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“Hotel was just OK but I loved the tour service they recommended”

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Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 16, 2007

I quite honestly was expecting more prior to arriving to the Maria Cristina. Bottom line it is a city class hotel with service slightly above what you would expect from a nice Sheraton or Marriott located in a nice city. Do not expect it to be a Beverly Wilshire level of experience.

Although the hotel is charmingly older with good comfortable rooms and a great location, what makes it the biggest disappointment is the service. I feel that the staff does not take pride in their work and do not reach out to make their guests feel this is a special hotel. They only call by your name after you give them your room number even after you have dealt with the same person multiple times. One nit pick is the service book in the rooms do not list phone extensions for even the front desk or room service. The phone itself does have a button to for the guest services extension but frustratingly for two of the three phones in the room it was not functioning properly. And again without a directory you can not manually dial the front desk (dialing the logical "0" does not work). Also, prior to arriving to the hotel I requested a dinner reservation. I got an email back giving me my options and I replied to them my preference. I never received a email confirmation for the dinner.

What made the experience all worth it was the hotel recommendation for the tour company I hired to make arrangements for me to view and participate with the "Running of the Bulls". GS Incoming (Green Services Incoming) did a fantastic job and every year during the Bull Run they rent an apartment with balconies overlooking La Curva portion. The location and service was excellent and took great care of my wife, five year old son, and me. Mariana was our guide for two days and most competently helped me achieve my goal of running with the bulls. Also of note Mariana went above what was expected and helped with locating lost luggage - she is quite tenacious and works hard to make her foreign guests happy. GS Incoming is expensive but if your budget allows and you want experience the Running of the Bulls then i HIGHLY recommend using them as your guide. They can be reached at [--]

As far as the Maria Cristina goes I do know if there is a better high end choice for San Sebastian to chose but I for one do not think the price is justified. If I was going back I probably would ask Mariana for a recommendation...

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank Bullrunnerr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,091 - 1,097 of 1,738 reviews

Reviewed July 5, 2007

This hotel has an attitude problem. It lacks basic friendly efficient service. The bellhops and doormen are fine but the reception is cold and uppity unless you happen to be a VIP. We had to request for an extra bed (which we were paying for) 3 times and even then it took them over 4 hours to comply with our request. The basic systems appeared to be lacking. When I asked to review my bill they could not comply because the systems were down for over 2 hours. I was charged for 4 days of parking even though I used parking for only 2 days-- good thing I checked. One day we got lucky and got a friendly and efficient receptionist who was extremely helpful. Most of the time you are not so lucky though.

In terms of building itself, the hotel has potential but they need some landscaping; they also need to replace the tired worn out carpets in the passages and staircases; they need to work on their lobby etc. etc. Also the rooms would have an aristocratic feel if they were not furnished in the standard Westin or Marriot manner.

By the way, all extras cost a fortune; Euro 23 for breakfast per person, Euro 25 per day of parking and so on. Just save your money and stay at equally convenient Hotel Niza instead and you will get ocean views also.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank AJFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2007

This grande dame has one of the best locations in the city and could potentially be a wonderful hotel, but having stayed here many times, we never cease to be amazed by the utter indifference of the staff, ranging from invisible bell hops, to chilly front desk clerks and sullen chambermaids. In short, this place has a major attitude problem and rooms are in need of serious renovation and redecoration. We much prefer the Villa Soro, with its clean, pretty, bright rooms and charming staff.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank InveterateExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2007

Stayed: December 2006
2  Thank lizalev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2006

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled solo
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3  Thank travelingcher
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Reviewed July 29, 2006

Stayed: June 2006
16  Thank msserene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Paris, France
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Reviewed July 13, 2006

  • Stayed: July 2006
    • Value
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 On the Beach Hotel in San Sebastian - Donostia
#1 Luxury 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: $338 - $1,925 (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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