This is our review of the Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona Hotel, a large, family friendly hotel perfect for both business travellers and families visiting Barcelona with kids.
I have been to Barcelona many times: as a student, as a young professional on business trips and more recently as a mother of two wonderful and energetic children.
Over the course of the years, I have experienced accommodation of all types in the city, from almost-too-dodgy-for-comfort budget options to lovely self catering apartments. However, up until recently I didn’t have a good address for a hotel I would be happy to bring my kids to.
Therefore, when the offer from Hilton Diagonal Mar to be their guest arrived, I was immediately interested: the photos showed a hotel that was beautiful, practical and in location that while not immediately central seemed perfect for family needs.
We spent there 2 nights and had a lovely experience. This is how we got on.
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Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona highlights
Summary: we had a lovely time in the Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona hotel and we now recommend it as accommodation for families in Barcelona.
Our highlights are:
- Large, comfortable rooms with comfy beds and lots of space
- Kind, professional, welcoming staff
- Great breakfast buffet
- Children menu
- Amazing pool, open to families with kids
- Family packages to include entry to local attractions
- Handy location with restaurant onsite, playground, shopping centre, additional food outlets and beach just in front
Disclaimer. The Hilton Del mar hotel had us as their guests for the purpose of this review. However, the opinion expressed in this post are my own and reflect my personal experience of the hotel only.
Hilton Diagonal Mar review
We got to the Hilton Diagonal Mar on a Friday evening, at about 9pm. Our flight got into Barcelona El Prat airport and as soon as we stepped out of the terminal a mild, beautiful evening enveloped our senses. There is quite nothing like a summer night after a long winter to put you into holiday mode!
We had opted to get a taxi to the hotel and, a quick 25 minutes later, we were welcome but the Hilton staff and swiftly checked in.
The first impression about the hotel was great: the lobby is large, well lit and welcoming and a bar with soft armchairs and lounge music invited relaxation.
The staff at reception were professional and kind and we immediately spotted something that gave away how the hotel is not just for business but welcomes families too: a shelf with rubber duckies, for sale!
My kids adore rubber duckies and have started a collection from the several Hilton hotels we had stayed at recently so we quickly pocketed a set of three and went to our room.
Hilton Diagonal Mar rooms
Our room was located on the 7th floor and overlooked the hotel pool and the beach. The hotel has several configurations of room to suit all needs, with a floor space between 30 and 38sq metres. All rooms have comfortable beds (even the singles are large!), large, well equipped bathrooms, mini bar, complimentary tea and coffee and a nice desk/workspace. The hotel also has free wifi in the room, air conditioning and tv.
We stayed in a premium room and loved it but budget permitting you can also indulge in one of the hotel suites or executive rooms.
If you follow this blog, you may know that our family highlight of any hotel stay is the buffet breakfast and the one at Hilton Diagonal Mar didn’t disappoint. The restaurant has a large indoor space and a nice small terrace overlooking the street and green area outside of the hotel.
The buffet is varied and has fresh fruit, a cold buffet, a hot one, of course tea and coffee and a large selection of cereals and breads and pastries.
Kids favourite such as coco pops are available and located at a child-friendly height (funny how something so simple makes a difference in terms of family friendliness!) so kids can move around and help themselves, making breakfast a pleasant affair.
As well as breakfast, the restaurant serves dinner and caters for families not just with a kids menu but with a ‘kids eat free policy’.
The recommended activities
We had two days in Barcelona and while I did have an idea on what to do, I wanted to hear what the hotel had to recommend.
They mentioned something I had no idea existed and that quickly piqued my attention: El Poble Espanyol. This is an attraction located in the district of Montjuic and is a ‘little Spain’. Here, several areas of Spain are reconstructed with life size buildings and you can get an idea of the diversity of this beautiful country without having to leave Barcelona!
The poble is perfect for kids: the place has no cars, so they could move about freely, it has a great playground, many shops, restaurants and workshops showing traditional crafts.
It was an excellent recommendation which made for a lovely afternoon: the hotel arranged the tickets for us making the whole experience hassle free and it really showed how clued in with the needs for families the staff at the Hilton Diagonal Mar really is.
I love hotels with pools and find access to water almost a must-have when travelling with kids. The Hilton Diagonal Mar pool didn’t disappoint. Located on the second floor, the pool is part of the outdoor ‘puro beach’, the hotel pool club.
Puro beach is a beautiful space with a distinct elegant, relaxed vibe. The décor is made of wood decking and white, plush sunbeds around the pool and a well stock bar sells juices, cocktails and a nice tasting menu.
When I first entered puro club I was unsure this place was suitable for families: the relaxing music and the Moet branded bar made my adult self very happy but I worried the kids may not fit in here.
However I turned out to be wrong and the soon discover the hotel pool is not only open to kids but the hotel has a children pool and a lot of space for them to run around.
Bring the hotel rubber duckies with you and you are guaranteed a great day
The hotel is located on the coast, few metro stops away from the beach of Barceloneta and the city centre. While not walking distance from the main Barcelona attractions, we did enjoy this location and had some distinct advantage for family.
First and foremost the area is quiet and well served.
Just in front of the hotel there is the Diagonal Mar shopping centre where you have shops, restaurants, cafes and an outdoors playground.
At the back of the shopping centre there is the metro stop which connects you directly with the city centre and to the main railway stations. This means that if you have more than a couple of nights in Barcelona you can use the hotel as a base for day trips such as Montserrat, Tarragona and Girona, before resting on the hotel terrace recalling the adventures of your day.
You can get to the metro stop from the hotel main entrance with a 2 minute walk along a lovely tree lined road. While the front of the hotel suggests this area to be a business district, here you can see how local the area is: on Sunday morning, we saw all the cafes on this road full with families catching the sun and it made us feel like we belonged in this beautiful but sometimes overly touristy city.
As well as the city attractions, the hotel is also close to the beach. Barcelona has a long, sandy stretch of beach and you can see part of it from the higher hotel floors (it is about 400mt from the hotel). We didn’t go this time, but you can reach it with a sort walk, which is a lovely option if you have more than a couple of days in town.
We had a lovely time at the Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona and we are happy to recommend it for families. For the most pleasant experience, get a room overlooking the pool and do ask for their family package: it includes accommodation, free children meals in the main restaurants (if eating with adults), entry to Poble Espanyol and 50% discount on interconnecting room. A city trip to Barcelona with kids doesn’t get much easier than this!
Make sure you also sign up for the Hilton rewards scheme to get discount and advantages in all Hilton properties.