Since its construction during the Second French Empire, the Hôtel du Palais has hosted the cream of high society and aristocracy of Europe. Opulent and luxurious, this palace is a symbol for France and an architectural marvel. During the last decades, seven masters of restoration have been responsible for maintaining the decoration and the style of what was once the house of Eugénie de Montijo and Napoleon III. Room after room, these craftsmen have restored the furniture of each area by following the instructions of André Charles Boulle, the renowned cabinetmaker for Louis XIV.
Despite the impeccable work of these restorers, the time has come for the hotel to undergo a complete renovation to adapt to the needs of its contemporary guests. This renovation is being done in phases: the first phase was the renovation of the terrace at the Le Jardin de L’Océan Restaurant and the green area that surrounds the staircase leading from the palace to the beach. During the second phase, the old pool was replaced by a Californian-style pool, also renovating the cabins and adding a new bar called Le Sunset. The new pool was opened at the beginning of the summer of 2018 to kick off the summer season.
The most complex renovation –the interior– will be undertaken in 2019. The work was delayed due to a vitally important event that will take place this August at Hôtel du Palais: the G7 Summit. The rooms that once hosted Queen Isabella II, Jérôme Bonaparte, Leopold II of Belgium, Otto von Bismarck, Queen Victoria, Czar Alexander II of Russia, and Empress Elisabeth of Austria will now host Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Giuseppe Conte, Shinzō Abe, and Theresa May – unless there is a change in any of those figureheads.
The French fabulist Jean de la Fontaine once wrote that “any power, if not based on union, is weak.” Centuries after his death, Hôtel du Palais seems to be the stage on which power is to join together in unity. Perhaps that might have been its purpose from the beginning; and the palace’s renovation will do nothing other than to empower, even more, the stage of this legendary hotel that must be visited at least once during your lifetime.
Hôtel du Palais
1 Avenue de l’Impératrice, Biarritz.
Tel.: +33 559 416 400