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WHAT WE LOVE...

Tucked away down a peaceful side street in the Gros area of Spain's culinary capital, this hotel offers a good-value base for those who'd rather spend their money in the city's Michelin-starred restaurants and myriad pintxo bars. There isn't a place to eat on site, but you hardly need one, with the excellent Bar Desy right on your doorstep and many more mere streets away. Rooms are cleverly designed to maximise minimal space, and beds punch way above their price-point, with the quality mattresses and linens you'd expect in a much more expensive hotel. Staff are friendly and relaxed, equally happy to relieve you of your sandy surfboard (the beach is close by) or furnish you with a recommendation for an evening out.

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

Ringed by bars serving snacks and cerveza at outdoor tables, nearby San Ignacio Square is a winning spot for a sundowner - with a playground for any kids in tow.

The beach is a 10-minute walk from the hotel and the Old Town is 20 minutes' away - with its medieval castle and scenic viewpoints.
By plane: direct flights from London to Bilbao take 2 hours. The hotel is an hour's drive from the airport. Parking costs €20 per day. skyscanner.net

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Style & Character

Couples or families who plan on spending most of their time in San Sebastián out exploring will find Hotel Arrizul Congress a welcoming base. We loved the decorative flourishes on the hotel's pale stone exterior, from wreathed medallions to bijou balconies.

Service & Facilities

Guests are invited to have a welcome drink in the stylish hotel lobby. Take a window seat and watch the world go by as you sip your glass of cava.

  • Breakfast room
  • Lounge
  • Fitness centre
  • Bike rental
  • Family-friendly
  • Free Wi-Fi

Rooms

The Duplex Suite is cleverly-designed for families, with grown-ups on the ground floor and kids tucked away on a mezzanine level upstairs. An in-room fridge is stocked with complimentary bottled water and soft drinks, plus space enough to fit in some extras.

Single, Deluxe Double, Suite, Duplex Suite, Congress Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, kettle, mini fridge, air conditioning, TV, free Wi-Fi

Food & Drink

There's something for everyone at breakfast, from bowls of granola to charcuterie, and fruit platters to freshly-squeezed orange juice. The made-to-order scrambled eggs are delicious with pan con tomate - toasted bread served with crushed tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and salt.

Breakfast: served in the basement dining room, buffet and à la carte options available.
Coffee corner: available in the lobby, free coffee, soft drinks and snacks. Daily, 12-8pm.

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