It’s not every day you get to explore the epicentre of Basque Country and live in the lap of luxury while at it. Here are the best hotels in San Sebastian for your next trip.
If you’re a foodie, there’s a good chance you’ve dreamt of taking your taste buds on a tour of one of the gastronomic capitals of the world — San Sebastian. But do you know what else you’ll find here?
Within the streets of this age-old haunt for the Spanish bourgeoisie are some truly imagination-defying hotels. Let’s discover them, shall we?
Best Hotels in San Sebastian: At a Glance
|Best Hotels in San Sebastian – Top Picks||Hotel|
|Best Overall San Sebastian Hotel||Hotel Arbaso|
|Best San Sebastian Hotel for Luxury Stays||Akelarre|
|Best San Sebastian Hotel for Boutique Stays||Hotel Zinema7|
|Best San Sebastian Hotel for Budget-friendly Stays||TALO Urban Rooms|
Best Hotels in San Sebastian, Spain
Let’s kick things off with one of the top hotels in San Sebastian, Hotel Arbaso. If the race for the ultimate hotel rested only on looks, the Arbaso would be a surefire frontrunner.
From the caramel-coloured stone exterior to the traditional Basque-style dark-hued minimalist interior, the Arbaso is a stunning blend of opulence and tradition.
Suites at the Arbaso are massive, each providing picturesque views of the nearby neo-Gothic Cathedral. Plus, when you’re feeling hungry, the on-site restaurant, Narru, helmed by Iñigo Peña, is a culinary powerhouse and well worth your attention.
Located underneath the famous restaurant of the same name by chef Pedro Subijana, Akellare fits right in among the luxury hotels in San Sebastian.
Akelarre is a feast for the eyes: the architecture studio Mecanismo created a dramatic exterior and interior, crowned by a magnificent corten steel spiral staircase leading down three floors from the lobby.
Equally impressive, the 22 rooms of Akelarre showcase eye-catching sea views with mid-century modern style furniture. Vibrant bathrooms also contain bathtubs set against floor-to-ceiling windows.
You’ll find what could very well be the best hotel in San Sebastian on the outskirts of Gros — Villa Soro. It’s a former summer house and a marvellous architectural mashup of Tudor and Basque with buckets of charm.
In an ode to the villa’s previous life as a private residence, the owners have retained some elements such as the original carved wooden staircase, parquet flooring and stained-glass roof. These blend with smart modern furnishings, handpicked artwork and stellar art-deco bathrooms.
Picture old-school grace with an ambience that begs you to lounge in the shade, browse a local magazine and indulge in a glass of wine. Few properties pull off a supremely genteel feel quite like Villa Soro.
Blending seaside living with glamour is the stunning Lasala Plaza. Housed within a 1917 building adorned with classic golden sandstone, it’s what a hotel in San Sebastian should be. And more.
On the one side, Lasala fronts a serene old-town square on the outer edge of Parte Vieja, while the other sits right on the bustling old harbour.
Among pintxo bars and eclectic eateries, Lasala Plaza offers an in-house alternative courtesy of chef Ander González’s Jarana. The showstopper is the rooftop “solarium” with a swimming pool and bar — the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of cold txakoli.
Room Mate Gorka
As far as boutique hotels in San Sebastian go, Room Mate Gorka puts a modern spin on art nouveau.
The lobby showcases zingy lime, teal and gold tones, while rooms are decorated with soft greys, shades of calming greens and eye-catching blues. If you’re looking for a comforting place to bed down, this is the spot to be.
With breakfast served until noon, you can forget about rushing from your room at dawn. On the other hand, at night, the in-house bar is a favourite of locals and visitors alike. It’s the ideal space to mix and mingle while numerous top-tier restaurants beckon right outside.
An offshoot of Hotel Londres, Villa Favorita is charming and chic. Favorita sits in one of the few remaining private mansions of the city behind the gorgeous La Concha Beach.
With only 23 rooms, it’s a townhouse-style hotel that encompasses the gilded Belle Epoque vibes and atmosphere of San Sebastian in one single space.
In the basement resides San Sebastian’s new wunderkind restaurant. Amelia, a two-Michelin-starred eatery with Argentine chef Paulo Airaudo at the helm, not only highlights but proves why Villa Favorita is one of the best hotels in San Sebastian, Spain.
Looking for an adults-only escape in San Sebastian? The Axel Hotel is the perfect option for a no-kids-allowed kind of vacay.
With a whopping 100 rooms and suites, there’s always an electric feel in the air, transcending into a lively party at the rooftop pool.
Knowing your clientele has never seemed so fitting, and although it’s an adults-only option, the Axel aims specifically at the LGBTQIA+ community. However, with a grand in-house restaurant and acclaimed spa, everyone will instantly feel at home and fall in love.
Describing itself as “Un Hotel de Cine”, Zinema7 hits the nail on the head, paying homage to the fact that it occupies the site of a former cinema, The Astoria. Taking up space in the distinctly non-touristy neighbourhood of Amara, it easily shines as one of the best hotels in San Sebastian.
From the library of film books, a collection of DVDs in the thousands and quirky do not disturb signs that read “Silence! We’re rolling”, it’s cohesive and humorous.
Pair that with the ground-floor styling for the in-house restaurant, Bistroteka, complete with the Alfred Hitchcock statue and it’s a cinematic love affair.
Hotel Maria Cristina
Hotel Maria Cristina is the fanciest hotel in San Sebastian. And it comes with a price to match.
One of the city’s most venerable and glamorous properties, it forgoes the usual mod-cons for other scene-stealing features. Sitting beside the river Urumea, a stay here promises picturesque views of Rafael Moneo’s Kursaal building, and beyond, the Cantabrian Sea lies in wait.
With no sprawling garden, on-site pool or chef-driven restaurant, this property rests on the quality of its service. Which, with it’s grand, private household atmosphere, it more than delivers.
Hotel Arima & Spa
Nestled within the Miramón forest is an amazing property that blends impressive sustainability with striking design. Boldly beautiful, the Hotel Arima & Spa easily ranks as one of the top hotels in San Sebastian.
Meeting the esteemed Passivhaus standards for low energy and carbon emission, and paired with Scandinavian style influence, Arima is both functional and fashionable. It’s a 69-room family-run option – and if you’re an eco-conscious traveller, it’s where you’ll want to stay.
Every inch of the interior is Zen at its best, with soft indie music always playing in common areas, stylishly lit hallways and Nordic-style furniture. The in-house restaurant, Misura, is an unabashedly health-focused eatery that offers a refreshing take on San Sebastian cuisine.
Tucked away into a corner of the Old Town, occupying one of the most coveted spots in San Sebastian, the SANSEbay Hotel overlooks the harbour.
Sometimes hotels take inspiration from their surroundings, but SANSEbay does a fantastic job of defying the vintage allure of Old Town. Designed to display modernity and comfort, there are cheeky, playful elements, giving it an even more vibrant feel.
With just 17 rooms, exclusivity is also an undeniable set piece of SANSEbay. Each room and suite boasts designer furniture and gorgeous balconies that lighten your stay. Oh, and the complimentary breakfast is out of this world.
You’ll find that beyond its tempting location, Pensión Aldamar has its roots deep in the Old Town’s best corner. It’s not big by any means, with just ten rooms.
An rustic vibe dominates throughout, with an interior of white walls broken up with floor-to-ceiling stone and touches of rough wood. Inoffensive modernism emanates in styling, while furniture and furnishings soften the atmosphere even more.
Considering where you’ll stay, it’s no surprise that there’s no on-site restaurant or bar, but many options await outside your doorstep.
Located within the Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture, One Shot offers a smart and modern take on living.
With a calming feel and touches such as a library in the lobby, complete with hanging swing chairs, this hotel is definitely in a league of its own. Within the basement, Silencio, the in-house restaurant, serves up delicacies and what could be the best patatas bravas in town.
Did I mention that all of this comes at a very reasonable price?
TALO Urban Rooms
Fancy staying in a budget-friendly hotel that seriously impresses? TALO Urban Rooms is a San Sebastian hotel like no other. Considering this and its location in the heart of Amara, you can’t go wrong with a stay here.
Nordic-inspired style and design create an up-scale feel, while TALO remains affordable.
With only seven rooms arranged diagonally, you’re guaranteed an intimate stay.
Pair that with an electronic check-in system; you might never see another guest here. If you want an undisturbed trip to San Sebastian, that’s as good as it gets.
Best Hotels in San Sebastian: Frequently Asked Questions
Practical Tips to Consider Before Booking Your San Sebastian Hotel
- Book your accommodation in advance, especially if you want to stay at one of the smaller properties in San Sebastian.
- Staying a little further out of San Sebastian can help stretch your budget – though Centro has some surprisingly affordable hotels.