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Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra 4.0

Donostia-San Sebastian, Guipuzcoa Province, Basque Country

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Historic, elegant 115-year old hotel
  • Spectacular city or sea views from guestroom balconies
  • Located on the Playa de la Concha seafront
  • Fantastic area for travelers, near famed San Sebastian tapas bars
  • Gorgeously appointed rooms with large, luxurious bathrooms
  • Sumptious breakfast with hot and cold food, a variety of pastries, and morning champagne (for a fee)
  • Excellent Basque restaurant, popular with locals and foodies
  • Pub-like lobby bar with football broadcast on Sundays

Cons

  • Some reports of spotty Wi-Fi
  • No pool or fitness center on-site
  • Not all rooms have tea/coffee facilities

Bottom Line

The 167-room luxury boutique Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra is a legend in San Sebastian, with a 115-year history that includes many famed guests, including Toulouse-Lautrec and Mata Hari, who reportedly spied from her room, and after whom a lovely penthouse suite has been named. A former palace, the hotel retains its air of rich, classic elegance with British-themed decor throughout the public areas and upscale guestrooms. The beachfront location is within walking distance of the many tapas restaurants in the Old Quarter.

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Scene

Legendary historic hotel with old world luxury and a sense of humor

The 115-year old Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra offers guests superior quality in everything they touch. Originally a palace, now a palace-hotel, the Londres y de Inglaterra has hosted many celebrities, most notoriously Mata Hari, who reportedly used an upstairs window to spy on her prey. On the walls of the Mata Hari Suite are photos and mementos of her life. Similarly, in the lobby are displays of objects from the hotel's past: inkwells, accessories, tools.

The elevator encapsulates the hotel's vibe. Its wooden car retains its original brass fittings, including the hand crank for the doors, but the works are exposed behind Plexiglas, bordering on steampunk. The hotel has a British theme, with ship replicas, paintings of battle scenes on the walls, and football matches broadcast in the bar on Sundays. The Swing Bar features a long wooden bar and has an upscale clubby feel, with gorgeous sea views. The Brasserie Mari-Galant serves a gourmet Basque menu popular with locals and foodies. The decor is black-and-white modern with a sense of humor evident in touches like the hanging lamps, whose shades are painted with the silhouettes of chandeliers. This luxe hotel is the definition of cool elegance.

Location

In the heart of San Sebastian, on the beach at La Concha Bay

The Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra is set in the heart of San Sebastian, on the beach at La Concha Bay, with beautiful sea and beach views. Outside the hotel is a charming square, and it is a 10-minute walk to the city's famous tapas bars in the Old Quarter, and most of the sights. The Zurriola surfing beach, on the other side of the river, is a 10-minute walk away.

Rooms

Gorgeous, classic rooms combine modern amenities and historic details

Rooms at the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra are upscale and traditional, with features such as elaborate moldings, Edwardian oak furniture with brass fittings, flattering modern lighting with a classic feel, fantastic closets, and stunning black-and-white photographs, vintage drawings, and historic ephemera on the walls. Some rooms have cool headboards with inset lighting and awesome armchairs; many have unbelievable views. Large marble bathrooms have double sinks, plentiful toiletries, the occasional cactus, and plush towels. Seventh-floor rooms are newest and have huge terraces with sunbeds. Note that room sizes vary within each category, and sea views are worth the price. Lower-tier rooms can be on the small side, as this is a historic property.

Features

Lovely Basque restaurant, comfy bar, meeting rooms, and room service

The Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra's restaurant, Brasserie Mari-Galant, draws locals and foodies for its traditional Basque cuisine with a twist. The lobby Swing Bar is a great place to sip a scotch or have a pint and watch football on Sundays. Business travelers will find it a good place to meet for work or to forget about work; tourists will like its relaxed sophistication. There is room service, and private parking is available for a fee. Meeting rooms are upscale and elegant, with oil paintings on the walls.

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Address

Calle de Zubieta, 2, San Sebastian - Donostia, Province of Guipuzcoa 20007, Spain

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