Villa Soro, San Sebastián hotel review

Why book?

To stay in one of the coolest and smartest hotels in San Sebastian, just a 10 minute walk from the beach and the heart of the unexplored city.

Set the scene

a large, spacious house set in a 19th-century gothic style house that could really look like a house in the highlands of the Swiss Alps or even the Transylvanian bourgeoisie; All the roofs have black spiked arches and tall, intricately framed windows.

It may be the lovely Belle Epoque but it retains the feeling of its long past as a home even at full capacity, it doesn’t feel occupied at all and the atmosphere, great for a city area, is relaxing: it’s the kind of place you can make your way for breakfast close by. 11am and you find lots of other people still doing the same thing; Relax in the lounge enjoying books curated by Assouline with a glass of local txakoli wine.

The crowd is the same: gentle, confident, polite, more mature, quiet. The kind that wears dark blue layered gelite with a clean white shirt. The artistic bones of San Sebastian are hinted at throughout, the Basque sculptor Inigo Manterola meticulously works the expansive front garden (which guests can purchase, after which it will be replaced with a new one), the stained glass window and ceiling displays and more sculptures and abstract art such as Eduardo Chillida, as well as oil paintings in serene corners.

See Also: The Best Hotels in Saint Tropez

The backstory

a former aristocratic villa built in 1898 in a secluded stable and designed by Luis Elizalde, Villa Soro was a hotel for decades before being taken over and reimagined by Soldevila-Ferrers, the family behind sensational European surfers St. launched in April 2022.

The paint was completely dry during our stay and we found newer, simpler furnishings, and a deep black, white and green color palette – effectively drawn from the monochromatic towers and expansive lawns. Front and thorough – mixed with local furnishings and fabrics, parquet floors and chapel-like planks (the remains of the chapel inside the house), all under a beautiful, original and timeless ceiling.

Meanwhile, the stables, or Caballeriza, are more modern and simple than the main house, with several private gardens enclosed behind a fresh new fence and gray subway-style bathroom tiles. The elegant and comprehensive reimagining of the 25-room hotel makes it one of the best boutique places to book in San Sebastian right now, if not the best.

The rooms

All rooms are very spacious, with restored antiques, table, dining table, and a small bed and bed – so big and soft you’ll want to enjoy them for days. The diptyque toiletries in the plaid bathroom are delightful.

Choose from more upscale options in the main building and slightly newer and simpler suites in the former stables. If you can, book a suite with a balcony and bathroom (number 12 is perfect), and don’t be bothered by the rooms downstairs, each with an open space. Tip: Are you looking for a full length mirror? It’s in the cupboard door.

The food and drink

than any hotel to use as a base to go into town and sample Michelin starred restaurants and bars rather than a place to stay and eat only local dishes and snacks like croquettes, cinco ham, cheese and quince served with Rioja Alavesa wine for a snack Lunch or dinner via Delicatessan or Egukzi Soro Bar and Garden (or room service).

However, breakfast can be as much as you want, from granola-type muesli and local yogurt with fruit to eggs served however you like, either in the library bar-style dining room or straight to your bed or terrace. The minibar options are also very high specs, including canned cashews and Lindt chocolate boxes in very small boxes.

The spa

When the previous meeting room downstairs was converted into two new bougie (or txikia in Basque) treatment rooms and a welcome area, the hotel team wasn’t sure how popular the spa offerings at this city vacation-focused hotel were, with everyone looking to make the most of their time. to stroll the narrow streets and nearby beaches.

But within weeks, both rooms were almost fully booked. Maintenance is simple, there are pretty much no big pre-filled forms or endless questions about your eating and bathroom habits; Just a quick peek under the spotlight before a beauty session, for example—and totally daydream, using Anne Semonin’s products (including pregnancy-safe options, if you need them).

The neighbourhood

is a 10 minute walk from the waterfront, Playa de Zorriola (busy with surfers if that’s a bloated call) and the center of the ‘City’ (San Sebastian only has 200,000 residents at its peak), Villa Soro is, by London visitor standards, very close. One of the most exciting and exclusive neighborhoods San Sebastian has to offer. You’ll feel even closer if you take advantage of the stylish black city bikes that are available to all guests.

While the family-run Saltxepi is a few minutes’ walk away and ideal if the weather arrives for the evening – foodies travel far for a refreshing crab salad – the unrivaled eclectic pintxos bar scene, the Basque equivalent of tapas, is 20 Or so. one a few minutes walk and secures San Sebastian’s reputation as one of the best dining destinations in the world.

If you can, book a pintxos trip with local celebrity and jeep Eskerne Falcón, aka Esky, via his knowledge of the sights here is excellent and his passion for eating out, his hometown, and meeting new people amazing. intentional. (Tip: The highlight of our tour are the mussels with almond cream, garlic and coffee vinegar at Casa Aurola.)

Also don’t miss a visit to the Museo San Telmo, a converted convent that looks like some kind of brutal concrete bunker from its entrance in the heart of the city. funicular for full views of San Sebastian; The 11-hectare restored Chilida Lecco Museum Sculpture Park managed by Hauser and Wirth is a short drive away; Or the Petritegi Sagardotegia Cidery, run by the same family for the last six generations, where you’ll be one of the few tourists amongst the crowds of Basque regulars enjoying the house’s signature cider menu – which includes plenty of cider (a ‘must’) – On certain weekends.

Don’t be surprised by the random high-pitched cat calls, it’s their way of showing their appreciation for the rates here. The wisest place to start when planning your travel plans, to ensure you get the most out of all the area has to offer, is the Tourist Board in San Sebastian The service

The service

and assertive without being overbearing at all We asked for a plug adapter and five different styles of the same type the same was brought to our rooms for us to choose from The local staff are happy to chat as much or as little as you like about the city, its history and its quirky ways

For families

while the atmosphere when We stayed was quite calm and elegant, we are sure the warm staff would bend over backwards to welcoming babies, toddlers and small children (and the walls between the rooms are very thick!). There are no connecting rooms at the hotel, and however, rollaway beds and cots are also available.

Eco effort

and the like in heavy duty “plastic pet” bottles so they can be reused, hot water is partly generated by solar panels and most of the food served at breakfast and dinner is locally sourced.

Accessibility for those with mobility impairments

All rooms are wheelchair accessible and there is one room without architectural barriers. The restaurant, bar and lounge are located on the ground floor, while the gym and spa are accessible via lift.

Anything left to mention?

While a bit of road noise can be made from the more spacious rooms at the front during the day (your first world’s sacrifice to have the biggest windows and terrace), it’s quiet at night, and the drive and high front gardens create expansive views. safe space between the mansion and the street below.

To be honest, considering this is a city hotel, it’s quite surprising that the street noise is not heard anymore. (And you can always take one of the rooms in the converted stables, even backwards.)

A conference room in a previous life, there’s now a very stylish and totally inviting little gym downstairs on the ground floor, with cool whites in place of the steam glasses. traditional. There is also talk of a personal trainer and the possible launch of a running club in 2023.

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