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“San Sebastián best hotel, a little dated”

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Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian
Certificate of Excellence
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
24 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“San Sebastián best hotel, a little dated”
Reviewed 24 July 2009

María Cristina is, without a doubt, San Sebastián best hotel, by far, because of its history, charm, guests, location and rating (only *****GL hotel in the city).
The hotel was designed by Charles Mewes (author of Madrid and Paris Ritz hotels also) and opened in 1912. It represents the "belle epoque" of the city and it has been home of presidents, kings, politicians and cinema stars. Alfred Hitchock, Mata Hari, Leon Trotski, Audrey Hepburn, Steven Spielberg or Mick Jagger were some of its guests.
The location is very good, next to the Kursaal (home of the International Cinema Festival) and quite close to the Old Quarter (for pintxos) and La Concha beach.
Rooms are VERY spacious, bright and clean (see pictures), with lovely details of high class hotels, such as placing a small mat before the bed every evening and remove it every morning or complimentary umbrellas in the (frequent) event of rain/showers.
Bathrooms are huge and clean, although a little dated. Separate shower and bathtub, two sinks and bidet.
Staff are very helpful and skilled, as expected from a grand luxe hotels.
To sum up, still the best place to stay in San Sebastián, even if it's a little bit dated (especially if you get a good deal).

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FBV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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hawaii
Level Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2009

Very professional hotel staff with excellent dining suggestions. The rooms here are enormous, as large as suites, bit dated funrnishings. Beds are so cozzzy, they're larger than a cal king. We enjoyed a very nice canal, ocean view room. You could do cart-wheels through the bathroom. The tub was so luxurious, we never took a shower, my 6'5 husband endulged daily. Be careful here..there is MAJOR construction on 3 sides of Maria Cristina. The spa is a dump...go to La Perla.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank vsirvis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank emgtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
83 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
Thank Left_on_a_jet_plane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kwcm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, texas, USA
Level Contributor
400 reviews
113 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,955 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jsthouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los angeles, california
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JJJ15
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

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 On the Beach Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Business Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Luxury 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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