Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

We landed in San Sebastian before noon on Tuesday and picked up our rental car at the airport. Soon after, we arrived at the Villa Soro, a 25-room hotel housed in a 19th century villa. Our large room with its’ own private terrace was on the first floor of the main house. Ten other bedrooms are in the brick-facade former carriage house out back. Villa Soro was included in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2006 Hot List. It is walking distance to Zurriola beach which makes it ideal for sand and sea. Its’ proximity to Calle Birmingham where several famous pintxos (pronounced pinchos) bars are located and to three-star Michelin restaurant Arzak also makes it very convenient for food lovers. Although the hotel is a good half hour’s walk to the center, bicycles are available for guests to use and luckily, San Sebastian has a wide boardwalk that skirts the bay plus dedicated bike lanes to make it an easy ride.

Villa Soro is the kind of hotel we love – small, quiet and not trendy. It’s an upscale bed and breakfast with comfortable lounge areas filled with magazines and newspapers. Although there is no proper restaurant, a simple menu is available and drinks are served at all times. The mini bar is also stocked with complimentary drinks. The hotel has complimentary WiFi access plus a small area with a computer for guests to use. The hotel was elegant with classic interiors and comfortable furniture mixed in with modern amenities.

A complete continental breakfast is included in the room price and served in the breakfast room near the bar or on the terrace when weather permits. Fresh orange juice, strong coffee, a basket of croissants and toast are served with a selection of fruit and a small plate of ham and cheese. Service was courteous and efficient and the reception helped us with several restaurant suggestions. On most nights, we sat in the lounge reading till late where A would have a cigar while I had an infusion right before bed.

Villa Soro is a place that I would gladly and strongly recommend to anyone who is planning a visit to San Sebastian.

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