San Sebastian is a very touristic city where thousands of tourists come every year. The hotel offer has grown considerably in recent years with the creation of new hotels, however, given the high demand that continues to grow year after year, prices are still high if you come in the most touristy dates.
I recommend you to make your hotel reservation always in advance, since as the most demanded dates approach, prices rise considerably. For this I recommend using pages like Booking.com, which allows you to book rooms with the possibility of canceling them at the last minute. This way you are always assured of the best price.
If you do not know in which area to stay during your stay or want to know which are the best options according to your budget and preferences, here is a selection of the most outstanding hotels according to their category, location and money you want to spend.
Best Hotels in San Sebastian (no matter the price)
if you’re on a budget and simply looking for the best hotels in Donosti, any of these will leave a good taste in your mouth.
Londres & Inglaterra Hotel
A classic that never goes out of style, especially now that it has been recently renovated and updated with a classic yet modern design. The hotel is located in the middle of La Concha beach and has probably the best views of this famous beach.
If you are lucky enough to stay on the top floor, the hotel has rooms with a spectacular terrace with views.
Also, on the first floor of the hotel, has the restaurant Brasserie Mari Galan, where you can taste their best dishes whether you are a customer or not, as it is open to everyone.
La Sala Plaza Hotel
It is one of the newest hotels in the city and has become one of the most beautiful establishments. For this purpose, an old building next to the port has been rehabilitated and it has turned out to be spectacular.
It has a good restaurant called La Jarana where you can taste great dishes and is open to the public, not only for hotel guests.
It also has a small pool with spectacular views of the port of San Sebastian on the roof of the hotel and from where you have one of the best views of the city.
Room Mate Gorka Hotel
The famous Rooma Mate chain has opened a few years ago its hotel in the center of San Sebastian, in the Plaza Guipuzcoa and has been a success. Undoubtedly its location and quality make it a highly recommended place to book because from its location you can walk almost anywhere in the city.
It is a small boutique hotel, with the limitations that the size of these establishments have, but its design and comfort are well worth it.
Zenit Convento San Martín Hotel
Another recently opened hotel is the Hotel Zenit Convento on San Martin street. As its name suggests, the hotel has been built in a former convent of nuns, and for its renovation, they wanted to keep part of the “decor”, such as in the reception and bar at the entrance, where you can even see a virgin.
The hotel also has, as is usual in all new hotels opening in San Sebastian, an outstanding restaurant, the Sukaldean of Aitor Santamaria, a chef who has worked in the kitchens of places like Arzak, the Acuarium and the Bokado Group.
Villa Favorita Hotel
Also in the middle of La Concha beach and run by the same owners as the Hotel de Londres, is the Hotel Villa Favorita, probably the best located hotel with the best views of the entire city,
It is a boutique hotel, smaller and more charming than the Hotel de Londres, but has managed to become one of the icons of luxury accommodation in the city.
The views from its rooms are spectacular and the terrace bar where you can have breakfast is equally unparalleled.
On the first floor of the hotel there is a restaurant with 2 Michelin stars, the Ameli of the Argentinian Paulo Airaudo, where you can enjoy a unique experience tasting his dishes.
Maria Cristina Hotel
One of the most classic hotels in the city and that has had more prestige during all these years and that, despite the new openings of accommodations in the city, continues to maintain.
The Hotel Maria Cristina is a stately 5 star hotel that has always been recognized for hosting the stars of the San Sebastian Film Festival. It is still a spectacular and unique hotel where you will not sleep cheap but it will be a unique experience.
Another of the latest openings of accommodations in San Sebastian has been the Hotel Catalonia.
It is located at the top of the slope of Aldapeta, from where you can see the entire bay. Access is made easier thanks to an elevator that allows you to go up to the hotel itself from Easo Street.
The hotel is also built in an old convent-school, so that some signs of identity of the site have been maintained as well as the front of the convent itself.
Its decoration is somewhat peculiar, with the walls of the rooms painted in a dark green that catches the eye, but overall it is a hotel that is worthwhile.
The hotel has a rooftop pool and a spa for guests only.
Barcelo Costa Vasca Hotel
Another classic that could not be missed. It is a little further from the center but it is easier to park as it has ample parking both outside and under the hotel under cover.
The hotel has been recently remodeled and a gym of the Metropólitan franchise has been built underneath it with a large SPA that can be accessed by hotel guests.
The hotel is ideal for those who prefer to stay in the Antiguo area or go to Ondarreta beach, which is just a 5-minute walk away. However, you have to climb a small hill to get to the hotel.
Famous chef Pedro Subijana’s restaurant Akelarre has recently opened its own hotel. After several years of construction work, the hotel is finally open to the public. It is in a unique location, with spectacular views of the sea and dream rooms.
The hotel is located on Mount Igueldo, about 5 km. from the center of San Sebastian. If you do not mind the distance and you are going to move by car, this accommodation in San Sebastian is one of the most spectacular.
Villa Soro Hotel
The Villasoro Hotel is built in a building dating back to 1898 and has been declared Historical Heritage of San Sebastian.
It is a majestic hotel with decoration that includes works of art by Jorge Oteiza, and whose decoration is classic but very elegant.
It is located just 15 minutes walk from the Zurriola beach, although it is true, walking to the center of the city you have about 30 minutes.
Better hotels at lower prices
Recently in San Sebastian a large number of small hotels have been built in old renovated buildings. The demand for rooms in the city is very high but due to the lack of space for new construction, this type of refurbishment has been allowed.
These hotels have the characteristic of not being very big but they are at the same time very cozy and the prices are usually tighter than the big chains, always bearing in mind that Donosti accommodation is never cheap.
We would highlight the following accommodations:
- Hotel Villa Victoria: It is a recently created establishment with an unbeatable location next to the beach and the cathedral. As it is new, it is still not very well known and can be obtained at a good price (see information and prices).
- Wellcome Gros: Located in the neighborhood of Gros, very close to the Zurriola beach, the Kursaal and just 5 minutes walking distance from downtown (see information and prices).
- Legazpi Doce Rooms: Very popular hotel. Its success is such that if you want to get a room, make a reservation right now because it sells out quickly. It is a hotel with few rooms and since it is in the best possible location it is always full (see information and prices).
- Hotel Arrizul Beach: Arrizul started with a small establishment and in a few years it has already several spread around the city. This is one of the last ones it has created. It is in a quiet area next to the river but walking is very quick to reach places of interest (see info and prices).
- Hotel Distrito Oeste: Nice and new accommodation in the neighborhood of Ondarreta. It is close to Monte Igueldo, Miramar Palace or the Peinde el Viento. To go to the center you can walk in about 25 minutes or take a bus directly to the center that takes 5 minutes (See information and prices).
- Hotel SanseBay: Beautiful hotel of recent construction next to the port of the city. Its location is one of the best and the surroundings are equally spectacular. The port has in our opinion the best views of the city (See information and prices).
Recognized quality hotels but at a good price for not being in the center.
We like this type of hotel very much because taking into account that the distances in San Sebastian are short, renouncing to be in the very center of the city you can get a quality accommodation for much less money.
When we talk about far from the center we refer to establishments that are 15-20 minutes walk from the shell beach or the City Hall and 5 minutes by bus, so as you can see they are ridiculous distances.
In this group of hotels we would highlight:
- Hotel Zinema 7: A hotel inspired by a Cinema design since it was once a building that housed 7 movie theaters, hence its name. Its owners are the same as Lasala Plaza (see information and prices).
- Hotel Zenit: The Zenit chain has been so successful with this hotel that it is already building a second establishment in the city. This one is located in a very quiet area but close to the center. It has a small swimming pool upstairs and a pleasant terrace for a drink (see information and prices).
- Hotel NH Collection Aranzazu: NH has a “Collection” hotel in San Sebastian. It is very nicely designed with designer rooms and an atmospheric bar and restaurant. (See info and prices).
Where to stay in San Sebastian
If you do not know the city well, you may have doubts about where to stay, which is the best choice to stay during your stay.
Well, as in any city you visit for tourism, it is always best to look for accommodation in San Sebastian that is centrally located and allows you easy access to virtually all the places you have to visit.
The advantage of the capital of Guipuzcoa is that being a small city, despite not choosing a hotel that is in the center of the city, if you take one that is in any of the neighborhoods that we are going to mention below, you will be just a few minutes walk from the Boulevard of the city and the Old Town, the most tourist areas.
Staying in the center of San Sebastian
As we say, this is undoubtedly the best area to stay. You will have everything at hand, a large number of restaurants and bars to have a drink, stores to go shopping and atmosphere to walk around. As in any city, it is the best option and where you will find the best hotels in the city. For starters, the most charismatic hotel in the city, the Maria Cristina Hotel (recently remodeled), is located next to the city’s boulevard and the old town. If your pocket allows it, it is without a doubt a good option. Another of the most important and renowned hotels is the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra. It has also been remodeled very recently and is brand new. Its location is one of the most privileged in the city, right on the beach of La Concha with spectacular views of the entire bay from its rooms. A little further on, we have another hotel with the same views although a little smaller and older, the Nice Hotel. This is also a good option considering that the price will always be lower.
Staying in the Amara neighborhood
If you travel by bus to San Sebastian, this may be the best option. The bus station is right there (for now) and as soon as you get off the bus you have the Amara Plaza Hotel or the Astoria 7 Hotel, two of the most charismatic hotels in the city. The latter, the Astoria 7, is built where there used to be a hotel with the same name (it had 7 rooms). Today it is a thematic hotel dedicated to the world of cinema, very nice. From either of these two hotels to the center of San Sebastian you have about 20 minutes walk. If you take the bus that stops at the door of the hotels it will take you 5 minutes and will leave you either in the Plaza del Buen Pastor (at the cathedral) or on the Boulevard, next to the old part of Donosti.
Staying in the Antiguo neighborhood
It is one of the most beautiful and oldest neighborhoods of the city as its name suggests. It is next to the Hondarreta beach and has the attraction that whenever you walk to the center you can do it by the Paseo de la Concha. In this neighborhood you have for example the Barceló Costa Vasca Hotel, one of the most recognized in the city, the NH Aránzazu hotel, the Codina hotel or the San Sebastián hotel. All of them are very well connected with the center of Donosti through the bus that stops at the door. Just like the buses from Amara, from the Antiguo you can get off next to the Cathedral or on the Boulevard. In just 5-10 minutes you will be in the city center. If you want to walk, you have a nice walk all along the Concha to the center and it won’t take you more than 30 minutes.
Staying in the neighborhood of Gros
If you love surfing and you intend to practice it, you should definitely look for a hotel in the neighborhood of Gros, next to the Zurriola beach. It is a neighborhood with a lot of atmosphere and very close to the center. Here you have the Arrizul hotel or the Punta de Mompas, with a young and modern atmosphere and design. Either of these two hotels is perfect both for practicing your favorite sport and for sightseeing around the city, especially the Arrizul as the other is a little at one end of the beach, although it is only a few meters apart.
Finally, if you are looking for a few days of rest or to spend a romantic weekend, you might like some other alternative, such as the accommodation Villa Soro, a small hotel built in an old villa built in 1898 and declared historical heritage of the city. You may also be interested in the Monte Igueldo hotel, not because it is a great hotel, but rather because of the views it has. Located at the top of the mountain, next to the amusement park, you will undoubtedly have the best views of San Sebastian from your own room. The bad thing about this place is undoubtedly its location, you will need the car for almost everything.
Accommodation alternatives in San Sebastian: Apartments, Camping…
As you can see, there are many options to sleep in San Sebastian, everything will depend on the budget you have and your preferences. For example, apartments in San Sebastian are very fashionable, a very demanded tourist accommodation and is recommended for families who visit the city in groups and want to save on their stay. Holiday apartments allow you to accommodate several people in the same apartment. This way, if you are traveling as a family you can all stay in the same place at a more economical price.
If you choose this option, we recommend you to take a look at this apartment in the Old Part of San Sebastian, a perfect place to stay and have at hand all the tourist attractions of the city.
If you like the mountains and you don’t mind not staying in the city center, you can always look for an alternative to stay in a rural house.
And if you like tents or caravans, you can look at the Igueldo Camping, the closest to Donosti, as an alternative.
If you decide to book a hotel in San Sebastian, our only recommendation is that you do it as soon as possible because as the dates approach, especially in summer, hotel prices go up a lot.