Luxury hotel holiday Hotel Carlton Bilbao

The Hotel Carlton is a five star, luxury hotel in Bilbao, home to the Guggenheim Museum. The grandiose architectural style, with ornate window frames, a domed glass roof, and a refined interior palette, captures both the hotel's sense of indulgence and its opulent history. This hotel makes an ideal stop on a luxury tour of Northern Spain, or as part of a holiday in the Basque Country.
Included in your Expressions holiday
  • Accommodation in a double or twin room on bed and breakfast
  • Scheduled flights with British Airways London to Bilbao
  • Optional private car transfers or car hire
  • Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints
  • Optional room and flight upgrades. Details on request

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to Hotel Carlton, Bilbao

The opulent five star Hotel Carlton is one of the best luxury city hotels in Bilbao, and captures the artistic heritage of such a cultural city. This grand hotel is perfectly situated to explore the wonders of the city.

Facts in brief

Official star rating 5

Location The hotel is located 12-minutes' walk to the Guggenheim Museum

Annual opening All year

Closest airport Bilbao

Distance from airport The hotel is about 15-minutes' drive from Bilbao Airport

Closest railway station Bilbao Train Station

Distance from railway station The hotel is about 10-minutes' drive from Bilbao Station

Hotel facilities and services

Salon La Cristalera, Gym, Steam Room, Artagan Restaurant, Bar El Grill, La Terraza del Carlton with views across the Plaza Federico Moyua, Cocktail and Coffee Bar, Private Garage, Laundry Service.

Complimentary

WiFi in all areas. Late Check-out, Free Daily Press, and Shoe Cleaning with the Superior Rooms, Junior Suites, and Imperial Suite.

Out and about nearby

Such an excellent location means that the world-famous Guggenheim is just a short walk away. For other examples of Spanish art, visit the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. The Plaza Nueva will offer a taste of modern Spanish life, with its weekly market, concert hall, and theatre. The fascinating Zubizuri Bridge offers a new perspective on the Nervion River, and the Dona Casilda Iturrizar Park offers an idyllic spot of greenery in the city centre. For an overview of the city's architectural heritage visit the Basilica of Begona, the Church of Saint Anthony the Great, the Iberdrola Tower, and the Guggenheim once more. Nearby Mount Artxanda offers opportunities for golf and other sports.

Sports nearby

Walking, Kayaking, Golf on Mount Artxanda, and Cycling.

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a Standard double room for 3 nights

From about

£840

Holiday Code EXH1837

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to Hotel Carlton, Bilbao

The five star Hotel Carlton in Bilbao oozes French Second Empire Style, and it perfect for luxury holidays spent exploring cultural Northern Spain. Completed in 1926, its grandiose, ornate architectural style is characterised by flourished archways, staircases, balustrades, cornices, and symmetry, all of which add to the all-encompassing sense of luxury at this Spanish hotel. The iconic glass roof that crowns the building comes into its own when you enter the central hall, which is flooded with down-pouring light. The style of the hotel lends itself easily to both contemporary, chic design, and more traditional decoration, something which becomes clear in the eclectic, but highly comfortable, individual rooms. The building's history as the seat of the Basque Government during the Spanish Civil War is evident throughout, in the interior staircases, elegant atmosphere, and its singular stained-glass window that remains from before the war. The feeling of regal importance and elegance that this history brings with it pervades each of the corridors and rooms. Artagan Restaurant, decorated in pleasing pastel colours reminiscent of its 1920s origin, serves a varied menu of hearty Basque and Biscay cuisine, including rice dishes, locally sourced lobster, and bean stew. The excellent positioning of this hotel puts you in the very heart of the city. Each day, you are at your leisure to explore the delights of Bilbao, from the world-famous Guggenheim Art Museum, the many charming plazas, the towering ornate palaces and basilicas, to the green parks and river. We recommend stopping at this luxury five star hotel as part of a tour of Northern Spain, sampling the diverse and intriguing culture and history before moving on to coastal cities or further inland.

Room descriptions

The Hotel Carlton has 142 rooms and suites equipped with television, telephone, air-conditioning, and WiFi.

Standard Room for single or double use
Superior Room
Junior Suite with adjoining lounge
Imperial Suite the largest suite in Northern Spain, with two double bedrooms, private terrace, Audiovisual room, reading room and library, Jacuzzi, fitness room, and dining room with kitchen, waiter, and chef services

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a Standard double room for 3 nights

From about

£840

Holiday Code EXH1837

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to Hotel Carlton, Bilbao

The journey and how you get there

For a holiday to Hotel Carlton, Bilbao, Expressions Holidays includes scheduled flights with British Airways from London to Bilbao. Flights may be available from other UK airports with Easyjet and Jet2 for example. If you are combining this hotel with stays elsewhere, you may want to consider flying into one airport and out of another. We can arrange this for you. The hotel is about 15 minutes’ drive from the airport and we recommend that we book for you either a private car transfer or a hire-car, depending on the itinerary.

Holiday price guide Sample prices are per person based on two people sharing a Standard double room for 3 nights

From about

£840

Holiday Code EXH1837

The prices displayed here are a guide only. Each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect all actual costs including up-to-date special offers.

Luxury bespoke holidays and tours to Hotel Carlton, Bilbao

About Spanish Basque country

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to the Basque Country in northern Spain include the very best four and five star hotels across the region, including seaside retreats, city properties and vineyard hotels in La Rioja. Lying at the point between the Pyrenees and the Bay of Biscay is the Basque Country, a name which refers both to an autonomous community within Spain and to a larger cultural area which comprises parts of Spain and France. Known in Spanish as the Pais Vasco, you will find a unique culture here with fascinating traditions and a regional language which is widely spoken throughout. The region's key attraction is the closeness of both sea and country - the spectacular coastline boasts sweeping sandy beaches and rugged cliffs, stunning sunsets over the ocean and surf breaking on rocks; but only a short drive inland are rolling green hills and flower filled fields. Lying around 10 miles away from the north coast is the vibrant and energetic riverside city of Bilbao, whilst further east is San Sebastian, an elegant seaside resort set on a beautiful bay only a few miles away from the French border. Stretching away from the Basque coast and forming the border with France are the Pyrenees, where rocky mountains with waterfalls and lakes stretch into Navarre, a region which is dotted with unspoiled villages and mediaeval towns which line the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Further west are the undulating hills of La Rioja, a region whose name is synonymous with the fine wines that it produces. Although parts of the region are heavily industrialised, there are many areas of unspoiled countryside as well as over 150 miles of coastline, making it a superb destination for a luxury holiday. The natural environment has long played a huge role in the lives of the region's inhabitants, with charming fishing villages along the coast which celebrate marine festivals as well as mountain farmers inland whose traditions remain unchanged. Throughout the region, visitors are sure to experience the unique culture of the Basque country through its language, cuisine and traditions.

Cultural highlights of Spanish Basque country

Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum, a Frank Gehry-designed landmark which transformed the city. The charming old town of San Sebastian, located between the beach and the river. Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the Basque Country which is home to a mediaeval old town and two cathedrals. Guernica, a small town which was bombed during WWII and inspired a famous painting by Picasso. Fishing villages between Bilbao and San Sebastian including Bakio, Bermeo, Zumaia and Lekeitio, some of which are home to wonderful beaches and are also popular surf spots. Hondarribia, a historic town situated on the border with France. Pelota, a traditional ball game which is played throughout the region on a two-walled court. Numerous bars across the region which serve ‘pinchos’ (a Basque version of tapas), including those in Logroño. Wine-producing towns across La Rioja where visitors can enjoy cellar tours and wine tastings, which can also be enjoyed at the luxury vineyard hotels which we feature. Yuso and Suso Monasteries, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in La Rioja. The fortress city of Pamplona, renowned for the annual bull running festival.

Gastronomy of Spanish Basque country

The Basque Country is renowned for its varied and innovative cuisine, with numerous Michelin-starred restaurants found across the region. San Sebastian alone is home to eight Michelin-starred restaurants, two of which have been included within the top ten of Restaurant magazine's list of the world's 50 best restaurants. Wine is of course an incredibly important product, primarily in La Rioja which is known for its high-quality reds as well as a number of good white and rosé wines. A regional variation of tapas called ‘pinchos' can be found throughout the Basque Country and Navarre, frequently eaten as a snack in bars. Regional cooking varies according to location, with plenty of fresh fish and shellfish to be found along the coastline and a greater use of meat and game further inland. Local dishes include ‘Bacalao' (salt cod), ‘Marmitako' (fresh tuna stew), ‘Cordero al Chilindron' (spicy lamb stew) and ‘Txangurro relleno' (stuffed spider crabs).

Festivals in Spanish Basque country

19 to 20 January: San Sebastian Drum Festival, 29 June: Haro Wine Festival, 6 to 14 July: Los Sanfermines Bull Running Festival (Pamplona), July: San Sebastian Jazz Festival, 4 to 9 August: Festival of the Virgin Mary (Vitoria-Gasteiz), August: Bilbao's Big Week, September: San Sebastian International Film Festival, September: San Mateo Wine Festival (Logroño).

Climate in Spanish Basque country

The Basque Country's climate is generally quite mild and wet, although there is some variation between coastal and inland areas. The Basque coast experiences relatively high levels of rainfall, cold winters and warm summers where temperatures regularly reach 25 degrees, whilst some areas further south enjoy a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and little rain.

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