San Sebastián's boutique hotel scene matches its foodie, with some of the best options offering hip downtown locations, delicious Michelin-starred restaurants, unique settings like restored 19th-century villas, and rooftop terraces with outdoor pools. As a bonus, as a laid-back city, some of San Sebastián's best hotels fall into the more affordable mid-range and standard categories. After visiting this Basque hub and searching for the top accommodations, kimkim staff recommends these 13 options.

Akelarre—Relais & Châteaux

Visited by kimkim staff

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

Hotel Arima

Visited by kimkim staff

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

Arima Hotel & Spa, a sustainable, luxury countryside property in San Sebastián, allows you to relax and unwind in a peaceful, 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

Hotel Maria Cristina

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

Catalonia Donosti

Visited by kimkim staff

Stay in a former convent and enjoy the views (photo courtesy of Catalonia Donosti)

Catalonia Donosti, a historic, mid-range hotel set in a refurbished 17th and 18th-century convent, offers a luxurious and elegant stay in the heart of San Sebastián. Located atop San Bartolomé Hill, the boutique hotel features 128 spacious rooms with various options, including sea views, suites, and family rooms. The English-inspired decor, featuring materials like velvet, marble, and copper, adds a touch of sophistication to your stay. Indulge at the hotel's bar and gastronomic restaurant or relax on the rooftop terrace, which features an outdoor swimming pool and panoramic views over La Concha Beach.

The hotel's charm is enhanced by its historical setting, with protected elements such as the north facade, bell tower, and central body of the church. Despite being situated on a hill, the hotel is conveniently close to the cathedral and La Concha Beach. Catalonia Donosti's rooms and bathrooms are warm and welcoming, offering a comfortable retreat after a day of exploring the city. In addition to the rooftop terrace, the hotel features a gym, on-site parking, and a spa with various amenities. 

Read kimkim's review of Catalonia Donosti

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Hotel Villa Favorita

Visited by kimkim staff

Enjoy a prime location right on the city's famed beachfront promenade (photo courtesy of Hotel Villa Favorita)

Hotel Villa Favorita is a historical boutique hotel located on the La Concha promenade in San Sebastián. Housed in the last surviving 19th-century villa on La Concha Bay, this elegant hotel offers spacious, smart rooms with centralized iPad control, many featuring bay views. You can choose from various room categories, some with private terraces and panoramic bay windows. The hotel is also home to two Michelin-starred restaurants, Villa Favorita and Amelia, which serve seasonal and sustainable dishes made from the freshest ingredients. The hotel takes pride in its farm-to-table gastronomy, featuring local ingredients in its cuisine. 

The prime location of Hotel Villa Favorita on La Concha Beach promenade puts you in one of the best areas of San Sebastián. While the beach and boardwalk can sometimes be busy and noisy, the hotel's unique ambience, harmonious blend of classic and contemporary decor, and proximity to the Old Town still make it a top choice. 

Read kimkim's review of Hotel Villa Favorita

Lasala Plaza Hotel

Visited by kimkim staff

Sleep in bright, airy rooms with sea views (photo courtesy of Lasala Plaza Hotel)

Lasala Plaza Hotel is a stylish hotel next to San Sebastián's port, offering exceptional sea views and top-notch amenities. Its prime location places you in the center of the Old Town, close to the city's beaches and historic sites. The hotel pays tribute to San Sebastián's culture and seafaring history with unique design elements like a boat-keel-shaped reception desk and oar-shaped braided copper plaques. Various room types, including suites and units with sea views, all featuring elegant French neoclassical-inspired designs, are available.

One of Lasala Plaza's highlights is its rooftop terrace, which provides a pool, restaurant, sun deck, and panoramic views of the sea, port, beaches, and city. You can also indulge in health and beauty treatments at the partnered spa and savor contemporary Basque cuisine at the on-site restaurant, Jarana Taberna. The hotel's commitment to sustainability and supporting local culture adds to its overall appeal.

Read kimkim's review of Lasala Plaza Hotel

One Shot Tabakalera House

Visited by kimkim staff

Blend history and modernity with natural elements (photo courtesy of One Shot Tabakalera House)

One Shot Tabakalera House is a chic, contemporary hotel inside the historical Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture in San Sebastián. This unique hotel offers a blend of history and modern design, complete with a fitness room, sauna, and occasional photography exhibitions. Its central location provides easy access to the city center, train station, and Cristina-Enea Park. You can also enjoy the innovative "buffet in jars" breakfast concept at El Eskondite Tabakalera, providing an eco-friendly dining option.

The hotel has 34 stylish rooms featuring selected furniture, high-profile extra-comfort mattresses, and wooden floors. Executive, Duplex, and Premium rooms offer additional amenities such as robes, slippers, and sitting areas. All rooms have spacious rain showers, while some premium rooms also feature a separate bathtub. Embrace the cultural atmosphere of the hotel by exploring the temporary art exhibitions, or maintain your fitness regime with the on-site facilities. 

Read kimkim's review of One Shot Tabakalera House

Villa Soro

Visited by kimkim staff

Feel the city's romantic past by staying in a charming villa (photo courtesy of Villa Soro)

Villa Soro, a charming hotel in San Sebastián, is set in a beautifully renovated 19th-century heritage villa, perfectly balancing a welcoming family atmosphere and modern comfort. The historical property offers various amenities, including a gym, free bikes, a garden terrace with an outdoor bar, and a restaurant, Eguzki Soro, which serves delicious regional Basque cuisine. Spacious rooms blend modern and historical elements, cozy countryside decor, and fun tiled bathrooms.

Located in a tranquil setting with picturesque gardens, Villa Soro is just a 10-15 minute walk from San Sebastián's city center, providing easy access to the trendy surf neighborhood of Gros and various attractions. The hotel's historic charm is evident through period touches such as fireplace lounges, a carved oak staircase, and stained glass windows. Villa Soro also showcases artwork by renowned Basque artists to maintain a solid connection to the local culture.

Read kimkim's review of Villa Soro

Hotel Villa Katalina By Intur

Visited by kimkim staff

Warm, welcoming rooms with trendy decor (photo courtesy of Hotel Villa Katalina by Intur)

Hotel Villa Katalina by Intur is a charming boutique hotel in San Sebastián's historic center, next to the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. This beautifully renovated historic building offers cozy rooms with natural light, city views, and a touch of old-world glam. The hotel's central location allows easy access to the city's main attractions, monuments, and gastronomic centers, with La Concha Beach just a 10-minute walk away.

Despite its compact rooms, Hotel Villa Katalina provides a comfy experience with a delicious breakfast buffet served in an elegant dining room. The hotel may not have a restaurant, but its prime location ensures plenty of dining options within walking distance. The preservation of the original structure, including facades, stairways, patios, and ornamental decorations, adds to the hotel's authentic atmosphere. 

Read kimkim's review of Hotel Villa Katalina by Intur

Heredad de Unanue

Visited by kimkim staff

Charming countryside spot with views (photo courtesy of Heredad de Unanue) 

Heredad de Unanue, a standard and stylish boutique hotel in San Sebastián, offers a peaceful retreat surrounded by nature. Housed in a 15th- to 16th-century building, this small property combines an elegant contemporary design, historical elements, and modern comforts. Enjoy the countryside views from the hotel's large outdoor terrace and garden and indulge in a daily breakfast made with fresh local products. The hotel's 11 unique rooms are decorated with elements of Basque culture and offer modern amenities, including glass-enclosed bathrooms with Italian showers.

Although the hotel is located in a rural area, it's only a 10-minute drive from the city center, offering a tranquil escape while still being close to urban attractions. Enjoy the picturesque surroundings, including the hotel's orchard and gardens, and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the region. Note that a car is necessary to access San Sebastián's Old Town and beaches; some might find the glass-enclosed bathrooms less private than desired. Overall, Hotel Heredad de Unanue offers a memorable stay in San Sebastián, effortlessly blending history, style, and modern comforts.

Read kimkim's review of Heredad de Unanue

Hotel SANSEbay 

Visited by kimkim staff

Relax in modern digs with incredible views (photo courtesy of Hotel SANSEbay)

Hotel SANSEbay is a simple yet clean and trendy hotel located on the edge of San Sebastián's Old Town, overlooking the port and La Concha Bay. This modern hotel offers great value with its comfortable rooms and apartments equipped with smart TVs, high-speed WiFi, and plush beds. Ideal for families and small groups, the hotel provides babysitting services in its playroom, allowing parents time to explore the city. Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Bar Urgell, serving natural ingredients, smoothies, coffee, and more.

The hotel's prime location places you right at the base of Mount Urgell, next to the historic port and within walking distance of the beach. Enjoy strolling through Old Town and discovering San Sebastián's most iconic spots while admiring the sunsets over La Concha Bay. Choose from minimalist, sophisticated rooms and apartments, many with bay views and lovely terraces. Additional amenities include bike rentals, massages, and essential family-friendly services like highchairs and cribs. 

Read kimkim's review of Hotel SANSEbay

Hotel Villa Victoria

Visited by kimkim staff

Clean, modern rooms in the city center (photo courtesy of Hotel Villa Victoria by Intur)

Hotel Villa Victoria by Intur is a modern boutique hotel just a short walk from La Concha Beach and the Old Town of San Sebastián. This hotel offers a unique rooftop terrace with a sun deck and loungers, perfect for enjoying city views and soaking up the sun. The on-site café serves breakfasts made with local ingredients like Idiazabal cheese and Txakoli de Guetaria wine, providing a taste of traditional Basque cuisine.

The hotel features 34 stylish and comfortable rooms, some with terraces and views. Rooms include minibars and contemporary furnishings, while the bathrooms come with showers and toiletries by French brand Sans. With its prime location, the surrounding areas can get busy and noisy during the high season. However, the property's easy access to the beach, Old Town, theaters, cultural centers, and wellness facilities provides an authentic and enjoyable stay in the heart of San Sebastián.

Read kimkim's review of Hotel Villa Victoria


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