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Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian
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All reviewsdry barbeautiful hotelconcierge staffupgraded to a suiteriver viewcooking schoolold townbasque regionbeautiful roomtapasbreakfast buffetpintxos barslobby barrooms are largefilm festivalold world charmthree nights
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Reviewed March 29, 2014

We stayed at the Hotel Maria Cristina in March 2014 as part of a holiday through Spain. This was one of the best hotel choices we have made.

Arriving by car, a short 1 hour or so drive from Bilbao, we entered the driveway of the Hotel at its impressive river front entrance and were greeted at the door by the porter, who assisted with parking our car at the public carpark just next to the hotel. The lobby and reception area was absolutely beautiful, decorated in beautiful classical style. Receiving a warm greeting and welcome by the receptionist, our check in was completed very swiftly, and we were assured a large room with a lovely view, which would be ready for us in under half an a hour. The concierge then took over seamlessly, handing us a map of the city, and then provided us with a map of must-try pintxo bars and a list of items that we should order at each place, which we found to be most useful.

2 hours later, after a short stroll through the old town and a quick but satisfying visit into some of the recommended pintxo bars, we returned to the hotel to check into our room and to freshen up. We were shown to a room on the third floor, an absolutely beautiful room overlooking the riverfront and the Kursaal. Spacious, HUGE king size bed, large bathroom and a little window alcove, we were more than happy with the size of the room. Generous wardrobe space hidden behind beautiful wood panelling, seating area by the window alcove, large wood carved desk and flat screen TV. Marble-top cabinet under the flat screen TV revealed an assortment of barware and glassware and mini bar. Bed was astoundingly large, it was wider than it was long, and soft plush pillow top mattress which afforded an incredibly good nights' rest.

Bathroom were sparkling clean, separate shower and bathtub, plenty of fluffy white towels and heated towel rack , amenities were generous and well thought out. Rain shower yielded even consistent pressure and temperature.

Housekeeping standards are high and consistent, turn down service at night is always done, complete with weather forecast, bottled water and chocolates.

Breakfast was included in our hotel rate, and the spread was above par. Plenty of choices for food, and fresh orange juice was served along with tea and coffee.

Location-wise, it cannot be beat. It is not directly in front of the playa la concha, which I feel keeps the crowd and noise level to a minimum and affords guests peace and quiet and a sense of exclusivity, yet the beach is but a short 5 minute walk away through the main street. Round the corner from the hotel is the old town with its maze of narrow streets and alleys, and tucked into them are the true jems of San Sebastian, some of the best pintxo bars I have ever visited.

Concierge was most helpful in providing directions, ideas on sightseeing, making reservations at top restaurants. Each day when we returned to the hotel, we were always approached by a member of the concierge team to enquire whether we enjoyed their recommendation. We truly appreciated their efforts in ensuring our visit to San Sebastian was an enjoyable one.

My one complaint would be the sound which somehow manages to permeate through the walls, we could occasionally hear music, muffled conversation and tv sounds from the next room.

Parking is expensive however, and the system with which the hotel charges parking is slightly complicated. In the end, we opted to park the car on our own rather than go through the hotel, which we understood attracted an additional valet charge and applicable taxes. While this did not detract from our enjoyment of our time to San Sebastian our or stay at the hotel, one recommendation I would make is perhaps the hotel can consider offering free parking, or at least parking at subsidized rates.

So are we going to return to this hotel and to this stunning magnificent city? It's a resounding YES!

Room Tip: Ask for room facing the river. Beautiful view.
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank WYMC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2014

Not that I've stayed in them all but I can well understand why this hotel holds the number one slot as the best in San Sebastián!The hotel is ideally situated for the old town,the beaches,the main shopping thoroughfare of Avenida de la Libertad.
Enter by the impressive hotel entrance overlooking the river and you come to the reception,behind which is a sizeable portrait of Queen Maria Cristina.She was the hotel's first guest in 1912,for one day,apparently.She used to spend her summers in San Sebastián and gave her name to the hotel.Despite this illustrious past,there's nothing snooty or pompous about the hotel,on the contrary,the staff are charming,helpful and friendly.
The rooms are enormous, as are the beds.I'd hazard a guess that our bed was over 8 feet wide.The decor is very tasteful,the bathroom we had comprised bath,seperate shower and seperate room for toilet/bidet.
The cost is what you'd expect to pay for a hotel of this quality,around £200 per night,240 euros.It's worth it,it's a lovely experience.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank beetleperson1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maria-cristina-hotel, Director General at Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian, responded to this reviewResponded March 28, 2014

Dear Beetleperson1,

Thank you for taking the time to write your nice comments. We are very glad to know how much you have appreciated the attention and service provided to you by our associates and we feel really proud while reading the way you describe our property. It is indeed rewarding to read that we fulfilled your expectation and that we've created good memories for you to bring back home.

We remain at your entire disposal at the Maria Cristina and look forward to welcoming you on your next visit to San Sebastian.

Best regards,


Stijn Oyen
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2014

A wonderful place to stay. Amazing service. Breakfast was free with my room and was sooo fresh. The location is perfect for walking to the old city. The concierge was very helpful in planning excursions.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the plaza
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Anne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maria-cristina-hotel, Director General at Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian, responded to this reviewResponded March 28, 2014

Dear Anne B,

It was a pleasure to note how much you enjoyed your stay with us and we would like to thank you for letting us know how impressed you were with our breakfast and the service received. It is always gratifying to receive such praise.

Thank you once again for taking the time to write. Looking forward to welcoming you at the Maria Cristina in the future.

Best regards,


Stijn Oyen
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2014

This is one of the most beautifully decorated hotels that I have stayed at. The employees are very friendly and helpful and the location is good, just next to the old town of San Sebastian. I will definately chose this hotel when I go back to San Sebastian next time.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Globetrotter7508
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maria-cristina-hotel, Director General at Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian, responded to this reviewResponded March 28, 2014

Dear Globetrot...

It was a pleasure to note how much you have appreciated our renovation, being considered one of the most beautifully decorated hotels by our guests is a matter of proud. Thank you very much for sharing your experience with the social community and for recommending us.

We are looking forward to welcoming you in the near future.

Best regards,


Stijn Oyen
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2014

I have had the great pleasure of staying at this wonderful property for the past 19 years. It was beautiful prior to the complete renovation 2 years ago, and amazing since. Large rooms, attentive staff, great breakfast, perfect location. Everything you would expect from a Gran hotel!

Looking forward to my 20th stay this July!

Room Tip: Make sure to visit Restaurante Cafe Oquendo across the street from the rear entrance.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank DrJazz99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maria-cristina-hotel, Director General at Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2014

Dear DrJazz99,

Your kind comments are greatly appreciated. We are grateful for your support and would like to thank you,especially for sharing your recommendation of our unique property with the rest of the traveller’s community. The loyalty of our guests is a matter of pride for us.

Hope that we may have the pleasure of welcoming you again in the near future.

Best regards,


Stijn Oyen
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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