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“A gem, maybe to survive in London Paris or Milan it needs more but for San Seb its the best” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian

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Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian
Certificate of Excellence
London, UK
Level Contributor
29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“A gem, maybe to survive in London Paris or Milan it needs more but for San Seb its the best”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 June 2014

I would like to start by making a personal thanks to Ane Urquia.
Before my stay she secured me reservations at Zuberoa, Etxebarri (including a personal driver for the journey there and back), and Akelarre, (I booked myself at Muagritz).
Not only that but also there was a French ATC strike during my trip, and my return flight to London was from Biarritz. She went above and beyond to find alternative flights and get throughout to my airline to check if my flight was going ahead. When I left the hotel on the last evening, there was no confirmation from the airline if the flight was going ahead, so I asked her to check in the morning for me, she said she would come in early and let me know. Now despite the promise, which Im very much used to from hotel staff, she actually did call me early morning at a reasonable hour and informed me that the French ATC strike had been cancelled, and my flight would be going. Superb and well above and beyond any other concierge I've experienced before.
She also arranged transfers for me, arriving at San Sebastian airport from Madrid and to Biarritz airport, right on time and even came to the door with me to see me off for my departure. I have really never seen a better concierge in my life and I've stayed at much more expensive hotels than this. She was extremely polite and accommodating. I've seen other reviews mentioning Raoul too, I also dealt with him and he is good but can honestly say Ane went above and beyond.
My one main gripe with the hotel (although still 9/10 overall) was the laundry service, they would take my laundry, which I delivered to them daily, promise a return delivery time, but not send it to me hours after, until I called and asked. It so happened that I once was discussing my flight with Ane and they had not delivered my laundry yet, I mentioned this to her, and she quickly ensured that it was sent to my room.
I must say that all the staff were mostly exemplary really. I had shisha at their bar, and they could not make it, at the time I said nothing and paid, but upon check out I mentioned to them that this was not smoking well, and they removed it from my bill without a second blink, similarly they had given me a cocktail voucher on check in, and I was supposed to present the voucher when having the cocktail, however, I forgot to do so, even though I did drink in the bar. I asked if I could present it now, and this was also done without a blink of the eye.
Room service is a little slow, and although they have some 24 hour items on the menu, orders at 2-3am for simple things like anchovies on toast could not be accommodated. Why, I just don't know? Open the tin and put it on the plate.
Room was good, I booked a terrace suite, which perhaps was a little small for €700 per night, but still a good room with a great terrace and comfy bed. Cons would be that the bathroom was not up to standard for a €700 a night room, it was ok for perhaps €200 euro a night room (Paris or London prices), normal shower, small tub, nothing out of the ordinary. Compare Park Hyatt Milan's executive suite shower with a perfectly warm travertine floor, extraordinary smelling Blaise Matin shower products and perfect pressure, and that suite cost me €550 per night).
I am SPG gold, and was not upgraded. I asked at check in, and all the man had to say was that I was in one of the best rooms, well yes, but I had booked one of the most expensive rooms! An upgrade was something entirely different, and I do know for a fact that some of the larger suites were available. Disappointing really that they don't give the promised upgrades to status SPG members. Just a warning to the SPG members out there.
I loved the decor.
The location is very good.
So in summary,

Pros:

Location
Concierge
Staff attitude
Bed
Decor

Cons:

Room rate, London or Paris prices but not even competitive, in bigger cities when charging such prices they know they need to give you something special, this is more like we are the only hotel here at this standard so this is the price
Laundry service, Please do check how the Mandarin oriental Jakarta, Peninsula HK, and many others return laundry, not just timing but quality of the wash and press. 5* charge over the odds for it, and its actually something I look forward to because I have an expensive wardrobe. Return delivery was also disappointing.
Room service, This is 2014. If I want a local common item, like anchovies (you have them in your boutique downstairs) at 3am then I don't expect to be met with difficulty. I guess the world is a little different still outside big cities.
Cleaning service, was hit and miss, sometimes my room was cleaned properly, sometimes looked a little rushed. I am very tidy in hotel rooms, so it was not a long job but that doesn't mean I don't want the room cleaned properly and I will do it myself.
Lack of benefits for SPG gold/platinum members, although this seems common in Spain, the W Barcelona also did not upgrade me from a corner suite to anything better, because they also felt I was already in a good room, well of course I was paying that rate! Hyatt always upgrade me, regardless of how high my booked category is and I really see little point in obtaining tiers in a hotel loyally program if they won't upgrade you when you already book a relatively high room category. I can understand not upgrading those who book the lowest room category, but to not upgrade someone who books the 3rd or 2nd highest category of room is a bit poor.
Its a lovely hotel though, but I must warn you of these issues.

Room Tip: Terrace suite is good, but a lot of space is wasted on the terrace, and the lounge is small, a diffe...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank VWGU2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (219)
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Warszawa,Poland
Level Contributor
40 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014

We spent 3 days in this beautiful hotel and can recommend it to all people who are looking for top quality hotel, located in great location. The hotel has been completely renovated 2 years ago and you notice it from the very beginning. Excellent stone floor, tailor made carpets and furniture, fantastic stairs (of course there are also elevators :) leading to reception etc. Also everything is new and top quality in room. We had room 205 with spectatular river view.
Breakfast offers wide variety of food including some local specials (Iberian ham and cheese, tomatos with organic feta cheese). The only strange thing was that despite special cooking station you can't order scrambled or fried eggs to be prepared to your choise. These items are available in the buffet and at cooking station you can only order omlets...
The second strange thing is fact that sitting in the afternoon at restaurant tarrace, you can only order cold drinks or alcohol drinks, but not cofffee nor tea...
But I don't want to finish my review with negatives, because this place - let me underline it once again - deserves 5 stars !!!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank XXXPol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2014

We arrived on a very early flight from Barcelona and were warmly welcomed , Our room was available and we were quickly checked in and able to enjoy our first day. everything about the hotel and their service was 4 star. The room was comfortable, spacious even by American standards and well maintained. the bathroom was Luxurious and well stocked.

The breakfast was outstanding and had a great selection and variety. I could not get enough of the fresh vegetables offered at breakfast and certianly enjoyed them. The room itself is quite grand and really elevates the experience of staying here.

The in house restaurant Siagon (which ought to have it's own listing here @ TA) was Fablous. The crispy duck and cucumber salad was one of the best I have ever had (as a chef I love duck and cukes but this was @ another level) Even if you don't stay @ The HMC you really should make a point of eating @ Siagon.

The location right in the center of town made for easy walks to eveything we wanted to see and experience and that incredible view out to the ocean !!

Room Tip: The river view rooms are quite lovely and very quite
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Robert F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
maria-cristina-hotel, Director General at Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
Dear Robert F,

It was a pleasure to note how much you have enjoyed your stay with us.

We were very glad to know how much important Cafe Saigon Restaurant was to having met your expectations and that they were able to offer you such an excellent image of our hotel’s name.

Thank you once again for taking the time to write. Looking forward to welcoming you at the Maria Cristina in the future.

Best regards,



Stijn Oyen
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kanpur, India
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2014 via mobile

This is one of the finest hotel I have stayed at.
The location is perfect, near to old town & sea.
The suites in the top floor offer picturesque view of the river, sea and especially the lit up city at night!
The staff is extremely courteous.
Te hotel itself is very grand.
In all, we loved our stay there

Stayed June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Bharat76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
maria-cristina-hotel, Director General at Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
Dear Bharat 76,

It was a pleasure to note how much you have enjoyed your stay with us. To be described as one of the finest hotel you have ever stay is an honor for us.

We are looking forward to welcoming you in the near future.

Best regards,


Stijn Oyen
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
84 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2014

We stayed here for 3 nights while enjoying the great food and nice beaches in Donostia. It is an excellent hotel that earns its 5 stars. The service is very good but perhaps the best thing about it is that it has been recently renovated and they've done a great job. Staff are very helpful with restaurant recommendations and reservations.

Rooms are spacious, dark at night, quiet and with excellent amenities. Great bathroom and great bed.

Excellent bar too (art deco style) with superb bartenders.

It really is a great place to stay in this town.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SODA F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
maria-cristina-hotel, Director General at Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
Dear FedS,

How rewarding it's to read such nice comments, we would like to thank you for letting us know how impressed you were with the city, the hotel and the service you received. Making you feel welcome is amongst our highest priorities.

Thank you for your time and hope that we may have the pleasure of welcoming you to The Maria Cristina in the future.

Best regards,


Stijn Oyen
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
410 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2014 via mobile

Close to perfect. Spent two nights here. First off, service is truly exceptional. Staff could not have been more welcoming or helpful. Rooms large and luxurious. Breakfast sumptuous. New, modern gym. (Only minor wrinkle was waiting. Almost half hour for drinks on veranda one night...). Very expensive, but would def go back and San Sebastián in June is perfect...not too crowded!

Stayed June 2014
Helpful?
Thank HClowd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
maria-cristina-hotel, Director General at Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
Dear Hclowd,

How rewarding it's to read such nice comments, we would like to thank you for letting us know how impressed you were with the hotel and the service you received.

Thank you for your time and hope that we may have the pleasure of welcoming you to The Maria Cristina in the future.

Best regards,

Stijn Oyen
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
323 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2014 via mobile

We stayed for four nights in a terrace suite while on an eating visit to SS.Our room was spacious,beautifully appointed , including a lovely terrace with loungers and fantastic views of the city and Atlantic that could be accessed from the bedroom,living room and bathroom.Bathroom was also well furnished with separate tub and shower, double sinks and plenty of towels.Good quality linens, effective lighting and choice of TV channels.Service was mostly excellent although on occasion staff seemed distracted and only returned a greeting.Breakfast buffet was extensive and of good quality.The only reason we are not giving it a 5 is that ,while coming close,it did not match the understated elegance and service standards at Four Seasons and Aman hotels which we tend to stay at.

Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank sweetiesPennsylvania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
maria-cristina-hotel, Director General at Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
Dear sweetiesPennsylvania,

It is a pleasure to note that you have chosen the Maria Cristina for your eating visit to San Sebastian. We are grateful for your support, and would like to thank you, especially for sharing your recommendation of our property with the rest of the traveller’s community. Looking forward to welcoming you in the near future.

Best regards,


Stijn Oyen
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian

Property: 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 Family Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Business Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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