Avoid The Crowds In Barcelona With A Stay At Sabàtic, Sitges Autograph Collection

Sabatic Exterior with bicycles
Sabatic bicycles available to use while staying at Sabatic, Siges Photo by Kristin Barclay

You know how in every family, there seems to be one person in charge of all the travel plans. Well, that’s me, and let me go ahead and share that I did not volunteer for this position; instead, I was drafted. So, whenever my husband notifies me he has booked a flight or cruise, that’s my cue to start looking for a place to stay, transportation, and crafting an itinerary to keep us busy. It’s alright, as I get control over choosing the area and ensuring we have creature comforts like air conditioning- not always a given when visiting Europe.

Pro Tip: Even if the hotel says they have air conditioning, verify with the hotel and reviews they have central air and ask if they limit the hours and temperature of the a/c. In some European hotels, a/c is only available during designated hours.

And, to his credit, he tried to take the initiative and book us an apartment in Italy last summer. But, when I looked at the location and amenities, the apartment he chose was far from the city center and did not offer Wi-Fi. So, long story short, I am in charge of booking hotels, Airbnbs, and more when we travel. He’s in charge of our flights and cruise bookings.

When he booked us on a 12-night cruise from Barcelona to Rome, we were excited to explore Spain, France, and more of Italy. I started researching areas to stay in Barcelona, but when I began to look at room rates and hear about how crowded the city is, I decided we should stay a bit outside of the city.

In 2021, there was a big bruhaha with Airbnb and Spain, resulting in a ban on short-term, private-room rentals. Barcelona is looking for ways to rein in tourism, and this was part of their plan. Due to less-than-stellar reviews and some horror stories about cancellations, we decided to avoid Airbnb altogether while in Spain.

So, my search on the Marriott website led me to a reasonably new Marriott property, the Sabàtic, Sitges Autograph Collection, an all-suites property located a short walk from the beach.

exterior of Sabatic in Sitges
The terrace off our room was my favorite spot to sit and work. Photo by Kristin Barclay

When we arrived at the Sabàtic, we were exhausted due to flight delays, missed connections, and two missing suitcases. Maria greeted us and had us in our two-bedroom suite in less than ten minutes. Here’s where I remind you elevators in Europe are not like the ones in the United States. Guess it was good two of our large bags were missing because we had to take two elevators to get to our room.

You can imagine our moods after traveling over 20 hours, so we were thrilled to have the space to spread out in the 699-square-foot room. Also, having two bathrooms when traveling with teenagers is priceless.

Sabatic kitchen
Kitchen area in our Sabatic Sitges suite

Our suite had a living area with tv, a dining area in a kitchenette with a small fridge and microwave. On the right was a main bedroom with king and ensuite bathroom, and on the opposite side was the kid’s room with two twin beds, another bathroom was next to the dining table. My favorite spot was the terrace-with two chairs and a sofa; it was the perfect quiet spot to sit and enjoy a glass of wine, a craft beer, or catch up on work.

Pool at Sabatic Siges
Pool at Sabatic Photo by Kristin Barclay

Of course, it is true that one of the most essential criteria in choosing a place to stay is: LOCATION. And, while definitely biased, I scored a 10/10. We were roughly 30 minutes from the Barcelona airport, a ten-minute walk into the town of Sitges, where there was shopping, restaurants, and a beach.

Girl sitting by beach in Sitges with church in background
My daughter sitting by the beach in Sitges, Spain Photo by Kristin Barclay
Bacardi Monument in Sitges, Spain
The Bacardi Monument or Mirada al Futuro (“Looking to the Future “) is a tribute to Don Facundo Bacardi, an entrepreneur born in Sitges who emigrated to Cuba to found a prosperous company. In its upper part we can see the symbol of Bacardi rum, a bat, which escapes between two large bronze hands. Photo by Kristin Barclay

Only a 15-minute walk to the train station, you can be in Barcelona via train in roughly 41 minutes. Bonus: there was a grocery store on the same block as the hotel where we bought bottled water, sandwich meat, bread, and beer.

In the mornings we would head downstairs and enjoy the breakfast buffet featuring pastries, fresh fruit, sausages, cheeses, fresh squeezed juices and made to order eggs. This was the most impressive hotel breakfast we’ve ever enjoyed, and by purchasing breakfast when we made our reservation we were able to score a great deal.

pastries on a long table
Croissants, donuts, and more at Pasatempo buffet breakfast Photo by Kristin Barclay

During the afternoon we walked into town and explored the beach area, local street vendors along the beach and the shops. You can easily find fresh seafood, hot empanadas, tapas and more. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes because you can walk for miles and there are hills.

A mural of a boat in Sitges Spain
A mural on the streets of Sitges-Photo by Kristin Barclay

Not into long walks? No problem, Sabatic has bicycles you can borrow at no additional charge, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent one of their motorcycles. If you’re traveling without children, this property has a lot to keep you entertained from an adults only pool, a live DJ, their “vermouth” tradition, and daily sessions of yoga and Pilate.


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Kristin Barclay
Kristin Barclay graduated from the University of South Carolina with a major in Journalism and Advertising. Throughout her career, Kristin has demonstrated a passion for storytelling and a commitment to providing accurate, timely, and informative news coverage. She has a deep understanding of the issues and concerns facing local communities and has earned a reputation as a trusted source for reliable news and information. In addition to her work as an editor and journalist, Kristin is also a skilled writer and has written articles on a wide range of topics, including politics, business, education, and culture. She has a keen eye for detail and a talent for crafting compelling stories that engage and inform readers. Kristin is also an active member of the community and has volunteered her time and resources to numerous organizations and causes. She believes in the importance of giving back and making a positive impact on the world around us. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Kristin Barclay is also a passionate advocate for local journalism and the role it plays in keeping communities informed and engaged. She believes strongly in the importance of supporting local news outlets and is dedicated to ensuring that quality journalism remains a vital part of our society. Outside of work, Kristin enjoys traveling both for business and pleasure. She loves exploring new places, meeting new people, and experiencing different cultures. Whether she's on a business trip or a vacation, Kristin is always eager to discover what makes each place unique and special. Kristin's passions include boots, bourbon, dogs and college football. She is a self-proclaimed boot aficionado and has an impressive collection of cowboy boots that she wears with pride. She also enjoys sipping on a good bourbon and spending time with her husband and beloved border collies. Last but certainly not least, Kristin is the proud mother of two children who bring joy and meaning to her life. She is deeply committed to being a loving and supportive parent, and her children are her greatest source of inspiration and motivation