Where To Stay In Bilbao
When we were researching where to stay in Bilbao for a little family holiday we had planned, it was really quite hard to work out what places we wanted to be near. And, as I continued searching for a Bilbao hotel I really couldn’t decide which area would be best for us with kids. Bilbao is quite diverse in styles across the city and with the knowledge that only experience brings I would now say it’s diverse in feel too, really depending on which neighbourhood you find yourself in.
However, whether it was down to fluke or careful research, we really did strike gold with the family hotel we ended up booking! It was a lovely hotel, had great amenities and was in the perfect spot for a city break with kids.
When you are doing your research for places to stay in Bilbao, you really need to consider which area the accommodation is in. Here is a very basic guide to the districts of Bilbao but if you would like a more detailed travel guide, have a read of our other post here.
- Casco Viejo, or the Old Town, is probably the liveliest neighbourhood in Bilbao and a great area for bars and restaurants. The labyrinth of narrow streets are romantic and buzzing, and great to get lost in. I’m glad we didn’t book a family hotel here though as the noisy nightlife, whilst great if you’re part of it, isn’t ideal for those with children.
- San Francisco. Yes, you’re still in Bilbao Spain, but not perhaps the ‘barrio’ you want to find yourself in with the kids when you visit Bilbao. It’s the city’s red-light district and home to thousands of immigrants.
- Deusto. The student district of Bilbao. So as you would expect, there are some great cheap-eats in this area but hotels for families are slightly lacking.
- Indautxu. This barrio was on our radar when we were searching for a family hotel as we figured that if the Bilbao weather turned out to be a bit wet we could make use of the nearby Azkuna Zentroa leisure centre.
- Abando. Home to many of the main Bilbao tourist attractions, and pretty streets, the Abando district turned out to be the perfect place to stay for us. Particularly if you’re looking for hotels near the Guggenheim Museum this is the area you want to be in, and where we found the perfect hotel for kids – Ercilla Lopez De Haro Hotel.
Ercilla Lopez De Haro Hotel Review
Finding hotels in Bilbao with parking can be your first obstacle so we were happy to just be able to pull up outside the hotel and be directed by the doorman where to park. That was after we’d received a very warm welcome and he’d helped us with our many bags into the hotel lobby.
We found all of the staff at the Hotel Lopez De Haro to be very friendly and extremely accommodating during our stay. This is always particularly nice when you are travelling with young children because it’s easy to feel self-conscious about other guests not wanting to share their holiday time with little noisy kids. But, families were definitely welcomed at this Bilbao hotel. In fact, we were immediately directed to a lounge where complimentary snacks and drinks were on offer and told to help ourselves.
Over the course of our stay in Bilbao there were several hotel features which stood out to us that made our Spanish city break better than we had perhaps imagined. First of all, the hotel location was perfect : Hotel Ercilla Lopez De Haro is in the Abando district which consists of elegant tree-lined boulevards, feels very safe and clean and is ideally located for all the Bilbao attractions you want to see. The furthest you would need to walk from the hotel was 25 minutes away, but actually, most places were much closer than that. The Guggenheim was under 5 minutes walk away, the Zubizuri Bridge only 300 metres and most importantly, one of the best pintxos bars in Bilbao was right on our doorstep. You have no idea how brilliant that was – beautifully presented €1 pintxos come in very handy when the adults just want a rest with a beer and you can keep sending the kids to the counter to order a handful more tasty morsels for the next round!
Finding hotel rooms that cater for a family of 5 can be tricky too. Many places have the option of a sofa bed for 2 kids but family hotels which accommodate 2 adults and 3 kids are a little harder to find. However, at the Ercilla Lopez De Haro Hotel the rooms were massive. Our family room had 2 king-sized beds and a sofa bed, but not only that – it had 2 bathrooms! You can only imagine my delight at not having to pick towels up off the floor and clear toothpaste off the sink for a few days – who cares what they did in their bathroom, I didn’t have to go in there. There was also more than enough space to hang all of our clothes.
Really, only being in Bilbao for 2 nights we would have been happy with a hotel that provided clean and quiet rooms, we honestly didn’t need much more than the basics. And, although I can absolutely say that the Lopez De Haro Hotel was immaculately clean and the rooms were very quiet, we got much more than that. The service was impeccable and many other hotels could learn a lot from the staff at this boutique hotel in Bilbao. I spilt some red wine on a white dress at the Pintxos bar across the road and nipped back to the hotel to see what I could get it off with but the hotel staff would not let me deal with it, they were adamant they could fix the problem for me. And they did. They offered to make reservations for us, they greeted the children warmly, they replenished anything we asked them to in the room and reception enquired several times if we were ok and did we need anything.
Add to this all the other nice little extra’s too, like the chocolates and macaroons in our room, replenished bottles of water, a Nespresso machine and the VIP lounge with complimentary snacks and this must be one of the best hotels in Bilbao.
We would stay at this hotel in a heartbeat if we were ever to visit Bilbao, Spain, again and would confidently recommend it to others. I don’t write many hotel reviews on our blog but the Ercilla Lopez De Haro hotel definitely deserves a good review.
If you would like to read our Bilbao tourist guide of what to do with kids you will find it here. Otherwise, click here for the best hotel deals at the Ercilla Lopez De Haro in Bilbao.
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