Historic hotels are aplenty in San Sebastián, and some of the best include those housed in luxurious villas, beautiful convents, and even famous city landmarks. After visiting and evaluating the hotels in San Sebastián, kimkim staff agreed that these 13 options were the best regarding historic elements, architecture, backstories, and amenities. And despite their age, these hotels still provide modern comforts like on-site restaurants, opulent lobbies, outdoor pools, stylish rooms, and more.

Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Enjoy the views from the historic terraces (photo courtesy of Hotel Maria Cristina)

Hotel Maria Cristina is a Luxury Collection Hotel in San Sebastián, known for its historical significance and lavish ambience. Built in 1912 and designed by renowned architect Charles Mewes, the hotel has been an integral part of San Sebastián's history, hosting royalty and aristocrats. Its location is ideal, nestled between the city's two beaches and just a few minutes walk to Gipuzkoa Plaza and Konstituzio Plaza in the Old Town. The property also overlooks the Urumea River and the Victoria Eugenia Theater and is close to the city's top dining destinations.

Enjoy an array of culinary delights, including Basque dishes and seasonally inspired menus, along with afternoon tea, cocktails, and traditional Spanish tapas at the hotel's bar, Dry Bar. Other dining options include The Gallery, featuring a beautiful terrace, and Café Saigón, known for its Asian cuisine.

Hotel Maria Cristina is synonymous with opulence and refinement, and you'll have your choice of 139 elegantly designed rooms and suites. Rooms exude modernity while preserving the hotel's historical charm, offering garden or river views. For larger parties or families, multi-bedroom suites with connecting rooms are available. Despite some guests finding the decor slightly traditional or outdated, the hotel's superb dining options and overall charm make it an excellent choice for luxury travelers looking for a bit of history.

Read kimkim's review of Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel

One Shot Tabakalera House

Photo courtesy of One Shot Tabakalera House
Stay right in one of the city's historical landmarks (photo courtesy of One Shot Tabakalera House)

One Shot Tabakalera House is a boutique hotel within the historical Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture. Renovated from an old tobacco factory, it seamlessly blends historical elements with modern design and is also home to periodic photography exhibitions. You'll be conveniently situated just minutes from the central train station and riverfront walkways, making the hotel an excellent base for exploring the city.

One Shot Tabakalera House's 34 stylish rooms are furnished with high-profile extra-comfort mattresses and wooden floors, and some feature added perks like robes, slippers, and sitting areas. The convenient location allows you to easily access sites like Cristina-Enea Park, Buen Pastor Cathedral, La Concha Beach, and City Hall, with the trendy Gros neighborhood, Zurriola Beach, and the Kursaal Arts Centre also within walking distance.

Dedicated to environmentally friendly practices, One Shot Tabakalera House's modern amenities include a fitness room, sauna, and a unique breakfast concept, "Buffet in Jars," while retaining its historical charm.

Read kimkim's review of One Shot Tabakalera House

Villa Soro

Sleep in a 19th-century villa (photo courtesy of Villa Soro)

Villa Soro, a charming hotel in San Sebastián, offers you the experience of staying in a beautifully restored 19th-century heritage villa. Balancing a welcoming, family atmosphere of a historic property and the services and comfort of a modern hotel, Villa Soro features large lounges, high ceilings, fireplaces, a carved wooden staircase, a chapel, and a stained-glass window. The hotel also showcases period touches and artwork by renowned Basque artists, connecting you to the local culture. Amenities include a garden terrace, a gym, spa treatment cabins, free bikes, an English cocktail bar, and a restaurant serving local Basque delicacies.

Although the hotel is a 10 to 15-minute walk from the city center, the charm and historical significance of Villa Soro, along with its amenities, make the location worth it. Still, major sites like the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, La Concha Beach and its promenade, and Konstituzio Plaza in the Old Town are all a 25-minute walk away. When at the hotel, enjoy staying in beautiful rooms and well-appointed bathrooms, all decorated with special features such as old engravings or local art.

Read kimkim's review of Villa Soro

Catalonia Donosti

Enjoy your stay in a centuries-old convent (photo courtesy of Catalonia Donosti)

Catalonia Donosti is a boutique hotel in an old convent dating to the 17th and 18th centuries, located atop San Bartolomé Hill in the heart of San Sebastián. This historic hotel provides an elegant atmosphere with its English-inspired decor featuring velvet, marble, and copper materials, along with locally inspired elements. Choose from 128 spacious and opulent rooms, some with private terraces and beach views. What makes it a family-friendly favorite is the option to choose rooms with bunk beds, which is always a fun choice for children. The hotel's restaurant and bar serve local cuisine, while the wellness area and spa provide a relaxing refuge.

The standout feature of Catalonia Donosti is its rooftop terrace, complete with an outdoor pool, sun deck, seating, and panoramic views over La Concha Beach. You can relish traditional dishes with a modern twist at the Aldapeta Gastrobar. For a leisurely start to the day, there's a generous breakfast buffet with more than 100 product options. Other amenities include a gym, on-site parking, and a spa with massage cabins, a steam bath, a cold water pool, and shower sensations. Though the hilltop location makes the trek to the hotel a slight climb, this adds to the property's charm, offering a quiet setting while still being a short walk from the cathedral and the beach.

Read kimkim's review of Catalonia Donosti

Hotel Arbaso

Trendy, minimalist rooms in a 19th-century building (photo courtesy of Hotel Arbaso)

Hotel Arbaso is an elegant property in a renovated 19th-century building in San Sebastián's center. With its beautifully preserved architecture featuring oak, marble, and iron, the hotel exudes authentic charm. You can enjoy its ideal location, just across from the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd and a short walk from La Concha Beach. You'll be in the center of the city's action and just minutes from key transportation stations. The hotel provides a range of amenities, including the in-house Narru Restaurant and Bar serving genuine market cuisine, and the hotel also offers electric bike rentals for guests eager to explore the city.

Combining historical architecture with modern technology, Hotel Arbaso offers 50 rooms featuring high-quality materials and amenities like air conditioning and minibars. Rooms range from standard to deluxe, with options for families and some with private balconies and large bay windows with views. Other hotel highlights include a well-equipped gym, relaxing saunas, a lounge with a fireplace, and various services such as bicycle storage and private transport.

Read kimkim's review of Hotel Arbaso

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Hotel Villa Favorita

Take in the views from the last 19th-century estate on the bay (photo courtesy of Villa Favorita)

Villa Favorita, a luxurious and historic boutique hotel, is situated on the La Concha promenade in San Sebastián. It offers a memorable stay in an original 19th-century estate on the bay, the last of its kind. The hotel's chic rooms are spacious with centralized iPad control, and many offer picturesque bay views. Some rooms even feature private terraces and panoramic windows. You can experience fine dining at the hotel's two Michelin-starred restaurants, Villa Favorita and Amelia, known for their fresh and premium seasonal offerings.

While Villa Favorita's location on the bustling La Concha Beach promenade offers a front-row seat to the vibrant life of San Sebastián, it's worth noting that it can be noisy over the weekends. Despite this, the historical charm and convenience of Villa Favorita is hard to overlook. The rooms are comfortable and elegantly designed, with modern amenities and services. While the in-house restaurants are slightly pricey, they provide a culinary experience that's unique to the region.

Read kimkim's review of Hotel Villa Favorita

Parador de Hondarribia

Get out of the city and stay in one of the paradores (photo courtesy of Parador de Hondarribia)

Parador de Hondarribia is one of Spain's famous paradores, historic and unique properties turned into hotels. The one in Hondarribia (a 30-minute drive from San Sebastián) is set in a historical 10th-century castle that serves as an elegant hotel with modern amenities. The hotel is in the charming city of Hondarribia on the Cantabrian coast, renowned for its colorful houses, medieval layout, and balconies. Inside, the hotel holds historical treasures, such as tapestries by Rubens, while offering comfortable rooms equipped with flat-screen TVs and Chromecast technology.

The hotel doesn't have a restaurant but features a buffet breakfast and a cafeteria offering local products and artisanal pastries.

The Parador's location on the Bidasoa River in the Castle of Carlos V lends authenticity and historical significance. You can immerse yourself in the hotel's rich history, previously hosting royal guests and renowned artist Velázquez. You can easily explore Hondarribia from the hotel, especially the city's historic center and beautiful La Marina neighborhood. The rooms blend traditional design with modern comforts, offering views of the surrounding area and featuring high-quality furniture, some of which are antiques.

The hotel's main highlight is its history, visible in its grand halls and panoramic views of the Plaza de Armas. There's also an inviting inner garden and terraces with views of the sea and Old Town rooftops.

Read kimkim's review of Parador de Hondarribia

Abba San Sebastián Hotel

Photo courtesy of Abba San Sebastián Hotel
Step back in time in a Baroque palace (photo courtesy of Abba San Sebastián Hotel)

Abba San Sebastián Hotel blends modern amenities and historic charm. Housed in a Baroque palace dating back to the early 20th century, this boutique hotel maintains the glitzy Belle Époque vibe while offering a modern touch through remodeling. Conveniently located on Paseo de Francia, one of the city's most scenic streets, it places you just a short stroll away from the Old Town and the Kursaal Arts Center. The hotel provides a variety of rooms, some with private terraces, all decorated in San Sebastián's signature blue and white colors. The rooftop terrace is an ideal spot to unwind and enjoy the sunset.

Despite not having a full-service restaurant, the Abba San Sebastián Hotel offers a host of other amenities, such as a fitness center, garden, shared lounge, and a bar with a variety of breakfast options. The hotel's proximity to the main train station is an added advantage for those traveling by train. The hotel's strategic location, with its historic architecture and modern comforts, makes it a nice choice for visitors to San Sebastián. 

Read kimkim's review of Abba San Sebastián Hotel

Hotel Bidaïa

Cozy quarters with historical elements and architecture (photo courtesy of Hotel Bidaïa)

Hotel Bidaïa, located just outside the main historic center of San Sebastián, offers a charming experience in a villa designed in 1912 by architect Lucas Alday. This boutique hotel features 17 spacious and bright rooms, each decorated with original materials like wood and stone. You can enjoy views of Mount Ulia from some of the rooms and the hotel's two beautiful terraces. The hotel's location in the Gros district, while a bit farther from the historic core, provides a serene atmosphere near one of the city's three hills. Other amenities include a restaurant, private parking, and an airport shuttle service.

Preserving its historical charm, Hotel Bidaïa showcases San Sebastián's vibrant past with its architecture and interior design. Each room is distinctively crafted, offering guests a taste of the hotel's rich history. The in-house restaurant and beautiful terraces provide an immersive local experience. Despite being a bit of a walk from San Sebastián's main attractions, the hotel is still conveniently located within a 20-minute walk from Zurriola Beach and a 25-minute walk from Konstituzio Plaza and San Sebastián Cathedral. Other offered services include free WiFi and accessible rooms.

Read kimkim's review of Hotel Bidaïa

Hotel de Londres & de Inglaterra

Embrace the city's Belle Époque era (photo courtesy of Hotel Londres & de Inglaterra)

Hotel de Londres & de Inglaterra, located on La Concha Bay, is a historic hotel with over 150 years of history that offers a unique blend of Belle Époque architecture and modern refinement. Though a little rundown in some aspects, it's a beloved fixture in San Sebastián, a testament to the area's rich history. Its location on the promenade along La Concha Bay provides easy access to the beach, shops, eateries, and San Sebastián City Hall. The hotel also features the Mari Galant Brasserie, where you can indulge in haute cuisine crafted by Chef Mikel Ibero, and the cozy Swing Bar and Terrace for leisurely drinks with beachfront views.

With 166 elegant rooms, some offering picturesque scenes of La Concha Bay and Santa Clara Island from private terraces, the hotel caters to various preferences and needs. The neutral-toned rooms with big marble bathrooms pay homage to the past while providing modern comfort. Although some petite rooms may feel small and demand for sea-view rooms is high, the hotel's still a popular choice as one of the oldest continuously running properties in the city.

Read kimkim's review of Hotel de Londres & de Inglaterra

Zenit Convento San Martín

Modern rooms in a historic convent (photo courtesy of Hotel Zenit Convento San Martín)

Located in the heart of San Sebastián, Hotel Zenit Convento San Martín offers a blend of historic charm and modern elegance. This former 1887 convent is just two blocks away from the city's famed La Concha Beach and promenade. You can enjoy modern, trendy rooms with contemporary amenities, some featuring outdoor terraces and separate living rooms. The hotel's Sukaldean restaurant delights with its Basque and international cuisine, while the rooftop terrace offers city and sea views. The hotel's bar in a renovated chapel adds an extra touch of authenticity.

Despite being within a bustling commercial center, Hotel Zenit Convento San Martín retains a tranquil atmosphere. Its location offers easy access to the city's main attractions, including the Good Shepherd Cathedral, Old Town, and fishing port. The rooms are spacious, comfortable, and filled with natural light, and the luxurious Santa Clara Suite, featuring a separate living room and a hydromassage bathtub, is a particular highlight. The seasonal rooftop terrace, El Zielo de Donosti, with its swimming pool and sunbathing area, offers a perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring.

Read kimkim's review of Zenit Convento San Martin

Heredad de Unanue

Explore the countryside and stay in a medieval house (photo courtesy of Hotel Heredad de Unanue)

Hotel Heredad de Unanue, a historic and stylish boutique hotel outside San Sebastián, offers a tranquil retreat within a short drive of the city center. The hotel, housed in a 15th-16th-century building, has 11 unique rooms that honor Basque culture, blending elegant contemporary design, historical elements, and modern comforts. Features of this hotel include a sizable outdoor terrace, an inviting garden, a cozy library lounge, and a daily breakfast service made with fresh local products. The hotel's location in a rural area allows you to enjoy the serenity of the natural environment while still being conveniently close to urban attractions.

Despite its historical roots, Heredad de Unanue boasts modern amenities. Each room features a glass-enclosed bathroom with an Italian shower; some provide stunning views of the surrounding orchards and countryside. Family rooms offer additional space with a large bed, sofa bed, and a bathroom with dual sinks and a bidet. In addition to comfortable accommodation, you can enjoy relaxing in the hotel's gardens, taste fresh fruits from the orchard during breakfast, and appreciate the convenience of free parking.

Read kimkim's review of Heredad de Unanue

Central Roomss

Historic elements and Plaza de la Constiución views (photo courtesy of Central Roomss)

Central Roomss is a historic boutique hotel in the lively Plaza de la Constitución in San Sebastián's Old Town. This prime location provides easy access to the city's main sites and a sense of local culture and history, including the plaza's past as a bullring. This history is still evident in the numbered balconies overlooking the square. The hotel offers a range of room options, all equipped with modern amenities like air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, Netflix, and free WiFi. Some rooms also feature balconies with views of the plaza.

While the location in the city's main square provides an immersive cultural experience, it also means you may hear noise from social activities or festivals. Also, due to its historic nature, the hotel lacks some typical amenities and services, like common areas, on-site eateries, and breakfast service. However, the unique setting outweighs these cons, offering the chance to live amid incredible architecture and vibrant colors. The hotel is not just a place to stay but a way to experience the rich history and lively atmosphere of San Sebastián's Old Town. 

Read kimkim's review of Central Roomss


Map of The 13 Best Historic Hotels in San Sebastián
Map of The 13 Best Historic Hotels in San Sebastián