First in Biscarosse, when she was Director of holidays resort (and I recently realised how terribly modern she was being in management in the 60s with 4 daughters in tow), and then in Arcachon where she retired in 1977.
It’s a really beautiful region with amazing sand beaches and landscapes and if you’ve never been, have a look at the photos I posted on Instagram from my recent trip…
The first time, our home in France was photographed by YOU magazine in 2007, I had a hard time finding a decent design hotel to recommend to the team. There wasn’t much around and the few 4 stars hotels around, had just vile interior design with horrible bedspreads.
I’m glad to say that things have changed for the best in the past seven years and here is a list of my favourite design/boutique hotels around the Bay of Arcachon to drink/eat/sleep.
La Co(o)rniche | Pyla-sur-Mer
Designed by Philippe Starck, La Co(o)rniche has an amazing view on the Dune of Pyla and the Bay of Arcachon. I loved the pool facing the sea (see above) and they have a huge deck terrace which is perfect to host parties. While we were having a drink, the girls played with the giant chest at the front of the hotel. It’s a nice place. I think because I had read so much about it, I was expecting something with a real wow factor, visually more interesting so I was a bit disappointed by the interior design. Nonetheless, the view is unbeatable and it is probably one of the most stylish, design-led venue in the area. The hotel and outside has the relaxed feel of a summerhouse while the restaurant feels like a great brasserie with top-notch customer service. I highly recommend the place to have a drink, looking at the Dune of Pyla and listening to “I wanna be with you” by THE TWO.
Bedroom rates: from 380 euros (2 people), free wifi, near the beach.
La Maison du Bassin | Lège-Cap-Ferret
Is where the YOU magazine team stayed in the end. La Maison du Bassin is very much part of the history of the Cap-Ferret. A long time ago, it was the place where oyster farmers used to hang out to have a drink and re-write history. Nowadays, its a really nice place to stay with small bedrooms built like little cabanes…very charming and relaxing. If you stay in Arcachon, I highly recommend you take the ferry and spend the day in the Cap Ferret to walk around, have oysters by the beach with a glass of Tariquet. There are various options…the boat can drop you on the island of Cap-Ferret and pick you up in the evening or you can go around the Bay and see the cabanes tchanquées.
Bedroom rates: from 150 euros (2 people), free wifi, bar, restaurant
Hotel Ville D’Hiver | Arcachon
Next on my list of places to check next time I’m flying back, is the Hotel Ville D’Hiver.
The hotel used to be a factory for the Compagnie Générale des Eaux. It was the place where water pumped from the Lac of Cazaux, was stocked to be then redistributed to the city of Arcachon, which had 8,000 people during Winter time and 20,000 during Summer time.
The building was renovated by Olivier and Nathalène Arnoux and it has a real nice feel to it. It’s not far from the beach but if you can’t be bothered, they have a great pool.
They are also run the Club Plage Pereire which I photographed here last week.
Bedroom rates: from 140 euros (2 people), free wifi, bar, restaurant, pool, spa
Yamina Lodge | Lège-Cap-Ferret
For those who are more into glamping* than camping (me included!), you will love Yamina Lodge. It has a really cool, rustic vibe with lodges made of wood, close to nature, yet with all the comfort you need to remain sane in the middle of nowhere (i.e. wifi, spa and comfortable beds) although it’s actually not in the middle of nowhere…
Bedroom rates: from 160 euros (2 people), free wifi, bar, restaurant, wine degustation, spa
* Glamping: a form of camping involving accomodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.
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