Checking in at Hotel de Londres y Inglaterra, San Sebastián
I remember that when I first started reading blogs way back when, I was totally amazed that sometimes people got to go and review hotels. Aa a self confessed travel obsessive, it was one of those things that I had on my own blogging bucket list, and I've been lucky enough to stay at some gorgeous places. However I've never had a pinch me moment quite like when we checked into Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra a couple of weeks ago. When researching hotels for our trip to San Sebastián, we couldn't find anything that quite compared to this place. Sure, there were plenty of places that looked beautiful, but none of them had the incredible sea views, the perfect location or the old school Hollywood glamour that Hotel de Londres offers. It's the sort of seaside hotel that's hard to come by these days - chic, elegant and totally luxurious.
We arrived at the hotel early afternoon and despite being advised that check in was from 3pm, we were pleased to find that our room was already ready. The staff were pleasant and friendly and got through the necessary paper work quickly before showing us to our room, which was on the 7th floor.
I'm going to blow any sort of cool girl credibility that I might somehow have acquired right now by telling you that as soon as the door slammed behind us, I ran around the room with the exact same levels of giddiness that Kevin does when he checks into The Plaza on Home Alone 2.
My eyes didn't know where to look first - the gigantic cloud bed, the marble bathroom, the comfy lounge area. But of course, once I'd spotted the view from our window, everything else paled into insignificance. We were lucky enough to be staying in one of their attic rooms which come with a huge terrace that overlooks the beach. As soon we stepped out onto it, all of our plans for the afternoon were cancelled in favour of reclining on a lounger in the sunshine and lapping up some fresh sea air.
Which is exactly what we did for circa 4 hours. It was honestly one of the most relaxing afternoons I've had this year and I had to pinch myself every five minutes to check that this was real life. Soaking up the sunshine with the sound of the sea lapping below us was just what we needed after a busy few days exploring Bilbao, and I loved how the terrace felt so private but still close to the action too.
The view only got better as the sun started to set, and wrapped up in the fluffy robes and slippers that Hotel de Londres provide, Sam and I stood on the terrace and soaked in every last second of it. It was lovely to see La Concha beach move from day to night - I was amazed at how busy the city still was in mid-October and I can only imagine what it's like in August!
Sunset view admired, it was time to get ready for dinner. I was so blooming excited to make use of the marble bathroom and it didn't disappoint - the shower was way more powerful than I've come to expect in a hotel and they really had thought of everything in terms of toiletries. Plus the mirror was huge and very well lit - a dream for anyone who is applying make up after dusk.
We headed out for dinner in the Old Town which is conveniently about a 5 or 6 minute walk from Hotel de Londres. The location is definitely a selling point with this hotel as San Sebastián is deceptively big, and had we been staying down the other end of the bay, our pintxos crawl plans would have been a lot more difficult. The proximity of the hotel meant that only a couple of hundred metres stood between the last bar and our bed, which we felt very grateful for considering how full we felt.
And when we did reach our bed, we were both seriously happy! I'm not exaggerating when I say that this bed was HUGE - I don't think I even realised that there was someone sharing the bed with me for most of the night because we had so much space. The pillows were super comfy too, and all of the linen was as high quality as you would expect for a hotel like this. We decided to leave the doors to the terrace open when we headed to bed, and with the sound of the waves lapping against the shore, Sam and I both drifted off into a deep sleep.
Sadly we didn't have much time to laze about the following morning as we had an early flight home to catch, but if we had have done, I'd have ordered our breakfast to the room and made use of the terrace by watching the sunrise while we ate. Instead, we packed up quickly and headed down for the breakfast buffet which is served in one of the big grand rooms on the ground floor. Sam and I were both impressed with the choice - they had everything from hot breakfast options to freshly baked pastries and fruit.
With full, happy bellies, Sam and I begrudgingly checked out of Hotel de Londres ready to head to the airport. Our stay there was short and sweet, but ended up being the favourite part of our trip by far. It not only offered us the perfect base to explore San Sebastián, but always helped us to enjoy the city while also getting some much needed down time. It was my favourite hotel experience to date (and I've stayed in a lot of hotels!) and we're already planning how we can get ourselves back there pronto.
Have you been to San Sebastián before? Where did you stay?
*Our stay at Hotel de Londres was complimentary in exchange for an honest review. As ever, all opinions are my own.