San Sebastian accomodations?

Old Jun 11th, 2009, 05:26 AM
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San Sebastian accomodations?

Hi - we are a family of three (husband,myself and 14 yr old daughter). We are arrriving in Madrid on 6/25 and have about a week before we attend a wedding in Madrid. We have been invited to spend a few days in Santander before the wedding. We would like to visit San Sebastian before heading over to Santander.

We prefer to stay in flats rather than hotels. The only company I have found that manages apartment rentals in San Sebastian is Friendly Rentals...are there others?

We are looking for a two bedroom with some outdoor access. The apartments available for our timeframe are the Classic (most expensive but right near the beach),The Elkano (no terrace),The Verri (looks like it may be quite a distance from old town) and the Zurriola (quite a way from the beach?) Any thoughts/comments regarding location and apartments would be appreciated. Where do we want to be located? We do not care to be in the thick of all activity but close enough to walk to places of interest.

Also, we are considering either flying from Madrid or taking the train - we do not want to drive from Madrid to San Sebastian. Thoughts on the train? We will likely rent a car to drive the short distance between San Sebastian and Santander.

Any other "must see/must do" for this region for the short time we will be there ( 25th - 28th) We enjoy exploring towns/villages,of course the food,and the beach ( which we will do in Santander).

Thanks in advance for your comments.
cczny is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2009, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Friendly Rentals really is, I think, your best bet in San Sebastián.

San Sebastián is really an extremely compact and very walkable small city, so the apartment location really doesn't matter all that much. And bus service is efficient.

That said,
the Classic boasts a really fabulous location, just a short walk from La Concha beach and the Old Quarter. The best location of the 3.

the Zurriola apartment's location is also great one, because it's close to the Old Quarter, La Bretxa market, the Kursaal center, the surfers' beach (Zurriola) and great pintxos bars like Hidalgo. And just cross the bridge and you're a short walk to La Concha.

the Elkano has a great downtown location, near the lively San Martín market and shopping complex. Again, since S.S. is so small, the difference is not great.

the Verri is further afield from the downtown shopping and markets, from stately La Concha beach and the pintxos bars of the Old Quarter and Gros. It lies on a hill above Ondarreta beach (the family beach), but you'd probably end up taking the bus up and down the bay for shopping and dining. Of all your choices, this one is the furthest from the city "action".

The twice daily Alvia train ride from Madrid to San Sebastián is still quite slow, almost 5 1/2 hours, since there isn't a high speed AVE.

check it here

If you fly, you'll be landing in Hondarribia, where the S.S. airport is located. There's bus service from there into S.S. And Iberia is the only carrier serving this route.

On the drive from S.S. to Santander, you might enjoy stopping at the fishing village of Getaria (quick exit from the autoroute). Fabulous food at the town's much lauded two seafood restaurants, Elkano and Kai.

Hope this helps.
Maribel is online now  
Old Jun 11th, 2009, 03:06 PM
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We stayed in a lovely suite at the Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian and if you need to go that route, we loved our stay..
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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Thank you very much for your advice on the apartments. We noticed that some have AC and some do not - given the climate in San Sebastian is this not much of an issue? The weather is milder than the heat in Madrid from all I have read.

We are also wondering about transportation from Madrid to San Sebastian. We have decided not to drive so that leaves the train or plane. The plane,while faster, is also considerably more (190 euros each and there are three of us). The train is appealing to us (are we crazy?) because we think it may provide us with an opportunity to sleep (after a red eye flight from Toronto...after a 3 hour drive to the Toronto airport from Rochester,NY) and also see some of the countryside. Yes? We arrive in Madrid at 11:30 am, and the train leaves at 4:10 from the Charmartin Station and arrives in San Sebastian at 9:30 pm. We are thinking that between our arrival and departure we will go to our friend's apartment,leave unnecessary luggage and then go to the train station. Maybe too ambitious considering how tired we may be. The cost for the train is $112.00 per person for a first class ticket - less for a there a real value in the first class ticket vs coach (other than lounge access and the meal provided)? Are the seats significantly nicer?

We had planned to rent a car and drive from San Sebastian to Santander but I am having a difficult time finding A) a car and B) an automatic that is less than $700.00 a day!! My husband will drive a stick but it has been a while! Many rental companies do not seem to allow a one day rental with the different pick up/drop off sites. Any thoughts on a car rental?

Thanks again for all the comments shared and please...any advice/suggestions we would love to hear them. CCZNY
cczny is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2009, 10:03 AM
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I wouldn't do without a/c in San Sebastián in July or August. While the summer weather is much milder than in Madrid, it has warmed up in the city in the past few years, I've noticed, although it does cool down nicely at night.

If the rental you choose has a covered terrace and faces the bay, it would be ok to do without it, I suppose.

I left a few comments regarding your transportation questions on your other thread.
Maribel is online now  
Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 04:51 AM
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Again - thank you all for all your comments, they have been very helpful. We decided to take the train from Madrid to San Sebastian. We will take the bus from San Sebastian to Santander.

We STILL have not made our apt reservations and we leave on the 24th! We love the Classic apt but it is very pricey (and beautiful) We did ask Friendly Rentals if there was the possibility of paying the low season rate instead of the high season but have not had a response from them.

We also found an apartment with FeelFree Rentals but can not find any information about this company (good or bad). The apartment we are considering is the Bella Easo. The rates are much lower than with Friendly rentals but we are concerned that "you get what you pay for" might be the case here. Any thoughts on the 1) location of this apartment 2)should we be comfortable with this company? Oh did I mention we leave tomorrow and will be in San Sebastion on the eveving of the 25th!? I am the type of person who usually has everything planned way in advanced but for a number of reasons this detail did not. Thanks again for your thoughts - look forward to hearing from people.
cczny is offline  
Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 10:59 AM
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My thoughts-"you get what you pay for". I would go with Friendly Rentals.
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