Barcelona Skyline

Monday, 17 October 2011

Our new laundry: travel light

Nuestra Lavandería - Hotel Principal

We are pleased to inform our guests, friends, and neighbours that we have just inaugurated our new self service laudromat right next to the Hotel Principal.

Open from 8:00 to 21:30 this new service lets our guests pack less and travel more comfortably.

The washers and driers are coin operated and easy to handle.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Literary Barcelona

If you are coming to Barcelona and want a little historical introduction and orientation why not read one (or both) of the biggest international best-sellers in recent years: The Shadow of the Wind and The Cathedral of the Sea. Both authors are from Barcelona and both historical novels are set in Barcelona neighbourhoods within easy walking distance of the hotel.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon´s The Shadow of the Wind, spans the time from the late 19th century industrial revolution to the post Civil War Franco years. It weaves the occult, the diabolical, a tragic history of love, and a literary mystery into an international gothic blockbuster that has been translated into 45 languages and has sold more than one million copies in Great Britain alone. If you speak Catalan or Spanish you can convert this historical fiction into reality by taking an organized tour given by Rutas Culturales de Barcelona. Or, with a little help from our hotel staff, you can investigate the novel´s settings and mysterious places on your own. You can retrace the footsteps of Daniel Sempere, Julian Carax, and all the others through “the cemetery of lost books”, Santa Maria del Mar, the Quatre Gats restaurant, the Canuda bookstore, calle Montcada, Plaza San Felipe Neri, and las Ramblas.

The Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones, Spain´s Ken Follett, takes place in 14th century Barcelona. This super best-seller in Spain relives the historical drama of plagues, social injustice, and the incredible building of Santa Maria del Mar while spinning a personal story of treason and love. Again you can discover the sights of this novel with rutas culturales or you can leisurely visit the Sinagoga Romano-Medieval (The Roman-Medieval Synagogue), Call Jueu (the old Jewish quarter), the Roman Temple of Augusto, la Plaza del Rei and of course Santa Maria del Mar on your own as well as wander down calle Montcada, calle Canvis Nous I Canvis Vells, and calle Consolat de Mar.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

La Merçé: Big Celebration In Barcelona

From Hotel Principal, we invite you to enjoy La Mercè, the greatest festival in Barcelona.

For us is the most exepcted celebration of the year. During one week, people take to the streets to overturn the traditional festival, which offers events for all audiences: families with children, young and old. And it is the conjunction of all publics and participating artists, which make this a unique celebration.

Here are some of the shows:

  • The great Festival of tradition: artistic representations which reflect the traditional Barcelona caracter: castellers, big heads and giants.

  • De Catalunya món BAM music festival: over 50 performances by groups from Catalonia and other places.

  • The Parc de la Dansa i Teatre al carrer: Dance and theater in the Parc de la Ciutadella
    Bestiary Exhibition City: amazing characters who become part of the authentic traditions of Catalonia, at Palau de la Virreina. You must see them to understand:

  • La Festa del Foc: Fire, powder, firecrackers and everything related to the fire. The correfoc and the Piromusical show in the streets of Barcelona.

  • Saint Petersburg, special guest of the celebration. Classical Dance from the city of Saint Petersburg at the Parc de la Ciutadella.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Those Gaudí nights

Introducing 2 special ways to enjoy Gaudí's architecture:

The essential Gaudí and live jazz music. La Pedrera is one of the most emblematic Gaudí’s buildings. And during the summer you can enjoy its night charm. Located in the building’s attic, the Espai Gaudí is a visual journey through the work of this unique architect. The roof is an expressive place to enjoy Gaudí’s creativity, the night, the city and the music with a drink.
Every Friday and Saturday until August 28th. The entry costs 25 Euros and includes the visit, a jazz concert, cava and beer taste.

Magic Nights on the Terrace of the Casa Batlló: At dusk, Gaudi’s architectural gem shapes a unique and exclusive place, inviting to approach the wonderful universe of the brilliant architect in the charming atmosphere of candlelight.
Casa Batlló is open to the public every night from Wednesday to Sunday from 21 h to 00.30 h (last admission at 23.30 h), from June 16th until September 4th, 2011. A series of live music performances and drinks will delight guests, as well as the summery setting of the outdoor terrace with deck chairs and candelabras, allowing for deep breathes of a gentle see breeze.
During the day, the Piano Nobile –former home of the Batlló family- is admired by its majesty and elegance whilst at night it becomes a sublime place to enjoy drinks, music or just chill out in the terrace.
Young artists perform jazz and boss nova rhythms that mingle with the well cared decoration.
The entry costs 25 Euros .

Friday, 1 July 2011

Summer with children in Barcelona

If you are planning a little family vacation, Barcelona offers a whole range of unforgettable experiences for the children…and for the adults. Here are just a few:

The Zoo and the Ciutadella park is an open-air whole-day option, perfect for Barcelona’s climate. Zoos are always amusing for children. The iconic albino gorilla “Copito de nieve” (Snowflake) is no longer with us, but his memory lingers on and mingles with the dozens of species which will satisfy even the most demanding. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and especially lemurs which, due to the film “Madagascar”, are real favorites. Few children can resist singing “I like to move it” while passing by these cuddly creatures.
Alter the animal kingdom you can enjoy the Ciutadella park: have a little pick-nick under the trees, rent a bicycle with one or two seats, enjoy a rowboat ride on the lake surrounded by friendly ducks of all colors and sizes.

The Aquarium, a closed space surrounded by water, is a perfect option for sultry days. Unique in Europe it has an 80-meter tunnel, an immense oceanario, and 35 aquariums which use about 6 million liters of water and house 450 maritime species.
Specialists have loyally reproduced the natural habitat of each of the species. On Wednesdays and weekends divers swim among the sharks which adds a touch of emotion to the show.

The Parc Güell is Antoni Gaudi’s gift to children: It is a veritable pleasurehouse for children, with so many colors and shapes. Walking through this original space is a kind of dream with a surprise around every corner. The star of the show is “el drac” (the dragon) which has become not only the icon of the park, but also that of the entire city.

The Caixa Forum & Cosmo Caixa is a exhibition center which offers various activities for children in addition to its usual expositions. Caixa Forum offers art workshops, guided visits, films, and concerts all of which are related to the themes of the exhibits. It is for those who prefer science over art and loathe “Do not touch” signs.
Simple games teach the laws of physics by letting children experiment and use their imaginations. If outer space is your thing, this Tibidabo museum offers a planetarium which explains the origins and evolution of the Earth through images which are more than realistic.

La Illa Fantasia (Fantasy island) is not like the mythic television series, but it is an excellent way to spend a summer day with your family. It is an aquatic park with swimming pools (one especially equipped with hoops to play “waterbasketball”), toboggans of all sizes, a minigolf course, and a race track. You are sure to find everything you need to spend a great day: shops, restaurants, and even a picknick area equipped for grilling meat.
This “island” is not surrounded by water, but by Premia del Mar, a beautiful coast town.
FREE bus for Hotel Principal's guest!!!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Palau Guell reopens its doors

The 26th of May was a big day for Barcelona and all lovers of the iconic Barcelona architect, Antoni Gaudí. You probably know the Park Güell and The Sagrada Familia, but now you can now contemplate The Palau Güell another side of this universal genius, and right around the corner from the Hotel Principal.

The Palau Güell is the only example of domestic architecture that Gaudí finished. It is another example of his far-out skill, vision, and genius. The building is a UNESCO World Heritage spot in recognition of its universal artistic value. After a long, careful restoration the Palau Güell was once again opened to the public.
We at the hotel went to the Palau today. The lines were just too long the other days.

And what a restoration it is. The whole thing is magnificent. Ceramics, wrought iron, glass, and wood. A unique living space from the old stables in the basement with its large mushroom-shaped pillars to the roof terrace which gives a fantasy view of Barcelona through its variously shaped chimneys. You have the usual Gaudí touches: twisted metal works, colored windows, ceramic-covered chimneys, most all from local materials. All in his eclectic style which combines the Hispano-Muslim with Art Nouveau.

We took the audiotour which is great, complete with anecdotes about the Güell family, music from the time, etc. This is a must see and is exactly a seven minute walk from the hotel.

Monday, 6 June 2011

The other side of the typical Spanish music

Typical Spanish music has a lot of faces. It could be much more than stomping and guitars. And if by a chance you are in Barcelona next weekend, you’ll be able to check it yourself, in the concert that 3 young talented musicians will offer at the Reial Cercle Artistic (Arcs street 5).
With Anna Ibáñez’s piano, César Arístides’ violin and Susanna Mendoza’s soprano voice, they make a very particular combination of Classic Spanish music and Zarzuela.
You just can’t miss the opportunity to attend this special musical event, on June 11th at 21:00 hrs. The entry costs 15 Euros and includes a glass of cava (Spanish champagne).
You can book your tickets at Hotel Principal reception desk.