PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

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ericskitei
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PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#1 Post by ericskitei » July 11th, 2019, 12:40 am

Arguably the best hotel experience I’ve ever had and in such a beautiful and glorious city.

The concierge is incredible

The wait staff at the restaurant and breakfast are incredible and attentive to all needs

The food is spectacular

The rooms are gorgeous with insanely comfortable beds

Location couldn’t be better and more central to all areas

This has now become the gold standard for me in terms of quality I would expect from a top notch hotel.

If you are thinking about coming to the area (and highly suggest you do), you should fork over the extra cash (or points) and don’t think twice about staying here.

It’s just about perfect.
Last edited by ericskitei on July 17th, 2019, 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#2 Post by brigcampbell » July 11th, 2019, 11:12 am

Todd stayed there and love it.

We stayed in the center of the old town area but walked over for cocktails in the bar. Really nice.

There were ladies having high tea along the tables of the hallways - first time I had seen that if you're into such things.

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#3 Post by Barry L i p t o n » July 13th, 2019, 11:15 am

Agree 100%. I was there in May, hoping to go back in 2020.

The hotel plus the food scene is amazing time even if the town itself isn't a little sparse for non-food activities beyond strolling (and a decent museum).

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#4 Post by M. T r o w bridge » July 13th, 2019, 11:22 am

Agree that it's an amazing hotel. Their pinxtos guide was pretty spot on and allowed us to discover some things we wouldn't have tried otherwise.

Favorite San Sebastian restaurants? Ours were Akellare (favorite restaurant anywhere) and the steak at Bar Nestor. We found Mugaritz disgusting.

We learned stomach issues can be quickly cured with a purchase of Bi-Suero from a pharmacy. The medicine is in the straw of the juice box (probiotics).

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#5 Post by Joe Dulworth » July 15th, 2019, 11:43 am

I'd fork over the points but I don't think it's worth the extra cash myself. YMMV.
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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#6 Post by Todd F r e n c h » July 15th, 2019, 12:00 pm

All true, what Eric said. We got to stay there thanks to Starwood (at the time) points, and it was off-season, so it was WAY cheap (in points). I'm sure those days are long gone, thanks to the merger with Marriott. I'm happy I had the chance to stay there when I did - as Eric said, it's just about perfect
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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#7 Post by Joe Dulworth » July 15th, 2019, 12:11 pm

Roughly 650 Euro a night right now. Around 35,000-50,000 points per night IF you can get a redemption right now. During current high season I see no redemption nights.
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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#8 Post by Barry L i p t o n » July 15th, 2019, 12:28 pm

Joe Dulworth wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 12:11 pm
Roughly 650 Euro a night right now. Around 35,000-50,000 points per night IF you can get a redemption right now. During current high season I see no redemption nights.
That doesn't sound right, it's a straight 60k points for category 7, they (Marriott) haven't introduced hi/low season points pricing yet. I found a day in September with two doubles available.

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#9 Post by David K o l i n » July 15th, 2019, 12:29 pm

Joe Dulworth wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 12:11 pm
Roughly 650 Euro a night right now. Around 35,000-50,000 points per night IF you can get a redemption right now. During current high season I see no redemption nights.
We stayed at a lovely 2 bedroom across the street from La Concha with a fabulous multilevel garden for about a third of the price

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#10 Post by Neal.Mollen » July 15th, 2019, 2:05 pm

M. T r o w bridge wrote:
July 13th, 2019, 11:22 am
Agree that it's an amazing hotel. Their pinxtos guide was pretty spot on and allowed us to discover some things we wouldn't have tried otherwise.

Favorite San Sebastian restaurants? Ours were Akellare (favorite restaurant anywhere) and the steak at Bar Nestor. We found Mugaritz disgusting.
Disgusting is a hot take. What about it earns your ire?
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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#11 Post by Joe Dulworth » July 15th, 2019, 2:24 pm

Barry L i p t o n wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 12:28 pm
Joe Dulworth wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 12:11 pm
Roughly 650 Euro a night right now. Around 35,000-50,000 points per night IF you can get a redemption right now. During current high season I see no redemption nights.
That doesn't sound right, it's a straight 60k points for category 7, they (Marriott) haven't introduced hi/low season points pricing yet. I found a day in September with two doubles available.
Try the last week of July / First week of August. I got blocked out completely.
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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#12 Post by Barry L i p t o n » July 15th, 2019, 3:04 pm

That’s way too close in to expect Marriott awardavailability at a popular hotel which is much tighter than Starwood’s.

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#13 Post by Joe Dulworth » July 16th, 2019, 3:26 am

Understood. Maybe pick another high season date of your choosing? How about wait a month or so and go for the International Jazz Festival this time next year?
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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#14 Post by M. T r o w bridge » July 16th, 2019, 8:20 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 2:05 pm
Disgusting is a hot take. What about it earns your ire?
The food. They are very focused around challenging the diner with all sorts of offal you may have never thought to eat before. The results (to us) didn't taste good and were frequently nauseating. It is a beautiful restaurant with innovative presentations and the service you expect from a Michelin. We dine for enjoyment and with so many other options in and around San Sebastian it's not something we would recommend.

Martin Berastegui in Guipuzkoa was much more our speed if you're looking for a place a bit out of town. We really enjoyed the sommelier and strikingly beautiful dishes.


We've seen deals at Maria Cristina when you bundle it with business-class airfare.

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#15 Post by Ramon C » July 16th, 2019, 8:32 am

M. T r o w bridge wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 8:20 am
Neal.Mollen wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 2:05 pm
Disgusting is a hot take. What about it earns your ire?
The food. They are very focused around challenging the diner with all sorts of offal you may have never thought to eat before.
Didn't seem to be the case when we dined there and tremendously enjoyed our meal. Perhaps a different menu and focus as I recall ours being more well rounded and represented everything from land and water. Given our experience, I'd be all over that offal menu if given another opportunity.

Btw, we didn't stay there but that Maria Cristina hotel looks awesome from the outside and has a beautiful inside (lobby) when we walked in to look. Our last time in SS, we stayed nearby, perhaps a little more basic with appropriate amenities for us and nowhere near the splurge of Maria Cristina, at Hotel Londres y de Inglaterra.
Last edited by Ramon C on July 16th, 2019, 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#16 Post by Joe Dulworth » July 16th, 2019, 8:37 am

Concerning dining there bear in mind that Ezcaray by Francis Paniego just switched over the entire menu to their new summer menu about a week and a half ago. Heavy focus on summer fare so to speak.
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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#17 Post by RyanC » July 16th, 2019, 8:40 am

The Maria Cristina is so great. When we were there several years ago, my wife left her jacket somewhere about 40 minutes away. One of the concierges personally drove to pick it up from her during her off hours.
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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#18 Post by Barry L i p t o n » July 16th, 2019, 10:46 am

Joe Dulworth wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 3:26 am
Understood. Maybe pick another high season date of your choosing? How about wait a month or so and go for the International Jazz Festival this time next year?
I just came back from a 5 night award stay on May 25, super high season, and an event at the hotel, the place was sold out. Got a suite for 4 of the 5 nights, it was a great stay. I made the reservation a year in advance.

I would start by checking for 2020. Yes, now you have to wait as Marriott was inferior to
Starwood in this regard (booking horizon). Marriott is only up to July 3 as of this moment.

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#19 Post by Neal.Mollen » July 17th, 2019, 5:19 am

M. T r o w bridge wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 8:20 am
Neal.Mollen wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 2:05 pm
Disgusting is a hot take. What about it earns your ire?
The food. They are very focused around challenging the diner with all sorts of offal you may have never thought to eat before. The results (to us) didn't taste good and were frequently nauseating. It is a beautiful restaurant with innovative presentations and the service you expect from a Michelin. We dine for enjoyment and with so many other options in and around San Sebastian it's not something we would recommend.

Martin Berastegui in Guipuzkoa was much more our speed if you're looking for a place a bit out of town. We really enjoyed the sommelier and strikingly beautiful dishes.


We've seen deals at Maria Cristina when you bundle it with business-class airfare.
Interesting. Thanks for the response.
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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#20 Post by ericskitei » July 17th, 2019, 1:45 pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 12:00 pm
All true, what Eric said. We got to stay there thanks to Starwood (at the time) points, and it was off-season, so it was WAY cheap (in points). I'm sure those days are long gone, thanks to the merger with Marriott. I'm happy I had the chance to stay there when I did - as Eric said, it's just about perfect
I used only SPG/Bonvoy points. I think 60K per night and worth every single one of them. I booked several months ago.

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#21 Post by ericskitei » July 17th, 2019, 1:56 pm

M. T r o w bridge wrote:
July 13th, 2019, 11:22 am
Agree that it's an amazing hotel. Their pinxtos guide was pretty spot on and allowed us to discover some things we wouldn't have tried otherwise.

Favorite San Sebastian restaurants? Ours were Akellare (favorite restaurant anywhere) and the steak at Bar Nestor. We found Mugaritz disgusting.

We learned stomach issues can be quickly cured with a purchase of Bi-Suero from a pharmacy. The medicine is in the straw of the juice box (probiotics).
What I sent to my buddy....

Here are my top 4 Pinxto Bars. So many great others but our tops for the trip.
La Cuchara De San Telmo was lights out! Best overall Pinxto in old town
The Foie was arguably the best single bite I had there. Incredible. Goat Cheese tarte dessert thingy was crazy. The beef was insane. The place is just perfect. Try everything!
La Vina has a word famous Cheesecake that’s a must try for dessert
Borda Berri was my daughters favorite. Risotto made with what appears to be Orzo was amazing and they also have a beef cheek which is crazy
Bar Nestor is a must. Get there an hour before opening (12 or 7) for 1 and 8 and put your name in for a tortilla espanola. Best version around and many say in the world. They also have a steak which I didn’t do because I’m with non meat eaters and it’s too big for 1 but looked ridiculous
If you like tomatoes they have a raw tomato plate which people were loving

Vino Eceiza Prim- For a great wine/whiskey shop with incredible old bottles and rare whisky

Our only high end restaurant in SS was Zuberoa. Located in a 600 year old Basque Country Home w/ 1 Michelin Star. Traditional Basque cuisine as opposed to the style of restaurants like Mugaritz

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#22 Post by M. T r o w bridge » July 18th, 2019, 6:07 am

If you like whiskey the Museo del Whiskey is a great bar with a piano player in the basement most nights. The steak at Bar Nestor is not to be missed. The more I think about San Sebastian the more I miss it. Bordeaux is an easy day trip if you have a car.

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#23 Post by ericskitei » July 18th, 2019, 10:59 pm

M. T r o w bridge wrote:
July 18th, 2019, 6:07 am
If you like whiskey the Museo del Whiskey is a great bar with a piano player in the basement most nights. The steak at Bar Nestor is not to be missed. The more I think about San Sebastian the more I miss it. Bordeaux is an easy day trip if you have a car.
Museo del Whiskey was cool, but they didn't sell any of the cool bottles in the cases and the prices were propsterous. Basic stuff was fine, but for example Hibiki17, which because discontinued, was $300 euro for a 2.5 ounce pour. Secondary market pricing is around $450. Definitely a cool spot to walak into as some of the bottles on the shelf are certainly unicorns, but to go and drink, it's only good if you want fairly common pours.

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#24 Post by mark rudner » July 19th, 2019, 7:35 am

neophyte question but how do you fly/get there?

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#25 Post by David K o l i n » July 19th, 2019, 7:51 am

Fly into Madrid or Barcelona and rent a car. Madrid is a much more direct drive, but Barcelona to San Sebastián gives you the option to drive through the Pyrenees, which are beautiful. If you don’t do the mountains, both drives are 5-5-1/2 hours. You can also fly to San Sebastián from either airport

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Re: PSA- Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián, Spain

#26 Post by Ramon C » July 19th, 2019, 8:44 am

mark rudner wrote:
July 19th, 2019, 7:35 am
neophyte question but how do you fly/get there?
Fly into Bilbao. 40 minute drive to San Sebastian.
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