By BobP

Like a grand old dame, l’Hotel du Palais is the place to
stay in Biarritz if you have the means. 

The 5-star palace stands in beautifully manicured gardens along the
rugged Atlantic coast – in what is reputed to be the best surfing beach in

Enter the Belle Epoque palace and you’ll feel the second empire all
around – high ceilings, gilded chandeliers and plaques honoring Empress Eugenie
and Napoleon III…

The clientele are a mix of old money (French, English, Spanish,
Italian, Swiss, American and Russian. 
Americans liberated Biarritz after WWII and even established a
University there in the 1940s. 
High-end Russians have been coming to Biarritz since the time of the
Czars – there is a lovely Orthodox church facing the property.  

Their flagship Restaurant – La Rotonde – has stunning views of the coast.  The bar is very beautiful too!

The staff is lovely – Jeanne (the Director) and Elena (whom
we’d seen at TravelMart) welcomed us with open arms and took us all around.  Jeanne even took a night off to show us
some of the local hot spots – including an open-air bar/nightclub along the
coast frequented by many of the haute bourgeoisie from Paris visiting their
second homes.  

The hotel Concierge
is one of the Vice-Presidents of the Clefs-d’Or in France and demonstrated his
grace and expertise.  Most of the
staff have been at the hotel for many years, and over 80% of the clients are
repeat guests.

We ran into one European star-couple relaxing in the spa. With
the wedding of the Comte de Paris (heir to the French throne) that weekend,
much of France’s royal and noble heritage were also there.   Paparazzi were kept away – thanks to the tight security
around the large grounds of the property. 
This is a good place for people to get away from the limelight – to
return to an era of tranquility…

Dario and I had to take a dip in the stunning outdoor pool –
33 meters long – and inaugurated by Gary Cooper and Frank Sinatra.  We also enjoyed time in the recently added
spa complex with a larger indoor pool and Guerlain health spa. 

Our favorite niche was the spa bar – featuring
a terrace with stunning views of the rugged coast, a cozy atmosphere and many
signed photos of some the celebrities who have stayed in the property over the ages
– Erroll Flynn, Coco Chanel (who opened her first shop in Biarritz ), Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, more Royalty than you could ever imagine…

Our large suite had corner views of the coast and
lighthouse.  The bed was
comfortable and amenities top-rank.  The views of the lighthouse and sunsets over the beach were nothing less than stunning.

We absolutely love this hotel – its staff, atmosphere, spa,
facilities and park.  This is a
very special place and we have made it a feature property for our Globe Bleu
Basque Country Mini-Breaks.

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