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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Savor the Tastes of Spain in San Sebastián

This thriving seaside Basque city has solidified its status as a culinary capital with a gleaming new cooking school, remarkable bar food, and three-star Michelin restaurants.

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1. Where to Stay


The décor at Hotel Astoria 7 is inspired by the annual San Sebastián International Film Festival.  

Step back in time at Villa Soro (from $208, including breakfast), a renovated nineteenth-century villa designated as one of San Sebastián's Historical Heritage buildings near the Parte Vieja (Old Town). Its 25 rooms combine the comfortable touches of a bed and breakfast with Old World grandeur, like tall French doors that open onto private terraces. Aside from breakfast, there's no dining here, but you can enjoy afternoon tea in front of the antique fireplace or have a drink at the bar and admire the original oak paneling in the former dining room.

Wake up with a view of the sea from your in-room balcony at Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra (from $200), built in 1865 at the center of La Concha beach. Once the residence of Queen Isabella II before her exile in Paris, today it's the best option if you want to maximize your time on the sand. At night, have a glass of cava ($6) on the terrace of Bar Swing and admire the turn-of-the-century nautical décor including a large, glass-encased model of a whaling ship and paintings depicting the city’s history as a mercantile power.

Tap into the local love affair with film at Hotel Astoria 7 (from $195), which opened in 2009 as the city's first contemporary design hotel. Inspired by the local film festival held every September, each of the rooms is dedicated to a different actor or filmmaker who has appeared at the festival since its inception in 1953, but in all of them, you'll find career-summarizing placards above the bed and "do not disturb" signs featuring an old macabre Hitchcock joke.


Published on Sep 6, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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