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“Old Fashioned European Elegance in every way”

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Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian
Certificate of Excellence
Gennes, France
Level Contributor
40 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Old Fashioned European Elegance in every way”
Reviewed 6 November 2009

We stayed twice at this hotel within a period of two weeks and only have praise for the service we received on every occasion. We stayed using my SPG points and as platinum member, we were upgraded to massive suites on both occasions ! On one of the stays, we ended up in the suite located right under the signature coupola of this old fashioned building. Yes, it does need a bit of a refurbishment but it oozes charm, elegance, old money and intrigue ! Agatha Christie and Poirot would feel very at home in the surroundings of this property ! The rooms / suites are well appointed and we particulary liked the marble clad bathrooms and the quality Caudalie toiletries. The breakfast is a unique experience which should not be missed as it is served in this spectacular grand salon with views across the river and towards the see. The food offered at the Asian restaurant is also of high quality as are the drinks and cocktails served at the bar. The valet service is very efficient and cars are being kept in a car park in the vicinity of the hotel. Also, this property is dog friendly and our pet receives a lot of attention every time we stay with bowls laid out in the room in advance of your arrival. This hotel is not trendy not does it offer you all the latest technologies which you find in more modern hotels but this is precisely what we are looking for, excellent service in the traditional way, and the Maria Christina has this in abundance. We shall return.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank PascalJG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2009

Yes, the property needs a refresh. Hopefully Starwood will step up and make that happen. We used Starwood points for 5 nights and were extremely happy. Decent size rooms (my friends got upgraded to a huge suite on the 5th floor), great location, and a bit of history. Would have loved to see old pictures from when the hotel was in its hey day. Parking is expensive and drinks in the bar were a bit pricey (14 Euro for any mixed drink). But you're walking distance to everything in San Sebastian and it made a great hub for discovering other places nearby - Bilbao, St Jean de Luz.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Kimwojo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
46 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2009

Recently spent two nights. Arrived by car and was immediately helped, they opened my wife’s side and escorted her to the front of the hotel (comes with in/out privileges). Quick and efficient!
During check-in they needed a few minutes, so they escorted us to the bar for free drinks. Great service in the bar, they came to the table and poured us HUGE drinks. Room was ready so we left after finishing our drinks. Bags were in our room. The room was huge and the bathroom was as big as some hotel rooms I have stayed at! Flat screen TV, room was in great condition…All the toiletries were “luxury brand”. Inside the room… a cider and some sweets that we killed. One thing to note…to turn on any lights you must insert your card near the door and leave it until you leave. Situated ourselves, got a map from the front desk and left for the beaches (a few blocks away). The “pintxos” or “pinchos” bars are two blocks away and there are too many to choose from, so go to all of them! Everyone was friendly at the hotel and bar…always asking how we were doing, etc.

CONSTRUCTION IS GOING ON…but we never heard a peep.
There are only two computers in the lobby for customer use and they were always busy. I posted the entire instant awards menu in that particular thread, but they had an semi-extensive list.

Concierge made dinner reservations for us and had directions to the restaurants waiting for us. Great service and I recommend using them pre-arrival and during your stay. We had some amazing meals but some of the more famous restaurants are closed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesdays!!

Were going back to San Sebastian and staying here! Great hotel!

Happy travels.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank singtx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Barbara, CA
Level Contributor
61 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2009

We traveled to San Sebastian in our rent-a-car from France (staying at Chateau & Relais hotels) and had a wonderful visit staying five nights at the Maria Cristina which is a member of the SPG Luxury Collection of hotels. We used the location as our center point to visit primarily the 'old town' which is literally a 3 minute walk from the hotel, enjoy all the food bar/restaurants in that area plus the well known Arzak restaurant, day trips to the Guggenheim in Balboa, St. Jean de Luz, and Hondarribia.

About the hotel. Location. Perfect. Staff: friendly, helpful, always ready to assist: Perfect. Room service and laundry services: Perfect+. On site restaurant, Saigon, was a welcomed change and Perfect after four days and nights of local cuisine. Excellent service. As in most cities, parking is a premium and one has to pay an expected extra for it (20 euros/day), but the front door staff was efficient and courteous. Our car was always waiting for us within 5/10 minutes of our request. Score: Perfect.

Our room was a Deluxe Room, very large (400+ sq. ft) feeling very spacious compared to rooms in France, really a junior suite with windows and small balcony overlooking the river on the fourth floor. Perfect. Highly recommended in warm/hot weather as it is facing more Easterly. Was the decor slightly dated: yes, but everything was of high quality and very clean. The king bed was super comfortable for us (both with bad backs), so it was supportive without being stiff or too soft. The room was very quiet with insulated windows and the street below is not a real thoroughfare The bathroom was over sized, well equipped, huge mirror, robes and slippers, with separate shower/bathtub and toilet room, double sinks and all surfaces in marble. Very user friendly for a couple.

In conclusion, there would be no question of even looking for a different hotel on a return visit to San Sebastian. Only negative I could think of, and reason for "Close to Perfection" headliner was the internet connection in room (wi-fi) was an expensive daily fee and there were 2 computers for free in lobby, but frequently occupied. Overall, was a good value and one of our best experiences for a large city hotel.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank alexofsb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
55 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2009

If you want only 1 room for 2 adults and 2 small kids, just call the hotel and they will accomodate you. I got a deluxe room and paid additional for a small twin bed sized cot on a nightly basis. Wont find this anywhere on line. Rooms are huge, although the furniture is a bit worn and dated for a 5 star hotel. The fabric was stained and torn on the 2 sitting chairs in our room. The bed was bigger than a king size and very comfortable with high quality linens and pillows. Bathrooms were extra spacious with good amenities. Nightly turn down service failed to show up one night. The ladies at the front desk are wonderful and courteous. Check in and check out is speedy and trouble free. If you have a car, dont bother parking it yourself in the city lot just under the Hotel. Pay the extra 8 euros and let the hotel valet take care of everything for you, its worth it. Walking distance from everything you will want to see in San Sebastian. Hotel restaurant (Asian fusion Thai or something similar) , although high quality, is overly expensive compared to many high end Spanish Basque style restaurants just a short walk away.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank BarcelonaRick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2009

Only stayed at the hotel for one night. Was upgraded to the Picasso suite as a SPG Platinum member. Very nice. This included a massive sitting room along with the large bedroom and bathroom. Nice rooms but some telltale signs of age. In total we had 3 balconies; one with a direct view onto the square. Hotel was near the la Concha Bay and underground parking was simple to use. Lots of nearby shopping and the pedestrian only areas are nice.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rbm81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2009

We stayed three nights at the lovely Maria Cristina. From the moment we checked in it was top notch service, especially the two brunette ladies at the front desk.

The room was very lovely. There was an old fireplace and chandellier that made you feel you were in a different decade. The bathrom was a little dated. The marble was beautiful but the fixtures could of used replacement. The tub/shower set up was ideal with 2 active showers to use but the tub was in too far along the wall that it made it hard to go in and out. One of the power shower heads was not functioning, we discovered on the last day.

I found the room to be somewhat clean. The linens were crisp. The carpet was dated though. We found a couple of bits of dog food under a table, which made me want to wear my slippers, to know a dog was walking around in the room before me. The large windows are doors that open to a balcony, if your lucky to have one. There is a large construction project going on outside the hotel now so the noise started around 8am every morning. Just an FYI!

The free internet at the business center in the lobby was fantastic. There were 2 computers on the internet that were available for all day guest use..for free! It was a great way to avoid paying in the room, while checking emails.

The location of the hotel is great. We walked all around the city, the beaches and eateries are a 1-5 minute walk.

I would recommend this hotel. It is San Sebastian's premier hotel. I would love to go back someday. The city of San Sebastian is one of the prettiest places I've ever been to! Go during beach weather to enjoy the shore!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bostonjewels
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 Romantic Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Family Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Business Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 On the Beach Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Luxury 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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