Hotel Review: Mercure San Sebastian Monte Igueldo, San Sebastian, Spain

Hotel Review / Spain

San Sebastian, in the northern reaches of Spain isn’t front and centre in the spotlight as some of the more frequently visited destinations of Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and even Valencia are. However any trip to Spain requires a visit to San Sebastian and this amazing city located in the heart of Basque Country is not only beautiful but it also showcases a completely different Spanish culture compared to the southern most reaches of the country. A visit to San Sebastian can be made all the more special by a stay at the stunningly located Mercure San Sebastian Monte Igueldo located a short 5 minute drive from the city centre and offers views that you won’t get anywhere else in the world.


Mercure San Sebastian Monte Igueldo at a glance

Price: €150.00 per night
Car Parking: 100 spaces available
Check In: 12:00pm
Check Out: 12:00pm
Floor: 2 (Standard Room, Sea View)
Rewards Programme: Le Club Accor Hotels

The Mercure San Sebastian Monte Igueldo is located in what can only be described as one of the most stunning locations in the world. The hotel is perched high above the city at the summit of Monte Igueldo overlooking the city and La Concha Bay offering 360 degree views of the entire region. Not only is the view from the hotel one of the many unique traits, this hotel also has surrounding it an old style amusement park and an observation tower soaring above the hotel. Where else do you get a hotel with all of that?

I was staying at the Mercure San Sebastian Monte Igueldo whilst travelling around Europe on the Busabout Hop-On Hop-Off coach network, where San Sebastian is one of the stops on the West loop. Initially I was looking at only spending one night in San Sebastian, but when I came across the Mercure San Sebastian Monte Igueldo hotel I changed my travel plans for a three night stopover. The views from the hotel itself are enough to make you want to stay here. Spending time here was also a nice mid point for travelling around Europe to have a nice relaxing time with a view by the pool.

On arrival into San Sebastian through Busabout, the drop off point was the Urban House Hostel in the centre of town. From here it was short walk to the taxi rank and I was taken to the hotel in no time at all. Upon check-in we were greeted by the friendly English speaking staff and I was promptly given my room on the second floor of the hotel. Even though this was only the second floor the views from this sea view room were still stunning.

The room itself was what you would expect from a standard hotel and I would probably say that my expectations were held pretty high given the amount I was spending per night to stay at this hotel. It’s clear that while the room was great and nothing was wrong with it, you are essentially paying for the amazing views that you get from your room and the outdoor balcony that comes with it. If this were just any other hotel located in the middle of the city with no view, then you wouldn’t be paying this amount of money to stay here.

One of the problems with this hotel is the fact that it’s so far away from anything that you don’t have many options for going out for food unless you are willing to travel. It’s fine for travelers who have their own car, however after an exhausting day of travelling on a coach I didn’t really have many options for dinner other than a quick snack at the outdoor cafe that caters to tourists visiting the summit during the day. It closes at around 6:00pm leaving you with the only other option but to dine at the hotel, which isn’t a cheap option.

On my first night staying at the hotel the area surrounding that incorporates an old amusement park was closed off to general visitors as a concert was being held. It was a good opportunity to go and check out the pool of the hotel which allowed me to view the concert stage. The pool is located on an elevated level, not on top of the hotel but next to it at a level slightly below rooftop level and overlooks the amusement park giving you great views of the ocean and the rocky cliffs surrounding the area. Unfortunately the pool closes at 8:00pm which I thought was quite early in peak summer season, so I was asked to leave.

At night the city starts to come alive, from the sea view room you gain impressive views of San Sebastian glowing off the water in the bay. Looking in a easterly direction gave me the motivation to wake up early each morning to view the sunrise, and they didn’t disappoint. Gaining access to the front of the hotel early in the morning can be hard as it is locked off incorporating the amusement park. However hotel staff will let you gain access to the outside balcony from the hotel lounge which also includes a bar that is open during the day for hotel guests. Once outside on the balcony you can simply step over a small barrier to the amusement park to give you uninterrupted views.

The hotel offers guests the opportunity to have breakfast at the hotel. At an additional cost of €15.50 per person if you’re able to hold out you will find much better and cheaper options down in the city centre. I came across a small cafe with fresh baked goods, coffee and freshly squeezed juice and only paid about €5.00 in total for a number of items.

Going off to explore San Sebastian from the hotel can be a problem depending on how you like to travel. Being up early in the morning meant I was too early to catch the Funicular down the hill as it didn’t open until 10:00am. You could call for a taxi to take you into town, but there’s no fun in that so I walked down the hill which didn’t take long at all. Once you reach the bottom it’s a flat walk all the way around the bay until you reach the centre of town taking about 20 minutes at a good pace.

Coming back up to the hotel the hill is quite steep so you will probably want to catch the Funicular back to the top. The Funicular connects you to the amusement park surrounding the hotel and is quite a fun way of getting back to the top. It’s cheap method of transport to get you up and down from the summit, a return ticket costing you €3.15 or €1.75 for a one way ticket.

Monte Igueldo Amusement Park

Another draw card to this hotel is the awesome little amusement park that surrounds the Mercure San Sebastian Monte Igueldo hotel featuring old school rides for both young and old. The amusement park is over 100 years old and features dodgem cars, a small roller-coaster, floating bumper ducks, a boat ride and smaller side amusements for winning prizes.

Even someone who hates rides such as myself it was still pretty cool and I even went on most of the rides which is something I would never normally do. The roller-coaster is pretty tame but for me that would have been my limit when it comes to rides. It was enjoyable as it basically does a lap around the park and the hotel swimming pool giving you great views along the way.

Even if you don’t plan on staying at this hotel it is well worth coming up to Monte Igueldo for a visit, check out the views and even have a little go on a few rides. Staying at the Mercure San Sebastian Monte Igueldo was a great experience and a great place to stay for a mid point of a trip around Europe at a time in the trip where a relaxing couple of days was needed. Staying here you will immerse yourself within one of the best views in the world and you also get the wackiness of having a old style amusement park surrounding you and access to a Funicular.

However, the hotel itself whilst good, is very overpriced for what it offers. I understand that you are paying for the view, there is no doubt about it, but if you take away the fact that you have this impressive view then you are left with an ordinary hotel that would be considered overpriced. I’m glad I stayed here and it was a great three nights, but I don’t think I would be able to justify staying here again on a return visit to San Sebastian.

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Hotel Rating: Mercure San Sebastian Monte Igueldo
  • Location
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Just your average guy doing his 9 - 5 job as a Senior Payroll Officer by day, writing about his travel adventures and hopefully giving you inspiration and ideas for your next travel adventure here at loneXplorer...

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