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
- Handicap Accessible
- 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
We chose Melia Bilbao because it has an excellent location by the river and close to Guggenheim museum. We had a nice room in the 9th floor facing the river. Good, hard beds that we liked, big and spacy bathroom. Wifi was good too. Breakfast is excellent, at certain times noisy. The hotel has also a sauna, where you can actually throw water on the hot stones to get steam, and a heated pool. No water available in sauna premises?
We found it strange though that the reception personnel paid no interest to people walking by, no nods nor smiles. The personnel in the breakfast room was totally different, helpful and smiling.
Situated at the edge of town Melia hotel offers everything one should wish: swimming pool, gym, clean room, excellent service, magnificent food.
Not to forget the helpfull and friendly people!
The only minus is the lightning in the restaurant: to shining!
The hotel is very comfortable. It is conveniently located with tram stops nearby and a shopping centre across the road.It has a nice fitness centre although the swimming pool is rather small. We enjoyed the breakfast very much as the selection and quality of the food in the buffet are excellent.