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Hotel Zenit San Sebastian 3.0

Donostia-San Sebastian, Guipuzcoa Province, Basque Country

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Sharp boutique hotel with fresh, modern interiors
  • Atmospheric restaurant serving authentic Basque cuisine
  • Relaxing rooftop whirlpool and sundeck with tables and chairs
  • Several large meeting rooms available for various types of events
  • Modern rooms with air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and nice bathrooms
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Children under 12 stay for free

Cons

  • Will generally need to drive to Old Town shops, restaurant, and beaches
  • Parking is additional and relatively expensive
  • No pool or fitness center

Bottom Line

The 78-room Hotel Zenit San Sebastian is a sharp three-pearl property that's at least a 15-minute walk to San Sebastian's Old Town. With its contemporary, light-filled design, it has more style than one might expect from a chain hotel, but in general lacks the amenities like a pool or spa, and attention to detail in the decor, to feel truly upscale. Rooms are clean and of average size, while suites are spacious, and all include air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and trendy accents. The attractive restaurant serves good food at reasonable prices, and there's a rooftop terrace with a whirlpool. Travelers looking to be closer to the action may want to compare with the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, an historic building with some great views.

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Scene

Trendy chain hotel outpost with boutique style

Hotel Zenit feels more like a boutique hotel than a chain outpost, though it's thankfully not trying too hard to be cool. The harsh, white angles of the building’s exterior give way to a cozier lobby, where floor-to-ceiling windows let in lots of light that combines nicely with the blond wood floors and walls. Gray and white furniture with a few lime green accents keeps the look simple but modern, which carries over into the restaurant, where light fixtures with exposed filaments hang over the tables and natural light fills the room too. There's something chic about the overall look. Up on the roof, the tables and chairs that surround the whirlpool make for a fun place to socialize both day and night, but there isn’t a party scene here. Most guests will find they spend time away from the hotel anyway, in the older areas of San Sebastian or at the beach. Additionally, because it's not located in the center of the action, Hotel Zenit caters to all kinds of travelers, including couples, families, and singles. 

Location

A 10-minute drive to San Sebastian's Old Town (or at least 15 minutes on foot)

Hotel Zenit San Sebastian sits on a quiet street in Amara-Anoeta, a residential area known best for its proximity to sports stadiums. In general, the hotel is a bit removed from the city's main draws, and guests are unlikely to run into throngs of other tourists in the streets around the hotel. The Old Town -- the northern part of San Sebastian that’s full of shops and the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants -- is about a 10-minute ride by car or 20 minutes by bus (the walk takes anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes depending on your destination). In this same area is Mount Urgull, a hill that draws tourists for its relatively easy hiking trails and views out over the ocean. La Concha Beach is near the Old Town, too, and is about a 20 minute walk from the Hotel Zenit (eight minutes by car). San Sebastian's airport is 30 minutes away by car, though international travelers might prefer the airport in Bilbao, which is a 70-minute drive from the hotel. Traveling by rail is pretty easy, and the Hotel Zenit is close to the main train station -- a 10-minute trip by car.

Rooms

Simple rooms with boutique-trendy details, air-conditioning, and flat-screen TVs, plus spacious suites

The overall style of rooms at the Hotel Zenit is modern and simple, with blond wood, warm pendant lighting, and citrus accents that keep the design consistent with the lobby and other public areas of the hotel. Standard rooms are of a typical size for this part of Europe -- not cramped, but not very spacious. It’s worth noting that the Family Room has two twin beds but they are pushed side by side, and a third bed is placed separately. Other rooms have queen- and king-size beds, depending on room type. In some cases the furniture feels a bit oddly placed, the desk at the foot of a bed, for example, or a sofa within arm’s reach and facing a bed. While the design of suites at the Zenit is similar to the different room types, they are considerably more spacious with full sitting areas and huge, spa-like bathrooms. All rooms come equipped with a closet, safe, minibar, and flat-screen TV. Air-conditioning is standard and Wi-Fi is free. Bathrooms are clean and modern, with basic extras like a hairdryer and toiletries, and some have standup showers while others have tubs. 

Features

Rooftop whirlpool and lounge area, authentic Basque restaurant, large meeting rooms

The Hotel Zenit has a few amenities that add some comfort, but not as many as one may expect in a hotel that claims four-pearl status. There is no pool, but there is a lovely rooftop whirlpool on a sundeck filled with loungers and tables. And while though there is some lush greenery framing the roof, giving it a garden-y feel, there are no spectacular views. A fairly substantial breakfast buffet is available (for a fee) and the restaurant serves authentic Basque meals throughout the day in a warm and comfortable golden-hued room. Food gets solid marks and is reasonably priced compared to what's on offer in the center of town. As far as other gathering places, three different meeting rooms are available to serve the needs of all kinds of events from weddings to business conferences, and the rooms can be combined to hold up to 125 people. Parking costs extra, but Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.

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Address

Antonio Labaien, 1, San Sebastian - Donostia, Province of Guipuzcoa 20009, Spain

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