Our Hotels in Biarritz
Browse hotels in Biarritz
Once a booming fishing port and later the holiday destination of choice for European royalty, Biarritz is now synonymous with gorgeous beaches, gracious Belle Époque and Art Deco architecture, a wealth of ocean-inspired attractions – including some of the best surf breaks in Europe – and a culinary scene studded with Michelin stars. Whether you're a glamorous sunseeker or casino-goer, a dedicated epicurean or a surfer exploring the French coast for the summer, our impressive choice ofhotel accommodation in Biarritz offers the perfect place to stay for all your requirements.
The Story of Biarritz, France's Surfing Capital
Biarritz has always had a close relationship with the Atlantic Ocean, as its origins were as a fishing settlement and centre for whaling. However, by the 18th century, one of the most popular things to do in Biarritz was to "take the waters", with aristocrats travelling from across Europe to benefit from the healing properties of a dip in its clear blue seas – and so Biarritz the spa town was born. Fast-forward a hundred years and Biarritz was one of the most fashionable seaside resorts in France. The trend began when Emperor Napoleon III constructed a magnificent red-stucco summer villa overlooking the beach for his wife, the Empress Eugénie. Europe's elite soon followed in their footsteps, commissioning the beautiful period villas for which the town is now known. Then, as now, Biarritz was the place to see and be seen on the Basque coastline. In the 1950s, film director Peter Viertel stayed in Biarritz while making the film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's novel "The Sun Also Rises". Viertel became the first person to surf the waves off Côte des Basques beach, and almost overnight Biarritz became the surfing capital of Europe and remains so to this day. The Côte des Basques boasts an ever-changing beach break that caters to novices and experts alike. Have aspirations of becoming a pro yourself? Sign up for a summertime Biarritz surf camp and book one of our Biarritz hotels on the beach.
What to Do in Biarritz Besides Surfing
Côte des Basques may be the best beach in Biarritz for surfing, but there are plenty of options for those with other pastimes in mind. The town's main beach is the Grande Plage, a swathe of golden sand separating the grand architecture of the beachfront from the deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean. With a buzzing atmosphere, seafront restaurants and the landmark Casino Barrière Biarritz nearby, the beach embodies everything for which the town is famous. Other popular Biarritz beaches include Miramar (a secluded extension of the Grande Plage, popular for romantic strolls at sunset) and Port Vieux (a sheltered cove offering safe swimming for families) – and once you tire of sun and sand, the chandelier-lit interior of the casino awaits, with slot machines and games tables in a timelessly chic setting. If you don't like swimming in the sea, our selection of Biarritz hotels with swimming pools offer a salt-free alternative for your daily dip. And if staying dry is the most appealing option of all, there are many ways to embrace the town's ocean-loving outlook without getting wet. Wander among the quaint fishermen's "crampotte"houses in the charming Port des Pêcheurs, with their whitewashed walls and shutters painted in bright hues of red, green and blue, or climb 248 steps up the Phare de Biarritz lighthouse, built in 1834 and still towering above Cape Hainsart to keep watch over the Basque coastline. The views from the top are mesmerising, with the Bay of Biscay spreading in a cloak of uninterrupted blue as far as the eye can see. For a glimpse of what dwells below the Bay of Biscay, make your way to Biarritz Aquarium. It's housed in an elegant Art Deco building, where you'll have the chance to meet more than 150 different species, including local fish, sharks, seals and stingrays. Biarritz'sRocher de la Vierge is nearby, a gleaming white statue erected on a rocky promontory connected to the mainland via a dramatic metal walkway over the water, and just down the seafront you can tour the Cité de l'Océan, a contemporary addition to the cityscape, with exhibits relating to conservation of the ocean, 4D cinematic adventures, and a virtual-reality surf simulator.
Best Biarritz Hotels
Any of our hotels in Biarritz city centre put you within walking distance of top attractions like the casino, seafront and numerous tapas restaurants. One of our favourites isHotel Mercure President Biarritz Plage, a 4-star luxury hotel just 50 metres from the Grande Plage. As well as its exceptional location, it sets the tone for your stay with contemporary, surf-themed décor and enviable sea views from most of the guest rooms. From 5-star Biarritz spa hotels and boutique retreats to family-oriented choices located conveniently close to the airport, we have your Basque Country getaway covered.
Wine and Dine in Biarritz
Staying close to the city centre means you can devote time to discovering Biarritz's legendary culinary scene. The best restaurants in Biarritz have menus inspired by the town's geography – combining its location near the Spanish border with bounty from the adjacent Atlantic Ocean. The seafood here is some of the best in the country – and the sun-drenched pavement bistros double as homages to the rich, time-honoured flavours of Basque Country cooking. Be sure to try regional specialties such as marmitako(tuna and vegetable stew), chipirons (grilled squid pan-fried with garlic and parsley), and axoa de veau(veal and sweet pepper stew). Of course, one of the greatest culinary highlights of Biarritz is its tapas restaurants – although tapas are more properly called pintxos here. Pull up a seat at any of the town's seaview bars and spend a leisurely afternoon sampling bite-sized portions of bread topped with anything from marinated cod or anchovy, stuffed peppers to wafer-thin slices of Bayonne ham. And to wash it down? A glass (or two) of fine Basque Country wine like bone-dry, white Txakolina, or the traditional local cider known as sagarno.
How to Get to Biarritz
Biarritz Pays Basque Airport is located 5 kilometres southeast of the city centre, with year-round flights serving Paris, Lyon, Brussels and London, and seasonal flights also operating to other destinations across France and Europe. If your flight leaves early in the morning, book into one of our hotels near Biarritz airport and you'll feel like you've extended your holiday by a night. The town is also served by Gare de Biarritz, a train station on the Bordeaux-Irun line with TGV and TER services for long-distance and regional travel.