Cristobal de Murrieta Hiribidea, 27, 48980
Tel: +0034 94 493 41 00
Tourist License Code: TBI01163
Although some places in Europe, even in some cases in Spain, people was already used to bathe in the sea by the middle of the XVIIIth century, among the bourgeoise of Biscay starts to become a habit to visit the coast with this purpose at the beginning of the XIXth century, a century before that Donostia became a reference place for the international social elite and aristocracies. Lekeitio used to be at a time like Biarritz or Donostia at the summer time. In this burg, surrounding queens and empresses, used to come together the cream of the Spanish court and the Basque commercial and political bourgeoises. Health tourism use to be a constant rising value.
Looking for some other alternative places closer to Bilbao and more affordable from the point of view of the economy, started to appeare on the coast of Biscay some other villages like Portugalete, Getxo or Santurtzi, which over the years were gaigning increasing importance.
Portugalete was the oldest bathing station, the preferred one among the people of Bilbao. In this village there were once countless inns, and at high season one could find around three hundred outsiders making use of its waters. The stands were very well cared and the sandy areas were provided with a thick rope arranged horizontally for the protection of the bathers.
Santurtzi arose as an cheaper alternative to Portugalete; it is true that here, although the place was cheaper than the first one, there was no beach. The stands and bathing cloths and suits service, however, used to be of a better quality.
At this place where people use to bathe in Santurtzi was where, in 1902, on a natural watchtower on the left bank of the Abra bay, the controversial figure of José Luis Oriol, architec, businessman and Francoist politician, built one of the palaces to which he gave his name – Palacio de Oriol (the other one is in Madrid, today known under the name of Hotel Palacio del Retiro). The palaces of Arriluce and San Joseren, both of them located in Getxo, were also designed by him.
The building that hostes the Palacio de Oriol of today is an important piece of the residential heritage of Biscay, very representative of a concrete time.
URH Palacio de Oriol is located around 20-25 minutes away from the center of Bilbao and is perfectly connected through public transport (subway station of Peñota is only 500 meters away).
Rooms are very well decorated. Palacio de Oriol hotel offers a wide range of facilities and services to meet the needs of every type of traveler. It has a very well equipped gym, in which visitors will be able to enjoy training sessions followed by refreshing bathes in the swimming pool. The views over El Abra bay are breathtaking.