Feeling ravenous in Spain? Well you could dine in a lot worse places than the northern beachside town of San Sebastian – or Donostia as it’s known to the local Basques. As the icing on the cake there’s a chic hotel to try.

Take your pick from no less than ten Michelin-starred restaurants spread around town, including the power-packed trio – Arzak (www.arzak.es) Martin Berasategui (www.martinberasategui.com) and Akelare (www.akelarre.net) – each boasting three stars. For a more informal meal do as the locals do and cruise from one bar to the next enjoying pintxos – the Basque country’s famous bite-sized, gourmet morsels.

Celebrating its 100thbirthday this year, the gracious Hotel Maria Cristina(www.hotel-mariacristina.com) makes the perfect base for discovering San Sebastian’s rich history and unique culinary traditions. Reborn in stunning Belle Époque style after a massive, ten-month renovation, it’s the preferred hotel for the rich and famous.

Rising up five floors, the neo-classical, sandstone building offers 136 rooms, including 29 suites, all decked out in a fresh interpretation of early 20th century chic. The new-look interiors are bathed in hues of eggshell, grey and taupe with splashes of purple which make for highly distinguished visuals.

Below the double-height ceilings on the ground floor you’ll find a number of public areas perfect for enjoying the good life. The sunlit library is filled with books covering Basque gastronomy, Spanish art and culture. Next door is Dry, the hotel’s bar. The abundance of natural light that streams in throughout the day means that this is the perfect rendezvous for a coffee and a light meal. However, as night falls this sophisticated cocktail bar really comes into its own and attracts a lively crowd. Don’t miss the house specialty, the Dry Dry, a tipple based on the classic Dry Martini.

Whether guests choose Michelin-starred dining or a night out sampling pintxos, the helpful concierge at Hotel Maria Cristina is ready to send guests, along with a specially prepared gastronomy map in hand, in the right direction. In-house dining comes in the form of gourmet, Chinese cuisine at Tse Yang. Decorated in sumptuous tones of black, silver and crimson with hand-carved, wooden screens between the well-spaced tables, this is where to enjoy select Cantonese and spicy Szechuan dishes.