A short drive from Biarritz, San Sebastian is a destination for foodies worldwide. With more Michelin stars per capita than most bustling metropolises, the coastal town offers an entirely unique take on Spanish culture. Yet, the food isn’t all San Sebastian has going for it. Offering beautiful views of the turquoise ocean from Playa de la Concha, the delightful ambience of its old town Parte Vieja and late nineteenth century architecture, this locale has a great deal to offer. Here are our picks on where to eat, stay and play:
Boasting three Michelin stars since 1989, Arzak traces its humble roots back to 1897 as a tavern led by chef Juan Mari Arzak’s grandmother. A truly unique dining experience Arzak and his daughter Elena, voted the world’s greatest female chef, do not shy away from modernity in presentation. Pigeon is garnished with hibiscus, mushroom puff pastries are served with light onion and foie gras mousse and plates are placed on a LCD screen with flickering images.
Overlooking Bay of Biscay, Akelarre has offered patrons an unparalleled dining experience for the past 35 years. The 3-Michelin starred restaurant is led by Chef Pedro Subijana and his half-a-century of experience is palpable in the dishes. He fuses traditional Spanish recipes with modern twists. Selecting a tasting menu is highly recommended, as the dishes are entirely unique to Akelare.
With Andoni Luis Aduriz at the helm of the kitchen, Mugaritz offers patrons a 20 course meal served in the gardens around the restaurant. Bringing together the distinctive elements of the mountains and sea, the menu ventures to all altitudes for the produce that makes up each dish. The cuisine has been aptly described as techno-emotional Spanish.
Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel
Since 1912 Hotel Maria Cristina has been a landmark in San Sebastian. A Starwood property, it is a Luxury Collection Hotel. From gracious hospitality to furnishings reminiscent of the belle époque era, guests will be immersed in a sophisticated palette of greys and whites with rooms equipped with the latest in technology.
Topped by the castle Castillo de la Mota and an impressive statue of Christ, visitors can hike the hill from Plaza de Zuloaga or from behind the aquarium. Featuring breathtaking views and leafy parkland all the way up, it’s a quiet yet active way to spend the day. Don’t forget a bottle of water as it can get warm on the trip up.
For more information about San Sebastian, contact your Insignia Personal Assistant.