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...
- 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