Hotel Review: AC by Marriott, Barcelona Sants

Last night I stayed at my first AC (Autograph Collection) hotel. AC is a Marriott brand which I have seen primarily in EIMG_0155urope, although they may exist elsewhere too. Most AC hotels I have seen on Marriotts website before appear to be smaller hotels, and quite frankly look like local hotels that Marriott has included in their chain. My stay at the AC hotel in Barcelona Sants appeared to validate my thinking.


I moved to the AC Barcelona Sants from the Renaissance Barcelona because of an early morning train I was taking from Barcelona to Madrid. This hotel is literally right outside the Barcelona Sants train station’s main entrance. The picture attached of the train station is from my room window. In fact it is so close that the hotel does not get any taxi’s parked outside. I had to walk across the strain station to its taxi stand to find one. Waking up in the morning to get to the train was of course a breeze, and served by purpose. I will review my AVE high-speed train experience in a later post.



The rooms are nothing special, except for the extra-large screen TV in it. Typical European hotel room with a tiny shower (no tub) and toilet area. The bed was nice and comfy, though I found the pillows to be way too soft. The shower was excellent with good water pressure, something I care about a lot. The soap at the sink was in the shape of a Golf ball. I found that interesting, though forgot to take a picture.

Platinum Experience:

IMG_0159I am a Marriott Platinum. The experience was …um… none. I was not offered any welcome gift (points or beverage) upon checking in. Nor was I told about the free breakfast. However, in their defense, when I was checking out, the agent told me that I was entitled a free breakfast and as it was too early to get me something from the kitchen, let me take a food item and a beverage from their snack sales area. A fresh fruit bowl (fresh fruit always awesome in Spain) and a water served me well on the train.

In all, it was a cute hotel with a location near the train station. Else, it had nothing to offer. If you are looking for a good Marriott property in Barcelona, I recommend the Renaissance where I stayed my first night in the city. It is located right in the center of Barcelona, walking distance from all the great shops and restaurants. I will review that too in a later post.

If you have stayed in an AC hotel and would like to share your experience, leave a comment below.

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  1. AC and Autograph Collection are totally 2 different things. AC Hotels, including the Sants one you stayed, are basically a chain of European budget hotels Marriott bought a few years back. Autograph Collection hotel are something “home grown” by Marriott and they are all at least 4 if not 5 stars. The Autograph Collection Hotel in Barcelona is actually Cotton House Hotel. It is probably one of the most comfortable hotels I ever stayed in Europe.

  2. Just a little correction. AC hotels was a Spanish company that was purchased by Marriott in 2011 and currently operates as AC hotels by Marriott. Most of their hotels are in Spain. This is separate from their autograph collection hotels. Autograph hotels are smaller boutique hotels that use Marriott for their distribution. AC hotels are usually cheaper limited service hotels, typically aimed at low end business travelers and younger travelers.

  3. Nice review. Mwwalk is absolutely right. AC Hotels is different from Autograph Collection. The later offers absolutely decent five star luxury hotels all over the world, while AC Hotels usually are three or four star properties in Spain 🙂

  4. @mmwalk and @William, thank you for educating me on the distinction between Autograph Collection and AC. I learnt something new. Now I have to stay at an Autograph Collection hotel for sure.

  5. Technically AC Marriotts are excluded from the plat breakfast just like the courtyards are. So you either lucked out… other plats on FT have reported no plat breakfast here.

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