Hotel Melia Bilbao
What We Love
- Panoramic city views from premium terrace rooms
- Indoor-outdoor pool offers the best of both worlds
- Live music and tapas in the trendy Q Bar
- The Aizian restaurant serves Basque cuisine with a modern twist
What To Know
- This is primarily a hotel for business travelers, not a resort property. That said, it is adequate for short leisure breaks or overnight stays for families
- Family Rooms may feel a bit snug for four at 301 square feet
- The pool is not big enough for serious swimmers
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
If you like modern architecture, you’ll appreciate Melia Bilbao’s sleek good looks. For those who don’t, the hotel’s sense of style may convert you. Designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta, the blocky building echoes the industrial heritage of the former docklands district it sits in. Inside, the public areas mirror the ochre of the exterior, with clean, sharp lines and jumbo windows.
Bed and Bath
In the guestrooms, red cedar veneer and earthy tones set off dazzling white bed linens atop ultra-comfortable DreaMax beds. At 301 square feet, Family Rooms, configured for sleeping two adults and two children, may feel a little snug; Premium Rooms are a bit smaller but have terraces with panoramic views. Bathrooms have showers and full-size tubs and are decorated in pale, woody colors; amenities include fluffy Napoles robes and Melia toiletries (or, in the Suites, the upscale Tous brand). All rooms have WiFi and a minibar (charges apply for the latter). In the Suites you’ll find Nespresso machines and hydromassage bathtubs, and the Grand Suites have a separate lounge area with a second bath.
The Aizian restaurant, where chef Jose Miguel Olazabalaga serves fine Basque cuisine with a modern twist, is reason enough to stay here. The tasting menu is a perfect introduction to the region’s unique dishes, but for those with less time to spare there is a good-value à la carte menu. Q4, the hotel’s bright and airy atrium eatery, has a menu full of savory pintxos (the Basque take on tapas) as well as set menus for adults and children. The purple-lit Q Lounge also serves pintxos — Basques rarely drink without snacking — and is a favorite spot for smart young locals to enjoy live music and after-work cocktails. A semi-covered heated pool shares the sixth floor with a naturally lit gym (with a treadmill, a cross-trainer, an exercise bike, multifunctional resistance machines and free weights) and the Barea spa, which offers treatments and massages including a signature massage combining Thai, traditional and shiatsu techniques.
In the Area
The Guggenheim Museum, which transformed the city into a world-class hub for art and architecture, is less than a 10-minute walk from the hotel, and the atmospheric Casco Viejo (old quarter) is a five-minute stroll away. Bilbao’s other big attraction is Basque cuisine, which you can savor at Daniel Garcia’s much admired Zortziko. At Gatz and Victor Montes, taste pintxos such as chili bacalao balls washed down with a glass of txakoli, a fizzy dry white wine from the Basque region. Looking for a breath of sea air? Head for the beaches of Arrietara-Atxabibil, Barinatxe or Menakoz.
How to Get There
I cannot recommend this hotel... not even close to a five star hotel.
- room was very loud, even with closed windows
- no possibility to change the room
- furniture worn off
- forget about parking, when you‘re arriving late. I had to walk from a public garage.
- poor service; receptionists seemed completely unconcerned and indifferent
We had two rooms in the hotel, both facing the park, and they were spacious and nice, but one of them had a bathroom which did not smell roses, to be honest.
We had made the reservation online and well in advance and got the offer of EUR 10 per night per room to spend at the hotel.
This amount covered four drinks in the bar (mas o menos) and the four of us had a frugal nightcap there every evening - we tried our best to calculate this carefully, but notwithstanding that, ended up with a bar tab of EUR 64. I had no idea how they arrived at that amount, but did not have the energy to contest it.
We have a reservation for another Melia stay in Majorca this fall and have booked 'Level' class rooms - that includes a lounge with breakfast etc thrown in, and sure adds up to more than EUR 64, but at least then you know what to expect.
Bilbao it must be said is a spectacular city and Melia a very well located hotel.
Looks modern and minimalistic from outside to lobby. Had decent size room with comfortable beds and bathroom amenities. Had occasion when room cleaning was not done when requested on door. Breakfast a good spread, evening meal good value and staff courteous and helpful. 5-10minutes walk from Guggenheim and opposite side of town to Old Quarter. Pool is on the small side with nice gym that has refreshments on the side. Other problem encountered was that enquiry about incorrect charges on return home not answered.
On the outside the hotel looks amazing. It’s only when you are a guest you start to see the problems. Long story short. The rooms are outdated and old. The biggest problem with me specifically is not only the horrid smell of the actual room or the fact that the room didn’t cool past 25.5 celsius. But how my hotel staff handed it, saying “that’s how some of the rooms smell now, and that there isn’t anything that can be done” and that the air conditioner needs to be fixed but can’t be done until after we checkout due to high demand for maintance....
But whatever, it’s a fair price so I guess you get what you pay for... you can do better, plenty of other hotels.
Very closed to downtown und Museum. Its a typical business hotel, but comfortable, we had a big Suite and good and very friendly service. the breakfast is very good, but the many tourists or event participants disturb. Otherwise very recommendable and ok for the standard.