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“Funky modern interior, drab exterior, quiet residential location - overpriced”

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Barcelo Costa Vasca
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reading, UK
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Funky modern interior, drab exterior, quiet residential location - overpriced”
Reviewed 2 September 2011

We stayed here for a 4 day family break in August 2011. We arrived hot and tired so headed for the pool area. The pool is large and well maintained and the only way in is through a doorway with an automatically triggered cold shower - it is verboten to be unclean in the pool! I admire the cleanliness but find the sheep dip idea a little patronising! We had booked a superior twin and a deluxe double - the only difference between the two was that the deluxe had access to a small balcony facing the front of the hotel as opposed to a view of a grass bank and trees at the back of the hotel - otherwise identical (the double was a twin). The rooms were clean and slavishly minimalist - no main light just a suspended trendy metal/plastic light fitting in the corner, perspex chair, solid stainless steel folding reading lights, ceiling uplighter from headboard, wardrobe with one big sliding door with photo of local modern iconic sculpture on it 'Comb of the Wind'. Decoration all neutral tones, small flatscreen TV (26 inch LG). Air conditioning didn't really work that well - coolish rather than cold. Beds were very comfortable though but had mosquitos in room. So inside stylish but on a budget - outside it is a drab brick building in the middle of a residential area - no sea views in any direction (maybe on top floor you get a glimpse?). The nearest beach is a 5 minute downhill walk but to get to the oldtown/main beach you are talking 20-25 mins. There is nowhere really to eat locally - one cafe on the beach and one overpriced restaurant overlooking the sea - and the hotel restaurant prices reflect this. To be fair the hotel lays on a shuttle service to the old town but its a minibus once an hour so book early. San Sebastian is a brilliant place and we really enjoyed the beaches, the aquarium, the old town with great food, surfing and an added bonus - the international firework competition. Amazing displays in an amazing location every night for a week! I will hurry back to San Sebastian but probably would go to one of the similarly priced luxury hotels in town - no pool but a lot less walking and sea views (and the sea views in San Sebastian are spectacular)

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
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Melbourne
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2011

Service good, if a little unfriendly for guests who can't speak Spanish. Fully services available. Our experience was that this property was good as a leisure stay, but would also be appropriate for a business traveller.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank SueofOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Silverstone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2011

3 night stay. Nice room with a good bathroom and excellent shower. The air con would not go below 21.5c but it felt more like 24c. Good selection at breakfast on first two mornings. On the 3rd day there were several parties of very hungry junior footballers in who ate everything in sight and the staff struggled to replenish stocks. Hope they played as well as they ate! The hotel staff were friendly and helpful. Parking was expensive at nearly 50 euros for 3 nights.
Nice local beaches (don't forget your bucket and spade) and local shops.and plenty to see and do in the area around San Sebastian.
About 25mins walk along the seafront to the old town. Very nice walk but you might want to use transport as well if you plan to go there and back more than once a day.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MikeAtsill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2011

I recently spent two weeks in Europe, which included five different hotels. This was by far the most expensive of the five and probably the worst.

I stayed here though because it was the only room I could find in San Sebastian for less than $500. (I ended up spending about $300 a night. I cringe thinking about it.)

The location is not near the main sights or the beach. As for people saying it's a quick walk - be warned that walk involves a lot of walking uphill. At one point I tried meeting up with friends who were staying in the town center - I was told it was a 20 minute walk or I could wait 15 minutes for the bus, so I figured I could walk - I got so turned around and confused, I just gave up and came back to the hotel. I will admit to being more directionaly challenged than the average person, but that's why I usually stay in rooms located near the sights I want to see.

The room was fairly average though I very much liked the little balcony and the view.

What others have said about the thin walls is very true. Several times I could hear people in the hall and would think the door to my room must be open. Not quiet at all.

The bathroom was extremely bothersome. There was a problem with the plug in the sink, which required me to have to remove it with my hand anytime I used the sink. For $300 a night, I shouldn't be having to handle things that other people have spit on. That grossed me out quite a bit. The toilet had a problem which caused it to run nonstop. The first time this happened was at 5 a.m. I didn't want to call downstairs at that time. Finally, not knowing what else to do, after the water ran for about twenty minutes, I found that if I kicked the toilet a few times, it would quit running. This happened several times. Also, I never could figure out the shower. That might be my own fault, but really, a shower shouldn't be that complicated. At this point, I was already annoyed with this hotel and especially this bathroom.

But probably what upset me the most was that even though I had the "do not disturb" sign on the my door, the cleaning people walked into my room. I was traveling alone and having someone walk into my room while I'm still in bed was very disturbing. This was the first chance I'd had to sleep late after a lot of traveling from city to city and I'd been up very late at a concert the night before.

Despite the large amount of money I'd already spent on the room, I decided to leave a night early and take a late flight to Madrid. I just didn't like being there, didn't want to spend any more time there and wanted to move on to the next city on my trip.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Angel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2011

We had 3 nights at the Barcelo Costa Vasca in June 2011 whilst visiting friends in San Sebastian. On the whole, the hotel was very good. We booked a superior room which was excellent. Very spacious and immaculately clean. As pointed out by some other reviewers, the bathrooms do have tinted glass doors which are see-through when the bathroom light is on... so don't share a room with someone unless you are pretty close :-)
All of the staff I dealt with were very friendly and very good at dealing with my elementary Spanish (all the reception staff spoke excellent English).
The hotel is not in the main tourist area of Donostia. It is about 5 minutes walk down to la Concha beach and about 35 minutes walk to the old town. We really didn't mind the walk at all. The majority of the walk is along the amazing beaches and San Sebastian is such beautiful place, I wouldn't mind if i had to take that walk every day. Apart from anything else, I needed to burn off all the Pinxtos that I was eating!! The hotel is on a fairly steep hill which some people may find challenging.
I didn't have a car so cant comment on the parking charges, but I do know that parking in San Sebastian is notoriously difficult.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank StuandNic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2011

We stayed here for 2 nights during our 6 week honeymoon in europe. Our travel agent booked this hotel for us 2 or so months in advance, given we were staying in peak season. All hotel bookings had a note that we were on our honeymoon. You can imagine my surprise when we checked into our room to find that it was a twin room. They did offer us a double room but it was much smaller & smelt of stale cigarette smoke.
On our second night we asked for an iron so my husband could iron his shirt before we went out to dinner at Arzak, a 3 michellin starred restaurant. We were told that there were no irons because the hotel had previously had a fire after someone burnt the carpet. We had floor boards in our room & a small shag pile rug 3 feet in diameter & the other room offered to us had no carpet at all so this was interesting.
Along with having no irons, the laundry was also closed.
The rooms were clean but the walls were quite thin, so one could hear everything happening in the hallway.
My overall impression was not particularly positive. The staff seemed to be mostly indifferent & did not display an adequate level of customer service.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chellyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warminster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
186 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2011

Arrived early but provided room. Good reception.

Room 'boutique' modern. Good fittings and huge bed. Very good bathroom with power/massage shower, but no bath or bidet. Reasonable toiletries. Only problem with rooms is 'paper thin' doors (not literally) which allow for all corridor sounds to intrude - 24/7. Can be annoying when you have a large family in adjoining room.

Excellent buffet breakfast (apart from juice) - cava included.

the menu del dia is not only excellent value (Euro 23 with wine and water) but extremley high quality.

Only downside is parking - 17 Euro for day or part in open car park.

Complaints about distance from town are not justified - you either take a hotel in Centre, with all that entails, or have a healthy walk for 30 minutes.

Room Tip: Take an executive room - has balcony, albeit small.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Barcelo Costa Vasca

Property: Barcelo Costa Vasca
Address: 15 Avenida Pio Baroja, 20008 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 Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#4 Green Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#6 Luxury Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#6 Business Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#7 Romantic Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#10 Family Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Costa Vasca 4*
Number of rooms: 203
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Costa Vasca Hotel San Sebastian - Donostia
Barcelo San Sebastián Donostia
Barcelo Hotel Costa Vasca

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