The second entrant from the esteemed Hotel Tres Reyes chain, this elegant outpost draws upon more than half a century of hospitality. The decor is eclectic and cosmopolitan, conceived by the illustrious interior designer Lázaro Rosa Violán. It blends the old with the new and the local with the global, resulting in a unique, atmospheric space typical of the Barcelona-based designer’s style.
When first approaching, the location seems like nothing to write home about. Pulling off the main road, you’ll pass a smattering of industrial offices that lead to the hotel’s modernist exterior, featuring black corrugated panelling and an angular, squared silhouette. However, when you enter the lobby, you’re greeted with parquet flooring, sun-soaked lounge areas and floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the greenery onto which the hotel backs.
Depending on your preference, the locale is either a deterrent or a benefit. While other hotels in the region have beachfront views and instant access to bars and restaurants, Hotel Tres Reyes feels like an oasis enveloped by the woodland peaks. You have a panorama of the Ulía, Peña del Haya, Larrun, and Jaizkibel ranges at your doorstep. I enjoyed waking up to birdsong and mountainous scenery, knowing that I was only a 10-minute drive or 20-minute bus trip to the coastline and bustling heart of the town.
Rooms and Suites
There are 80 rooms available, spanning three categories: Premium, Deluxe, and Suite. I stayed in one of the six-suite rooms, which, at 323 square feet (30 square metres), provides ample room to unwind. Simple, modern decor featuring industrial fixtures, wooden accents and a minimalist colour scheme contrasts with the classic Belle Époque style of much of San Sebastian.
A partition divider cleverly utilises the space, allowing you to pull out hidden roller doors to create privacy between the sleeping and lounge areas. With a flat screen on either side, you can watch television from the bed or couches. Another spot to decompress is from the pièce de résistance – a freestanding bathtub tucked beside the king-sized bed.
The abundant natural light and blanket of forestland from the window paints a serene picture. The Premium and Deluxe rooms don’t have the same leafy vantage and amenities, so to fully experience the hotel, I recommend booking a suite.
Food and Drink
The dining room’s contemporary classic design includes rustic details like a wooden, marble-topped island with architectural pillars and hanging lights. A fully windowed exterior allows daylight to bathe the space from tiled floor to high ceiling, and with well over half the days of the year in high sun, you’re likely to enjoy sunlit meals.
A morning at Hotel Tres Reyes begins like every day of a relaxing vacation should — with an extensive buffet. Brimming with traditional Spanish and international selections, you’ll wake up to a spread of fresh pastries, hot dishes, fruits, granolas and local specialities.
As the day progresses, the hotel offers a dual dining experience at lunch. Guests can opt for a drop-in buffet showcasing an eclectic mix of local and global flavours. However, for those seeking a more personalised dining experience, the a la carte menu proposes dishes like house-marinated salmon with dill sprouts and yoghurt, gazpacho variations, and Basque mushroom croquettes underscoring the region’s rich culinary heritage. As the day draws to a close, the Lobby Bar and its serene terraces are a peaceful spot to recline and reminisce.
For those committed to maintaining their exercise routine on vacation, the hotel’s state-of-the-art fitness centre presents an impressive array of amenities. If lazing around with a book is more your speed, the outdoor pool set against the backdrop of the Basque forest provides a blissful atmosphere. As the day wanes, recline poolside with a cocktail and soak in the vistas of the sun setting over the hills.
Beyond the tranquil confines of the hotel, San Sebastián is a quintessentially European seaside haven a 10-15 minute drive away. Given its proximity to southwest France, it boasts French-influenced elements among its unmistakably Spanish character. This is especially evident in the Belle Époque architecture of the elegant buildings that line the beachfront and the Old Town. It’s little wonder that this resort town was a favoured holiday destination for European royalty during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The iconic crescent-shaped La Concha beach beckons lazy strolls and afternoon dips, the Buen Pastor Cathedral is a relic of the area’s rich history, and the meandering cobblestone alleys of the Old Town are ripe for exploration. With Pintxos bars lining the streets, the local culinary gems rival those of global capitals, and the town hosts a constellation of Michelin-starred restaurants.
For those travelling from the UK, there are limited direct flights to San Sebastián Airport from City Airport, London, with British Airways. The most common route is flying to Biarritz Airport, which is how I travelled. From here, it’s an easy 45-minute drive to San Sebastian, with ample parking at the hotel. Another option is flying to Bilbao Airport, about one hour from San Sebastian.
Hotel Tres Reyes San Sebastián is a modern addition to the timeless charm of San Sebastián, married beautifully with the legacy and luxury that Hotel Tres Reyes brings. Despite its substantial offerings, this is one of the most reasonably priced suites I’ve stayed in. If you’re looking for a comfortable room without the beachfront premium, this is where to trade coastal proximity with seclusion and spaciousness in one of Northern Spain’s most charming cities.
Address: Dulce Maria Loynaz Kalea, 7, 20014 Donostia, Gipuzkoa