I am biased because I really love the Melia chain. This location does not disappoint. I love things like the Nespresso coffee maker in the room because, coming from the U.S., I am used to seeing Mr. Coffee. Even with George Clooney on their billboards, Nespresso seems so foreign, so much more European.
Our “premium” room, number 808 (one notch up from the basic), included a balcony overlooking a park — the evening favorite for dogs and their owners — and facing the river and hills around Bilbao.
If you walk along the river, pretty much any time of the day, you’ll see an assortment of like-minded locals and tourists. The wide walks never seem crowded. You also get a bunch of mind-blowing views of the Guggenheim Museum.
Bilbao really wants you to know they’re more than the Guggenheim. In last September’s vote for a Bilbao “brand,” one of the choices was “Much more than Guggenheim.”
It may be typical of Bilbao’s personality that the “much more than” graphic won, but the tag line was changed to “Be Basque.” Locals are anxious to share their unique Basque perspectives. Extend your stroll into the old part of town, or take the tram that stops near the museum, to find tapas and fun local shops. While snacking on tapas at Bukoi Taberna, we were guided in the proper Basque way to order a small beer — a “zurito” (sounds like “thirito.”)