For my first of only two nights in Barcelona, I stayed at Generator … in the 8th floor penthouse … and absolutely loved it! If you hanker for a bit of luxury and a chance to spread out when in Barcelona (while still holding on to more than a few spare euros in your pocket), this suite is hard to beat. But whatever you might hope to achieve when booking a budget conscious visit to this bodacious city, you’d be smart to keep in mind Generator’s rather broad spectrum of possible overnight arrangements.
With the penthouse stay, all my reqs for quality accommodation were met in spades. The king-sized bed had a firm mattress. The shower’s water pressure was something fierce (but only if you wanted it to be). The WiFi signal was strong throughout the property and shared with guests for free. Beyond my baseline for comfort, well … the bidet in the penthouse was a nice touch. Giant windows plus a wrap around terrace with excellent views of La Sagrada Familia – not to mention the mountains and the sea – presented compelling reasons simply to stay put despite the bounty of urban fun just outside the hostel’s entrance.
So yeah, the penthouse blew me away. But honestly I was impressed with Generator’s complete range of accommodation options. Affable General Manager, Elwin Meijvis, kindly gave me a tour of the hostel. He and all staff encountered were really friendly – laidback but on the ball.
Shared dorms (mixed gender and women-only) looked so much better than the hostels I remember from my own backpacking days of yore, with 21st century gadget compatibility ensured. Private rooms were practical and well designed, with rooms on the top two floors all have outdoor space. Public chill-out and lounge areas were comfy and attractive with plenty of nooks or open spaces. I liked the youthful and almost frisky feel of the place tempered with a reserved attitude respectful to any combination of guest expectations – you could be a hepped up and solo twenty-something or a family with small children and check out having had a pleasant stay here. And the entire place – from the edges of the penthouse’s 30m2 wrap around terrace to the corners of the shared dorm bathrooms – was so incredibly impeccably clean.
You can book a bed at Generator for as low as €9. Rates for the penthouse start at €200 (which seems like stupidly good value based on my experience and especially considering the suite has so much space with foldout sofas for five guests, plenty of storage and a full kitchen – just one toilet though).
In the Neighbourhood
As tempting as it was to remain aloft in the penthouse admiring the amazing views it affords, I managed some time on the ground exploring the trendy streets of Gracia, the neighbourhood where the hostel is situated. Here are some of the tastier highlights.
Xurreria Trebol: At Generator, you’re all but arm’s reach from churros y chocolate at the humble but highly esteemed Xurreria Trebol where an inexpensive assortment of typical Spanish and traditional Catalan treats can be tried. Details at churreriatrebol.es.
La Gilda: Lunch here was great! I particularly loved my octopus, avocado and pistachio salad as well as my glass of slightly chilled Mysti Syrah from Origami Wines. More at lagildabcn.com.
Pepita: Highly recommended and extremely popular, La Pepita serves up the right mix of tapas to meet local expectations while keeping a steady flow of tourists and expats happy too. They do a more than acceptable and keenly refreshing G&T here too. Visit La Pepita online at lapepitabcn.com.
Generator Barcelona is located at Carrer de Corsega 373, 08037. It’s in a well-connected part of town with respect to public transport. I arrived there from the airport via train and Metro in a jiffy and at minimal expense. The location is a smart one for sight-seeing too with loads of attractions and the best of Gaudi’s works all nearby. Find out more about the hostel and the entire Generator group at generatorhostels.com.
More to come! Gracias for reading tikichris.