Where in-country pros and like-minded travelers share info on the best places to sleep, eat, and things to do

NOT A WHOONER?

barcelona
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Sleeping

Posted by jbaljko

Hotel Montecarlo
If walls could talk, the ones at Hotel Montecarlo may have interesting tales to tell. The four-star hotel at the top of La Rambla, a couple of blocks from Plaça Catalunya, had at one point in it's history been home to a 19th Century palace, and headquarters for two newspapers, "Las Noticias" and "El Correo Catalán." It was converted into a hotel in 1945. The façade - something right out of the traditional Barcelona design book with curved balconies and superb detail in its stonework - along with elegant interior featuring white marble staircases and floors, and columned arches plays up its opulent past. While its single and standard rooms have a more functionary, sterile feel, the Montecarlo's superior and deluxe rooms impart the upscale style you'd be looking for in a hotel of this category. The amenities found in all rooms are not too shabby either. There are ensuite jacuzzis, bathrobes, slippers, scales, hair dyers, high-speed broadband and Wi-fi Internet connections, and, the hotel's biggest selling point, electronically adjustable beds. The beds, and their quality, were of such importance, in fact, that hotel has created a separate page on its Web site to brag about them.

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Eating

Posted by jbaljko

Buenas Migas
If you're looking for a good cup of cappuccino or want a light snack before or after hitting the pavement, then Buenas Migas won't disappoint. The cozy café serves up fresh, homemade scones, pastries, Spanish tortillas, salads, pasta, sandwiches, and a variety of sweet and savory focaccia. It even sells its own branded jams, lemon curd and other items that make nice gifts. And, I dare you to leave without trying the Chocolate Bomb - it's a chocoholic's dream. The story goes that owners Patrick and Clare, who hail respectively from Genoa, Italy and Cornwall, England, studied the art of focaccia bread making in Genoa, the city that brought the world delectable flat, oven-baked bread usually topped with olive oil, salt and an array of herbs. They settled in Barcelona and brought these traditional recipes with them. The first Buenas Migas opened in 1998, and now there are seven sites around the city, including ones near the Cathedral and MACBA (Barcelona's Museum of Contemporary Art); along the main drags of Passeig de Gràcia and Diagonal, and a stone's throw from Barceloneta's beach.

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Eating

Posted by jbaljko

Fratelli La Bufala
On a quest for the perfect pizza? If you can't get to Naples, Italy - the unofficial world capital of great pizza, you'll get close enough with Fratelli La Bufala in the L'Eixample Dret neighborhood. Made in the Neapolitan tradition with buffalo mozzarella and other products produced at small southern Italian farms, pizzas coming out the oven are sure to be a hit. And, to boot, ingredients and food products used in the menu items have D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata/Controlled Designation of Origin) and D.O.P. (Denominazione d’Origine Protetta/Protected Designation of Origin) certifications verifying their authenticity. You can top your pizza with almost anything you want, but there's something pure and just downright good with the classic cheese Margherita pie. If pizza isn't your thing, order the pasta or grilled buffalo meat instead. Top it off with a limoncello, a lemon liqueur common in southern Italy, and a slice of cheesecake.

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Travelers' tales

Travelers tales

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