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Pension Joakina
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Reviews (206)
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All reviewsquiet streetshared bathroomthe location is perfecthost luisold townfourth floorwashing machinecomfortable stayexcellent staybeds were comfortableshort walkwithin walking distancethe buspensionmicrowaveshowerbalcony
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Reviewed November 15, 2012

My wife whisked me away to to the beautiful San Sebastian for my 40th birthday. We were able to find the pension relatively easily with a little assistance from the charming locals. We were greated by an elderly lady who spoke at us in Spanish (my Spanish is limited!), but, eventually we understood one and other and were shown to our 5th floor appartment (there are lifts!).

The room had clearly just been renovated within the last few months and although it may lack old world charm, clean and comfortable at this budget deserves 5 stars! it was equipped with a nice powerful double shower and a new LCD telly hanging on the wall. The views from the balcony were great and with the addition of double glazed doors it was noise free (we slept for hours!). The owner, who we met on leaving, was a lovely man who clearly concerned that we had a great time!

The location is perfect, you are directly inbetween the old and new town and as previous reviewers you can get your morning coffee and some pattiserie just round the corner at the most wonderful place. to get to the old town requires a 300m walk across a couple of treats (this is where you are likely to spend a lot of your time). Enjoy it, as we did - thoroughly!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank BenWolf1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LuixDonosti, Propietario at Pension Joakina, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2012

Dear client, is very nice to read reviews like your. Hope to enjoy the city and the Pension in the future again and keep improving to make your stay more comfortable. Regards. Luis Olaizola

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Reviewed October 22, 2012

The pension is well located for exploring the old town. Rooms are clean and comfortable. Free WIFI worked perfectly during our stay. Nearby is an excellent patisserie. The beach is very close.

What did cause a huge problem though was having a shower after 10pm. I'm informed this causes lots of noise, but I find it impossible to believe it could create more noise than Joakina banging on the door to tell us to turn the shower off. We never received notification of a 10pm shower curfew at any point in the booking process, and in Spain where people eat dinner very late and enjoy the nightlife, I find this very unusual.

If there is a hotel policy that hot water must not be used between 10pm and the morning, this should be clearly stated during the booking process. If you shower in the morning, then this place is great. If like me you like to be clean when you go to bed, find somewhere else.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank OzLuke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LuixDonosti, Gerente at Pension Joakina, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2012

Dear Sir, thanks a lot for your review. We will try to inform guests before the arrival some rooms shower corfew, as the hot water makes a lot of noise when it works at night and also disturbs other guests when they are sleeping at night. We work to give our guests a pleasant rest at night, cleanlyness in a lovely location as you valued in your opinion. Have a nice trip arround Europe. Joakina and Luis Olaizola

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Reviewed June 14, 2012

Location of Pension Joakina is simply perfect. It's in the centre of San Sebastian, and everything is around the corner: the old town (pincho bars!), the shopping area, seaside, beach and harbor. However, if you come to San Sebastian by car (like we did), do not even think about parking it on the street in that area and be prepared to fork out 25 € per day in one of the underground parking garages.
Pension Joakina has no reception. You'll be welcomed by Joakina herself, the eccentric and funny lady who owns the hotel. She lives somewhere in the same house and will give you the keys of your room and the main gate, so coming back late at night is not a problem. We met her only on our arrival, then we haven't seen her anymore, even at check out (since there's no reception, we gave her a call and she said "oh, just leave the keys in the room, close the door and go"). In simple terms, it's impossible to rate the service of Pension Joakina, since there's no service at all, apart of the regular cleaning.
For breakfast there's a plenty of coffee and pastry shops in the area with nice local delicacies. Just go to Plaza Gipuzkoa around the corner and have a more than pleasant breakfast under the porticos.
Well, our stay at Joakina's was very pleasant, I must say. The room was large, clean and quiet and had a nice small terrace with view on the street. This was my first time in San Sebastian and I am looking forward to visit it again, surely by staying in Pension Joakina.
I would recommend Joakina to whom is looking for perfect location, great value for money and adequate comfort without frills.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Sanvean76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LuixDonosti, Propietario at Pension Joakina, responded to this reviewResponded September 21, 2012

Good morning, thanks a lot for your review. Is very nice to know that your stay was as quiet and pleasant as we like to give to our guests. Due to comments like you about parking we have an agreement with Parking La Concha, which is not in the corner but is close by, to give an special price to our guests, 16€ a day. We do not treat much clients sometimes as we like to keep calm and silent at the Pension, hope this wan not a problem to you, and you prefered this way of treatment. Regards. Luis Olaizola

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Reviewed September 7, 2011

Joakina is a jewel if you want peace and quiet. It's minutes walk from beach, old town, railway station etc yet is on a quiet street, has been renovated with heavy doors and double glazed windows and together, this makes for a wondrous silent retreat in a busy touristy city. It also has reliable strong wi-fi. An important plus.

There are four rooms. Three have a balcony and one does not. Instead it is open to the central lightwell. I have to stress that this review applies solely to this room. We arrived in hot humid conditions to find that the room was almost as hot as outside - and had no air con. Luix, the friendly and helpful tri-lingual proprietor gave us a small fan. It was on day and night during our four night stay. We opened windows and doors as often as we could without compromising our privacy and the room simply heated up again each time we were in it. The central lightwell is covered and on the fourth floor so simply doesn't help to cool anything down. I would guess the other rooms with balconies did not have this issue when the cool change came through - our room was still too hot to sleep in comfortably.

Re sleeping, despite a modern renovation and lovely shared bathroom, the beds were hard single ensembles with barely cushioned wire springs. I had to use both sheets and a towel underneath me at night to avoid a sore back and legs. It was hot enough that I certainly didn't need them on top of me!

Luix also runs the place with his mum. She was nosy enough to look into our room several times from the shared bathroom and on one occasion, saw that we had hung up a jacket on a hiking clothes line in the room simply to air it out - it was dry. She leaned out of the window and gave us a serve about not washing clothes and letting them drip on the floor. We had done no such thing and appreciated that wetting floating veneer floorboards would be a bad thing - we are home owners too!! However the rooms do not have a single clothes hoist or door / wall hook even to hang your wet towel each day. When you are sharing a bathroom this is quite important. The nosy mother would also appear each time we used the shared bathroom to make sure we had left it clean. We felt a bit spied upon.

So this is not a negative review as our stay was restful and pleasant and I would recommend Joakina only if you get a balcony room. There are just a few issues that need attending to to raise the bar to anywhere near the 80 euro we paid. This central room is not offered at a discount and based on all of the other places we have stayed in in Spain, it is worth about 50-60 euro.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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2  Thank bckpckrau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LuixDonosti, Propietario at Pension Joakina, responded to this reviewResponded September 21, 2012

Good afternoon, thanks a lot for your review. We liked you enjoyed some of our services, and treat to attend your suggestions along this year. To do it a bit better, we bought some new big fans, as air conditioning machines are too complicated to install, we hope with this we fix a problem we found and we have to attend. We also changed all beds this year, we hope clients like them more, we had not almost complaints about this but is true they were not as new as the last renovation we did. About my mom, she likes to have everything clean, specially for next guest, after any uses the bathroom, sorry if you felt disturbed, she wants to beg you pardon if you felt spied. Anyway, some other guests (not you, we remember you and we have to tell you were some of the cleanest guests we had), wash clothes in the bathrooms, which does not allow others to use for personal washing and specially clothes won´t be dry never as dries do, we have wooden floors and we do not want them damaged with wet clothes. Finally, we now San Sebastian is not a cheap place to sleep, renovations are much more expensive and buildings also, which they increase a lot the final price of any Pension / Hotel. We hope next time you come here you will have a balcony room, please remember it to us when you book a room and we will try to attend your suggestion, like we did now with your review. Regards. Luis Olaizola

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Reviewed September 7, 2011

After overcoming the mixup with arrival time...which I realised later was my own fault...everything else fell into place. Greeted by warmest welcome that Basque Country can give. The place itself is immaculate, clean and quiet, the rooms are very spacious! The location is perfect, 5mins walk to the beach and the old town!

I can't wait to go back and catch up with the hosts, hopefully my spanish has improved by that time hehehe

Noe Iñigo

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank NoeInigo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LuixDonosti, Propietario at Pension Joakina, responded to this reviewResponded September 21, 2012

Good morning, thanks a lot for your review, is great to read good words like yours!! Yes, it was a pitty the little misunderstanding, but finally everything was ok. Hope to see you soon at the Pension Joakina. Regards. Luis Olaizola

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