Villa Soro, San Sebastián $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
The city's hottest boutique hotel, this 25-room property occupies a renovated 19th-century villa that's been designated a historic landmark. The rooms, both in the main building and the adjacent brick carriage house, are outfitted with plain, no-nonsense furnishings in muted colors, and could use a little cheering up. Still, the king-size beds have plush linens, the roomy bathrooms have separate showers and tubs, and the amenities include bicycles you can borrow to ride around town, a wonderful breakfast served in the glass-enclosed patio, and minifridges stocked with free nonalcoholic drinks and snacks. There's also a stately common lounge and a mellow bar where you can get an aperitif before heading out to dine in the city. The location outside the city center—a short bike ride from Zurriola Beach and Gros—may put off those who like to be right in the middle of things.
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Like San Sebastiàn itself, the 1898 Villa Soro is elegant yet relaxed. In contrast to the more formal lounge, winter garden, and bar, the 25 rooms are low-key beauties, done in muted colors, with modern pieces by local artists. Besides such niceties as the complimentary minibar, Wi-Fi access, and large baths, the hotel provides beach towels and bicycles, making it a breeze to pedal over to Zurriola Beach for a dip. Since the Villa has no restaurant, book at Restaurante Kursaal, chef Martín Berasategui's table in the city's striking seafront cultural center. 2006 Hot List
When to go: July, to take advantage of the gorgeous beaches nearby; September and October, to sample the city's spectacular restaurants without the crowds.
Which room to book: Avoid the annex and specify a rear-facing garden view on the second floor (doubles, $167–$268).
Amenities: Bar/loungeSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›