The majestic building that houses the hotel enjoys a privileged location by the river and overlooking the sea. French architect Charles Mewes, who also has to his credit the Ritz hotels in Paris and Madrid, designed the Maria Cristina to impress the aristocracy of the time.In July 1912, the regent of Spain, Maria Christina de Habsburgo-Lorena, was the first person to cross the threshold of the luxurious landmark, named after her as a personal tribute. More than 40 years later, with the opening of the 1953 San Sebastian Film Festival, the hotel attracted the first wave of movie stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Bette Davis. Years later, it continues to seduce celebrated film legends such as Woody Allen, Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Brad Pitt, among others.
After a $33 million dollar renovation, the Maria Cristina is an exclusive five-star hotel with modern decor, spacious suites, attentive care to every detail and a first-class restaurant.Decorated in the style of the Belle Époque and furnished with exclusive items from the Luxury Collection, the 136 rooms and 28 luxury suites were conceived for maximum comfort. The Maria Cristina offers regular and deluxe rooms overlooking the garden; and also premium rooms, with views of the river. The spacious Junior Suites, Grand Suite, and the Royal Suite, are the ultimate expressions of glamour, combining stunning views with the cachet associated with the hotel’s history.As for the cuisine, the hotel has one of the best deals in town with its restaurant Easo, adorned with beautiful chandeliers, regal columns topped with gilded Corinthian capitals and plasterwork with effigies and garlands of delicate flowers.Witness and protagonist of a golden age and a premier tourist attraction, the iconic Maria Cristina is one of the most prestigious hotels in Spain. The place to stay during your visit to San Sebastian.
Things to do in San Sebastian
During the summer months, the traveler can enjoy the sea, the surf, the sun, and long walks along the Bay of Biscay. Art exhibits abound in open and accessible spaces. On the elegant promenade, you can admire the works of artists like Eduardo Chillida and Jorge Oteiza, pieces that blend into the urban landscape establishing a comprehensive dialogue with their natural surroundings. The Wind Comb is an iron sculpture that challenges the sea, and the Empty Building by Oteiza faces the force of the waves breaking on the Paseo Nuevo.
San Sebastian is also a favorite destination for lovers of avant-garde gastronomy as it is one of the areas with the largest concentration of Michelin stars per square foot in the world. Celebrity chefs such as Martin Berasategui, Pedro Subijana, Juan Mari Arzak, and Andoni Luis Aduriz—to name only the best known—have their restaurants in San Sebastián and its surroundings. These chefs are passionate about modern gastronomy, always respectful of tradition and using only products of exceptional quality.
San Sebastián is also famous for its bars and taverns, where patrons can taste the famous pintxos (Basque-style tapas) small and refined culinary creations that may leave your head spinning, and which always come accompanied by excellent Spanish wines.■