Opened in 2017, Hotel Arrizul Congress is an elegant contemporary addition to San Sebastián’s hotel scene with a convenient location just two minutes to the surfer’s beach and a five-minute walk to the famed old town and its pintxo bars. The small modern hotel is hidden within a gorgeous classical façade with clean comfortable rooms and a stylish décor throughout. Though there is no restaurant or bar, there is a very friendly staff to help guide guests to all of the best places in town.
If you’re arriving early or leaving town late, the hotel has bathrooms complete with showers downstairs which are great for those who want to hit the beach or go for a bike ride.
The 45 rooms of the hotel range from singles to suites and all have a sleek minimalist design with high-tech features, gold accents, and great beds. Rooms come with flat screen TVs, tablets with tour information about the city, free Wi-Fi, and a complimentary minibar full of refreshments and chocolates. Suites offer separate living rooms and a few have charming balconies for those who love their fresh air.
Families or parties of three should inquire about rooms with a sofa bed available upon request.
They aren’t the most airy bathrooms in the world but they have pleasant tile floors and white walls that make the space feel bigger than it is and lovely rainforest showerheads make up for the square footage.
All the rooms have stand up showers only.
The cozy but sophisticated foyer is a gorgeous space with high ceilings and a handsome lounge area while touches like the gilded roof and stained glass adornments from the original building nod to San Sebastián’s rich architectural history.
The New York Times International is ordered every day to the lobby lounge.
This could be called a couple’s gym in the sense that it is probably at capacity with two people. Nonetheless, the fitness room doesn’t skimp on what it has, with a new elliptical and a top of the line spin bike to go along with its strength machine.
In an alcove behind the lounge is a cute breakfast room that serves a good breakfast with plenty of selection and hot foods that are made to order. It is available for an extra fee. Though there is no restaurant, there are complimentary coffees, tea and refreshments available here throughout the day.
In the breakfast room is an honor bar that’s nice for a glass of champagne while lounging around or for those in desperate measures. But we suggest stepping outside when in need of a drink; there are dozens of amazing bars in the vicinity.
The hotel is just a ten-minute walk away from both the train and bus stations. Those arriving by car will be pleased to know the hotel has private reserved spaces in an underground lot just a few blocks away for a daily fee that is less than other hotels in the area. Once here, the hotel is an extremely walkable area. Situated just across the river from the city center in the more local neighborhood of Gros, it’s a quick walk to the old town, Playa Zurriola, and La Conche. The hotel has a few bikes that you can rent for the day for a small fee.
The hotel really shines with the staff’s knowledge of the renowned local food scene and you won’t be steered wrong with their recommendations. For your mandatory pintxo bar crawl, we suggest dropping into Bodega Donostiarra (2-minute walk) just down the street as you make your way to Parte Vieja (the old town) and there definitely make stops at La Cuchara de San Temo (12-minute walk) for their made-to-order perfections and Ganbara (12-minute walk) for sensational seafood. For an excellent (and reasonably priced) Basque dining experience near the hotel, check out Ikaitz (2-minute walk).
Parte Vieja is packed with more bars than you’ll know what to do with. Tucked away towards the harbor is Sirimiri Gastroleku (12-minute walk), a romantic bar with great pintxos and an outdoor patio that overlooks a basilica and its plaza.
If the crowds of old town are overwhelming or you’re tired of drinking with tourists, we suggest La Gintonería Donostiarra (2-minute walk), a hip little gin joint with great cocktails that stays open late and is just down the street.