San Sebastián, Spain

Villa Favorita

Price per night from$221.97

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR208.18), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Odds-on favourite

Setting

Basque boardwalk

With a La Concha locale, Villa Favorita is a Basque bay beauty in one of San Sebastián’s grandest old seaside buildings, with the elegant, old-school interiors to match: grandfather clocks, parquet floors and paintings of plants. The chosen one is also home to a fine-dining restaurant (the San Sebastián equivalent of keeping up with the Joneses) – Amelia is one of the city’s destination dining experiences and you’ll barely have to get out of bed to try it.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A welcome drink, plus early check-in or late check-out (subject to availability)

Facilities

Photos Villa Favorita facilities

Need to know

Rooms

23, including one suite.

Check–Out

Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £197.40 (€229), including tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

The 19th-century villa was built as one of many summer residences for Queen Maria Christina, who would bring her entire court to town and move in for months.

At the hotel

Free WiFI throughout. In rooms: beach towels, 49-inch TV, free bottled water, tea and coffee kit, GHDs on request and bespoke bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Since it’s sitting on the dock of one of the most beautiful bays in Europe, a sea-view room at this hotel should be a dealbreaker. Go for a La Concha Bay Panoramic for the longest-lasting rays, from dawn to dusk; or a La Concha Bay Terrace for its sun-baked balcony.

Packing tips

An appetite for foams, purées and smears; plus glamorous beachwear to hit the flashy promenade in style.

Also

There’s a lift and specially adapted rooms for disabled and hearing- and vision-impaired guests.

Children

The hotel is adults-only.

Food and Drink

Photos Villa Favorita food and drink

Top Table

Out on the terrace soaking up the San Sebastián sunshine.

Dress Code

Expandable waistlines and loose-fitting forms (for obvious reasons).

Hotel restaurant

The hotel’s Donostia dinner rivals meant it had to up its gourmet game for its restaurant: the result was equally acclaimed Amelia by Paulo Airaudo, which ensures its fine-dining is as seasonal and local as possible. The team works with small producers for starry set menus – and even the breakfasts (served in the bar, on the terrace or in your room) are designed by a Michelin-approved chef.

Hotel bar

The bar extends out onto the bay-facing terrace, where you can enjoy organic wines from small cellars and local spirits, all accompanied by some very special snacks if you’re peckish.

Last orders

Lunch service is at 1pm and there are two dinner sittings: 7.30pm and 9pm.

Room service

A room-service menu is available between 8am and midnight.

Location

Photos Villa Favorita location
Address
Villa Favorita
Calle Zubieta 26
San Sebastian
20007
Spain

Villa Favorita has the ultimate San Sebastián setting, right in front of La Concha Bay and within strolling distance of the old town.

Planes

For direct flights, Biarritz and Bilbao are your best bets – it’s 45 minutes by car to Biarritz over the French border and an hour and 15 minutes to Bilbao. The hotel can arrange transports from either on request.

Trains

The city’s North Station is less than a kilometre from the hotel – transfers cost around €20.

Automobiles

You’ll be able to get around San Sebastián (preferably on a constant pintxos crawl) on foot – there’s a car park 250 metres away to stow your wheels at. Valet parking here costs €26 a day.

Worth getting out of bed for

First on any rational person coming to San Sebastián’s agenda will be food, whether it’s a week of Michelin-starred dinners in this fine-dining firmament (the city has among the highest number of stars per capita of anywhere in the world) or pub crawls with pintxos (technically open sandwiches, but in reality so much more). La Concha bay is flatteringly described as Europe’s very own Rio – and you’ll be able to admire the coastline simply by stepping out of the hotel’s front door (or from your sea-facing window). Hike to the top of Mount Igueldo, or take the easy, over-indulged route by hopping in the cable car. It’s a 15-minute stroll to the old town. For a Gallic getaway over the border, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, just a 25-minute drive away, is one of the most beautiful towns in France (and there’s some competition). 

Local restaurants

San Sebastián has one of the highest concentrations of fine-dining restaurants on the planet, but you’ll just as easily be able to mainline creatively topped slices of bread (AKA pintxos) – for the former, Akelarre should be top of your list. Other places with starched tablecloths and absurdly indulgent food include Zazpi STM, Galerna and the charming, family-run Casa Urola in the old town.

Local bars

For pintxos and patxaran (the unofficial Basque Country beverage), head to either (or both) Antonio outposts – though you’ll be spoilt for choice for pub-crawl pit stops.

Reviews

Photos Villa Favorita reviews
Jules Pearson

Anonymous review

By Jules Pearson, London insider

We arrived in San Sebastián – as everyone should – hungry. With more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere else on earth, plus the countless pintxos bars packed into the atmospheric Old Town, San Sebastián has become a foodie haven for travelling gluttons. I’m sure there must be other things to do in this famed culinary city, but if anyone comes here with any serious plans other than to eat themselves silly for as long as they can stand it, I’d be surprised. 

Quick, action-packed weekend breaks in European cities require a hotel with a prime central location (nobody wants to be messing about with taxis or buses when there’s eating to be done) and in San Sebastián, Villa Favorita (our home for the next two nights) has secured itself a top spot. The grand 19th-century mansion house sits on La Concha promenade, directly facing directly the sandy beach and crescent-shaped bay, in the heart of the city. It’s not only a beautiful setting, it’s also right by shops, restaurants and the Old Town – almost everything you’ll want to do is no more than a 15-minute walk away. Which is a very good thing indeed, as even if you arrive late at night like us (made even later by Mr Smith not being able to turn the lights on in the hire car), you can be propped up at a bar with a Basque cider and pintxo in a jiffy. 

After finally pulling up in front of Villa Favorita, staff were immediately on hand to take our luggage and the car keys (thank goodness) so they could whisk our vehicle off to their private carpark for us. The slick service continued with a quick check-in and being escorted upstairs for a show round of our room and its various quirks, including two sets of electric blinds, a shower that required Crystal Maze-level puzzle-solving abilities to turn on, and some switches with ambiguous graphics. Pointing to a switch with a drawing of a lamp we were told: ‘pressing this does not mean we will bring you wine’; then – drawing our attention to a switch picturing a spotlight with rays emanating from its beam – ‘and this one will not turn the shower on’. As much as I love the idea of a ‘press for wine’ button in every hotel room, I wondered if guests had really made this mistake before. ‘All the time!’, we were assured.    

Our room was luxuriously cosy, leaning into the chintz end of the spectrum with lots of pastel-blue velvet, gold and black accents, and a bathroom covered wall to wall with glimmering mirrors. It’s a theme that’s continued throughout the rest of the hotel, from the patterned wallpaper in the lift to the antique furniture, which all played up the old-school glamour of the building (which was built back in 1866 after all). It may not be to everyone’s taste, but there can be no qualms about the incredible sea views from the floor-to-ceiling windows that opened onto our room’s outdoor terrace. Of the 23 rooms at Villa Favorita, 18 look out to the ocean, so we can highly recommend making the extra investment to get one. It’s a magnificent view to wake up to (and with those electric blinds, you don’t even need to get out of bed).

Before heading out for our first pinxtos crawl, there was just time to avail ourselves of the welcome drink offered to all guests in the smart ground-floor bar, which has a lovely outdoor terrace right by the promenade. Keeping it local, I had a glass of crisp Txakoli (the crisp white wine produced in the region), and for Mr Smith, a beer from hipster outfit Basqueland Brewing made in collaboration with chef Paulo Airaudo (who happens to run a two-Michelin-starred spot, Amelia, on the lower ground floor of Villa Favorita). There really are Michelin stars hiding everywhere in San Sebastián, and although we didn’t get a chance to eat there, we can attest to the excellence of Paulo’s breakfast menu, with piles of fresh local cheeses and jamón, fresh fruit and juices, and superb eggs among the many highlights. 

Exiting the bar, which leads directly on to the promenade, we were in the Old Town in five minutes (it might take you longer – we were near enough running), quickly discovering that San Sebastián is indeed heaven for hungry travellers. It’s hard to go far wrong in any of the bars, but, for our money, La Cepa de Bernardo, Bar Narrika, Jose Mari, and Bar Néstor – where we ended the night with their famous steak and tomato salad – should be at the top of your hit list. Woozy from overeating, plus a fair few ciders, it was a relief to be able to just follow the coastline and the fresh November breeze and wander along the boardwalk back to Villa Favorita – but on this occasion, taking our time.

Book now

Price per night from $221.97