Hotel Iturregi

Getaria, The Basque Country, Spain Book from

Reviewed by Tom Bell
Stunning small hotel with a gorgeous pool, flawless bedrooms and long views over lush fields to the sea
It’s hard to fault this small hotel. It sits in the hills above the pretty coastal town of Getaria, with views across vineyards to the sea beyond. It’s a very private place. You potter up the hill, turn onto a track, then wait for electric gates to swing open. When you arrive, you find an old Basque farmhouse reborn as an English country house. This is a total renovation, no expense spared, a house filled with beautiful things. It’s contemporary in design, yet traditional in spirit. Bedrooms are sublime, as are the staff.

Everywhere you go, windows frame the view. There’s a lovely sitting room that opens onto a covered terrace where vast sofas wait. You’re in 20 acres of peace with gardens that roll off towards private woods. Climb some steps to one side and you find a gorgeous swimming pool with loungers under parasols and lavender in the flowerbeds. Back inside, the breakfast room opens onto a sun-trapping terrace, not a bad spot to start your day. Upstairs, 8 beautiful rooms and suites pamper you rotten. Some have sea views, others overlook the pool, and all have gorgeous bathrooms.


  • The peaceful position in the hills, with the sea at the end of the fields
  • A great base for exploring the Basque Country: Getaria, a lovely old town with a pretty beach, is only 3km away, and San Sebastián, Bilbao and Guernica are within easy reach
  • The fabulous outdoor pool, set within the ruined walls of the former farm
  • The airy interiors, the sumptuous bedrooms, and the heavenly bathrooms - perfect for romance and relaxation
  • The covered terrace, from which you can see the lights of San Sebastián sparkling at night


  • There’s no restaurant and a smart hotel like this should have one. Luckily, Getaria is easily accessible by taxi and has some excellent eateries
  • The swimming pool only opens for part of the year (mid-June to mid-September)
  • No twin beds, and some rooms have open-plan bathrooms; it's best suited to couples
  • Rooms are expensive in high season
  • You’ll need a car while you’re here

Best time to go

The Basque Country has a mild year-round climate, but it’s prone to rainfall. The upside of this, though, is a lush green landscape. Spring is the nicest time to visit - sunny days and less chance of rain. In summer, if the sun shines at weekends, the roads and beaches get busy with locals. If you’re flexible with your dates, come in the week and avoid the crowds. There’s a lovely swimming pool here, but it’s only open from mid-June to mid-September. If that matters, come then.

Our top tips

Although we didn’t take to the hills to eat with the locals, a Dutch couple staying at the hotel when we visited were lucky enough to do just that. They had eaten at Arzak in San Sebastián (3 Michelin stars), but swore blind that their meal in the hills at Bedua was their favourite. They got terribly lost and were eventually rescued by a local farmer, but it was a price worth paying: it was the best experience of their holiday.

Great for...

  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 8
  • Breakfast (+ restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room: Askizu


Bedrooms are lavish. Some are bigger than others, but all come fully loaded. You get enormous beds, beautiful colours, the odd antique, and smartly upholstered sofas and armchairs. The 4 at the front look out to sea; those at the back overlook the pool and the hill beyond. Three have small balconies. In all you’ll find plush fabrics, crisp linen, contemporary art and good lighting. This is a small hotel that revels in serious elegance and nowhere is this more evident than in the bedrooms.

One room (Jaizkibel) has painted panelling, another (Zarautz) has a sink built into a mantelpiece. Throw your eyes across any room and they will land on something lovely, be it an armchair in a vast bathroom or swathes of fabric flowing from a four-poster bed. Several rooms have high ceilings with painted beams. The suites are huge, but so are some of the less expensive doubles. As for the bathrooms, expect the best. All are different and all are sumptuous, with walk-in showers and double-ended baths; some (Orio, Askizu, Jaizkibel and Zarautz) are open-plan, with no door separating them from the bedroom. Jaizkibel has a lovely tub for 2 that looks out to sea.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Internet access
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


Breakfast is unhurried. You can eat in the airy breakfast room, where big windows frame those hypnotic views, or out on the terrace. Everything is brought to you: jugs of freshly squeezed orange juice, yoghurt mixed with fruit and served in cocktail glasses, baskets of hot patisseries, plates of ham and cheese, and eggs from the neighbouring farm, cooked to order.

During the day there’s a small room-service menu - gazpacho, salads - and sandwiches are served by the pool. There’s an honesty bar in the sitting room, too.

Staff know all the local restaurants. In the hills behind, you can eat earthy Basque food with the locals at Bedua, a small restaurant most tourists can’t find - a must one night. Or head into Getaria for a handful of good restaurants: best is Elkano on the main road - fabulous seafood cooked to perfection. For something simpler, the waterside has a couple of fish restaurants with terraces at the front; fish comes straight off the boats, and the grilled sardines are famous.

San Sebastián is 30 minutes away by car. It takes its food extremely seriously and 3 of its restaurants have 3 Michelin stars, but the Old Town is littered with pintxos bars (tapas with attitude). If you want great food, go for the former; if you want a great night out, go for the latter.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunchtime sandwiches
  • Room service


  • There’s a very pretty beach at Getaria. It can get busy on weekends in summer, otherwise it’s all yours
  • Also in Getaria is the Cristóbal Balenciaga museum - the 20th-century fashion designer described by Christian Dior as ‘the master of us all’ grew up here
  • Borrow one of the hotel's bikes and follow the coastal path east to Zarautz, a modern town with shops, bars and a good beach
  • Half an hour’s drive away is San Sebastián, a magical city with 2 beaches, one for surfers, another for sun worshippers. The Old Town stands between, with pintxos bars, some serious restaurants, and good shopping by the cathedral
  • Head inland to discover mountain villages, big valleys, vineyards (staff can arrange tastings) and rock art - most is now off limits, but Ekainberri at Zestoa has been recreated in a nearby cave
  • Drop to Azpeitia to visit the sanctuary at Loyola, a shrine to St Ignatius, founder of the Jesuits: there’s a parkland garden and an impressive basilica
  • Bilbao is less than an hour by car. The Guggenheim is the big draw, but afterwards follow the river over to the Old Town for a drink
  • Well worth a visit is Guernica, a hugely symbolic town and a seat of Basque law-making for centuries. A replica of Picasso’s eponymous painting stands close to parliament

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Wine tasting


Children are welcome. All rooms can accommodate a baby cot, and extra beds can be added to all rooms except Orio, Igeldo and Jaizkibel. There are games for children downstairs, plus a DVD library with a few family titles. Having said that, this is a smart, intimate hotel - not the natural habitat of energetic young children.

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

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