Spain‘s northern region of the Basque Country may not be the first place you think of for a romantic break, but its dramatic coastline, gourmet restaurants and vibrant cities make it an excellent spot. Here’s our pick for the most romantic hotels in the Basque Country
Situated out in the countryside in the Gipuzkoa area of the Basque Country, you’ll find the Iriarte Jauregia Hotel. Set in a lush valley, surrounded by nature, the hotel uses the natural environment as inspiration for its decor, featuring lots of stone, wood and natural tones. Couples can spend their time here strolling around the hotel’s beautiful gardens, relaxing on the terrace, sitting in the cosy lounge-library or dining at the gourmet Bailara Restaurant.
Hotel Zubieta is located in the small and picturesque coastal town of Lekeitio. Housed in a beautiful historic building, dating back to the 17th century, it offers stunning countryside views and is just a short walk to the beach. Inside, guests will find lots of old wooden beams and rafters, wrought iron lamps, cosy fireplaces and warming tones of terracottas and creams. Rooms are snug and homey with lots of citrus colours and the added romantic element of headboard drapes and four-poster beds. The hotel also offers a quaint gourmet bistrot, bicycle rental and a bicycle workshop.
Located in the picturesque Basque city of San Sebastián, the five-star Hotel Maria Cristina is one of the most luxurious in town. Both elegant and grand, this historic hotel first opened in 1912, and offers spectacular beach views. Common spaces are filled with Belle Epoch glamour – grand marble staircases, gilt-edged mirrors and glittering chandeliers. The bedrooms on the other hand, have a more contemporary feel to them with bright modern artwork on the walls, and a grey and lavender colour palette. Luxurious hotel services include a fine dining restaurant, a cooking school, a chic bar and a fitness centre.
Hotel Villa Soro is a four-star hotel located in the city of San Sebastián, not far from Zurriola Beach. Housed in a lovely old Basque house, covered in Tudor-style wood beams, it has just 25 rooms. The rooms are light and bright, decorated in various shades of white and cream. Features of the hotel include a small gym, a beautifully manicured garden and an elegant bar, made from ornately carved wood.
The Hotel Ercilla Embarcadero can be found in the charming estuary town of Getxo, not far from the city of Bilbao and close to the World Heritage Puente Colgante – the oldest working hanging bridge in the world. The hotel resembles a large mansion, decorated with red brick and stone, while inside, the spacious rooms offer romantic river views and are decorated with floral wallpaper and dark wood furniture. Facilities include a restaurant, bar and outdoor terrace.
What could be more romantic than staying in a hotel housed in an old castle? Situated within the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, the Castillo de Arteaga belongs to the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group. Built in the 13th century, the castle was remodelled by the Empress Maria Eugenia de Montijo, wife of Emperor Napoleon III. Decorated in the style of a neo-medieval palace, it was inspired by French Gothic architecture. Inside, the bedrooms are truly fit for royalty with huge lavish beds, bare brick walls and old beams on the ceilings. The hotel also has its own wine cellar and a gourmet fine dining restaurant.
The Hotel Iturregi can be found in the small village of Askizu, around a 40-minute drive west of San Sebastián. Situated not far from the spectacular Basque coastline, surrounded by txakoli vineyards it’s a romantic hotel with a stylish modern interior and a classic Basque style exterior. The huge rooms are individually styled with sophisticated decor, cosy sofas and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains or the Getaria lighthouse. A beautiful swimming pool and an elegant restaurant complete the picture.
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