10 of San Sebastián's Most Romantic Hotels, From Rooftop Pools With Bay Views to Intimate Restaurants

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by Marti Buckley from The Telegraph, July 25, 2019

Exchanging glances over a white tablecloth at one of the world’s top restaurants, a starry night-time stroll along the promenade of La Concha, or the magic of popping in and out of bar after bar, wine after wine – San Sebastián lends itself to falling in love. Equally enamouring are its most romantic hotels. From five-star properties located in Belle Époque buildings to modern, design-forward hotels that seem to hang off the edge of the mountain, here’s our pick of the most romantic hotels in San Sebastián, perfect for a honeymoon or just a weekend couple’s getaway.

Villa Soro San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain

9Telegraph expert rating

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This boutique hotel on the outskirts of San Sebastián oozes vintage charm, from the Tudor façade to the crackling fireplaces that flicker against ornate details in the rooms. Extremely helpful staff waltz about in period garb, with an aproned and buttoned-up look that reinforces the whole luxury villa vibe, and the rooms have a homey feel – if your home is a lovely Tudor mansion, that is. Furniture is all period-style and regal, upholstered in khaki corduroy. Romantic dinners can be taken at the restaurant with its menu that reads like a ‘best of’ list of local delicacies (think white asparagus, Cantabrian anchovies, and foie from southeastern France). Read expert review. From £173 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  An insider guide to San Sebastián 

Akelarre San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain

9Telegraph expert rating

Views from Akelarre over the Bay of Biscay are particularly spectacular at sunset. Most rooms have bathtubs set against the floor-to-ceiling window so you can gaze at the sea while you soak; some suites come with a private pool. But the star attraction of the hotel is undoubtedly the three-Michelin-star restaurant, helmed by legendary chef Pedro Subijana. People come from all over the world to sample its eight-course menu, at pristine tables in an octagonal dining room with views across the sea. There a smart spa, along with a stone pool with hydromassage jets, a marble steam room and a sauna. Read expert review. From £477 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  The best things to do in San Sebastián

One Shot Tabakalera House San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain

8Telegraph expert rating

This is the only hotel in San Sebastián’s for-locals-only neighbourhood of Egia. The gorgeous, traditional stone exterior of the Tabakalera building gives way to a creative and thoughtfully designed interior, and hugs the river that snakes through the town – meaning everything is just a bridge away. A library in the lobby, complete with a swing for perching on, is a nice touch. The street-facing rooms have gigantic windows that let in loads of light. They feel downright palatial, with soaring ceilings and, in many rooms, balconies. Silencio, the hotel’s below-ground restaurant, offers traditional Spanish bar food with modern touches. Read expert review. From £152 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  The best restaurants in San Sebastián

Hotel María Cristina San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain

9Telegraph expert rating

Since the eponymous Queen María Cristina was the first to cross its threshold in 1912, this Belle Epoque hotel has catered to the crème de la crème of guests. The hotel has a cinematic quality, on display from the moment the suit and tie-clad staff open the door for you to reveal a grand chandelier and marble-floored lobby. You won’t want to leave the fresh and elegantly modern rooms, or the bed for that matter – the mattresses are incredibly comfortable. Be sure to make full use of its innovative gastronomic offering, Mimo San Sebastián, which offers events that double as a meal, from cooking demonstrations to food tours. The stellar nightcaps at Dry Bar are courtesy of Spanish cocktail king Javier de las Muellas. Read expert review. From £435 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  The best pintxos bars in San Sebastián

Lasala Plaza Hotel San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain

9Telegraph expert rating

Lasala Plaza offers art, architecture, and cuisine that reflects the local seaside culture, but with a healthy dose of glitz and glamour. A spectacular wall-mounted sculpture welcomes guests – 13 copper and wood 'oars', a reference to the tradition of rowing in the Basque culture. The hotel, despite being in the city centre, devotes plenty of space to guests in search of relaxation. The rooftop pool is breathtaking, thanks to amazing views over the city (and a staffed bar). All of the rooms feature big, cushy beds and lovely, plush pillows; The bathrooms are gorgeous – smooth marble everywhere, a heated floor, Codage toiletries. Top that off with the fantastic breakfast, overflowing with txistorra (Basque sausage), local desserts and sparkling wine. Read expert review. From £278 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  The best nightlife in San Sebastián

Arima Hotel San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain

9Telegraph expert rating

This family-run hotel is a great option for eco-conscious couples. With a Passivhaus qualification and veggie-based fine dining option, it's the city's greenest lodging by far. A mechanical ventilation system is in place to ensure optimum air quality and CO2 levels at all times. Organic and sulphate-free toiletries are displayed on wooden blocks engraved with tips on saving the environment. Interior details are Zen and intimate: soft indie music playing in the stylishly lit hallways; floor-to-ceiling windows in the common areas that cast the Nordic-style furniture in a gorgeous light. A spectacular seasonal rooftop pool and veggie forward on-site cuisine (and an all-organic breakfast) are bonus creature comforts. Read expert review. From £166 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  The best hotels in San Sebastián

Villa Magalean Hotel & Spa Hondarribia, Basque Country, Spain

9Telegraph expert rating

This villa-turned-hotel is positioned strategically on the edge of both the medieval old town and the fisherman’s port, a great spot for midday pintxos. The eight rooms are all bursting at the seams with little luxuries: minibars stocked with local craft beers and quality bubbly, gorgeous merino wool throws draped across the furniture, and the feather down pillows and bedding are top-notch. Facilities are wide-ranging for a hotel of its size: there’s a stylish library with an impressive literary selection, a lovely garden terrace and a luxurious spa using Cinq Mondes products. Mahasti, the wine bar and restaurant, is a destination in its own right, with a tasting menu combining local produce with global techniques, as well as a broad collection of Bordeaux wines from the owner’s private bodega. Read expert review. From £238 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  An insider guide to Madrid

Room Mate Gorka San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain

8Telegraph expert rating

Room Mate Gorka looks out onto Plaza de Gipuzkoa, San Sebastián’s most beautiful plaza. While the hotel’s exterior is a classic building from the early 1900s, the interiors stay true to the Room Mate brand’s bold, contemporary design aesthetic, with luxurious materials like velvet, leather, and shiny metals abound. Rooms are achingly comfortable and chic, with high ceilings that lend an automatic touch of old-school glamour. The lighting has two settings: vibey and extra-vibey. The lobby bar and restaurant is buzzy at almost all hours. The offering is a standard pintxo and small-plate format with global influences, such as elegantly plated chicken fingers and mini burritos. Read expert review. From £265 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  Where to try the best traditional tapas in Madrid

Hotel Niza San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain

8Telegraph expert rating

The Niza is a charming, turn-of-the-century building perched over the lapping tide of the La Concha Bay in San Sebastián. You can't get much better than this location, front-and-centre on one of Europe’s most beautiful beaches. Stepping into the hotel lobby feels like stepping into the living room of an old-money manor; even the elevator gets you in a Belle Époque mood. It's gorgeously decorative and fun to use. Pleasantly beachy wooden floors and flower prints in the rooms create a sort of grandma beach house vibe; spring for a seaside room for better views. Perfection is a glass of txakoli (Basque sparkling wine) and a plate of rice with clams from the hotel restaurant, Narru – one of the best in the city for classic Basque cuisine. Read expert review. From £59 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

•  The best bars in Madrid

Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain

8Telegraph expert rating

One of San Sebastián’s true grande dames, Hotel Londres hangs on to its old-fashioned air both inside and out. There’s that absolutely perfect location, overlooking a gorgeous bay, a dramatically picturesque island, and the city’s best architecture. The façade, with its early 1900s Wes Anderson look, is the most photogenic side of the hotel. All the trappings of Belle Époque beauty are there: gorgeous detailed crown moulding, marble floors, ornate light fixtures, and a great old lift. Tucked away on the sixth floor is a terrace for guests' use that gets sun for much of the day. If you want the full Londres experience, book an Attic with Seafront Terrace: recently renovated rooms on the top floor with private balconies. Read expert review. From £156 per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

Contributions by Annie Bennett and Marti Buckley

 

This article was written by Marti Buckley from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]

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