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Sercotel Coliseo 3.5

Bilbao, Vizcaya Province, Basque Country

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Review Summary

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  • Centrally located a few minutes' walk from the main train station
  • Within walking distance of Old Town and art museums
  • Set in old theater with attractive neoclassical facade
  • Contemporary rooms have flat-screen TVs, minibars, and desks
  • Upgraded rooms add coffee machines and lounge areas
  • Open-plan TV lounge, coffee corner, and breakfast area
  • Underground parking (for daily fee)
  • Free and fast Wi-Fi throughout


  • Some rooms prone to street noise
  • Breakfast not included in rate
  • Very limited health facilities
  • Small TVs in rooms 

Bottom Line

The upper-middle-range Sercotel Coliseo occupies a strikingly elegant former theater in Bilbao center, a short stroll from its main train station, plus within walking distance of quaint Old Town district and the iconic Guggenheim Museum. The 97 rooms and suites are polished and modern, albeit a little short on character, with sleek bathrooms and pillow menus. Facilities are limited, with little more than an open-plan lounge and breakfast area, plus a small gym. It adds up a slick and well-positioned, if otherwise unremarkable, package. It's worth comparing rates with the Carlton Hotel, which offers more lavish interiors closer to the city center. 

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Swish, contemporary hotel set in grand century-old theater with peaceful courtyard

Dating from 1916 and once belonging to the grand Coliseo Albia theater, the elegant neoclassical facade that now forms part of the Sercotel Coliseo is practically a tourist attraction in its own right. Rather than accessed directly from the street, the reception is situated two floors up from the entrance (with the lower levels occupied by a casino). Opened as a hotel in 2011, interiors are smart and contemporary, combining dark-wood flooring with thick rugs, metallic fabric seating, and a scattering of modern artworks. There is a pair of elevators that guests can use to access underground parking or guest rooms that are spread over upper floors. A pleasant, peaceful, and often sunny internal courtyard provides some outdoor space, with wooden decking, plenty of seating, and large parasols. Despite a rather corporate look and feel in places, vacationing couples make up the bulk of the clientele. 


Centrally located, within walking distance of Old Town and Guggenheim Museum

The hotel is located in a pretty, semi-pedestrianized street in the center of the buzzing Basque city of Bilbao. It's particularly well-positioned for the city's main train station, which is just a few minutes' walk away, as well as being 10 minutes on foot from the picturesque Old Town (Casco Viejo) and its cathedral. There are numerous bars, restaurants, and cafes within a short stroll, as well as various retail outlets and department stores in the immediate surrounds. Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Fine Art Museums are both within 15 minutes' walk, or a five-minute cab journey. Buses to Bilbao Airport leave from around seven minutes' walk away, or it's around a 20-minute drive directly to the airport.


Smart, if sterile, decor with stylish bathrooms and choice of pillows

Decor in the hotel's 97 rooms continues in the same vein as the lobby, with dark-wood flooring, smart modern furniture, and metallic accents; swathes of bare white walls add a more minimalist look, however, it can feel a little sterile. All rooms are fairly spacious, but Superior Rooms are larger and add lounge areas -- some on mezzanine levels -- while Junior Suites include separate sitting rooms. Some lower-level rooms are prone to a little street noise, while courtyard-facing rooms are quieter. All rooms are air-conditioned, and equipped with (rather small) flat-screen TVs, minibars (with beer and soft drinks), and electronic safes. Upgraded rooms and suites add tea- and coffee-making facilities that include coffee machines (capsules cost extra). Wi-Fi is free and fast, and pillow menus are available. Sleek bathrooms have dark tiling, shower/tub combos, heated towel racks, and wall-mounted hairdryers, plus hotel-brand toiletries. Suites also come with bathrobes.


Spacious TV lounge, free coffee corner, and underground parking

Common to many such urban hotels, there's not a great deal in the way of facilities. The main common space incorporates a spacious lounge, with large flat-screen TVs and several sofas, as well as the hotel's breakfast area. A decent buffet breakfast of hot and cold items is served each morning, though not included in the standard rate. There is a cafe corner offering free self-service coffee, and a pleasant and secluded courtyard for lounging. Internet terminals and Wi-Fi are also free of charge. Although no proper restaurant is on-site, the casino restaurant downstairs offers guests a reasonably priced menu. Underground parking is available for a fairly steep daily charge. On the downside, there are no spa facilities and the gym is small with basic exercise machines. 

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Alameda De Urquijo 13, Bilbao, Province of Vizcaya 48008, Spain

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