Biarritz hotels are distinguished by one of the most prestigious properties in the entire country—the Hotel du Palais. However, there are an array of places to stay in this ritzy town by the sea.
In May of 2011, the country introduced a new status for which hotels can apply—the right to attach the word "palace" to their names. There are about 130 five-star hotels in France, which does not guarantee automatic inclusion on the palace list. Only eight of the country's five-star properties were awarded the "palace" distinction. One of these is the Hotel du Palais (pictured), an accommodation in Biarritz France that was actually a bona fide palace when it was first built by the Empress Eugenie in 1854. Other fine properties allowed to place the "palace" plaque on their premises include four Paris hotels (the Park Hyatt Vendome, the Bristol, the Meurice, and the Plaza Athenee), the Airelles and Cheval Blanc in the lovely French Alps resort of Courchevel, and the Grand Hotel Cap Ferrat near Nice.
While the Mediterranean beaches along the glittering French Riviera to the south are certainly more famous, the Biarritz beaches of the Basque Coast here are equally beautiful. The Hotel du Palais is the Grand Dame of Biarritz hotels and occupies a prominent location right on the best of the city's beaches. Its address is No 1 Avenue de l'Imperatrice, about a ten-minute drive from the airport. It offers luxurious rooms and suites with all of the facilities and amenities that you would expect from one of the finest hotels in the world, including a number of fine dining options, a full-service spa and wellness center, and a location on Le Grand Plage.
This wonderful beach stretches for almost a mile, and this is where the finest hotels (and the casino) are located. The northern portion of the beach is called Miramar, and has great views of the historic lighthouse. Also along this beach are properties like the Radisson Blu, Hotel Windsor, Tonic Hotel, and the Sofitel, all of which boast facilities and services similar to the Hotel du Palais.
The Sofitel is a luxury hotel and boasts a highly respected and very extensive Thalasso Therapy Institute. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, doctors believed the seawater and ocean air in this area provided therapeutic benefits, and the wealthy flocked to the Basque seaside for cures of many different ailments. The Sofitel Thalassa Institute continues that tradition.
You will find plenty of accommodation in Biarritz France that will be more affordable than the exclusive Hotel du Palais, even properties along the waterfront. Head either north or south of the main Le Grand Plage for some more modest Biarritz hotels, like the Hotel Milady, a charming family-run guest house with only eleven rooms, located at 76 Avenue de la Milady. It is less than two miles south of the city center, and only a couple hundred feet from the beach. There are a number of similar guest houses along this stretch of ocean.
There are a number of choices for accommodation in Biarritz France in vacation rentals from modest apartments to luxury villas. A good number of these are located on the long stretch of beach to the north of the city center called the Cote des Basques. This is the best surfing area, and is where the July Biarritz Surf Festival is held. If you want a rental or hotel room in this area during July, you will want to make your arrangement as far in advance as possible.