Concierge.com's insider take:
If you crave peace and quiet and don't mind renting a car, head for this hotel in a sedate hillside neighborhood of San Sebastián. Opened in 2002, the property is named for a nearby royal palace (a landmark that once served as a residence for royalty—and infamous dictator Francisco Franco). The 75 rooms have wood floors, clean-lined IKEA-type furnishings, and your choice of pillows; the soundproof floor-to-ceiling windows (some with balconies beyond) provide views of the lush Basque landscape. The top floor has a small fitness center, sauna, and solarium with chaise longues. Even if you have a car, you should make the trip downtown on foot at least once; during the 20-minute downhill trek along the Paseo de Aiete, you'll get a beautiful view of the city, the coastline, and some precariously perched houses.