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France - Hôtel du Palais, Biarritz

One of the most beautiful luxury hotels in Europe

An exceptional venue

The Hôtel du Palais is one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe. Nestled up against a cliff, it has breathtaking views of an idyllic white sandy beach. Since May 2011, the Hôtel du Palais has been one of the eight establishments in France, and the only one on the Atlantic coast, to enjoy the official label “Distinction Palace”.

photo (c) L'Hôtel du Palais

The finest food and stunning views, combined with all the elegance and charm of the Belle Époque, make your stay at the Hôtel du Palais memorable. Thanks to its luxury facilities and cutting-edge amenities, this hotel really does feel like a home from home.

The villa was the summer home of Empress Eugenie. In July 1854, Napoleon III decided to build a house in Biarritz, probably at the Empress’s request. It was completed in 1855, and became a venue for lavish parties laid on for European high society.

The villa was inherited by the Empress when Napoleon III died in 1873. Eugenie sold it to the Banque de l'Union Parisienne in 1880. It was first converted into a hotel and casino, the “Palais Biarritz”, then into a hotel in 1893.

Once again it became a prestigious destination for kings and queens, including Queen Victoria, and Empress Elisabeth of Austria, otherwise known as Sisi.

Devastated by a fire on 1 February 1903, the palace was rebuilt as a luxury hotel. In honour of the Empress’s first name, the building was constructed in the shape of the letter E, but hardly retained any features of the original Villa Eugenie.

photos (c) L'Hôtel du Palais

The architect Édouard-Jean Niermans, the man behind this reconstruction, designed the facades in a neo-Louis XIII style, like the external walls of the former Villa Eugenie. Nevertheless, the building was incredibly modern, made using reinforced concrete with a veneered finish. The interior, in particular the rotunda restaurant, was designed by Niermans, while the wall paintings, inspired by the theme of Jason and the Golden Fleece, are by the painter Paul Gervais.

photo (c) L'Hôtel du Palais

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Maître Rôtisseur Jean-Marie Gautier is the Michelin-starred Chef in charge of this prestigious hotel’s restaurants. Highly respected as one of the ‘Meilleurs Ouvriers de France’ and incredibly keen to share his knowledge with different organisations, he trained David Tranchaud, the young chef who represented France at the last international final of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs competition in September 2013. Another side to Chef Gautier is his love of ingredients and small-scale producers, whose products he strives to showcase in his dishes.