The Belle Of Biarritz
The Hôtel du Palais may be the jewel of Biarritz, France, But the town offers plenty of other attractions
From the Print Edition:
Bo Derek, Jul/Aug 00
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On my last visit to the hotel, I ask, "What makes a true palace?"
"It's our staff's attention to detail," Leimbacher says. He arranges for me to go behind the scenes with furniture maker Sebastian Doué. Doué, a thin, precise man of 47, has been at the hotel for 20 years. His job is to fix the antique furniture. "We buy rundown pieces and restore them to their original glory," Doué says, pointing to a shining gold-laced desk.
In the hotel's basement, Doué shows me the room where two tapestry workers sew all the bed coverings by hand. All the laundry is done in-house. "You get better results that way," he insists. There are even three full-time electricians, two plumbers, two gardeners and another furniture repairman. As I emerge into the glittering front hall to say thank you and goodbye, there's no doubt in my mind that the Hôtel du Palais is up to pleasing a prince--and not just an aging European aristocrat, but anyone who loves good food and fun.
Brussels-based William Echikson is a writer for Business Week and a frequent contributor to Wine Spectator, Cigar Aficionado's sister publication.
HOTEL DU PALAIS
1, Avenue de l'Impératrice 64200 Biarritz, France Tel. (33) 05 59 41 64 00 Web site: www. hotel-du-palais.com
Room rates: from approximately $218 to $402, suites from approximately $375 to $865
at Hôtel du Palais
Dinner: approximately $43 without wine
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