfortable and felt really luxe with only a few worn edges – which you should expect considering the ‘affordable glam’ style of the hotel. Across everything – the room, restaurant, etc – everything was very beautifully styled but ever so slightly scruffy. Clearly, a lot of money had been spent when the hotel was last refurbished but not enough care and attention had been taken to keep everything looking impeccable since. But hey – you get what you pay for. If you want something that’s immaculate and beautifully maintained, you will need to pay more than £150 a night during Barcelona’s peak season. However, feeling glam but a little imperfect was exactly the vibe we needed for our beach holiday. We came back most days covered in salt, sand and sun cream, so the polished wooden floors and breezy terrace vibes were ideal for our summer holiday.
If you’ve read my other reviews, you’ll know that I’m very particular about bathrooms. I’m grossed out by even a tiny amount of dirt or mould and feel that it’s in the bathroom that most hotels and hostels let themselves down. Thankfully, this was not the case at Hotel Market. In fact, this was one of the biggest and most fabby bathrooms I’ve ever encountered.
The large bathroom had glossy black tiles, a huge mirror, a rainfall shower and a bath so enormous that you could practically swim laps in it (only a slight exaggeration, I assure you). There was ample space for us to both do our make-up next to each other, which is a luxury we rarely experience. I really loved the shower as well – you can see in my video above how great the water pressure is. Overall, the bathroom was a huge selling point for us both.
Breakfast is served from 7:30am-11am every morning in the hotel’s restaurant, which isn’t open to the public during this time so breakfast is only available to guests. The hotel’s breakfast is pretty standard buffet fare – UK-style eggs and bacon matched with more Mediterranean cold cheese and tomato options. There were many different types of bread and cereal too plus a quite retro-looking coffee machine. Breakfast is not included in the room rate but is an additional charge of €13.50 per person each morning.
I usually avoid hotel breakfasts because going out for brunch is one of my favourite things to do – and Barcelona has some amazing brunch restaurants. However, when the hotel offered us a free breakfast to make up for our broken air conditioner, I was happy to give it a try. The food itself was pretty average – not bad but just your bog-standard hotel breakfast. I was really glad when I asked about gluten-free options that the staff offered to go and heat me up some bread. It did take 30 mins to bake, but seeing as there was little else of substance I could eat, I really appreciated the gesture. Overall, I don’t think the breakfast is worth the money. You won’t pay much more at one of the amazing brunch spots nearby and, if you’re trying to save money, then you can easily grab croissants and coffee nearby or less than half the price.
Aside from the restaurant and bar, there isn’t much else to the hotel – but I didn’t feel like it was missing anything considering it’s only three stars. The WiFi is free and pretty strong in the rooms (decent enough to watch Netflix). There’s a concierge and laundry service if you need it and the hotel seemed relatively wheelchair accessible.
One of the only weird things about this hotel is that if you do book one of the suites, they’re only accessible through the restaurant. Thankfully, this space is open 24-hours a day but it was initially a little odd that we had to walk through a room full of diners to reach our stairwell. All the smaller room types can be accessed from the stairwell/lift opposite reception, so it’s just one of the quirks of the hotel – and something we got used to pretty quickly. Again, you get what you pay for, right?
Restaurant Market Barcelona
The key feature of this hotel is the restaurant. It’s huge – seating easily over 200 people – and has the same chic but simple style as the rooms. The polished wooden floors, white tablecloths and vintage chandeliers give this light and airy space a crisp, classic feel. The restaurant was busy every evening with locals (which is always a good sign) and the menu is large with mainly Mediterranean-style food. As with all the Andilana restaurants, it’s the price that attracts so many people: for a stylish sit-down meal with a good selection of dishes, the rates are really reasonable. They also have multiple set menu options, which start from €25 per person and include 3 courses plus 1/2 a bottle of wine each. You can see the menus in Spanish on the hotel’s website.
Having tried a number of Andilana restaurants in both Barcelona and Madrid before, this was a big selling point of the hotel for us. We ate here one evening when we couldn’t be bothered going out, which was very handy. Their expansive menu is thankfully available in English as well and they’re relatively vegetarian and gluten-free friendly (including bread). I wouldn’t say that this is the most amazing vegetarian and gluten-free restaurant in Barcelona, but it at least caters to everyone, making it a good groups option. The service was quite patchy the evening we ate here – they clearly needed more staff on the floor and those who were working seemed unfairly stressed as a result. The restaurant itself, like the hotel rooms, was stylish but a little worn. All seating was starting to look a little threadbare and the walls looked a little scuffed in places, but it did give the place a little shabby chic vibe.
Bar Rosso cocktail bar
The cocktail bar is a ready nice addition to the hotel as well. It forms part of the restaurant but is separated both by the double doors and its distinctly vibrant red interiors. We didn’t end up drinking here but it’s a very stylish spot (and probably the most Instagrammable feature of the hotel). Inspired by 1930s Hong Kong, the colonial Chesterfields and hanging lantern lights give this bar a luxe feel. There’s also a small terrace on the side, for when the weather is warm (isn’t it always in Barcelona?) and back bar was stocked with pretty much everything you could want from a hotel bar.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at the Market Hotel Barcelona. The rooms were low-key luxe and quite sexy with all the glossy black furniture and tiles. The restaurant and bar were a good addition and the reception staff were very friendly and helpful. Both the hotel and the restaurant could do with a little refresh but I say that about most places I stay in that are over a couple of years old. What really made this hotel perfect for us was the location: this district is by far the best area of Barcelona to stay in right now and I’ll probably only consider a Sant Antoni hotel when I’m lucky enough to visit this city next. I definitely recommend the Market Hotel for any fabulous traveller.