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The Hôtel du Palais is the lonely french palace in Biarritz ! One of the first to get the highest level of luxury rank in France.

History of the Hôtel du Palais

The villa is the summer residence of the Empress Eugenie. In July 1854, Napoleon III decided to build a residence in Biarritz, probably at the request of the Empress. He designates Hippolyte Durand, architect of the department of Basses-Pyrénées, to build the building. He made the plans and the residence began to be built as early as 1854. Louis-Auguste Couvrechef, architect of the crown and the imperial estate in charge of the castle of Pau, was initially an inspector of works assistant to the architect. But in June 1855, Hippolyte Durand was replaced by Auguste Couvrechef. This replacement is probably due to the disappointment of the imperial couple in front of a building with a very classic and stripped appearance. The architect Nénot described the building as “construction without any artistic interest”. It was inaugurated in 1855. It hosts sumptuous festivals gathering the European Gotha.

In 1859, Gabriel-Auguste Ancelet was appointed architect of the residences of Pau and Biarritz. It will build a new wing.

After the appointment of Ancelet as architect of the palace of Compiègne in 1864, he was replaced by Auguste Lafollye who built a cowboy farm, a sheepfold and raised the one-storey building in 1867.

The villa became the property of the Empress at the death of Napoleon III in 1873.

Eugénie sold it to the Banque de l’Union parisienne in 1880. It was first converted into a hotel-casino, the Palais Biarritz, then into a hotel in 1893.

It is also a prestigious place of rendezvous which receives crowned heads, such as Queen Victoria, or the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, better known under the name of Sissi.

More informations about the palace
  • 147 rooms and suites including the Edouard VII suites of 152 m2 and Alfonso XIII of 177 m2 overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
  • 2 restaurants: the Villa Eugénie and the Hippocampe by the pool
  • The Imperial Bar
  • Imperial Spa with Guerlain: fitness room, heated saltwater pool, sauna, spa, hair institute, golf
  • Direct access to the beach


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