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“Great Location-Unfriendly Staff!”

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Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 October 2008

The location of this hotel is amazing! It is moments from the old part of town, which has a multitude of places to eat out in. It is also a short stroll to the beach. The hotel is beautiful from the outside and we were assigned a large room with a lovely view. I did not especially like the furnishings in the room as they were quick gaudy but I think that this is just a question of taste and may be to other guests' liking! Found the shower a little odd and the water pressure was really bad-I had to run the shower for at least 5 minutes (I'm not joking!) before it was warm.
The front desk staff at this hotel is not friendly at all. We were not greeted with smiles or courtesy and tried to avoid interacting with the front desk agents at all costs! Although other Tripadvisor users have found Angel, the concierge, to be helpful and friendly, we thought he was quite rude. The bar staff was possibly the worst of the lot! Starwood really needs to provide the staff at this hotel will some training on how to interact with guests in a graceful manner!

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank UKonthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 September 2008

The excellence of Maria Cristina starts with its umbeatable location, close to the Old Town and its famous pintxos bars.
Our room was great, with a bit of a sea view, as well as river and the modern Palacio de Congressios. We had a huge and well cared bed, a full marbled bathroom, fantastic shower, two units sink. Service is efficient and friendly.
Breakfast is unbelievable, with a very nice selection of fruits, "ibericos" cold cuts, regional cheeses and even "bocadillos" (small sandwiches of cold cuts), the same the locals use to have in bars for their breakfast. The building is old, of course, but it is very well kept. Some improvement may be necessary here and there, but the overall experience was terrific. We do recommend.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank TAmemberSaoPaulo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2008

We stayed for 2 nights using our Starwood Starpoints. When we arrived we were offered an uprade to a junior suite (as we are gold card holders, so it comes as part of it if there are rooms avaialble). However I had asked in advance to have a quiet, non smoking room. When we arrived we saw a big construction site next to the hotel, so I asked where the junior suite was - unsurprisingly she was offering us one on that side of the building. She did admit that you do get noise and vibrations from it. So I am not sure why they offered it - since we obviously wanted a quiet room. I must add the lady on the reception desk was very friendly and helpful, offering any help and giving us a map. The then offered a riverview room(Room 307), which was lovely - very large with large windows that opened right up. Huge, great comfy bed as you would expect in a starwood. However it had obviously been newly painted and although looked lovely, the paint fumes were really strong so we had to have the windows open all the time. The place is traditionally decorated but well kept. We had a huge marble bathroom. We had to call down to see where our bags were after about half an hour or so of waiting in our room. The next morning we phoned for room service and no one picked up the phone for about 10 mins, however they were very friendly when they did and the food arrived quickly and was good. The valet parking was an extra Euro 5 on top of the approx Euro 21 to park in the next door underground carpark. The hotel is in a great location to walk all around town, and especially enjoy the tapas (pintxos) in the old town.
All round a lovely place and we would stay again.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank HMax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2008

Here are the problems with this hotel:
NOISY construction next to hotel, people at the front desk not that friendly. Room service food is not good at all. TERRIBLE coffee too. SMOKING is allowed in some rooms and it makes the hotel STINK. Housekeeping POOR. COmmunication problems with staff. Bellman SMASHED our luggage on his Baggage carrier He put large bags on top of small ones.(we were a family of five and had several bags). NO CONCIERGE so it was always a wait to try and plan anything dealing with the front desk. We were on a 3 week trip in Europe and this was our least favorite place! One last VERY important thing .....everyone in San Sebastian SMOKES!!! Even in the tiny little restaurants! So be prepared to inhale CIGARETTE smoke at EVERY MEAL.

  • Stayed: June 2008
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1  Thank angelfan3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2008

We booked this hotel because of its location and also because we wanted to stay somewhere luxurious. Having read the reviews this seemed to be the place.

Unfortunately we were very disappointed. The hotel was overpriced. Builders were at work on the entrance. The rooms were spacious but with very dated decor. Staff were not as attentive and welcoming as we would have liked. There was nothing special about the hotel to make it feel like it deserved 5 stars.

We were so disappointed that we decided to stay at another hotel - Mount Igueldo. This was the best decision we made because the hotel we stayed at had breathtaking views of San Sebastian. Although we were keen to stay in the city we had no regrets about staying in Mount Igueldo which turned out to be a peaceful retreat from the city!

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank AnonymousPerson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2008

My wife and I and another couple recently stayed at the Maria Cristina for two nights as part of a short stay in the Basque region of Spain. We liked the hotel a fair bit. Our room was very spacious, had a nice bathroom and the service was quite good. The location was quite central and convenient. But there is no question, the hotel is showing its age and has a certain faded mustiness to it. Plus, it´s not great value, being fairly expensive.
We pulled up in our rental car, and it was quite weird. No place to really pull in, we had to drive up onto the sdiewalk to get off the busy street. Nobody was there to greet us, we had to walk into the hotel and tell them to send someone out to get our bags. Plus, they charged us parking and valet charges even though they parked the car offsite. The front desk people were nice but there was never a doorman or bellman service in front of the hotel. They also charged 15 euros to use a gym, but it was also offsite.
I think if I were to come back to San Sebastian, I would try the Hotel Londres, which looked much more modern and had a better location being right across from the beach.
San Sebastian was great though. Really liked the city and liked but did not love the Maria Cristina.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with friends
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Thank flunie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2008

I travel to Europe every year and always stay in Starwood Luxury Collection hotels when available and Maria Cristina is an old-style deluxe hotel in a beautiful small Spanish town. We just stayed 5 nights and after the first night all the staff at the reception desk called us by name, and they were exceptionally helpful with restaurant reservations and daily travel advice (lots of nice small towns around here both in Spain and France, especially St. Jean du Luz). The buffet breakfast is very good and was included in our "taste of luxury" room rate (otherwise expensive). The spa is so-so and the on-site asian restaurant is ok. Our river view room was very large and the bathroom very large and well equipped. The bed, like all Starwood hotels, was superb. The location is perfect and just a 3-5 minute walk from old town and the casino. This is an expensive hotel but definitely the class of San Sebastian.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank blubs99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian

Address: Paseo Republica Argentina, 4, 20004 San Sebastian - Donostia, Spain
Phone Number:
Region: Spain > Basque Country > Province of Guipuzcoa > San Sebastian - Donostia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 On the Beach Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Business Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Family Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
Price Range: £178 - £657 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian 5*
Number of rooms: 136
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

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