In honor of its centenary in 2012, San Sebastián’s Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, closed last February to undergo a $25 million update led by the London-based design firm HBA. The historic Spanish property—a Belle Epoque landmark originally designed by the French architect Charles Mewès—reopened in October after a radical yet respectful renovation.
The nine-month project largely retained Mewès’s original details in the public spaces—soaring ceilings, intricate plasterwork, towering marble pillars—but the hotel overhauled its aging infrastructure and 136 guest rooms. The finished product blends new and old in a package perfectly suited to its seaside-Basque-city home.
In a region that has become an international dining destination, the Hotel Maria Cristina offers two restaurants that serve, respectively, Asian and pan-European fare. Cocktails at the Dry San Sebastián Bar are almost as intoxicating as the city itself. Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, +34.943.437600, www.luxurycollection.com