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Hotel Highlights

  • Majestic mountainous setting
  • Minimalist, spacious rooms with fingerprint scanners for locks
  • Tranquil modern spa in the basement

Overview

Mountain-hugged Muga de Beloso hotel in Pamplona has spacious, clutter-free suites, huge windows with views of the mountainous Navarre countryside and fingerprint fobs for door locks.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Muga de Beloso with us:

A bottle of cava in your room and a hand-made chocolate treat from the kitchen

Facilities

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Muga de Beloso hotel - Pamplona- Spain

Need To Know

Rooms

59, including one suite.

Check–out

Noon, but flexible if there’s availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $134.94 (€108), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast (€16 each).

Also

There’s a spa in the basement with a sauna, hammam, contrast showers, treatment rooms and pool.

At the hotel

Spa, free WiFi throughout, library and gym. In rooms: free soft drinks, flatscreen TV and Malin + Goetz bath products.

Our favourite rooms

We love the pared-down Executive Suites, which look out to the rugged San Cristóbal Mountain from their epically sized slate terraces. Suite 325 is the big daddy in terms of style and space, with more stripped pine, two bathrooms, a living room, a reception room and a hefty bedroom with white, cloud-like beds.

Poolside

The indoor pool in the spa is slate and grey, and looks like the kind of natural lake you’d sweep back some leafy canopy to find in the jungle.

Packing tips

A Spanish and/or Basque phrasebook (particularly useful for ordering pintxos); leave the red garments behind in case you stumble across any stray bulls.

Also

Smoking is allowed in communal outdoor areas and on terraces. You won’t have to worry about forgetting your key – all you need to get in your room is your fingerprint.

Children

Cots for babies are free, and extra beds can be added to Executive Suites and above at no cost. Babysitting with a local nanny can be arranged if you ask first thing on the day you need it (€15 an hour). The menu has child-friendly options.

Food & Drink

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Muga de Beloso hotel - Pamplona- Spain

Hotel Restaurant

La Ribera dishes up seasonal Navarre cuisine, mostly courtesy of the grill. The fish is excellent, with fresh monkfish and sea-bass likely to make an appearance. Bring your phrasebook to dinner, as the menu is entirely in Spanish. The restaurant is on the lower level of the hotel, with huge floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the mountains. Breakfast is a mini-buffet brought on a wooden board to your table: pastries, rolls, fresh fruit on ice, yoghurts, ham and cheese, and hot items to order.

Hotel Bar

The library-style lounge is a sumptuous space with inviting sofas, magazines and books to leaf through, and mountain views through the huge windows. Order a fish-bowl-size, blue-tinged G&T to whet your appetite.

Last orders

Breakfast is rolled out between 7am and 11am, lunch is 1pm–4pm and dinner is 8pm–11pm. The bar stays open as long as the restaurant does.

Room service

A selection of mostly cold dishes is available 24 hours a day.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Red, green and gold, matador-style.

Top table

If there’s a group of you, sit on one of the vast round tables. Couples should sidle up to a seat by the windows for magical mountain sights.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

If you’re in town during July, you might notice men running through the old town with bulls after them. Don’t be alarmed; it’s just the annual San Fermín festival, documented in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.  Incidentally, Pamplona is home to the third-largest bull ring in the world, after Mexico City and Madrid. Follow the part of the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail which crosses right through the city and up into the hills.

Local restaurants

Europa (+34 948 229 235; www.heuropa.com) is a tiny hotel restaurant where you can’t move for locals on a Saturday night. Squeeze in for the tasting menu, which changes four times a year; make sure you’re hungry. If you can’t get a reservation, try sister restaurant Alhambra (+34 948 245 007; www.restaurantealhambra.es) instead. On Calle de San Nicolás, Bodegón Sarria (+34 948 227 713; www.bodegonsarria.com) has hundreds of hams hanging from the ceiling and a lengthy bar piled with pintxos. For a smart supper amid fine art and chandeliers, head to the regal Palacio Guendulain (+34 948 225 522; www.palacioguendulain.com) and choose from Iberian beef, ox loin and sautéed squid.

+ Enlarge
Between bullrings and Burlada

Muga de Beloso

Calle Cuesta de Beloso Bajo 11, Pamplona, 31006

Planes

The nearest airports are Bilbao and Biarritz to the north, or Zaragoza to the south. EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) flies to Bilbao from London Stansted, and Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) will get you to Biarritz or Zaragoza. Pamplona does have an airport (12km away), but chances are you’d have to connect in Madrid to get here.

Trains

The main Renfe (www.renfe.com) station in Pamplona is 5km from the hotel. From here, trains go to Madrid, San Sebastián and Barcelona.

Automobiles

The hotel is just east of Pamplona, close to Burlada, the next town along. The drive from Biarritz and Bilbao should take around an hour and 40 minutes. From San Sebastián, it’s an hour and a half, and it’s just under two hours in the car from Zaragoza. There’s free parking.

Reviews

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Muga de Beloso hotel - Pamplona- Spain

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Now, I don’t know about you, but while I appreciate an added frisson of adventure and excitement on my romantic escapes, I’m happy to skip the part where a dozen big horned beasts stampede through the city. The Running of the Bulls: main star of the San Fermín summer festival, and the reason most people have heard of Pamplona. Maybe you know it from Ernest Hemingway’s The …
Read more

Muga de Beloso

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Now, I don’t know about you, but while I appreciate an added frisson of adventure and excitement on my romantic escapes, I’m happy to skip the part where a dozen big horned beasts stampede through the city. The Running of the Bulls: main star of the San Fermín summer festival, and the reason most people have heard of Pamplona. Maybe you know it from Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises? Or, possibly, thanks to bravado, you’ve sampled it first-hand.

Happy to be heading to Spain’s northern Navarre region, a region also cherished by oenophiles for its heady reds and rosés, we're looking forward to a weekend at Muga de Beloso sans any encierro thrills. A modern, museum-like rectangle, this Alma hotel sits just outside history-steeped, park-rich Pamplona in its own asparagus-green valley. As Mr Smith and I are whisked into reception, things get hi-tech – and also bubbly; as our fingerprints are scanned for our key fobs, two glasses of fizz appear. In the corridors, on the way to our room, it gets more sci-fi, with white doors lining the aisles and mood-lighting lending an atmospheric blue tinge.

Fully programmed in, we enter, rather peculiarly, through our bathroom. The ensuite is expansive, with no concession to clutter – even the the loos are hidden from view. (It in fact takes us a while to find them. But of course Mr Smith loves this new game: ‘hide-and-seek hotel facilities’.) Settling into our minimalist palace, we locate the shower (around the corner) and then have a squeeze of the Bulgari bath products.

Rooms are bright thanks to widescreen windows streaming in the rugged backdrop. Stripped wood, leather chairs and brightly coloured hide rugs not only add chic, but also a subtle cattle reference for any especially dedicated bull-running pilgrims. After a quick dose of those mountain views from our sleek concrete terrace I try nudge Señor Smith towards the hotel’s basement as I’ve heard that there’s a sleek, slate spa with a hammam, sauna and a shower-surrounded pool. Mr Smith, meanwhile, is harping on that the hotel offers mountain-biking and kayaking, with sports massages to kick us back into shape afterwards.

Earmarking the spa and sport for later, we wander along the river path that wends with the valley, with the terracotta-topped buildings of Pamplona in the distance. The first thing we stumble across is the bullring – ‘the third largest in the world after Madrid’s and Mexico City’s’ announces Mr Smith. He’s a fan, also, of the game ‘trivia one-upmanship’. At this wintery time of year, I’m more interested in the seemingly empty pintxos bars looming. Bulls aside, it turns out that wine and cheese are also star attractions of Pamplona, as are hanging hams in the bars.

Silky slivers of jamon Iberico and tumblers of inky Navarre red sampled, we dip into Vinoteca Murillo on the corner of Calle de San Gregorio and Plaza de San Nicolás for a suitcase-worth of larra roncal (the manchego-rivalling local cheese) and red wine. Appetites merely whetted, we’re ready for La Ribera, the mountain-facing restaurant back at Muga de Beloso.

The menu in contemporary La Ribera is in Spanish, but we can tell grilled offerings are the headline-grabbers. Memories from a gap year in South America soon resurface – funny how you never forget foreign words for meat. After Mr Smith’s sibilant and ‘hhha’-heavy attempts at speaking in tongue, we tease our tastebuds with some sizzling sea-bass and monkfish, served with a zesty tapenade, and move onto charred lamb and steak with sides of griddled zucchini and crispy French fries.

The goldfish-bowl-size G&T I was served as a sundowner in Muga de Beloso’s lounge combined with more than my share of ‘tinto’ soon mean it’s time for bed. There, we’re pleased to discover our mattress is as spacious as the dimensions of our suite. This bodes for a successful sleep, where we can both adopt whichever shape we choose – Mr Smith is a fan of ‘the diagonal’, which doesn’t fare so well in your average double.

Mini breakfast buffet (capsule granola pots, fresh breads and small-scale pastries) devoured at our table next morning (does it count as a buffet if they bring to you and you don’t have to get up and queue?) and we’re ready for a hike. The Camino de Santiago – the Way of St James pilgrimage – passes straight through the beautifully preserved old town. We dip into it with a stroll through the romantic cobbled streets and plazas, before pitching up in the gardens of Taconera Park.

Channelling Ernest himself, we linger in Café Iruña on Plaza del Castillo, scribbling in our Moleskine notebooks. After a rummage through secondhand treasures at Antiguedades Migueleiz on Avenida Roncesvalles, all that’s left on our to-do list is a quick drive up into the mountains at sunset – and we discover that the lookout over sandy-coloured landscapes was indeed too good to miss.

Bidding a final farewell to Pamplona, we aim north next for a Michelin-starred lunch in a traditional Basque house in Urdániz. Bellies bursting from El Molino, we continue the winding, hour-or-so drive through the hills to the mountain village of Urdax, famous for its sheep and Swiss-style scenery of snow-capped peaks and lush green hillsides.

Before our flight home, there’s just time to float back down to sea level for a bit of sightseeing in golden San Sebastián. Here the bayside Belle Epoque Basque beauty and its numerous pinxtos bars put up a good fight to win our affections, but our hearts belong to the land of the running bulls. You never know, we might even brave Pamplona when they’re in town.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Muga de Beloso's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the quietness. Close to the city but not in it.

Don’t expect

I found service at the bar very slow.

Rating: 9/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This is an architectural gem with a contemporary feel. Kevin Mcloud would love this hotel, we did. Finger-operated locks were great for Mr Smith who has a habit of leaving with keys in his pocket. We stayed in Room 214: spacious with huge windows looking over the mountains. The staff are friendly, attentive and informative and the hotel is a pleasant stroll into Pamplona, a lively town with bars and pintxos on every corner. ¡Estupendo!

Don’t expect

Very little could be better; this was great.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We have now stayed at this hotel on two occasions, on our journey too and from southern Spain. The rooms are very clean and modern and the staff very friendly; in addition there is a secure underground car park.

Don’t expect

I thought the price of the breakfast to be a bit steep in relation to the price of the room; a wider selection on the dinner menu would also be welcome.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This hotel is very modern: I booked with trepidation as the outside looks bit like an office block but once inside you appreciate the large bedrooms with picture windows showing a wonderful view. I also liked the electric shutters at the windows that cut out as much light as required for sleeping. It's very friendly and efficient with good size underground secure car park.

Rating: 8/10 stars