Review: Monument Hotel, Barcelona

There are hundreds of high end hotels in Barcelona, and I've stayed in many of them. One that I hadn't yet stayed in was the Monument Hotel, a 5* property along the Passeig de Gràcia.

I had high expectations for this property, and there are a lot of good things about it. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations.

I chose this property partly because it is an American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts property. With FHR, you get a $100 credit, breakfast and WiFi included, as well as guaranteed 4pm checkout.

You're also supposed to get noon check-in and a free upgrade, if available.

I chose a Junior Suite, because of the size and the bathroom, although I must admit I was hoping to get an upgrade to a full suite upon check-in (spoiler: I didn't).

The Room


The bed of a Junior Suite at the Monument Hotel in Barcelona 

The Junior Suite is a nice size, and is reasonably well appointed. Once side has a large bed and two side tables.

The bed is comfortable, although I found the sheets to be slightly less comfortable than those of comparable hotels.

I also felt that the bedding had a bit of a very-slightly damp feel -- a sense that I normally get in hotels in more humid climates.

The other side of the Junior suite is the living area. Although it's hardly large enough to live in, it's big by Barcelona hotel standards.

It has a TV (there's also a TV on the bed side), a mini bar area, a couch and a small desk. I appreciated the fact that the mini-bar items are complimentary.


The living area in a Junior Suite in the Monument Hotel

The Bathroom

I always appreciate a nice freestanding bathtub, so I was pleasantly surprised by the tub in the Junior Suite.  The bathroom is quite large, and has very high ceilings, giving it an airy feel. 


The bathtub in a Junior Suite at the Monument Hotel

The bathroom was generally clean and up to date, although there were a few little touches here and there that weren't perfect.  


The toilet and shower in the Junior Suite at the Monument Hotel

Overall, the Junior Suite is very nice, albeit not up to the standards of some of the brand name (Four Seasons, etc.) luxury hotels.

That said, the rates at the Monument Hotel are significantly lower than those hotels, so the quality difference is understandable.

Amenities

The restaurant has two Michelin starred restaurants on the premise, which are good but expensive.

It also has a rooftop bar, which has a beautiful view of the city, and can be a great place to unwind after a long day of siteseeing.

The breakfast is very good, with a buffet plus several a la carte items.

It's not the largest breakfast buffet I have had at a hotel, but it's reasonably complete, with breads and pastries, fruits, cheeses and ham, and yogurts and cereal.

Service

Service is where I felt that the Monument Hotel was a bit of a let-down.

Although I generally don't expect impeccable service in mainland European hotels, I was surprised by the amount of push-back I received for simple requests of the hotel staff.

For instance, I ordered drinks at the rooftop bar one evening, when the bar area was about half-full.

The area where I was sitting got a bit too sunny, and I asked to move to a table in the shade.

In response, the waiter said it would be too difficult to move the tab to another table, and suggested I remain where I was.

I was also not particularly impressed with the front desk and concierge staff, who at first pushed back when I requested the late check-out I was entitled to as part of the AMEX Fine Hotels program.

I also did not receive the early check-in or room upgrade that AMEX offers, subject to availability, although this is relatively common among hotels.

I asked for some restaurant recommendations from the concierge and got a place that no longer existed.

To be clear: the service isn't awful -- and the staff is generally friendly -- it's just not quite up to the standard I would expect for such a hotel.

Overall

Overall, the Monument Hotel is not a terrible place to stay, and I would definitely return if the rates were low enough.  However, for the same price, there are many other hotel options in Barcelona that I would prefer.