If you’re looking for the best hotels in San Sebastian, then you’ve come to the right place.
It’s no hidden secret that accommodation in Donostia can get a little expensive, particularly on peak weekends when there are events on the calendar.
For that reason, we’ve split this guide into the three sections, covering the best hotels for all types of budgets. But first, it’s worth knowing a couple of things about picking the right hotel for you in the city.
Things to know about accommodation in San Sebastian
Before we get into the best hotels for each budget, it’s worth knowing a couple of things about the accommodation options in the city.
1. Areas to stay in San Sebastian
Donostia is a compact city. Most of the top things to see are all within easy reach on foot.
It only takes around 40 minutes to make your way from the far west of the city (at Ondarreta beach) to the far east of the city (the end of La Zurriola beach). And most of the city’s attractions fall within that range.
For that reason, the area where you choose to stay is less important compared to some other cities. However, you can check out the pros and cons of each area in our guide on where to stay in San Sebastian.
If you stick to the Área Romántica (centre), Old Town, Antiguo, and Gros district (or even Egia), then most things are within walking distance.
If you’re particularly short on time, or a travelling to San Sebastian with kids, then it’s worth doing a little bit more research into the area you want to stay.
2. Prices of accommodation
One of the first things to know about San Sebastian before visiting, is that the Basque city isn’t the cheapest place.
During peak season, prices for rooms can shoot up quite quickly. And certain times of the year (like Semana Grande and Easter) see particularly high demand and higher prices.
That’s why it’s first worth considering what time of the year you want to come and visit. If price is an influential factor for you, it’s probably best to avoid the peak season and visit on the fringes.
That being said, there are all types of accommodation on offer and it is possible to do San Sebastian on a budget (check out our best budget hotels below or our post on the best hostels in the city).
One word of advice (whatever your budget) would be to book in advance to avoid any disappointment.
The best premium hotels in San Sebastian
If you’re looking for something extra special, then these hotels are amongst the best in the city!
1. Hotel Londres
For over 150 years the Hotel Londres has been welcoming guests to San Sebastian.
This luxury four star hotel has 166 luxury rooms in its iconic Belle Époque style building, which sits overlooking La Concha Bay.
The hotel is simply fabulous, with some amazing sea view rooms. But perhaps one of the best things about the hotel is the location. With the Old Town to the right, the centre just behind you, and the beach less than 10 metres away. What more could you want?
The breakfast is probably one of the best I’ve had in any hotel (anywhere) too!
2. Hotel Maria Cristina
Opening in 1912, the Maria Cristina is another hotel that has dominated the skyline of San Sebastian for some time.
This luxury hotel is synonymously linked with the history and culture of Donostia life.
Beautifully designed by architect Charles Mewes (who was responsible for the Ritz in Madrid and Paris), the hotel quickly became popular with the high social class visiting San Sebastian in the twentieth century.
And it’s remained that way. Hollywood stars from around the world have stayed at this hotel as part of the San Sebastian International Film Festival (held each September).
Set on the banks of the River Urumea, the Hotel Maria Cristina is right at the heart of the action.
3. Zenit Convento Hotel
Positioned near to the Hotel Londres, less than 100 metres from La Concha beach is the Zenit Convento Hotel.
The name may give it away, but the hotel is located in an old convento (convent) building dating back to 1887.
Today, the beautiful classic façade (made from the stone from Monte Igueldo) is the front for what is otherwise a modern hotel with all the facilities you could need. There’s even a rooftop pool exclusive for guests, which makes this one of the best rooftops in San Sebastian.
Personally I love the main hall which is a restored chapel, turned bar. It’s worth stopping for a drink even if you don’t stay at the hotel!
The best mid-range hotels in San Sebastian
These hotels offer a little bit of luxury, without the price tag of some of the premium options.
1. Barceló Costa Vasca
Looking on the map, you may think that the Barceló Costa Vasca is a little further out of the way. It’s located high up between the centre and the Antiguo district, but is a very short (and pleasant) walk from both.
This makes it the ideal place for those looking to be close to the action but with a little more peace and quiet at the hotel.
And the Barceló caters for an unforgettable stay.
There are a few hotels with pools in San Sebastian, but few with a pool as big or enjoyable as this one. In fact, the whole outdoor area (with over 1,500 sq metres of outdoor terraces) makes this hotel unrivalled for outside space.
With 203 rooms catering to all types of accommodation, what’s not to love?
2. Room Mate Gorka
Room Mate Gorka is a boutique, classically designed hotel set in a privileged location in Plaza Guipúzcoa.
The Old Town, city centre and Gros district are reachable within a short 5 minute walk from this hotel.
Whilst it’s the perfect hotel to explore San Sebastian, there’s pretty much everything you would want on site. A gym, bar with terrace, delicious buffet breakfast and meeting rooms (for anyone who has brought some work with them) are just some of the facilities available.
The best hotels on a budget in San Sebastian
If you’re looking to save a little money on accommodation, these hotels cut back on a few of the luxuries but are still excellent options in Donostia.
Most of them are located in the Gros district.
1. Pensión Del Mar
Located in the heart of the hipster side of town, Pensión Del Mar is a great option for those looking to make the most of the things to do in Gros.
The Zurriola beach and Kursaal are just a couple of minutes walk away, and some of the best bars and restaurants in Gros are also on your doorstep.
The good news is that whilst at the heart of the action, the hotel is on a fairly quiet street at night, meaning you’ll still get a good night’s sleep.
For those travelling to San Sebastian by train or bus, the hotel is just a short walk from both stations.
2. Welcome Gros Hotel
As the name suggests, the Welcome Gros hotel is located in, well, Gros.
This hotel offers fully equipped rooms (from individual to superior double rooms) at a fraction of the costs of some of the other hotels in the city.
It’s all about comfort here. The rooms are set up to provide a comfortable stay. Whilst the location ensures you never have to walk too far to reach the top attractions in the city.
3. Pensión Ondarra
Pensión Ondarra is another lower priced hotel option located in Gros.
It’s a little further out than some of the other hotels (right by the train and bus station), more towards the fringes of Eiga with a couple of public parks nearby.
But don’t let that put you off. You’re still only a 5 minute walk from the Zurriola beach, Kursaal and central shopping district.
At the hotel itself, the modern rooms are all equipped with everything you could need including TV, WiFi and aircon.