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This historic building rises between Gaztetape Beach and the old town of Getaria, right on the eastern coast of the Basque Country. It’s your chance to experience life in a pretty medieval fishing village, with Getaria drawing a fraction of the crowds of its ever-popular cousin, San Sebastián. Its beach is equally attractive, just a short slip of sand jutting right out of the town’s small but perfectly formed harbour. It’s also sheltered enough for sea dips. Moving out of the town’s seafood restaurants and museum dedicated to its famous fashion designer, you’ll have mountain walks, wine regions and Basque villages to explore.
Housed in a Gothic tower, the Saiaz’s thick, 15th century stone walls house cosy fireplaces and a carefully curated collection of art. But, for all its heritage details – chandeliers hang from arched ceilings and great timber doors guard entrances – the rooms are delightfully contemporary. While many come with wooden four poster beds and exposed timber ceiling struts, rich fabrics offer designer splashes of colour as polished floorboards and tiles glimmer underfoot. Those with sea views are the most impressive, featuring great panoramic windows.
The hotel’s privileged location affords its breakfast room some truly impressive sea views; you’re able to watch the sun rise over the Bay of Biscay as you look down the idyllic Basque coastline. The buffet is excellent, with a large choice of both cooked and cold options, washed down with freshly squeezed orange juice. You’ll have to head out for lunch and dinner but there’s a fantastic variety of choice on your doorstep. Tuck into the grilled fish or settle into the region’s famous pintxo cuisine – tapas bites on toothpick-sized skewers.
Given the hotel’s half a millennium of history and that if features just 17 rooms, you won’t find resort-style amenities here. Instead, expect complimentary WiFi, a small bar and superb staff service – they’ll be able to recommend between the region’s myriad attractions. Tour the famous txakoli vineyards that terrace its hills, head out to discover hidden beaches, or take to the waters with everything from fishing to surfing and diving available.
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