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Reviewed 1 February 2012

The Pension Palacio was amazingly horrible! My best friend and I stumbled upon this place in the Summer of 2011. We met the owner, Mario, at the train station, he was there peddling his rooms to naive and unsuspecting tourists. My buddy and I were in need of a place to stay and Mario offered his rooms at a really good price, so we decided to take one. What a horrible decision that turned out to be. Once we arrived at the establishment it felt as if we entered a prison which was designed collaboratively by Walt Disney and Willy Wonka. At first glance the hostel was inviting, it’s very clean and colorful. However, after paying and receiving the keys we each realized that we made terrible errors in judgment.

Cleanliness. While I do appreciate a clean hostel/hotel (who doesn’t?), this place was over the top. In fact, I would classify the owners as being obsessive-compulsive with their cleaning policy. It seemed that every time we entered any of the common areas, whether it was in the morning, afternoon, or night, someone was busy scrubbing the floors or doing something else proactive to ensure the place remained spotless. In fact, my buddy and I noticed that after every shower the owner or staff member would be in there scrubbing away. One morning we woke up to find crazy-Mario taking apart (down to the last screw), cleaning, and disinfecting all of the fans in the establishment. Furthermore, when we cooked breakfast in the kitchen each morning (which costs an extra €1 per guest, per day – even for tea or coffee) we had Mario or his wife hovering over us to ensure that no mess was made. Regardless if they were watching us, we have enough class to clean up after ourselves. Like I said, I appreciate cleanliness, but this place is so over the top that we both felt uncomfortable.

Rules. RULES EVERYWHERE – no joke. Whatever room you are in, whether it be the reception, computer room, shower, toilet, kitchen or even your personal room, you will find the walls plastered with colorful and bold-text posters which highlight the rules, which are extensive and rigid. I am 28 years old and felt like I was being treated like either a child or mentally disabled adult.

Fees. Ok, so the initial cost of the Pension Palacio is low, but after the fees begin to add up, it’s no bargain. The owners charge for kitchen use, €1 per person, per day – even if you just want to make a cup of coffee. Pillow: €1,; Sheets €1; Blanket: €1; Luggage storage: €3; Washing laundry: €5; Drying laundry: €2 for 30 minutes. Furthermore, even though this wasn’t enforced when we were there, he charges a fee for using the safe or lock-box in your room.

After feeling like we were staying in a prison, or a mental institution, my buddy and I decided to bail early. We left at around 10 pm so we could catch an overnight bus back to Madrid. Just like a prison, we had to find the staff member with the keys and request that he open the door for us. Yes, the owners don’t even trust their guests enough to allow them to have access to the outside world – you are locked in! So when you come home late or want to leave early you have to signal the staff member, who is usually busy cleaning something, to let you out/in.

My buddy and I have traveled extensively throughout the world, staying in barns, campsites, hostels, hotels, trailers, and even in public places – this was by far one the worst travel accommodations thus far…no joke.

If you want to stay in an overly clean, isolationist, and prison like environment, this is your dream hostel! If not, move along…there are plenty of other wonderful places to stay at in Barcelona.

Room Tip: Don't stay here!
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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13  Thank Richard T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2011

This is a small hostel situated right between the Barceloneta beach and city centre, and thus very suitable both for sightseeing and swimming (or surfing). Very clean - our room was always spotless after cleaning, and the shared bathrooms were always ok. Can't say anything about meeting rooms or possibility for socializing - we stayed very little inside. WiFi is free of charge and of good speed. There are also stationary PCs with Internet that can be used. On arrival we were provided with a free map of Barcelona. The owners were also nice before our arrival - they helped us with the confirmation of booking, which had to be presented at the embassy for us to obtain a Spanish tourist visa.

One thing is really annoying - many rules!!! Previous tourists wrote about the "shower only 7 minutes rule" - this was not true, may be it is so only during summer months. However, you have to pay extras for everything - towels (bed linen was provided to us for free), kitchen etc.

To sum up - it is a great place if you are going not during the summer months (no need of aircon), and only use the hostel as a place to sleep (it is really quiet - thanks to the many rules :) ).

Room Tip: We had a room facing the inside wall of the building, and it was always very dark in the room. But if you get a room facing the street - it should be too noisy at night. So, choose the inconvenience you prefer :)
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank innamelnyk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2011

i know its long - please read all! we had to call the police because the owner was so crazy!

we stayed there late july 2011, when we arrived to the place we saw a tiny disguasting door with graffiti on it - thats the entrance. we had to go up 2 levels of old stairs (no lift) with our things.
the place was tiny, and the first thing we saw was notes saying there are fines for everything - fines for staining the sheets, smoking around the building, taking a shower over 7 minutes, washing your clothes in the sink. if you want to use the kitchen it costs 1 euro per person.
the guy showed us to the room, we passed the shared bathroom - 2 shower and 2 toilets for the whole place. the room was tiny, the "air con" was a old fan. there was no place to move and the bed was hard as a rock.

after a night with no sleep we decided to check out, we were explaining to the owner politly that it is not for us, and that we couldnt sleep because of the heat and the bed that felt like a rock. the owner said it is our problem and that we have to pay for the whole 6 nights we booked, we tried to get a compromise and said we'll pay for some but she said we have to pay the whole week. she talked to us in a very rood way while we were trying to be polite. evantually we wanted to get out of this place so badly that we decided to pay her the 6 nights and just go so we can enjoy Barcelona. after we paid she said "let me know when you're checking out so i can put somebody else in the room". we packed our stuff and said we are going to look at different places, she demanded to know if we are checking our or not - i said to her that i paid for the room, so its my room for the week and i have the right to come back. then the lady got completly crazy and yelled at us while kicking us out and shutting the door on us.

we called the police and they arrived, after a short talk they said that the place is disguasting and that we can find a much better place for the money. the cops came down with the crazy owner and she said "i dont want them to stay here ill give them the money back as long as they go and never come back" - perfect, we didnt want to stay at that disguasting place plus get the money back is what we wanted. then the crazy lady turned to me saying "where are you going to sleep tonight? on the streets? enjoy" so i said i dont think its a problem to find a different place, then she turned to the cops saying "no i changed my mind, they HAVE TO stay here i dont give them the money back i want them now to stay here the whole time". the cops had to tell her to relax and that she has to give us the money back and that we're going. then they said shes crazy and its better for us if we find a different place.

we changed to a different hotel for the same price who offered much more, was pleasnt and had a pool. for this prices you can find so much better than this prison pencion palcia.

i know the review is long, thank you for reading we had the worst experience there and dont want anyone going throught that.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank noacodish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2011

We stayed here in the middle of summer and could not sleep. It was 29 degrees inside the room and 26 outside. Our room was 4m x 4m and the only window was about 90cm x 30cm. This would have been livable if there was air con but we only had a fan and felt this wasn't enough in the middle of summer. Every time you enter you have to buzz the door, this goes on well into the night. There was a lot of internal noise from other guests.

We found the rooms were clean and bathrooms were spotless. Some other positives were the free wifi and that each room had half a shelf of the fridge.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Gralice1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2011

It is located centrally. The building it's located in is quite bleak but I guess that is part of the price. The hostel itself is very brightly decorated. There were however endless rules, signs and the extra costs added up so much as to bump up the price. We had to pay for each family member to use the kitchen even on the day we just made a cup of tea. We were charged quite a lot to leave our bags, which was free everywhere else we went ( as were the kitchens). It was quiet which suited us but if you are looking for somewhere a bit buzzy this is not the place.

Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
Thank SparkyCanberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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