Fodor's Expert Review Hotel NH Bilbao Zubialde

Calle de la Ventosa 34, Bilbao, Basque Country 48013, Spain See on Map

Directly across the street from the imposing San Mamés football stadium, known simply around here as “La Catedral,” is Hotel NH Bilbao Zubialde, a smaller and quieter lodging than its sister NH properties in Bilbao but no less sophisticated. Guests can expect a great staff, airy business-forward rooms, and a solid restaurant and café-bar. If you are planning on seeing an Athletic game or a match at the stadium, there’s no better place; otherwise, guests may find the hotel a bit further from the main attractions of the city, like the Old Quarter and the Guggenheim, than some other options. Luckily the metro and tram are both right outside and the hotel comes at a great price for the quality and the service.

room

All 82 recently renovated rooms of the hotel are spacious and modern with a minimalist design of clean lines and pleasing wood floors and trims. The beds are up to NH Collection standards and all rooms are equipped with 21st-century tech features including 42-inch flat screens and complimentary Wi-Fi. There are family rooms available with an extra bed for parties of three.

We suggest requesting a room with a view of the Nervión River.

bathroom

The bathrooms are exceptionally roomy, and although there’s nothing too luxurious going on, they are easy on the eyes with nice tile floors and walls, marble counters, and NH Collection’s signature line of toiletries.

lobby

The hotel is housed within a regal 1920s manor but the interior is anything but old-fashioned. Past the reception area is a stylish lounge with coffee tables and plush furniture. Out the back of the lobby is an expansive terrace with tables and chairs and even its own bar to enjoy drinks out on while you soak in the views of the river below.

dining

The hotel houses a good restaurant, El Botxo, that specializes in contemporary Basque cuisine, though we prefer the more casual café terrace that overlooks the stadium for eating and drinking. In the morning, a splendid buffet breakfast with a variety of hot and cold options is served in a modern breakfast room with great natural light to help bring your senses back to life for the day ahead.

The hotel takes early breakfast requests for those who need to check out extra early.

drinking

The Fair Play café-bar is a fun soccer (ahem, futból) themed pub that is good for lounging day or night with a TV playing local sports and pintxos stacked on the bar in the afternoons. Guests are welcome to take their food or drinks from the outdoor terrace.

LOCATION

Getting Around

The hotel is a quick stroll away from the San Mamés metro stop, which provides a quick and reliable route to Casco Viejo. There’s also a scenic aboveground tram that can get you to the Guggenheim fast, though the 20-minute walk there through the Parque de Doña Casilda gardens is a beautiful one. If you’re coming or going by bus (including the airport bus), the main terminal is within short walking distance.

Restaurants

We’re about to let you in on one of Bilbao’s best-kept secrets: San Mames Jatetxea (1-minute walk). This chic restaurant and bar, located inside the San Mamés stadium itself with an entrance just across the street from the hotel, serves phenomenal modern cuisine and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that provide sweeping views of Bilbao’s most holy site—and yes, we are referring to the spectacular interior of the stadium.

Of course, if you are in Bilbao you must make the trip to Casco Viejo (10-minute metro) for the region’s famous pintxos. We recommend starting your pintxo crawl at Plaza Nueva (10-minute metro), the neoclassical plaza in the Old Quarter is teeming with some of the best pintxo bars in town. For the classic, go to Café Bar Bilbao, and for the modern, try Gure Toki.

Bars

Calle Ledesme (8-minute metro) is a pedestrian-only boulevard that is a local favorite for an after-work drink and becomes the liveliest street in town come Friday night.

If there’s a game going on, the entire street of Poza Lizentziatuaren (2-minute walk) becomes a party extending for blocks out from the stadium. Bar Campeón is quite a scene if you can manage to find your way through the throngs of fans to the door.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Staying here and seeing a match at La Catedral really is a singular Basque experience. And Futból or not, the hotel is wonderfully comfortable (and quiet when it’s not game day) and just steps away from the city’s top-notch public transport that makes exploring the city easy. Hotel NH Bilbao Zubialde also has a business-friendly atmosphere that includes both indoor & outdoor conference and event spaces and quick access to the airport.

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
BusinessFamily
Casual
Central
$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 94-400–8100

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