For us, San Sebastian is special because this is where we honeymooned after our wedding. So, it was only fitting for us to go back to this gorgeous Basque Country stunner of a coastal town for a second honeymoon. And what topped our stay was the Hotel Villa Favorita San Sebastian, which is the crowning glory of this seaside town. This 23-room townhouse “hotel singular” sits in a beautifully preserved 19th-century mansion. It’s not only one of San Sebastian’s grandest old seaside structures but also one of La Concha’s last remaining private mansions. The gilded Belle Epoque atmosphere and the magnificent views of La Concha Bay only added to the romantic vibe.
Table of contents
- A suffusive blend of Belle Epoque and Modern Luxury
- Staying in the La Favorita Suite – The best room in the house
- Bespoke services in an adults-only heaven
- A Michelin-star dining experience at Villa Favorita San Sebastian
- De-stressing at the La Perla Spa
- Read Also
- Frequently Asked Questions
A suffusive blend of Belle Epoque and Modern Luxury
Villa Favorita is an offshoot of the heritage Hotel Londres and sits right on the beachfront promenade overlooking La Concha Bay, flatteringly called “Europe’s very own Rio.” Since my partner and I are history buffs, we were excited by the fact that the 19th-century villa where the hotel sits was one of many summer residences for Queen Maria Christina. In fact, she’d bring the entire court to town and stay here for months, which is what we’d have done too!
We were impressed right off the bat as we looked at the stunning white original French facade. On the inside, every corner felt like I wanted to post it to Instagram – it’s so exquisite. The blend of Belle Epoque and modern is courtesy of Rafael Sitges, the doyen of Spanish interior designers. He’s managed to balance bold (and old) glamour with exquisite taste. Think rustic rugs, marble tabletops, gorgeous hand-painted lifts, and wall murals of tropical vegetation. Even the antique pieces have been selected carefully. For instance, the 300-year-old German clock in the lobby has only 5 of its kind in the world! It was this chic reception where we were greeted before being offered complimentary cocktails at the bar as the staff quickly completed check-in.
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Staying in the La Favorita Suite – The best room in the house
Since it sits on what is one of Europe’s most beautiful bays, snagging a sea-view room at this hotel is a must. And since this was a second honeymoon, we thought, why not go for the best? That’s how we landed up in La Favorita – literally “The Favorite!” It’s said that even when the villa had just two floors, this was the best room in the house – and it is even today. Our suite sat right in the dead center of the second floor, offering one of the widest viewpoints over the heart of La Concha Bay. Our sun-baked room had the longest-lasting rays from dawn to dusk, and the beach felt right beneath us – we couldn’t ask for more.
Even then, the room was brimming with romantic energy. The soft grey and blue hues were innately coastal, but the maritime-inspired fittings and studded headboards lent it a splash of glam. However, it was the glassy, mirrored bathrooms that had the sexiest vibe, all done in black and white. Bespoke bath products aside, our room even had tea/coffee kits, beach towels, free Wi-Fi throughout, and a massive 49-inch TV for when we wanted to settle in. Did you know that the shower and bath in our bathroom faced the sea? Yep.
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Bespoke services in an adults-only heaven
One of our favorite things about Villa Favorita San Sebastian is that it’s adults-only. Since we wanted to unwind and relax in serenity, the adults-only vibe of the boutique hotel suited us perfectly. But what made it all the more special is that the hotel offers exceptional concierge services as well as many packages to visiting guests. Since we were looking for a romantic getaway in the Basque Country, we went for Romance Package. Besides accommodation, it also came with a welcome gift, breakfast on the hotel terrace, at the bar, and even in the comfort of our La Favorita!
But the best bit was that the hotel presented us with a bottle of the Ernest Remy Blanc de noir Grand Cru champagne. The 100% Pinot Noir was perfect for an aperitif as we watched the sunset in the Bay of Biscay. Did you know that they even have late check-out as part of this package? Yes!
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A Michelin-star dining experience at Villa Favorita San Sebastian
We’re total foodies, so Michelin-star gastronomy is a love language for us. We loved dining at the hotel’s Michelin-star basement restaurant, Amelia, helmed by award-winning chef Paulo Airaudo. Not only did we indulge in designer breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, but we even enjoyed organic wines. That said, the indoor-outdoor Bar was our absolute favorite haunt, as it has an impressive wine list and innovative cocktails. Our pre-dinner drinks were fixed here, as was our late-night coffee nightcap. In fact, the bar and its bartenders are so famous for their excellent coffee that 13 Michelin stars-winning world-famous Chef Martin Berasategui came here for his daily caffeine fix!
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De-stressing at the La Perla Spa
While the hotel has an amazing spa package, we wanted to explore the delights of the seaside La Perla Spa on our own. And what we found and experienced was one of the best thalassotherapy centers along the entire Cantabrian coast. The spa has a host of treatments ready to be dished out, ranging from therapeutic massages to even seawater circuits. Even though the spa isn’t part of the hotel but rather has a tie-up with them, we were absolutely impressed by their willingness to offer us services right in the comfort of our room. We needed a de-stressing after a long day of exploring San Sebastian on a day tour that included Old Town and a boat ride.
We chose the couples’ massages and treatments with sweeping views of La Concha Bay to soothe us even further. And, of course, we did visit the spa, too, taking advantage of its many panoramic spots, such as the panoramic jacuzzi. It was one of the best times of our vacation that we spent in each other’s company.
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- This villa-hotel offers an intimate stay on what is the most exclusive and expensive piece of real estate in San Sebastian.
- The decor is a soothing blend of grand Belle Epoque style and modern living comforts.
- The staff is helpful, knows vivid details of San Sebastian, and is the very epitome of professionalism.
- There are no traditional, modern hotel amenities, like a pool. However, the hotel is tied-up with the La Perla Spa, which has steam rooms, an indoor pool, an open-air hot tub, etc.
‘Favorita’ might not have been the villa’s original name, but it might as well have been! At the turn of the 20th century, La Concha Bay was studded with elegant and sophisticated European villas, which slowly disappeared until only one remained – Villa Favorita. Staying here at this timeless treasure made us feel like modern royalty as we experienced the grandeur of yesteryears while enjoying modern conveniences and mesmerizing views of La Concha Bay.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is airport shuttle service offered by Hotel Villa Favorita?
A: Yes, the hotel offers an airport shuttle for 165 EUR (180 USD) per vehicle one-way.
Q: What are the check-in and check-out times at Hotel Villa Favorita?
A: Check-in is from 3:00 pm onward, and check-out time is at noon. If you want contactless check-out, that’s available too.
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