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Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Atalaya

Calle Itxaropen 1, Mundaka, Basque Country 48360, Spain See on Map

The scenic surf town of Mundaka is famous for the waves that break here during the winter and for the vacationers that descend during the summer. And in Mundaka’s central square overlooking Santa María Church and the ocean beyond is the family-run Hotel Atalaya, a charming boutique option for travelers looking to experience the enrapturing coastal beauty of the Basque Country. The hundred-year-old villa, the oldest hotel in Mundaka, is a beautiful piece of beachfront architecture, its wood and stone façade drenched in white with big bay windows and wrap-around balconies. An exceptionally friendly staff and a quaint outdoor terrace and café accompany the clean and comfortable rooms here.

The staff here speaks excellent English for a family-run hotel.

room

The hotel’s 13 rooms are each uniquely designed with a light and airy feel, with floral accents and wood trims and unfussy yet pleasant décor. All come complete with flat screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and a minibar. A few rooms have wonderful enclosed balconies within the giant bay windows with a cozy little seating area inside. Upgraded top-floor rooms have open balconies that look out onto the square and the sea, which we’d highly suggest requesting during the warmer months of the year.

The hotel offers one family room that comes with a separate living area and a foldout couch that is great for traveling families.

bathroom

The recently refurbished bathrooms feature pleasant wood and stone furnishings and all the basic essentials are here in a small but stylish space.

lobby

The extremely friendly staff can be found behind the reception desk in the entry foyer which is otherwise mostly just for coming and going.

spa

Out adjacent to the terrace is a large and clean Finnish sauna that is available to use during the low/cold season from October to July.

dining

We love that despite only having 13 rooms the inn still contains a dreamy in-house café and bar with a sprawling outdoor patio that opens up during the summer months. Though the menu is limited to a selection of casual Basque foods, the space itself is a wonderful place to spend time at. An optional buffet breakfast is also served in the café every morning.

drinking

In the hotel’s café is a classic wraparound bar with colorful stone tile floors beneath and both indoor and outdoor seating. Guests can order everything from coffee to drinks to a variety of snacks.

LOCATION

Getting Around

The hotel is just a short walk from the bus and the train station (and the train from Bilbao to Mundaka is an exceptional sensory experience, we highly recommend it if you don’t have a car). That being said, we think an automobile is definitely the best way to visit Mundaka, as it’s a requirement to fully explore the many sights of the surrounding coastline. A private gated parking lot is complimentary for guests and is a nice perk given the very limited parking options in the area.

Restaurants

Just past the Mundaka campgrounds, about a mile behind the hotel, is a Cliffside restaurant, Portuondo (4-minute drive), which serves up sensational seafood as well as sensational views of the Mundaka rivermouth. Within Mundaka itself (and directly across the square from the hotel) is Restaurante Casino de Mundaka (1-minute walk), which is perched up on the second story for panoramic ocean views to go along with their great daily menus of local cuisine.

Bars

Bar Atxurra (4-minute walk) is one of the better pintxo bars in the old town. Portubide (2-minute walk), closer to the water and overlooking the central plaza, is a more scenic place to relax and have a drink.

WHY WE LIKE IT

This coastal destination is less than an hour drive from Bilbao and provides a romantic boutique experience in an idyllic and tranquil seaside setting. And with local attractions like Bakio, Gaztelugatxe, and the town of Guernica just quick drives, away, Hotel Atalaya makes for a great beachside hideaway from the crowds of the city.

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
RomanticViews
Intimate
Near the beach
Local Flavor
$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 946 17 70 00

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