Driving up the narrow lane, surrounded by vineyards and farmland, the Hotel San Prudentzio rises out of the landscape, perched on a hill in the Basque countryside. We left our car by the front door, and ducked inside this hidden gem.
As you can imagine, the views from this property are indescribable. Its hilltop setting affords stunning views of the rolling hills, vineyards, and the rocky Cantabrian Coast of Basque Country, Spain. We had arrived in Spain not knowing much about the area, or its proximity to wine and ocean, so needless to say, we were thoroughly impressed.
The Hotel San Prudentzio was completely refurbished in 2013, so everything is fresh and bright. The small lobby is filled with funky and colorful furniture, cool and vintage, bathed in sunlight from the wall of windows that leads out to the patio and showcases the views around the hills of Getaria.
We were greeted with a glass of house made txakoli (a deliciously crisp white wine from this region that the hotel bottles themselves), a plate of cured anchovies and bread, a relaxing snack out on the terrace while we waited for our room to be ready. Unlike most of my previous experiences arriving early at a hotel, when it’s normal to be asked to come back later or spend money in the lobby bar, we were left to unwind from the drive and drink wine.
Not a bad way to be greeted and begin our adventures in Basque Country.
Of course, unlike many urban, chain hotels, this property has a real history. The hotel is now run by sisters Nerea and Ainhoa, the third generation to run the hotel. Their grandfather started the business over sixty years ago, and over time, aunts and uncles have stepped in to help to oversee the business. Now, Nerea and Ainhoa are in charge, overseeing the recent renovations and updates to the building.
The connection to the past is strong and in full view, as the hallway leading to the rooms upstairs is covered in photos of their family, with images of the building from the 1960s, family gatherings over the years, and a few of their grandfather working around the grounds.
I love how the hotel embraces its connection to the past, and how it translates into a real feeling of family and hospitality.
The rooms are all tastefully appointed, with modern, updated showers (love rain head showers!) and many have balconies to soak in the ocean views. Our double was comfortable and colorful, with large, sweeping doors out to the terrace to let in the sun and ocean breeze.
In the morning, I arrived downstairs to the lobby to find a indulgent breakfast spread (included in the room rate), featuring a variety of pastries, breads, and cakes local to the Basque region. Each morning I sampled something a little different, yet always utterly decadent.
There were fresh fruits, granola, and yogurt on offer, but why go that route when you have a cake filled with pastry cream, or a tart topped with caramelized pears?
Enjoying a coffee and a plate full of treats, was the perfect way to begin our days in Basque Country.
Most importantly though, the Hotel San Prudentzio feels like home. Comfortable and laid back, yet accommodating and beautiful. While certainly off the beaten path, it is mere minutes from the town of Getaria, the ocean, and the many txakoli vineyards when we felt like an impromptu wine tasting.
San Sebastian, the gastronomic center of the Basque Country, is only thirty minutes away, and Bilbao, home to the famous Guggenheim Museum, isn’t much further than that. Plus, after seeing the crowds in San Sebastian and Bilbao, our ability to come home to the serene Hotel San Prudentzio was lovely end to the days.
Coming back from our travels each day, we were warmly greeted by Ainhoa, who was also there each morning to invite us to breakfast, handing us a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice as we perused the mornings selection of local delicacies.
We could have stayed at a luxury hotel in San Sebastian, or a large, beachside hotel, but frankly, why would we? The Hotel San Prudentzio offered everything we wanted, and more.
Being a part of history, that precious connection between the past and the present, is what makes the Basque Country a unique region to explore and the Hotel San Prudentzio is the perfect compliment.
Disclosure: Our stay at the Hotel San Prudentzio was complimentary, but as always, our opinions are our own. Plus, it was truly amazing. Room rates start at around €70/night, which includes the amazing breakfast.