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Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 July 2009

We were visiting the Rioja and Basque areas and we adore San Sebastian. It has a fabulous beach - it's free and public and protected and fun and great. And we like to eat and drink and shop. The Maria Cristina is a great hotel. We got a fabulous rate online so it didn't cost a fortune. The location is great for everything. The staff are very helpful - what you expect from a five star. The room was huge and overlooked the garden and I could have stayed several weeks, and I just might next time. We walked through the old town at night sampling the pintxos and never felt unsafe. We did pay more than we like for the parking, but it was the public lots actual fee plus an 8 euro fee for the valet so it wasn't unreasonable for San Sebastian. Remember this is the playground of the rich and famous of Europe. The hotel charges for internet in the room but have 2 pcs in the lobby that you can use for free and access the internet. Sometimes it was a wait - children playing games and doing fb.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
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Thank emgtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,085 - 1,091 of 1,760 reviews

Reviewed 13 July 2009

We had a great room at the Hotel Maria Christina! It was a massive room, very clean and spacious. It was centrally located that we walked everywhere, never needing a taxi. The staff was extremely helpful and spoke English well. The only drawback is that it needs to be refreshed a bit, it needs a bit of a makeover. But I would recommend it. It was very near to the Old Quarter which was a bonus!

Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
Thank Left_on_a_jet_plane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2009

Pros

- Excellent location - 3min walk to old town. 4min walk to Playa de la Zurriola beach, and 5 mins walk to La Concha beach.
- We had an executive suite, which was large with a separate study room and a separate bath and shower. Windows overlooking the square.
- €50 rollout bed was a proper bed - excellent quality (hence the price)
- Awesome large heated spa - with jet streams and jacuzzi. But it's not free
- Better than average hotel gym
- Free use of beach towel.

Cons
- Gym and Spa together is €15 extra per day if you want to use it.
- Wi-fi not free
- Feels a little dated

Conclusion
If you're not paying for a room yourself, or if it is subsidised, then you can't go wrong with this hotel. It's very comfortable and is definitely a top class hotel. But if you're paying full price, you'll feel that you're not quite getting the luxury for the money which you would in most other cities / locations. Still, definitely looks like one of the best hotels in San Sebastian.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank kwcm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2009

The room we had was big and well appointed but it took eight minutes to get warm water in the shower in the morning which is not the way to start a day. While the staff keeps things clean their was no one who had much to offer in the way of directions or dinner suggestions. It is a lovely old hotel in a good location (We had a view of the river.) with a great deal of charm but showing a bit of wear around the edges. I would recommend it for the somewhat reasonable price, at least in late May, and the size and quality of the rooms but service was so-so as was the food.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank jsthouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2009

We were quite disappointed in this hotel, especially since it's called a luxury hotel and has a 5 star rating. It has a great location, I'll give it that, right next to the center of the town and the old part. Here are the not-so-luxurious facts: it took us about 10 minutes of waiting outside by the curb before someone showed up to help us with the luggage. The hotel has a musty smell. The orchids that were on the big round table at the entrance as you walked in were all wilted or even dead-then what's the point? The furniture is very dated and there are stains on the carpets. The showerhead had mold in it. The bathroom floor was not entirely clean. There was garbage (dirty coke cups and papers) right outside on the territory of the hotel. The place felt like a rundown retirement home with a semi-indifferent staff.
On the other hand, the bed was clean and comfortable, the location was convenient and they didn't charge us a fortune, under 200 euro. So as long as you are not expectine luxury it's a decent place to stay.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JJJ15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2009

When you are traveling with a canine, sometimes hoteliers treat you like a second-class guest. Not at the Maria Cristina -- for our Christmas-time stay we were given a beautiful and enormous room with views of the river, as well as tips for where to walk the dog (there is a plaza just outside the hotel with green space for exercising animals) . The receptionist bent over backward to accommodate our late request for a Christmas Eve dinner reservation. The Christmas brunch was amazing -- a magical space to spend a holiday.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank FLgirlinLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2009

This is the 2nd time I have visited this hotel. It is a very grand old hotel. However it has grand "old air-conditioning"!
The hotel is a very beautiful building and it is wonderful, both from and internal and external perspective. The staff are very professional. The car-Parking is at a public car-park next to and beneath the hotel. for an extra ~€8 per day you can drive up to the front door and get valet parking. worth it in my opinion as the 1-way traffic system and hidden car-parking entrance can be a real pain.
The hotel is ideally and cetrally situated in San Sebastian, which itself is a very beautiful northern coastal city. loads of bars and reastaurants. I collague of mine informed me there are more 3-star michelin restuarants in this area than the rest of Spain (rumoured).
Now, back to the Hotel. The Rooms are very well appointed and have everything your require/desire. BUT and it has been a significant BUT both time I have said at this hotel (both times have been Beginning Mar, Beginning April). There is NO Air-Coniditioning in the rooms and the rooms are VERY STUFFY, making it, for me at least, a very un-comfortable night's sleep indeed. In addition, when I went to get in the shower the following morning I had to wait more than 10 minutes until hot water finally came through. This is NOT a 2-star hotel we are talking about! This is not the 1970s we are talking about. This is simply NOT good enough, for what is considered the "luxury collection" of hotels in the Starwood hotel range!. And, as it is not an isolated incident, I cannot put it down to "just bad luck".
I do need a hotel, when I am travelling on business, where I can wake up in the morning feeling "refreshed". I can honestly say this is "not the case" with this hotel. I was "dog tired" the following 2 mornings. with respect to the hotel staff, they did try and move me to another room, but this had little/no effect on the coolness of the room. they explained they just turned off the air-con in the winter?! - wrong answer!!! - this is an open hotel not The Shining!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled on business
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2  Thank dhsurrey
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 Romantic Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Family Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 On the Beach Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Business Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
Price Range: £196 - £775 (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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