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“Great renovation, uneven staffing in their first months past re-opening”

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Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 27, 2012

This grand old hotel has been recently renovated and the designers did a great job. Our room was very comfortable, spacious, with a great mattress and plenty of hot water/good water pressure. The renovations in the lobby & through to our room are very well done: grandma would recognize the furniture and be comfortable, while people who usually stay at the W will appreciate the boutique feel, muted but fun colors, library wall, etc.

The customer-facing staff, from check-in to concierge to breakfast room crew, were uniformly warm, gracious, and helpful. We felt well cared for, and appreciated it.

The upstairs staff, however, are less reliable. Over four nights our room was not quite made up the same any two nights. Some nights we had complimentary drinking water, others not. Somehow the towels in the bathroom were never in the same place twice, and washcloths and various soaps, etc., were restocked irregularly. A broken closet light was fixed so that it was even more broken--it wouldn't turn off and shined all night. In addition, a large wheeled supply cart (made up to look like a vintage traveling trunk) was permanently parked in the hallway, and usually left 20 or more cm out from the wall so that it obstructed the beautiful hallway. The cart never failed to feel out of place. By day 3 we were making a joke of it to ourselves, asking what we would or would not find when we returned from touring. For us, quirky is fun, but I don't know if other travelers would feel the same.

The hotel's location on the river and ocean is excellent for a few days stay, five minutes or so easy walk from the old town and shopping district. I suspect it is a quieter neighborhood than the more numerous hotels by Playa Concha.

Room Tip: I think all the rooms would be fine as it is on the edge of the neighborhood.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank nyjim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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933 - 939 of 1,740 reviews

Reviewed November 24, 2012

The hotel is perfectly suited for Donostia. It has an elegance and charm that matches the city. It is not the pompous, in your face kind of elegance, but a more refined and almost restrained elegance. The hotel is perfectly situated in the city - easy walking distance to the old town and near both beaches.

The rooms are large and ours had a massive bed. It was made of two double beds together, much larger than our california king at home. The bathroom was modern and clean. The staff was attentive, but not all over you.

It was the perfect stop for two nights on our road trip through the Basque country.

Room Tip: Ask for any room ending in 22.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank jgregb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

This hotel has an amazing location, central to all the key sights of San Sebastian. Our premium river view room was comfortably appointed and the staff were kind enough to arrange free chocolates and bubbly as it was our honeymoon. However a few things could be improved, namely hotel facilities (day spa or a pool would have been nice but understandably, these things are limited by space constraints), and telecommunications. In-room wifi isn't cheap, and was patchy in our room (on the 4th floor). The connectivity situation really needs to be rectified. Available TV channels are relatively sparse for English speakers (no entertainment channels but a few news options) and in-room movies are sorely lacking and overpriced. I know no one goes to San Sebastian to sit in their room and watch TV, but I would have expected better from a grand five-star hotel with the Maria Cristina's reception. We found the staff were extremely helpful, especially so when we had a problem with our parking ticket, and at checkout when there was a minor problem with the bill which they quickly rectified.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank benchickens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

This is a really beautiful property all through the building. The rooms are lovely and spacious and the lobby area is stunning. The little bar makes great cocktails. the chinese restaurant on-site is superb and also very attractive. Breakfast was excellent and the staff throughout were friendly and helpful.

Our room was at the back (away from the river) and in the centre of the u-shaped building so didn't get much noise from the street. I guess the rooms at the end might get some street noise.

We had a group of nine including small kids and teenagers and everyone was made to feel welcome.

Cons: The a/c was a bit annoying. It seemed to switch on and off throughout the night but it felt like the thermostat guiding it was not in our room: at times it was hot but the a/c had switched off. The windows only opened a few centimetres so not much use for cooling the room.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank QQuietroomfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2012

I have been at the Maria Cristina Hotel several times through my life, since I was a child my parents used to take me there for holidays and they used to get a Suite. Back then the hotel was old but had lots of charm and class. As the years went by, the hotel started to look too old and not up to date, it was expensive and not the level someone expects to find in such a hotel category.

I have visited the Hotel during the Film Festival and I stayed at a Junior Suite, the hotel was renovated, and it was just beautiful. They managed to keep up with the feeling of a old jewel but updating it and upgrading it to the level of a Grand Hotel that Maria Cristina has to be.

The rooms are beautiful they actually remind me a lot of some St.Regis Hotel I have been in Singapore and Bangkok, for some amenities and details of decor and furnishing.

Only complain is that bathroom layout does not make much sense, but other than that I find it to be one of the most beautiful hotels in Spain. Two thumbs up!!!

Room Tip: Rooms Overlooking the water...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Alkatrunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2012 via mobile

The hotel is impecable. Service was outstanding. The breakfast was included and was superb. The Concierge Miss N. Martinez was candid and helpful providing excellent recommendstions and directions. The room was immaculate and big which is something rare in many areas in Europe.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank karlos65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2012

We spent the weekend in San Sebastian to celebrate the birthday of my girlfriend. Upon arrival at the hotel, we were impressed by the building and how nicely it was decorated.
The check-in process went smooth and we were upgraded to a room with a river/sea view. The newly renovated room was AMAZING. Nicely decorated, big, beautiful bathroom with separate bath and shower. Very comfortable bed also! And ofcourse....the amazing views on the river and the Atlantic ocean.
We had breakfast in our room included in our rate and were very happy with that! We had an amazing selection to choose from, and on the day of my girlfriend's birthday, they added a free bottle of Cava and some birthday cake to our order. Very attentive!

Room Tip: Go for the premium river view rooms...it's worth the extra money!
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sven_Barca
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

Address: Paseo Republica Argentina, 4, 20004 San Sebastian - Donostia, Spain
Phone Number:
Location: Spain > Basque Country > Province of Guipuzcoa > San Sebastian - Donostia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 On the Beach Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Romantic Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Business Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Family Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
Price Range: $347 - $1,908 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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