Akelaŕe — San Sebastian, Spain
With all the deep-pocketed gourmands descending on gastronomic hotspot San Sebastian, it’s odd that the city has not had, until now, a bona fide five-star boutique hotel. Happily, Pedro Subijana, the chef and owner of the much-lauded Akelaŕe has taken matters into his own hands and opened a 22-room retreat right next door, overlooking the Cantabrian Sea.
Madrid practice Mecanismo Estudio has lined the public spaces with slatted timber screens, white-veined black stone, and low-slung broad-backed armchairs. The bright spacious rooms – furnished in cool pastel tones, marble and oak – feature a private balcony, while the ground floor suites are anchored by plunge pools. Dragging yourself from the hotel’s stone-lined indoor pool and spa is a struggle, but you won’t regret heading next door for Subijana’s inventive menu incorporating local fish and Iberian meats.