Though San Sebastián is known for its authentic, laid-back charm, the city does have three luxury hotels for those seeking an upscale stay. Kimkim visited the top hotels in the city and recommends the following 5-star options, all offering exclusive amenities like incredible city or sea views, high-end dining options, relaxing spa treatments, and/or elegant decor.

Hotel Arima

Visited by kimkim staff

Warm, stylish rooms with a chic vibe (photo courtesy of Arima Hotel & Spa)

Arima Hotel & Spa, a sustainable countryside boutique hotel in San Sebastián, allows you to relax and unwind in a peaceful and green environment. Located just 20 minutes from the city center, this Passivhaus-certified hotel faces the Miramón Forest. It offers carefully designed rooms with advanced technology, such as sound insulation, temperature and humidity control, and low CO2 concentration. The hotel is fully committed to sustainability, using clean energy sources and eco-friendly practices. On-site amenities include Tilia Deli & Café, which serves contemporary cuisine, and the Foresta Wellness Boutique Gym & Spa, complete with a fitness center, water area, infrared saunas, and a halotherapy room. 

Arima Hotel & Spa celebrates nature and sustainability in its design, featuring natural materials and soft fabrics in neutral tones. Its location offers easy access to the forest and the bustling city life of San Sebastián. The hotel delivers state-of-the-art rooms, many with forest views, and a wealth of amenities, including the spa, where you can also enjoy yoga classes. Despite being a short drive to the city center and beaches, know that the hotel is across the street from a large hospital and public parking, which takes away from the tranquility. Regardless, Arima Hotel & Spa offers a unique, comfortable, and eco-friendly experience for travelers to San Sebastián.

Read kimkim's review of Arima Hotel & Spa

Akelarre—Relais & Châteaux

Visited by kimkim staff

Photo courtesy of Akelarre
Enjoy the incredible seaside views (photo courtesy of Akelarre Hotel)

Akelarre Hotel, a luxurious 5-star property in San Sebastián, offers a perfect blend of avant-garde architecture and the natural beauty of the Basque coastline. This Relais & Châteaux hotel, located about a 10-minute drive from the city center, features 22 spacious rooms with sea views, natural materials, and modern amenities such as Bang & Olufsen sound systems, Apple TV, and espresso machines. The en-suite bathrooms have bathtubs, separate rain showers, and 100% natural toiletries. You can indulge in the hotel's Michelin-starred Akelarre Restaurant or the terraced Espazio Oteiza, both with stunning views of the Cantabrian Sea.

Hotel Akelarre promises an authentic and upscale experience, as its design by Mecanismo Architecture Studio focuses on high-quality raw materials, creating a warm and welcoming environment. The hotel's adults-only Akelarre Spa features three treatment cabins, a sauna, a steam room, and a heated hydrotherapy pool with hydromassage jets. You can relax in the spa lounge while enjoying tea, infusions, and sea views. The hotel also offers a 24/7 fitness room and curated stays crafted by the staff. Though slightly removed from the city center, Akelarre Hotel is ideal for tranquility and high-end amenities along the Basque coast.

Read kimkim's review of Akelarre—Relais & Châteaux

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Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Visited by kimkim staff

Elegant decor in a historical hotel (photo courtesy of Hotel Maria Cristina)

Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel in San Sebastián, offers guests a grand and historic stay in a prime location with views of the Urumea River and the Victoria Eugenia Theater. This elegant 139-room property is known for its spacious and authentic rooms and suites, including the Royal Suite with an oval-shaped living room and sea views. The hotel features an array of dining options, from Basque dishes and seasonally inspired menus to afternoon tea, cocktails, and traditional Spanish tapas at the sophisticated watering hole, Dry Bar.

Other eateries include The Gallery with a beautiful terrace and Café Saigón serving specialties from Indochina, Japan, and Vietnam.

Steeped in history since its opening in 1912, Hotel Maria Cristina has been a favorite destination for royalty and aristocrats. Its majestic design by renowned architect Charles Mewes reflects the elegance and sophistication of its past. Located between the city's two beaches, you can easily explore San Sebastián's top dining destinations and landmarks, such as Gipuzkoa Plaza and Konstituzio Plaza. Each room at the hotel exudes elegance and modernity while remaining true to its historical charm, offering garden or river views, family rooms, and suites with terraces. The hotel's incredible dining options, rich history, and unbeatable location make it an excellent choice for a memorable stay in San Sebastián.

Read kimkim's review of Maria Cristina

Nobu Hotel

Visited by kimkim staff

Stay at one of the city's beachfront hotels (photo courtesy of NOBU Hotel San Sebastián)

Nobu Hotel, a luxury property on La Concha Beach in San Sebastián, is a newly opened lifestyle destination that overlooks the city's famed bay. Housed in the renovated Palacio Vista Eder, a historic building designed by renowned Spanish architect Francisco Urcola, the hotel offers 17 stylish, spacious guest rooms and suites with beach views. The iconic Nobu Restaurant serves signature dishes and inventive cocktails, complemented by calming ocean views that you can enjoy from the second-floor bar and terrace. 

Nobu Hotel embodies authenticity with its traditional Basque craftsmanship and contemporary Japanese sophistication. The location on the beachfront promenade is special, offering incredible views of La Concha Bay and making most city attractions accessible by a short walk. The hotel rooms and suites feature high-thread count linens, down pillows, and modern amenities, including Lavazza coffee machines and Eight & Bob bath amenities. You'll also have access to a 24-hour fitness center equipped with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment. Just keep in mind that Nobu Hotel is in-demand yet quite small, so book early to get a room! 

Read kimkim's review of Nobu Hotel


Map of The 4 Best Luxury Hotels in San Sebastián
Map of The 4 Best Luxury Hotels in San Sebastián