Overlooking the Côte des Basques surfer’s beach, the Radisson Blu Hotel Biarritz is a contemporary hotel located in the heart of Biarritz, just a short walk from the shops, the farmer’s market, the Casino, the nightlife, and the most beautiful beaches of the coastline.
The Radisson Blu Hotel Biarritz focuses on the organization and success of conventions and seminars. The hotel offers meeting rooms, all on the same floor-level. An outdoor Swimming-Pool and a Fitness Centre are available and complimentary to all hotel guests. A full Spa facility is also available.
Outdoor activities are located close to the hotel: golf courses, surfing, horse riding, harness-racing, scuba-diving, freshwater, as well as tours of the Basque Countryside.
The Radisson Blu Hotel Biarritz has two restaurants, for discovering the local cuisine. The Onyx restaurant on the ground floor welcomes you in a unique atmosphere. The Transat Restaurant on the rooftop terrace overlooks the Basque Coastline and Atlantic Ocean.
Biarritz is the only surf town in the world with a royal history. In 1854, Empress Eugénie convinced her husband, Napoleon III, to visit the area. They bought land and built a palace on the beach, which made Biarritz one of the hottest resort towns in Europe.
Film screenwriter Peter Viertel, Deborah Kerr's husband, brought the first surfboard to France in 1956, when he came to shoot location shots for The Sun Also Rises. Still considered the birthplace of European surfing, Biarritz is a combination of French high culture and SoCal surf culture, putting a decidedly surfy spin on the notion of joie de vivre.
You may start surfing at La Grande Plage in front of the town center, or if it gets too crowded, check out surrounding beaches such as La Côte des Basques (the convention venue), Anglet, and Guethary.
Biarritz became renowned in 1854 when Empress Eugenie built the palace on the beach (now the Hotel du Palais). The British royal family regularly took vacations in Biarritz: European royalty such as Queen Victoria, Edward VII, and Alfonso XIII of Spain were frequent visitors. Prince William and Kate visited Biarritz in the summer of 2016 with their two young children and stayed at the Hotel du Palais.
Biarritz's casino opened 10 August 1901 and it, and the beaches, made the town a notable tourist centre for Europeans.
Biarritz offers one of the most attractive seaside saunters in France on a route lined with tamarisks and hydrangeas. It starts at the lighthouse on the high headland and passes France's second-oldest golf course and the Russian Orthodox Church, built for visiting 19th Century nobility.
The famous old promenade along the Grande Plage leads past the Casino Barriere, with a fine art deco ceiling and floor, to the peaceful old square 'Place Ste-Eugenie' and the 'Musée de La Mer' (Museum of the Sea), with its twice-a-day shark-feeding sessions.
Biarritz made its fortune from the sea as a whaling settlement from the twelfth century onwards, in the 18th century doctors recommended that the ocean at Biarritz had therapeutic properties, inspiring patients to make pilgrimages to the beach for alleged cures for their ailments.
The Rock of the Virgin, the statue of Madonna, set up to keep local fishermen safe, is accessed over a bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel, of 'Eiffel Tower' fame.
Postcard from Biarritz
At the end of World War II in Europe, the U.S. Army's Information and Educational Branch was ordered to establish an overseas university campus for demobilized American service men and women in Biarritz. Under General Samuel L. McCroskey, the hotels and casinos of Biarritz were converted into quarters, labs, and class spaces for U.S. service personnel.
The University opened 10 August 1945 and around 10,000 students attended an eight-week term. This campus was set up to provide a transition between army life and subsequent attendance at a university in the USA, so students attended for just one term. After three successful terms, the G.I. University closed in March 1946
BIARRITZ SIGHTS & FEATURES
The Asiatica Museum: a significant collection of Asian art primarily from India, Nepal, Tibet, & China.
The Museum of the Sea: has 24 aquaria containing sharks and seals.
The annual Biarritz Surf Festival: at the Côte des Basques, a premier surf event in Europe
St-Martin's Church: constructed in the 12th century, was restored in the middle of the 16th century.
The Russian Orthodox Church: constructed in the 19th century for visiting Russian aristocrats.
The Chappelle Imperiale: built for Empress Eugenie has an intricately decorated roof interior.
The Hôtel du Palais: a palace on the beach, built for Empress Eugenie.
The Museum of Chocolate: explains the history and manufacture of chocolate.
Two large casinos: the Barrière and the Bellevue, are on the waterfront by the Grande Plage.