Fodor's Expert Review
This unassuming boutique hotel that overlooks Plaza Gipuzkoa in San Sebastián is an absolute gem of a property whose location will be hard-pressed to beat. It is just steps away from San Sebastián’s famous old town, with all of its gastronomic wonders, and a mere two-minute stroll through the gorgeous shopping district to the iconic La Concha bay. Though its layout is more like pension—you won’t find any gyms, pools, restaurant, or bar here—the rooms are as sophisticated and stylish as a any designer hotel.
You Should Know Lower level rooms can be more prone to street noise.
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The hotel as a whole is an ode to the illustrious art of Basque gastronomy, and the décor in every room reflects that, with pictures of mouthwatering dishes and culinary history prints adorning the otherwise white walls. Wood floors, walnut trims, and creative lighting fill out the contemporary spaces, while many of the rooms and suites come with charming balconies that look out on the square with glimpses of La Concha bay beyond. All rooms come with plasma screen TVs, adjustable AC, Wi-Fi, and complimentary water in the minibar.
Tip The many suites of the hotel are essentially full-blown apartments, with modern kitchen and living room included. They range from one to three bedrooms. It’s the perfect choice for those on a longer stay, families, and couples wanting a sense of home.
The fully refurbished bathrooms are spacious and clean with muted stone tile floors and walls. Rainforest showerheads also come with hand showers that make for both flexibility and relaxation.
You Should Know The one thing that could be improved are the toiletries; bring your own conditioner if you need it.
The small entryway of the building is classic San Sebastián style with pleasing marble and big prints on the walls that recount the city’s long culinary tradition. The reception area is up on the second floor, but it’s mostly just for checking in; there is no separate lounge area to the hotel.
Tip Guests who want somewhere to lounge and figure out there day over a coffee or snack should make Koh Tao, located just around the corner, their impromptu lounge. It’s a café that belongs more in Venice Beach or Brooklyn than Spain with lots of comfortable seating, exposed brick walls, and an awesome staff that puts no pressure on guests to leave.
The hotel has private spaces reserved in a nearby parking garage for a nightly fee. Once here, everything from the old town to the beaches to the shopping is within quick walking distance. The location is also close to the main metro bus terminals, and the busses here are very easy to use and there are regular ones running to nearby seaside villages like Getaria, Zarautz, Pasai, and Hondarribia.
If simply being in San Sebastián, one of the gastronomic capitals of the world, didn’t already whet your appetite, the culinary themes of your room surely will. A pintxo crawl through the old town is an essential San Sebastián experience: some of our favorites to stop at include Gandarias, Astelana 148, and La Cuchera de San Telmo (5-minute walks). For dinner, La Viña (5-minute walk) is a lively restaurant serving up creative imaginings of Basque cuisine while also being home to the supposed best cheesecake in the world.
Right on the edge of old town is a wonderful and cozy jazz bar, Galería Altxerri (2-minute walk) that has live music many nights of the week. Cote (5-minute walk) is right in the middle of the old-town nightlife scene but is a little classier than the other bars around it; the bartender here makes great cocktails.