Considering a holiday in the South West of France? This was our first time to Biarritz, located on the Basque coast. If you want to be within walking distance of downtown and steps to the beach, Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar Thalassa Sea & Spa is the place to stay for luxury and relaxation. Some of the places we visited in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region were clearly more popular in the summer, but Biarritz is a city with year-round activities, from visiting the Aquarium, to French dining and simply enjoying the many walking trails.
We stayed in a superior ocean king room #307, with an outdoor terrace, looking over the outdoor heated swimming pool. Beyond, stretched the Atlantic Ocean, with the iconic lighthouse to our right. We were here in January. The weather was brisk, but people were swimming in the saltwater pool and there were surfers in the ocean. I can only imagine what this place is like in summer, as this city is popular with families and those seeking a relaxing vacation by the beach in Biarritz.
With 109 hotel rooms, 17 suites and 70 family-friendly connecting rooms, there are plenty of lodging options at this Accor Hotel. As is expected of a five star hotel, we had plush robes and slippers in our room, a desk and a small table with chairs for enjoying a glass of wine or Basque cheese plate while taking in that ocean view. In addition, a large bathroom with tub and luxury amenities such as Herme toiletries, chocolates at turn down service, complimentary mineral water & in-room coffee and tea maker were included with our stay.
One of my key requirements at luxury hotels is a comfortable mattress; ideally, accompanied with an ocean view. Sofitel Biarritz hit the mark in both categories. The signature “My Bed” mattress and a new feature, a nightly calming tea with two tea cups waiting bedside earned a thumb’s up from me. The mattress and pillows were excellent, as was the view, and the extra touch of the tea was a fine example of a luxury hotel going the extra mile.
Thalassa Sea & Spa
If you are looking for a spa weekend or wellness retreat, Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar features Thalassa Sea & Spa with its well-respected treatment programs. I’ve had my share of luxury spa experiences, but the thalassotherapy Relaxation Lagoon and some of their treatments were new to me. I was wrapped in a seawater cocoon of warm water that gently suspended me in a floating bed. This treatment, combined with a head massage, was very relaxing. The Vichy Shower Exfoliating treatment was unique, while the Watermass Slimming treatment had a little too much suction for my liking. My therapist said the slimming treatment was meant to be experienced over several days, in combination with the detox menu offered at the on-site Le “B” Restaurant. In my limited experience with multi-day treatment programs, I can see why Europeans opt for multi-day spa pampering packages with a holistic approach.
Sofitel Biarritz also offers a beauty salon on site. After my spa treatments and sitting in the relaxation room that looked out to the Atlantic Ocean, I was escorted to the beauty salon for a Cryoskin 50 minute cryotherapy treatment. The therapist sends a controlled stream of cryogenically cooled air over your face. To me, it felt like a controlled blast of vaporized liquid nitrogen being sprayed over my face and I confess that I was a little worried that my skin would be frozen. I’m happy to report that the treatment was a success and my skin looked refreshed. I realize that you searched out the Hotel Scoop website for a hotel review, and not necessarily a spa review, but I feel that the Thalassa Sea & Spa is an intricate part of the Sofitel hotel experience.
I also should note that I had the opportunity to order from the left side of the menu, the healthy dining menu at Le “B” Restaurant, to compliment my Watermass Slimming treatment, but I ordered from the right side of the menu. What’s a girl to do when she has the option of a Basque cheese plate and an entree featuring beef cheeks, roasted carrots and creamy polenta? Needless to say, the high caloric option was selected and earned high marks.
Rates start at $236. per night for a classic room during low season and include Wi-Fi. Breakfast is an additional fee of $36. Package deals that include breakfast are available. Breakfast is complimentary for children under 12 years of age. Ask about the free kids club during French school holidays. There is an additional fee for parking. As always, check the hotel website for current pricing and note that the Euro is the accepted form of currency in France. Make a reservation at the Accor Hotels website, Expedia, Travelocity or another booking site.
Hotel review by San Francisco-based Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. Photos © Nancy D. Brown. Sofitel Biarritz Le Miramar Thalassa Sea & Spa, along with Nouvelle-Aquitaine Tourism arranged my stay for review purposes.