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Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian
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Reviews (1,915)
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1,573
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All reviewsdry barbeautiful hotelconcierge staffupgraded to a suiteriver viewcooking schoolold townbasque regionbeautiful roomtapasbreakfast buffetpintxos barslobby barrooms are largefilm festivalold world charmthree nights
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1,107 - 1,112 of 1,915 reviews
Reviewed 24 October 2011

OK. I will start with the downside. This hotel was at the end of its reservation cycle when we stayed. I do not mean to suggest that the hotel was down-at-heel at all. It was immaculately maintained and couldn’t have been cleaner. But some of the carpets, light-switches, and such were due to be replaced. My understanding is that it is now closed for a full renovation, so my only (slight) reservation about the Maria Cristina is in the process of being eliminated.

Service is beyond amazing. There was a loud buzzing coming from our air conditioner which I noticed at about 9:00 p.m. I told the front desk, and a technician was in our room within minutes explaining that it was a problem with a pump. It was fixed by the time we got back from our pintxos crawl. The concierge was great, confirming all of our restaurant reservations, asking for good tables for us, and recommending wonderful places to shop. From the Basque cider our bellhop poured to welcome us to the room until the moment we checked out, we were taken care of at every step.

Location is phenomenal. Close to everything. The building itself is lovely, and beautifully reflects the feel of the city.

One odd note, we met some other guests of the hotel who mentioned that their bath products were not the best quality. It turns out that they were receiving completely different items than we were. I’m not sure if that was because we were in a suite, or because the hotel was starting to put out better products because it was just a few days before the film festival began. In any event, a hotel as expensive as this one should have top-quality bathroom products for all guests.

The place is expensive, but when I reserved I noticed that some of the better rooms were going for not-too-much more than standard rooms. I ended up with a Jr. Suite with two balconies overlooking the river, the sea, and a charming plaza – for just a bit more than a normal room would have cost us.

Also, internet access is way overpriced. But again, these are minor quibbles. Overall I couldn't have been happier and I would stay again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank bchase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2011

Everyone knows how good this hotel is supposed to be, and it lives up to the hype. It has had a fabulous renovation since we last stayed a few years ago and the lobby looks stunning. Rooms are large and airy, ours with a view to the side and across to the beach. Staff are professional, friendly and efficient, maids smartly uniformed, concierge service, the works. Beach towels are available for the short stroll to either of the two main beaches. As another reviewer remarks, this really is the proper 5 star hotel. And, of course, it doesn't come cheap.
The hotel will park your car for you at one of the many hugely expensive underground parking structures for a small premium - we were there for just the one night, so we put the car on a much cheaper meter down on the seafront paseo, where you can leave it for up to 6 hours before free parking starts at 8.00 pm.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank weltravelledofSussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2011

I believe this hotel has just closed (early Oct 2011) for a 9-month renovation. It should truly be a top notch hotel when the updates are completed. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful stay at the Maria Cristina pre-renovation. Despite what another reviewer said, it still felt like a 5-star property to us. Well, it didn't hurt, I'm sure that we stayed in one of the very few rooms that had already been renovated. It was large, well-furnished, very comfortable, and quiet. The bathroom came with all the amenities you could want. The breakfasts are incredible, served in a beautiful and elegant light-filled room. This is one room that doesn't need any improvements! The breakfasts were almost excessively lavish and abundant. Half as many choices would have been just fine. When you think of all the hungry people in the world.....

I think the reviewer who said there was no concierge was mistaken. Gloria who serves as concierge much of the time, was charming and extremely helpful. Fortunately, the hotel is keeping its employees on basic pay during the construction phase, so guest will have the benefit of Gloria's services when it re-opens.

We generally prefer to stay in smaller, "boutique" hotels and inns, but would not hesitate to go back to the Maria Cristina.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank luv2travel0918
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 13 October 2011

Dear Solarlady,

I am Michel Nader general Manager of the Hotel Maria Cristina a Luxury Collection hotel.

We are pleased to hear that you fully enjoyed your stay at the Hotel María Cristina and would like to thank you for all the nice comments.

As you already wrote, the Hotel María Cristina has recently closed its doors (9th of October, 2011) in order to undergo a complete renovation of its rooms and public areas. It will re-open in July 2012 for its 100th birthday.

We would be more than happy to welcome you back to our property after the re-opening in order to surprise you with a fully renovated hotel combined with our high service level of a Luxury Collection Hotel.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the Hotel María Cristina in the near future.


Yours sincerely,



Michel Nader
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2011

Lovely old grand hotel providing excellent service and comfortable rooms and surroundings. We had dinner there one night, which was excellent....try the spider crab for an appetizer and the hake for the entree. The apple pie was truly delicious. We would recommend it without hesitation.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Worldwatcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2011

My wife and I stayed in Hotel Maria Cristina for three nights on a city trip to beautiful San Sebastian. The hotel is very well located at the junction between the historic "old town" and the newer parts of the city. Pretty much everything is within easy walking distance.

As the hotel is advertised as five-star, our expectations were high. Unfortunately the hotel does not live up to its rating. There is no concierge as such, and the front-desk staff were not qualified to compensate for this, although they did their best. Also, there are no spa facilities, only a small unmanned gym with no changing room or showers. WiFi and laundry services are, on the other hand, provided at five-star (i.e. sky-high) prices. The room was showing its age and some signs of wear and tear although it was generally nice and well-appointed.

Aside from the location, the breakfast buffet was the best feature of the hotel, with excellent service and selection.

This hotel should be sold as 4-star and is in need of renovation. It is recommended with caution. But if you set your expectations right, Hotel Maria Cristina can be a good choice for exploring wonderful San Sebastian.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank VeeThor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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