A New Look for a Belle Époque Hotel
Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel and the Urumea river
In its 100 year history, Hotel Maria Cristina has established quite an impressive pedigree—constructed at the height of the Belle Époque by French architect Charles Mewes (also of the Ritz Carlton in Paris), it’s namesake, Queen Maria Cristina was the first to pass through its doors in July 1912, and thanks to the start of the San Sebastian Film Festival in 1953 (this year, it’s 60th anniversary, is kicking off tomorrow) a swath of international celebrities have called it home as well: Gregory Peck, Robert DeNiro, Elizabeth Taylor, and Sophia Loren, among others.
A renovated guestroom
To mark the 100th anniversary of the 136-room property, which is a stone’s throw from the Urumea River, it has undergone an extensive $25 million renovation to update it’s classic Belle Époque feel. There’s new millwork in the dramatic marble lobby, feminine accents of velvet and damask, updated guest rooms dressed in a palette inspired by pastel-colored macaroons, and a blue and bronze rethink of the in-hotel bar Dry, where Bette Davis is rumored to have smoked her last cigarette before passing away. And if you need any more reminders of the property’s illustrious past, the entry halls of each suite are filled with photos of icons who visited the property from the opening through the 1950s.
Photos: Courtesy of Hotel Maria Cristina