San Sebastián distinguishes itself as a foodie destination and coastal locale. The city's hotels match this identity with various hip downtown hotels, seaside retreats, restored 19th-century villas, and contemporary lodgings with unique architecture.

Room Mate Gorka Hotel

Photo courtesy of Room Mate Gorka Hotel

Room Mate Gorka Hotel is a boutique hotel set in central San Sebastián, in Plaza Guipúzcoa. Modern decor and large, bright rooms provide a contemporary stay and a place to relax in the city. Enjoy the extensive breakfast buffet at the hotel's restaurant and sit on the terrace of Gorka's bar to enjoy the sea breeze.

Lasala Plaza

Photo courtesy of Lasala Plaza

Lasala Plaza embraces the seaside character of San Sebastián, as it's next to the beach by the old fishing town. The building dates back to 1917, but its renovations embrace a more modern style while celebrating classic Donostia. The city's maritime nature is evident throughout the hotel, with touches like a reception desk shaped like a boat keel and oar-shaped braided copper plaques.

Rooms have views of the sea or the historic Plaza Lasala in the Old Town. If you need a wider lens, enjoy the views from the rooftop pool, restaurant, and solarium, which gives you a 360-degree view of the city. The on-site restaurant La Jarana Taberna adds a contemporary touch to traditional Basque cuisine, using locally sourced seasonal produce.

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Villa Soro

Photo courtesy of Villa Soro

For travelers looking for a more old-world stay, Villa Soro sits amid professionally designed gardens in a historical heritage villa initially built as a home for a British family in the 19th century. Rooms span both the original house and the converted stables. You'll enjoy plenty of historical touches around the property, like fireplace lounges, a carved oak staircase, and stained glass windows.

Stop in the refined Eguzki Soro bar and garden—designed to look like an English cocktail bar—for breakfast or Basque delicatessen bites. The city center is roughly a 10 to 15-minute walk away, but the route takes you through the trendy surf neighborhood of Gros, full of restaurants and shops, or right along the beachfront.

Hotel Akelarre

Photo courtesy of Hotel Akelarre

Hotel Akelarre sits roughly 10 minutes outside San Sebastián, offering stunning views along the Basque coastline and Bay of Biscay cliffs. Dramatic avant-garde architecture made with quality raw materials meshes harmoniously with its surroundings. Don't miss the three-Michelin-star Akelarre restaurant, which turns a meal into a multi-day experience. Guests can enjoy the spa and its three treatment cabins or join experiences like the "Basque roots" or "Oteiza flavors" curated stays.