Hotel Maria Cristina

San Sebastian, Spain

At a Glance

  • San Sebastian's best known and most luxurious hotel

  • Location within walking distance of beach and city center

  • Lovely river, sea and city views

  • Gastronomic center offering gourmet restaurants and a cookery school

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

San Sebastian is a lovely in the summer sun, but August can be quite busy. It can be cold in the winter months, and pretty quiet, but there's plenty to see and do in town all year round.

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Insider's View

September sees the arrival of the International Film Festival in San Sebastian, and the Hotel Maria Cristina attracts an extensive celebrity guest list. 

A traditional event in the city - the San Sebastian day on 20th January is marked with a lively Tamborrada drum parade not to be missed! 

San Sebastian was named the European capital of culture in 2016.

Make sure to pay a visit to the Maria Cristina's in-house gourmet shop for the best local produce.

July welcomes the legendary International Jazz Festival to San Sebastian.        

Call us on 858 345 1764 to start planning your vacation to Hotel Maria Cristina or take a look at our itineraries to Bilbao San Sebastian La Rioja


Located in San Sebastian’s historic city center, Hotel Maria Cristina is surrounded by gardens and promenades just a short walk from the main beach of the city, La Concha. This historic palace is this charming city's most iconic luxury hotel.

In its commanding position overlooking the Urumea River, the Hotel Maria Cristina has been closely linked to the cultural life of the city of San Sebastian for more than a century. The hotel's namesake, Spain’s regent Maria Cristina, was the first person to cross the threshold on the day it opened in 1912. The hotel has hosted stars and dignitaries for over 100 years, including illustrious visitors to the city's famous film festival such as Elizabeth Taylor and Bette Davis - the latter having a suite named after her.

This historic hotel makes for a relaxing haven in the heart of the city, using a calming palette of soft greys and whites throughout the tastefully restored interior.  In a city famed for its gastronomy, the Maria Cristina's culinary offering will not disappoint - from the elegant breakfast room to the Asian restaurant 'Cafe Saigon', featuring a varied menu of Japanese and Vietnamese specialties.  Hotel Maria Cristina is also home to their very own culinary center and state-of-the-art cookery school.  Here, guests can learn the secrets of Michelin star cooking, try their hand at pinxto making with the experts, or accompany the chef's visit to the local market in search of the freshest seasonal ingredients used in Basque cooking.  Facilities also include a 24 hour gym to burn off some of the unavoidable calories acquired by a stay in San Sebastian!

Rooms and suites at the Maria Cristina are light and bright, blending traditional Belle Epoque architecture with contemporary touches to create a relaxing ambience.  Both couples and families are well catered for with a range of interconnecting room options, and the Terrace Suites are an ideal choice for couples seeking stylish interiors with a private outdoor spot to enjoy a sundowner after a day exploring the city.     

This charming property is an ideal base for discovering San Sebastian's cultural and culinary scene, as well as venturing further out to the surrounding areas of Bilbao and the iconic Guggenheim, or on a wine tasting trail through the vineyards of La Rioja.


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Experience hospitality on a grand scale in the hotel’s 136 rooms and suites. Style, grace, modern technology and a range of services combine to make for a restful and memorable stay. Choose from Classic, Deluxe or Premium rooms with either garden or river views, or treat yourself to one of the magnificent suites, including four Royal Suites, some of which feature terraces offering stunning city views.


  • Basque cider house experience

    Visit an authentic Basque cider house to discover the tastes of this traditionally Basque drink. Sitting among the barrels of freshly-brewed cider you'll enjoy a family-style lunch, and learn how to create the perfect pour straight from the barrel.

  • Getaria uncovered

    Perched on the beautiful Basque coastline sits Getaria, a charming fishing village home to picturesque, colorful cobbled streets. Explore the town with your private guide before visiting a nearby txakoli bodega for a unique wine tasting.

  • La Rioja wine region

    Explore the famed Rioja wine region on a full-day tour of the area. Known for producing some of Europe's best wines, here you'll have the chance to visit boutique wineries and sample some of the local products.

  • Michelin dining experience

    A city renowned for its gastronomy, San Sebastian boasts 17 Michelin stars. This exclusive experience allows you to dine at one of the city's top restaurants at one of the very best seats in the house.

  • Pintxo tasting tour in San Sebastian

    Discover the flavors of the Basque Country as you explore San Sebastian on a pintxo tasting tour. Similar to tapas, pintxos are at the heart of San Sebastian's culinary scene, and as you explore the city you'll sample the best of these delicious snacks.

  • Private tour of Bilbao

    Once an industrial city, Bilbao has been transformed in recent years into a hub for art and architecture. Explore the best of the city, from the traditional architecture to the more contemporary, culminating in the iconic Guggenheim Museum.

  • San Sebastian cooking school

    Roll up your sleeves and enjoy a hands-on cooking class in San Sebastian. Choose from a range of classes suited to first-time chefs and culinary connoisseurs alike, and learn the secrets of local Basque cuisine, Spanish classics or avant-garde gastronomy.

  • Tour of the Guggenheim with an expert art guide

    A truly iconic monument, Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum has transformed the city. Tour this incredible art gallery with your private guide and admire the huge contemporary art collection inside, as well as the impressive building itself.

Vacation Ideas

  • Classic Spain

    Madrid, Seville, San Sebastian, Barcelona & Costa Brava

    from $10600 pp 14 nights

    • The ultimate exploration of Spain, from its key cities to its stunning coastlines
    • Discover the best of Spanish art and architecture in Barcelona and Madrid
    • Indulge in the culinary delights of the Basque Country in San Sebastian
  • Gourmet Spain

    San Sebastian, Barcelona & Costa Brava

    from $6300 pp 8 nights

    • Discover the very best of Basque cuisine in Michelin-starred restaurants and pinxto bars
    • Explore the highlights of Barcelona, including Antoni Gaudi's iconic masterpieces
    • Admire the Gothic architecture of Girona and the charming fishing villages of the Costa Brava
  • Grand Tour of Spain & Portugal

    Barcelona, San Sebastian, Madrid, Seville, Lisbon, Porto & Douro Valley

    from $11600 pp 21 nights

    • Discover the highlights of Spain and Portugal on this all-encompassing itinerary
    • Indulge in delicious food and wine in the Basque Country and the Douro Valley
    • Wind your way through the colorful streets of Porto and Lisbon
  • Spain by Private Jet: The Ultimate Foodie Tour

    San Sebastian, Seville & Mallorca

    from $9600 pp 5 nights

    • Discover the flavors of Spain in the utmost luxury aboard your own private jet
    • Enjoy delicious meals in traditional tapas bars and Michelin-starred restaurants
    • The perfect indulgent itinerary for the ultimate celebration with family and friends

Location & directions

San Sebastian, Spain

Hotel Maria Cristina is located in the center of San Sebastian within easy walking distance of the Old Quarter.

How to get there

The easiest way to get to San Sebastian from the UK is on a low cost flight to Biarritz (40km) or Bilbao (100km). Otherwise the city is well connected by train.

How to use our service

Browse our website for luxury travel ideas and vacation inspiration

Call us on +44 20 8682 5400 and speak to a destination specialist about what you want

Receive your bespoke vacation quote, then book online or over the phone

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Call us on 858 345 1764 to start planning your vacation to Hotel Maria Cristina or take a look at our itineraries to Bilbao San Sebastian La Rioja

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