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MICHELIN Guide hotel selection

Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao

  • Alameda De Mazarredo, 61, Bilbao, Spain
  • 145 Rooms

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MICHELIN Guide hotel selection

Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao

  • Alameda De Mazarredo, 61, Bilbao, Spain
  • 145 Rooms
Tablet’s Review

The hotels experts at the MICHELIN Guide

Verified guests have rated this hotel out of a possible score of 20

Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao, or GHDB as it is known to the locals, is just across from Bilbao's new Guggenheim Museum, and it's not surprising that some of the excitement and energy from Frank Gehry's design seems to have spilled over into this hotel. The hotel describes itself as "not just a hotel to stay at, but a colourist microcosmos." It may sound a bit hyperbolic, and we admit it may have lost something in the translation from the Spanish, but nevertheless, it does convey a fairly accurate sense of the bold, almost whimsical nature of the design, courtesy of Javier Mariscal and Fernando Salas.

The interior looks like, and quite literally is, a museum of 20th century furniture design, containing representative pieces from a variety of eras and schools. The Café Metropol, for example, is thoroughly Bauhaus in style, all black and white and stainless steel, and faces directly across the street, with a view of the museum. The reading corner is a quiet nook featuring a library of design and architecture books and an assortment of historical sofas and chairs. And the cocktail lounge is thoroughly Sixties, in red and white, with Eero Saarinen stools and tables lending a charmingly retro-futuristic feel.

To focus too much on a hotel's design may seem analogous to reviewing films based on the cinematography, ignoring the story, or reviewing books by analyzing the typographical choices made by the publishers. But here at Tablet, we like hotels with personality, and GHDB's personality comes through most palpably in its unique design. No good designer turns a blind eye to function, for instance; this is a highly functional hotel, with everything a city traveler could need, including a small fitness center (but no pool or spa — no "pampering" here).

Frankly, the design is the story here, as it is just 100 feet from one of the more important structures of the 20th century. The hotel's centerpiece is Javier Mariscal's "Fossil Cypress," an 85-foot trunk of rolled stone that stretches the vertical length of the hotel's interior, and goes a long way toward making up for the fact that the interior-facing rooms have no view. Then again, the interior view is nothing to complain about — the hotel's core clientele of athletes, models, and design professionals tend to be rather easy on the eyes.

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Facilities & services
  • Free wi-fi
  • Wi-fi (charges apply)
  • Self service parking (charges apply)
  • Off street parking
  • Valet parking (charges apply)
  • Bar
  • Room service
  • Restaurant
  • 24 hour room service
  • Spa treatments (on request)
  • Turkish bath
  • Sauna
  • 24 hour concierge
  • 24 hour front desk
  • 24 hour medical assistance
  • Adjoining rooms
  • Central air conditioning
  • Babysitting (on request)
  • Multi-lingual staff
  • Wake-up service
  • Library
  • Lounge
  • Luggage storage
  • Pet Friendly
  • Pets allowed (charges apply)
  • Business center
  • Shopping area nearby

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