I just stayed here with friends, and was impressed to find the hotel had just completed (a week prior to our checkin) a nine-month renovation, leaving it looking like a brand new hotel. Although this was my first stay here, I can say without a doubt that prior reviews which mentioned the hotel "showing its age" or "being threadbare" must be references to the pre-renovation Hotel MC. It looks sparkling, beautiful, and elegant-- like staying at a palace (with nice contemporary touches).
The room was large by any standard (and huge by European standards). You could have fit a bed in the bathroom, which featured an excellent shower with a rain head, a separate bath tub, and enclosed commode and bidet. This was not the customary spartan European bathroom. The rooms were well decorated with a stylish combination of contemporary furnishings which blended well with the traditional architecture. The bed was spectacularly comfortable.
The personnel at the hotel were always courteous and helpful. We had a last minute addition of a third person in the room, requiring a rollaway bed, and the request was honored without complaint (although the bed did come with a 55 euro charge), but they moved us to a larger room to accommodate the bed without asking.
Most of the staff spoke decent English, and were always polite, even with unusual requests. The concierge was patient and responsive, although they did not seem to have any "special powers" or "pull" when it came to reservations at restaurants, but they were diligent with tracking down requests.
The location was great-- a short (10 minute) walk to the large beach through old town, and minutes by foot to a great selection of shopping a good restaurants. We only needed a taxi to and from the hotel to our transportation in and out of town.
A few complaints (would deduct 1/2 a star):
- Like at most expensive hotels, wifi was pricy @ 19 euro per day, and the provided passcode would only work for one device. This meant we needed to call down and fight for additional codes to connect all of our devices (multiple laptops and smartphones). They should provide one code which works for several devices, especially given the price of daily wifi. However, they do offer two modern computers in the lobby for free internet use (and they're connected to a printer for free printing), and lobby wifi is free.
- Local calls are FAR from free. We made two brief local calls only to discover we were charged more than 5 euro on check out. If you need to make local calls, stay elsewhere or make other arrangements.
- The 3 elevators were frequently out of service (or 1 or 2 of the three, but sometimes all three). I'm sure this is related to the recent renovation as they appear to be brand new, but it occasionally meant walking up stairs to get to and from the room.
- At the time of our stay, they offered no spa services on location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Century of Elegance in San Sebastian - Since opening in 1912 the restored Hotel Maria Cristina has been closely linked to the history and cultural life of San Sebastian. The lavish Belle Epoque interior is filled with soaring columns, 19th-century portraits, rich silk brocades and glorious chandeliers making for a truly opulent experience.Experience gracious hospitality on a grand scale in the hotel's rooms and suites. Decorated in a sophisticated palette of greys and white, the rooms are a quiet haven of luxury. Style, technology and a dazzling range of services which combined make for an unforgettable stay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Maria Cristina Hotel