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Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian
Certificate of Excellence
newlondon, nh
Level Contributor
30 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“One of the best!”
Reviewed 1 August 2014

My wife and I have stayed in many luxury hotels all over the world; we both rate Maria Cristina as one of the best. The ambiance is terrific, from the portraits in the lobby and bar to the bullet holes from the civil war on the outside walls. We had a river view room that was well appointed and a totally up to date bathroom. The location is right next to the Old Town the headquarters for the pinxtos bars-very important as my mobility is limited. The hotel has a new restaurant serving Southeast Asian food which we found quite good. Will say, however, would not have dined there if we hadn't been staying for a week. Too many other good restaurants in San Sebastian.
The breakfast buffet was outstanding, I got spoiled by the fresh oj.
I particularly want to mention the concierge desk as above and beyond. Johanna helped us check in as there was a back up at the desk. I then wanted to mail a package home and she took charge. When the delivery was made she called me in France to verify that all was well. Kudos.
All in all a great stay.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank newlondon1
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, 4 August 2014
Dear newlondon1,

It was a pleasure to note how much you enjoyed your stay with us and we would like to thank you for letting us know how impressed you were with our concierge service. We truly believe in our dedication to excellence in our day to day operation, and I am glad that our hosts like you, recognizes those efforts. I have brought your comments to the attention of Johanna. She is grateful to you on the given praise.

Thank you again and 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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  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (234)
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London UK
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2014

Wow. Cannot find a negative. 1920s style building with a very modern interior , beautifully upgraded recently. A good base for San Sebastian as it is in the centre and easy walking to the beaches , Pintxos bars etc.

The staff are friendly ,smiling and the concierge service superb. Eat your heart out Monaco Hotels !

Put it high on your list if you are visiting San Sebastian but it is not cheap. Have seen comments about lack of a swimming pool . Hey guys , there is a good gym , usually deserted, and swimmable beaches round the corner . Try La Concha and Ondarreto beaches. In my experience 5 star hotel pools are full of sun lounging older guests who never enter the pool!

After 3 nights here I felt like a family member without any of the intrusiveness. The staff all enjoy their jobs and this makes it the excellent hotel it is.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TrevorLondonUK
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, 4 August 2014
Dear TrevorLondonUK,

“¡Gracias!” or as we say in San Sebastian “Eskerrik asko”. Thank you very much for your nice comments. It is an honor for us to be qualified as the best hotel in Spain.

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
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
33 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

Maria Cristina is a stately, elegant and impeccably-restored property situated a short walk from central San Sebastian, with grand views of the city, a nearby plaza, and the Urumea River which bisects the city. Our room was absolutely perfect in both form and function, with a gargantuan California king-sized bed, an over-sized bathroom and ample storage space for our clothes. The wireless internet, provided for free with our Starwood Preferred Gold status was blazing fast, and available throughout the property. The fitness center in the basement was extraordinarily well-equipped with an array of seemingly brand-new treadmills and a spin cycle, along with water, apples, and even energy bars.

So why only four stars? First, despite a lack of queue, the check-in and check-out process took longer than at any other Starwood property at which I've stayed across four continents, from the Westin Shanghai to $100/night Alofts in the Midwestern US. Check-in alone for our two friends and ourselves was a 40-minute affair; check-out, inclusive of a billing difficulty, was another 20 minutes. Second, the service at the property's lounge, Dry Bar, was likewise glacially slow, admittedly partially driven by the large number of patrons enjoying food and beverages during the four days at which we stayed there. These service difficulties at the bar were not the fault of the excellent staff; there simply didn't seem to be enough staff members to serve the many customers. As such, we generally ate and drank elsewhere.

In sum, staying at Maria Cristina is an amazing way to experience San Sebastian. I'm hopeful that the slow service we experienced at the front-desk was an anomaly, and that the restaurant bulks up its staff for the busy summer months in future years.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andrew W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
23 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2014

I was able to check it 3 hours before check in time! The room was beautiful! The view was spectacular! The staff were friendly, helpful, and NON INVASIVE! The breakfast spread was also amazing with many fruits and juices! The location was right near the old town and all the great tapas dinning. Ten minute walk to three beaches! I just can't say enough about this hotel! The bar was fantastic and stayed open an hour later than closing time to allow me and my party to continue to drink (and they did it with a smile)! Fantastic beautiful hotel! Luxurious! Comfortable! Just do it!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Theodorian
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, 3 September 2014
Dear Theodorian,

Just a few words to thank you on the very nice comments you left on TripAdvisor regarding your past stay at our property.

We remain at your entire disposal at the Maria Cristina and look forward to welcoming you on your next visit to San Sebastian.

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
Lawrence, Kansas
Level Contributor
53 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

It deserves every one of it five stars: excellent service, beautiful rooms, luxurious bathrooms and elegant decor and lobby. It is modern and updated, but still maintains the feel of a grand 19th century hotel. Its location, just off one of San Sebastian's colonnaded plazas and near the gothic quarter, is excellent. One caveat - it is not on the beach nor does it provide a beach access. The beach is about a five minute walk and the hotel will provide you with towels. My suggestion for beaching it, is to do a bit of research. Then head/take taxi to very south side of beach (away from the ornate boardwalk) and find beach bar/enterprise that will provide umbrella and chairs.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Melissa P
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, 9 September 2014
Dear Melissa P,

Just a few words to thank you for your very kind comment. We are extremely glad to know that your experience was five stars.

We remain at your entire disposal at the Maria Cristina and look forward to welcoming you on your next visit to San Sebastian.

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
Whipsnade, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Takes a lot of thought and hard work to run a chain of luxury hotels and allow each to retain their individuality. Starwood's seem to have the knack, not quite Mandarin but getting there. The Maria Cristina in San Sebastian is lovely: sensationally comfy beds, staff keen as mustard with that little bit of Basque edge to them, youthful which is nice for old codgers, respectful but not supine. Slightly odd blend of kitsch and cool without losing its old-fashioned charm. Huge Belle Epoque portraits in oil in the foyer, brass tables, touches of Art Deco here and there, a fitting tribute to a city which works hard at being a cultural and gastronomic hub, competing with Bilbao and Barcelona. The building is beautiful, lovely terrace, decent food, very good and imaginative breakfast. They do this little yoghurt thing with passion fruit and muesli. Yum. Outstanding scrambled eggs. Not easy. Named after Spain's Regent Starwood's have managed to keep it bang up to date without losing its roots. Small niggles: why does the terrace only serve trendy drinks after supper? We were asked to move to the lonely, empty back terrace to have a chamomile tea. Probably a corporate policy. Not a good one. A hotel of this pedigree and price should be able to take most requests in its stride. No extra pillows in the rooms. No tea-making facilities. This is a Starwood's thing. One other niggle: the concierge's desk of a great hotel is its beating heart. It knows everything. Or should do. Its judgement needs to be spot-on. So a bit disappointed when told a fish restaurant is Sebastian's best and it turns out to be, well, pretty poor. But I quibble. Stay there. It's a treat.

Room Tip: Higher floors. Balcony. River view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Slowflyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014

So I admit I feel a little conflicted about this review. This hotel is absolutely beautiful. Just the building alone is stunning, the lobby, the bar, all excellent. The hotel staff and concierge impeccable. Our suite looked fantastic. Large rooms, nice view, beautifully appointed. So what gives with the 2 star review? Well the problem with the room was that the bedroom was directly adjacent to the service elevators. These elevators literally operated hundreds of times during the day and most of the night. It was like having a loud machine in your room go off hundreds of times a day. So why didn't we switch rooms? Frankly, after flying in from New York and traveling 15 plus hours to get to San Sebastián, we immediately left the hotel to get food. By the time I returned, I was so jet lagged, I could have slept through an earthquake. It wasn't until I was woken up the next morning that I realized the full extent of the noise problem. I'm sure that if we had asked to switch rooms, they would have accommodated us. My son had already unpacked in his room across the hall and was happy so we just gutted it out by drinking extra wine each night. But here is what I don't understand about hotels: why should the burden be put on me, the customer, to have to ask to switch rooms? The hotel clearly is aware that this particular room has a noise problem. I am sure that dozens of customers before me have complained and been moved. Why did I have to draw the short straw? I made my reservations all the way back in January. Why not just disclose the problem up front and charge less for the room? Maybe it won't bother some customers. But why should this suite be priced the same as other suites with no noise problem? Every hotel has a few bum rooms. So why not just admit it, be honest up front and price them differently? That is what most other businesses do. So as a matter of principle, I am giving a two star rating. San Sebastián is absolutely wonderful and I wouldn't hesitate to stay in Hotel Maria Cristina again if placed in a different room.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank JMobus
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, 29 July 2014
Dear JMobus,

Thank you for having taken the time to write your comments about your stay at our hotel. We were sorry to learn the problems you have experience in your room with the elevator's noise. We do appreciate your wise comments and we want to apologize for not being up to your expectations on this occasion.

Regarding the elevator's noise, we did our utmost in the past renovation (July 2012), to avoid any noise disturbance in term of the facilities as we did renovate all our equipments and machinery. I can assure you that along with my team we will give a thorough look at this issue.

On a more positive note, we were pleased to learn that you enjoyed every other aspect of your stay with us. We 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
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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 Family Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 On the Beach Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Luxury Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Business 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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