Miro Hotel, Almeda Mazaredo 77: I enjoyed staying at this small boutique hotel across the street and down, roughly a block, from the Guggenheim. It had a helpful staff, a decent breakfast buffet on the second floor and sleek rooms. The interior was designed by fashion designer Antonio Miro. The public space and halls display pieces of the hotel’s photography collection. There is also a gym and spa on the lower level. I kept my car in the nearby garage and walked everywhere in town. It is a perfect location from which to explore Bilbao.
Other choices include the larger Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao down the street. There is a sleek lobby, bar and Café Metropole. The Hesperia is across the river from the Guggenheim and is known as the Hotel of Colors for its color tinted windows.