Barcelona hotels with an official two-star rating can be pretty grim, but Adagio is a delightful exception following substantial renovations in early 2013. Located about halfway between Plaça Reial and Plaça de Catalunya, Adagio fronts onto Carrer Ferran, one of the broader east-west streets of the Barri Gòtic. The reception area is tiny, as it was moved back to make room for the excellent tapas restaurant Adagiotapas in the front. Rooms are small but very clean. Location on the lively shopping street is superb, but it’s best to keep windows closed and use the air conditioning as the narrow stone streets can be noisy at night. Exceedingly friendly and eager-to-please staff helps compensate for the lack of luxury.