This is possibly my favourite hotel in the world. It is most certainly one of them! It never disappoints, never fails to deliver immaculate, super-efficicent and friendly service from the moment one arrives. The rooms and suites are beautiful and extremely spacious, and, as you would expect, super-comfortable and furnished with lovely antiques. The all-marble bathrooms are grand and elegant yet function perfectly. But a word of advice......don't even consider taking a room or suite here unless it is one of those overlooking the Atlantic Ocean - because the sound of the waves breaking beneath the open windows is just so relaxing and restful. To stay here and take a room overlooking the main entrance doors and the car park would simply be an aberration! I defy anybody to have insomnia staying in an Ocean-side room at the Hotel du Palais at Biarritz! You will have the soundest and most restful, peaceful night's sleep you have ever had, lulled into oblivion by the sound of the waves breaking against the rocks below your window!
Breakfast in the main resturant overlooking the Ocean is superb with a vast array of finest quality foods, many of them regional products such as the Bayonne ham. And the last time I stayed, the huge wheel of fresh raspberry tart with crispy, buttery pastry (yes, I know, for breakfast!) was the best I had ever tasted anywhere in France! I love the delicate white fine china breakfast cups sprinkled with a pattern of violets (just the sort of china your grandmother used to use for afternoon tea - except the cups are bigger, of course!) and the way the waiters leap forward and keep on refilling those cups with sublime aromatic French coffee, to ensure it is always steaming hot throughout the meal. Fantastic in the summer months when a superb lunch is served outside next to the huge swimming pool, overlooking the Atlantic breakers and the impressive sweeping crescent of golden sand that is Biarritz. With the sun beating down on your back, you can enjoy your super-delicious lunch whilst watching the beach scene and the surfers practising in the breakers for the championships which take place here. Dinner is, of course, excellent and rather formal. This is definitely a place where one dresses for dinner, so bring your finery and go for it! This is one dining room where you will not see jogging shoes, Tshirts or shorts! The main dining room - circular in shape, dominating the view over the Ocean and the old town, is very elegant and the service and food are impeccable. I've only ever experienced one exception to this - that was a few years ago, when I was dining there with an old friend and we ordered a bottle of a locally-produced red wine on the recommendation of the sommelier. We had never heard of this wine and it was very expensive, but came with a glowing recommendation from the sommelier who insisted we would be incredibly impressed with the wine, so we decided to try it, regardless of the cost. When we tasted it, it was absolutely disgusting. When the sommelier asked us what we thought of the wine, before I had time to say anything at all, my friend replied "It tastes like World War Three in a glass!" It was (I hope!) corked. It certainly tasted corked. If it was not, it was completely undrinkable anyway. The sommelier reacted to our rejection of this wine with ill grace, which made us wonder about his motives in recommending it so highly in the first place! But as soon as he tried it he looked as if he had just been made to suck on a lemon! We declined his suggestion that we try a replacement bottle and instead we ordered a fantastic Australian Shiraz, which was superb and cost about a quarter of the price of the expensive locally-produced wine! What was quite amusing was that the sommelier then failed to return to our table for the rest of the evening and seemed to spend most of his time sulkily hiding behind one of the pillars in the restaurant, from behind which he would peek out sheepishly at our table every now and then! This is the only "hiccup" (pardon the pun!) I have ever experienced with the service - or the food and wine - at the Palais at Biarritz but the memory of it still raises a smile. Sadly, my friend who made the "World War Three in a glass" comment has since died, but this hotel was his absolute favourite in all the world, and I have to say that, upon reflection, it is certainly in my top three favourite hotels in the world too! Just go there and experience it for yourself. You will most certainly never forget it and it will be added to your own list of favourite hotels in the world, of that I am sure.
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- Also Known As:
- Du Palais Hotel
- Du Palais Biarritz