Just back from San Sebastian. Maria Cristina Hotel is a great Starwood property in an unbeatable location in this wonderful city.
Rooms are large and comfortable. They have some specially appointed "SPG rooms" (they have a specific mark in the door), but I think the main difference between these rooms and the others is probably just the view. I'm Gold and didn't get any other upgrade, but room was quite ok, with also a large marble bathroom (with two basins, separate bath/shower, and a door between toilette and the rest of the bathroom).
When we arrived, they couldn't find our reservation, but they managed it quite quickly. Very friendly staff and also very good breakfast buffet (including champagne, caviar and salmon).
If you go to San Sebastian, don't even ask for any other hotel (and if you go to the Northeast of Spain, don't even think of another city!).
We didn't try the hotel restaurant, because San Sebastian and sorroundings have some of the best restaurants in Spain (Arzak, Akelarre, Martin Berasategui, Elcano,....)
I have read from previous posts that some Flyertalkers have been to the Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian. What is the best way to get there? Should I fly into Bilbao and then drive/take taxi, drive from France, or take a train from Madrid? Thanks.
I took the overnight train down from Paris - very comfortable. I then took the train to Bilbao to see the museum (second the assessment that the architecture and not the art is the draw). From Bilbao took the overnight train to Madrid - very very comfortable. San Sebastian was beautiful and very charming - enjoy!
It all depends on your travel plans, and where are you coming from. There is a small airport at San Sebastian, but only with Iberia flights to/from Madrid or Barcelona. Iberia is in Oneworld, so you could probably also find some combination with AA.
Anyway, Bilbao is also near (about 45 min. drive), and there you have direct connections with London, Paris or Milan (but not with the US). Driving from Madrid to San Sebastian would be around 4 or 4.5 hours (a quite good motorway), and more or less the same from Barcelona (perhaps a little bit more).
San Sebastian is wonderful a the Maria Cristina a great hotel, so I hope you'll have a very nice time there.
I was in San Sebastin, Spain recently and did a one night Points & Euros stay at the Hotel Maria Cristina. I'm Gold btw.
The hotel is gorgeous, with a fantastic view of the water and city. The staff is very courteous. We were upgraded to a huge suite with an enormous balcony overlooking the water. I've stayed in plenty of hotels in Europe, and I'm accustomed to the shoe box sized rooms that even the luxury hotels have...this room was gargantuan even by U.S. standards. The bathroom alone was larger than the entire room at the Prince de Galles we had earlier this year, ha!
Needless to say, I highly recommend this hotel. We stayed there, and then made an early morning drive to Pamplona to run with the bulls. It's only about a 45 minute drive and San Sebastian is much quieter, cleaner and less crowded than Pamplona during the Festival de San Fermin.
It is indeed one of the greatest hotels I've been at. Their treatment to Platinums is superb, with upgrades to magnificent suites. But the standard rooms are also ery, very nice. The city is beautiful, with some of the best restaurants in Spain (and that means some of the best in Europe).
The hotel is simply EXCELLENT, and they give the best treatment to Platinum members. They also will give you wonderful recommendations about restaurants. Location is just perfect. I really love the Maria Cristina. It's one of my favourite places to stay.
Anyway, perhaps you should call them in advance, because they are having some problems with unions, and the hotel has suffered a strike during the film festival just a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure if the strike is over yet, so my recommendation would be asking the hotel if it's still going on and if they can asure you the wonderful level of service they are used to provide.
The hotel treats plats very well. I was upgraded to a suite on the top floor with balcony. I received, as a plat amenity, a fruit plate and a 1/2 bottle of wine. However, the hotel (and others too) tends to be full whenever there are major events (such as Gastronomy Week in late May), so I'm not sure what sort of upgrade you would receive.