A lot of people told me this hotel was very nice, but often with a qualifier about its size and corporate vibe. It is indeed very large and yes there are frequently conferences there, but I really, really loved our stay.
It made a HUGE difference being on a club floor. I normally don't buy into the notion of club floors too much, because so often it's really only about free drinks and chips - big deal. But this club experience was INCREDIBLE. A huge hotel was suddenly a very small one (dedicated staff and elevators etc). And the free food and drink was to die for - even with all the incredible food in Barca, I had two full meals there off the apps and tapas. Yum! Actually all the food in the hotel was great. Arola for tapas and the breakfast buffet in the other place - oh my - I dream about those scrambled eggs, seriously.
The staff at Hotel Arts were fabulous - VERY friendly and helpful but never intrusive. One thing I will say is that many are not Spanish (we encountered Swedish, Dutch, German, Russian), which is great when it comes to speaking English, but not so great when it comes to getting help communicating with locales or getting off the beaten path recommendations. So on occasion we had to search for a Spaniard, but no biggie.
I was very concerned about being away from the center of town (20min walk) but in the end I really liked it. It forced us to walk a lot more than we otherwise would have, and the hotel felt like an oasis from the much more crowded parts of town. I liked the escape to calm (the gorgeous sweeping views of the Mediterrean doesnt hurt). Some of that is probably due to the fact that we were there for almost a week - perhaps on a shorter hop a more central location would have been more of a positive.
In any case, the Hotel Arts was definitely one of my favorite aspects of our trip.