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“Better than Excellent!”

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Iriarte Jauregia Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bidania
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Boston
Level Contributor
31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Better than Excellent!”
Reviewed September 16, 2013

My daughter & her husband picked this hotel as the site for their wedding reception. A group of us traveled from the US and spent the previous week there. Most of them had not visited Spain before and they were blown away. The setting is magical, with views that are unbelievable. The hotel & its grounds are beautiful. The setting is quiet & peaceful even the roosters were polite enough to wait until at least 9am to start crowing. The rooms, especially the superior ones, were very comfortable. The bride spent the week in the suite, which has to be seen to be believed, an enormous living/dining area with two bedrooms, each with its own bath. We enjoyed several meals in their restaurant - the innovative & exceptional cuisine one finds in Basque Country at very reasonable prices. The desserts were amazing. They also have a casual menu in the lounge area if you're not interested in a big meal. They set up a cocktail reception with delicious pinchos on little more than 36 hours notice! Because we were there for a wedding, we had a myriad of tasks & errands, all accomplished with helpful suggestions about where to get tuxedos & gowns steamed, where to buy gift to take home, and alternative places to eat. Everyone from the owners to the chambermaids were friendly and accommodating. If you're interested in spending a lot of time in San Sebastian, this is not the most convenient location on a steep winding road up the mountain. If you want to combine beauty, peace and a comfortable base for day trips around the region it is perfect.

Room Tip: The superior rooms are worth the extra money. If you want a total splurge, go for the suite.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank melemelon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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385 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
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English first
London, UK
Level Contributor
153 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 270 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2013

The drive to this hotel is fantastic, climbing along winding roads until you reach the property sat atop a hill amongst rolling countryside. It is very peaceful, located just on the outskirts of the nearest village.

The hotel itself is converted from an old manor house, and this has been done in a contemporary style which sits well with the building as there is a clear distinction between the original features and the new contemporary elements.

Check-in was friendly and efficient, and we were shown to our room (not something standard in a four star) which was a nice touch. The room itself was stylishly decorated, and much like the rest of the property, incorporated new and old elements. Due to the architecture of the building, the windows are rather small and recessed so the room was not naturally bright. The complimentary minibar and pillow menu were nice touches. For me, the bathroom was a little bit basic/small – given the size of the room, a much larger space could have been given to the bathroom and a separate shower and bath installed. There was nothing wrong with it, but it just could’ve been done a lot better. Bathrobes were not provided either which is strange, although not hugely inconvenient, but at the prices charged, these would be expected.

Breakfast was good overall, but with a few tweaks could’ve been much, much better. The bread selection was excellent and you could toast it yourself which avoids waits for invariably cold toast! Orange juice is fresh and served to you at the table; a jug should also be left out so guests can top up their own glasses as this isn’t offered at present (and I couldn’t be bothered asking for a refill). The fruit selection is more of a fruitbowl as the prepared fruit comprises a couple of tinned items, which in Spain in the summer is totally unnecessary; the fresh fruit should be prepared each morning. The cereal selection is basic, perhaps a homemade granola or muesli (not complicated) would be better. The hot items, namely sausages and tortilla were better on some days than others; there is no need for inconsistency. The pastry/cake selection wasn’t bad, but wasn’t remotely Spanish, so a slight change here too wouldn’t go amiss. This all might sound petty, but the foundations are there to create a splendid breakfast much more in keeping with the special nature of this property.

I didn’t have dinner at the property as the menu didn’t really appeal to me. If they had offered something closer to “comfort food” (local, and Spanish of course… I am not talking pizza!) instead of fine dining I would have been tempted to try it. In an area crammed with fine dining, adding another fine dining establishment seems a strange thing to do. San Sebastian offers a plethora of fantastic places from Pinchos to Chuleta to Tarta de Queso to 3* Michelin dining! If you don’t want to travel into San Sebastian in the evening, then Restaurante Fronton in Tolosa is fantastic (see separate review).

The grounds are relatively compact, but there are plenty of chairs and loungers should you wish to spend time on the lawn taking in the peace and beautiful scenery. Some people have commented on a swimming pool – it is very apparent that this property doesn’t have one, so it is not a fair criticism to level. It is hard to see where there would be space for a pool, and in the hills, the weather is noticeably cooler that at sea level so use would also be very limited. I can fully understand why there isn’t one! San Sebastian is a short and easy drive away so by staying here you can get the best of both worlds: seaside resort and countryside retreat.

There is nothing to really criticise about this property, rather, there are areas that need a bit more attention to detail to create an hotel that is truly special and excels in all areas. The other thing is the price, which I think is probably 10-15% too much for the level of service offered. The room rate in high season sits only a little bit below that of The Ritz Madrid which is 5* GL and offers full service e.g. twice daily room service, valet parking, etc. etc. It is certainly a cheaper alternative to staying in San Sebastian, but I think at current rates it just needs to offer a bit more value in terms of service.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank IntlTraveller21stc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2013

We used this as base for visiting San Sebastián (and surrounds) and although it is a reasonable distance away, it worked well as parking in San Seb. is central and cheap. We stayed three nights and on one night had a good meal in the excellent restaurant (see my review of this). I could not not speak more highly of the staff who laboured a bit with our English but, hey, this is Spain, not London and even there the spoken word occasionally needs subtitles. It was unusual to be served at breakfast by the attentive owner/entrepreneur, who was full of local information. The entire manor building had been recently restored from its original use as his family home, so all facilities were modern. Decorations a mix of comfortable antique and modern. Our twin room was excellent with a great view over rolling paddocks with the major noise coming from cow-bells.
The only problem we encountered was the variable free WiFi due to the very thick stone walls of the building structure. It would also have been convenient to have had other restaurants in walking distance to avoid drink driving; the local town had none.

Room Tip: Book well ahead!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MarcoPoloTwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2013

The countryside surrounding this hotel is extremely beautiful. The hotel building is gorgeous and the common areas of the hotel are beautiful. The rooms are very comfortable with very nice bathrooms. The breakfast is absolutely fantastic.

This hotel would be SPECTACULAR if they invested in a beautiful heated pool. At minimum, they need to create an inviting outdoor seating area where people may sit comfortably and socialize (and perhaps be served drinks and food) amidst the stunning scenery. Otherwise, there isn't much to do in the immediate area. The absolutely magical city of San Sebastian is a 30-40 minute drive.

Room Tip: The views are beautiful from the third floor facing the villiage.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank James M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2013

We only stayed one night but would have loved to stay longer. Best to find this in daylight. Everyone was friendly and helpful. It felt more like staying with friends in their country home than at a hotel. The owner can be seen working around the property, and there is a lovely dog on site. I don't understand the other reviews about the restaurant as our meal was delightful. My steak was perfect and the desserts were over the top. Breakfast was as one would expect for a European hotel. Very peaceful setting

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank swanny32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toulouse, France
2 reviews
Reviewed June 9, 2013

Beautiful building, interior a tasteful mix between antique furniture and modern minimalist style. Lovely landscape around the hotel, a smaller town within easy reach. Highlight for us was the restaurant in the Iriarte Jaurega Hotel, to which we would like to award 5 stars. The Chef Enrique Fleischmann has worked with the major league of famous chefs and yet managed to find his owl signature style, creating very unique and delicious menus that will stay in your memory for a long time to come. He enhances the true taste of the food product to its original best.The staff is friendly and helpful, both in the hotel and in the restaurant.

I would like to suggest to add some garden lounge chairs that aren't so low. For elderly people the cobble-stone entrance is very difficult to circumnavigate, especially with a suitcase on wheels. A luggage rack in the room would be helpful.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Lauragais1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dalgety Bay, Dunfermline
Level Contributor
140 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2013

We decided to have a splurge for two nights before returning home. The drive here was spectacular despite the rain, wonderful scenery. Warm welcome from very professional, friendly staff. Very attractive building. We had chosen a superior room. It was a large, corner room with a beautiful beamed ceiling and two windows, each of which gave stunning views. There was a big, bright bathroom, also with lovely views. We had a huge, comfortable bed with attractive draperies and there was a a dining chair in front of the television and a bigger chair in the corner. Both looked attractive and matched the decor but were extremely uncomfortable to sit on, no support whatsoever. We were not on business but, like many people travelling, wanted to use our laptop. This could only be achieved by scrambling on the floor under the table and unplugging either the television or desk lamp. Downstairs, we had a snack in the bar. It was nicely presented and served but it was warm rather than hot so not so enjoyable. We discussed the menu for the following evening with a very nice staff member but there was very little for vegetarians. I don't think a plate of grilled vegetables is very imaginitive. Here also, the seating looked nice but was very uncomfortable. We decided we didn't want to stay for two nights and managed to arrange this through Booking.com. The staff were sympathetic but seemed genuinely surprised that we wanted to leave early. If only some more thought had gone into choosing chairs that not only looked nice but were comfortable and if only the chef was more considerate of vegetarians we would have had a memorable stay. Instead we left feeling very disappointed that our plans for a touch of luxury had gone awry.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank MillyMollyMandy01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iriarte Jauregia Hotel

Property: Iriarte Jauregia Hotel
Address: Eliz Bailara, 8 (Bidania-Goiatz), 20496 Bidania, Spain
Location: Spain > Basque Country > Province of Guipuzcoa > Bidania
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bidania
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Iriarte Jauregia Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Iriarte Jauregia Hotel is an elegant 17th century palace located in Gipuzkoa, in an impressive valley surrounded by woodlands and mountains and only 25 minutes from the centre of Donostia-San Sebastian. Its interior design is a product of carefully selected decor that brings together the past and the present to create an intimate, quiet and relaxing atmosphere. 19 Charming rooms with character. The only aim of the splendid views, the materials, textures, colours and each little touch is to make every stay an experience that is full of pleasant sensations. Luxury surrounded by nature. Thanks to its excellent location in the centre of the Basque Country, you can enjoy tranquillity and nature and also conveniently visit the main tourist attractions. Very good road links. Tolosa (10 km), Azpeitia (13 km) and only 25 minutes from the centre of Donostia-San Sebastian. Iriarte Jauregia has different areas which allow you to make the most of your stay. It has a large garden where you can relax in the shade of an ancient tree, have a drink on the terrace while you watch the sunset, or enjoy a tasty outdoor breakfast, weather permitting. Outdoor parking and free Wi-Fi connection. In its BAILARA Restaurant, led by Chef Enrique Fleischmann you will enjoy a signature cuisine in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Additionally, in the Snack Bar and the Library Room you will find a pleasant, laid back place to enjoy your favourite drink and the informal Quick & Easy menu. You will can enjoy luxury beauty and wellness treatments in the privacy of your room. Wellness, cuisine and relaxation. Four stars of complete comfort. Luxury surrounded by nature. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iriarte Jauregia Hotel Spain/Bidania

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