Just returned from 3 night break at the Santemar and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Ryanair flights were excellent and a real bargain at £37 return!
Hotel Facilities/Service: Hotel is a pretty ugly concrete building from the outside, but rooms are nicely furnished, modern and well maintained. Check in procedure went smoothly and our room was ready for us despite arriving at 10.00 am. Maids did an excellent job and room kept very clean, with beds turned down each evening and a complimentary chocolate. Didn't seem to have air conditioning, which would be a huge problem in the summer months. All you can do is open the window, which didn't help much. Bathroom is modern and toiletries are replenished daily. Powerful shower and good hair dryer. No brewing facilities - we took our own kettle as we're typically British and love our cuppas. We stayed room only as breakfast at hotel was expensive. Got a good rate of £50 per night for a triple room - try venere.com as you pay on checkout. The walls are really thin, as per previous reviews, but we were fortunate to have considerate neighbours so no problems for us. Comfortable bed so slept well. You can purchase breakfast locally for 2.25 euros at a bar near the Casino.
Location of Hotel: The hotel is located outside of Santander in the El Sardinero area. Some rooms have sea views (ours didn't but was fine) Absolutely gorgeous beaches, huge size, immaculately clean and very quiet in November despite the weather being quite sunny and warm when we were there. No litter, promenade hosed down and sand cleaned daily. You won't find many nicer beaches in the whole of Spain! Would love to retire here! Quite a surprise really.
Local Amenities: There is a local supermarket "Lupa" near the Casino which is just around the corner, and quite a few bars and restaurants around the Plaza Italia - the Mexican restaurant next to the supermarket highly recommended with cocktails for 3 euros. Places to avoid are the Chinese "Mulan" - very smelly carpet and mediocre food - and "Cafe Bar Oh" where we were ripped off on a massive scale - 20 euros for 4 drinks which had been costing 8 euros elsewhere. Gutted! Be warned - steer clear of this bar and its extortionate prices and service with a scowl!
Language: English is not widely spoken and although I do speak a little Spanish, my pronuniciation confused a few of the locals! My pocket dictionary came in very handy, especially with the menus!
Transport: Their transport system puts ours to shame. Taxi from the airport costs approx 17 euros but is well worth the convenience. Regular bus service into Santander, takes 10 mins and costs 1 euro single, preferred staying in El Sardinero because of the lovely beaches and easy access to Santander.
Things to see: Santander Cathedral, Town Hall, Mercado de Este, promenade, Palacio de la Magdalena, Cabo Mayor lighthouse. You can walk right along the promenade from El Sardinero into Santander. Takes about 35 minutes and is very pleasant. Local footie team Racing Santander - their stadium is in El Sardinero about a 10 minute walk from hotel. We went to see them play top of league Sevilla. Good experience but at 30 euros for the cheapest seats, comparable price to the UK.
Prices: Food and drink is generally cheaper than the UK - apart from Cafe Bar Oh, rip-off merchants (see above)
Overall, I would highly recommend a visit to Santander, particularly with a cheap Ryanair deal. The Santemar is a good place to stay, but you would definitely need air conditioning in the summer.
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- Also Known As:
- Santemar Hotel Santander