The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., reopens the doors to the historic Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Sebastian, following an extensive $25 million restoration. The renovation of Hotel Maria Cristina, which was completed in time for its 100th anniversary this month, is part of a larger strategy to invest in the restoration of Starwood’s most celebrated Luxury Collection hotels. The reopening of Hotel Maria Cristina follows in the footsteps of Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seville, which underwent a meticulous multi-million dollar refurbishment earlier this year. The restored Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Paris and The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice, will debut in 2013. Rising above the vivacious and storied city centre of San Sebastian, the building is considered to be one of the grandest hotels in Europe, originally designed by famed French architect Charles Mewès for its namesake, Queen Maria Cristina. The extensive nine-month project, which was led by Idom Engineering & Architecture, features interiors restored by HBA Design; the firm took special care to enhance the élan, soft curves and powerful feminine presence that have characterised the hotel since it opened. The hotel also offers The Luxury Collection Concierge service to all guests, promising the most discerning global travellers an extraordinary experience.
A Century of Elegance Renewed
Christened in July 1912 by a visit from the queen herself, Hotel Maria Cristina was built during the Belle Époque, a time when haute couture was still burgeoning and there was a fluid emphasis on Art Nouveau. The restoration of the landmark hotel focused on refined feminine touches added within its existing framework to create a sense of comfortable and abundant luxury.
The public spaces reveal soaring ceilings, intricate mouldings, towering marble pillars, and a polished grey and white Carrara marble floor. Softening the palatial surfaces, a sophisticated champagne colour palette on the walls and furniture blend together with warm mocha and copper coloured touches found in the soft velvet upholstery and hand-tufted wool rugs. Silvery silk curtains frame the passageways and behind the reception desk padded leather walls fill the trio of arched wall niches.
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