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WHAT WE LOVE...

Bilbao is best-known for one thing: the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim, sitting like a giant, deconstructed fish on the banks of the River Nervión. Right next door is this stylish hotel, with grand-scale lobby artworks that are almost as impressive as the work on display in the museum's galleries. Rooms are sizeable and polished-looking, some featuring bathtubs designed by Philippe Starck, while facilities include a chic gym and a Japanese-style spa. If this all sounds rather painfully cool, fear not - staff are friendly and accommodating, providing an equally warm welcome to younger guests. All are welcome on Gran Domine's panoramic terrace, a delightful spot both for breakfast or a sundowner before a pintxo-crawl in the old town.

Your expert reviewer

Orla Thomas
Freelance journalist and editor
Orla Thomas is a freelance journalist and editor specialising in travel. She regularly contributes to The Times and The Sunday Times, National Geographic Traveller magazine and Lonely Planet, as well as writing about travel telly (among other things) for the Radio Times. Keen on nature walks and wild swimming, you can find her on both Instagram (@orlakthomas) and Twitter (@OrlaThomas).

THE DETAILS

Location

This otherwise sleepy part of Bilbao is enlivened by the Guggenheim Museum's star quality, drawing a slew of street performers as well as various upmarket cafés, bars, restaurants and shops.

Visit the Guggenheim - directly opposite the hotel! Or jump on the metro to visit Plaza Nueva and the historic food market to try some traditional Bilbao delicacies.
By plane: direct flights from London to Bilbao take 2 hours. The hotel is a 20-minute drive from the airport. Parking costs €25 per day. skyscanner.net

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Style & Character

Design-conscious couples here on a city break will love Gran Domine's monochrome palette and stellar social spaces, but it's also surprisingly family-friendly. We loved the many diverse pieces on display by contemporary artist Javier Mariscal, the Terence Conran of Spain.

Service & Facilities

Even the gym has the hotel's signature view, making it an inspiring place to put in some treadmill time (there's also strength-training equipment).

  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Terrace
  • Fitness centre
  • Wellness suite
  • Family-friendly
  • On-site parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

Rooms

Deluxe Rooms with Guggenheim View have a wonderful aspect over the glimmering scales of Frank Gehry's masterpiece, as well as king size beds. From effective soundproofing to carefully-curated minibars, fluffy robes and slippers to super-smooth linens, comfort is a top priority.

Smart, Superior, Deluxe, Premier, Junior Suite, Deluxe Suite, Studio Suite, Premier Suite, Penthouse Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, hairdryer, Nespresso machine, desk, TV, free Wi-Fi

Food & Drink

The rooftop terrace has a completely different atmosphere at night when the city lights are sparkling. The beautifully presented Domine Toast combines salmon, avocado, poached egg and pumpkin seeds, setting a high bar for a healthy breakfast.

Terrazza: rooftop terrace, breakfast and casual snacks. Open daily, 7-11am and 4-10pm.
Le Café: modern Spanish cuisine, all-day dining. Open daily, 11am-11:30pm.
Sixty-One: lobby bar, cocktails, wines and spirits. Open daily, 10pm-1am.

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