Set on the French side of the Basque country — and, stylistically, on the traditional side, as opposed to Frank Gehry’s Bilbao — Hotel Ithurria is a classic small farmhouse hotel, family-owned since the Sixties, and still relevant today because the virtues of small-scale, personal hospitality never really go out of style.
Its rooms retain much of their historical charm, though the owners haven’t been shy about updating them with contemporary color schemes and modern fittings to complement the antique furnishings. The smallest rooms are cozy but still comfortable, while the largest are large indeed, culminating in an apartment that sleeps up to five.
Chef Xavier Isabal is responsible for a large part of Hotel Ithurria’s appeal, overseeing a fine-dining restaurant, a casual bistrot, and the self-explanatory “table in the garden.” Local produce and fresh seafood feature prominently in the menus, and the hotel’s wine cellar is extensive.
The surrounding village of Ainhoa is a picturesque one, with many houses that date back to the middle of the 17th century. And there are plenty of reasons to stay in, not least of which is the swimming pool with its views of the surrounding hillsides.