Le Grand Hôtel de la Plage
What We Love
- Sleek minimalist living by the beach at Biscarosse, an hour's drive from wine city BordeauxThe stunning hotel design – an architect's dream casting a magical interplay of sunlight and shadows
- The grandstand location next to a huge swathe of sandy beach and crashing waves
- The award-winning restaurant, with al fresco terrace almost directly on the beach
What To Know
- The main draw is its beachfront location, which the hotel highlights with its terraces and panoramic infinity pool
- Guestrooms can be on the small side but all have large balconies to soak up the sun
- Free WiFi
Worthy holder of a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, Le Grand Hôtel de la Plage offers a ringside seat at southwest France’s Biscarosse beach. The hotel first welcomed guests over a century ago, when it was housed in a classic wooden weatherboard building. Today it boasts a new gleaming white incarnation and minimalist design. Sharp angles cast strong shadows on its terraces betwixt land and sea – enhanced by the intense sunlight – an artist’s inspiration that constantly changes throughout the day. Drift off to sleep to the sound of the ocean and wake each morning to sweeping vistas of sea and sky.
Nominated at the prestigious Villegiature Awards, the hotel’s pride and joy is its award-winning terrace restaurant, where you can enjoy relaxed gourmet dining within a pebble’s throw of the beach. Equally enticing is the seasonal outdoor infinity pool (open May to September) and sundeck – a real bonus should the surf prove too strong for swimming.
The air here is purifying and invigorating – you can almost feel the ozone doing its good work. Slide even further into serenity with a delicious spa treatment, adding to the overall sense of well-being. Add to this some superb golf courses, world-class surfing, pine forest trails and tranquil inland lakes and you have all you could desire for a rejuvenating stay in the great French outdoors.
How to Get There
A group of us go to the hotel for lunch every year but this year decided we wanted an evening meal and to stay there. On our arrival we were told the restaurant was closed on a Tuesday and we should know that. No we didn't. We received no emails or messages telling us this. We recovered from this disappointment and asked the Receptionist for restaurant recommendations and I have to say these were very good. However it would have been good customer service if she had suggested these once she saw our disappointment.
We were shown to our rooms which were lovely and went to the pool area, which was beautiful. However after a swim we fancied a drink. No not possible it's a Tuesday and the Restaurant and Bar is closed. You can make yourself a coffee in your room!
After we had a very nice meal in Biscarrosse that evening, we returned to our hotel about 10pm. Being September everything in Biscarrosse closes early. We went to reception and asked if we could have a beer or a glass of wine. But it is Tuesday so no! She suggested we could spend 40 euros on a small bottle of champagne from the mini bar.....we did not!
Note to the Manager. Even on Tuesdays guests would like alcoholic and non alcoholic refreshments throughout the day. Maybe allowing the night receptionist to allow guests to buy a bottle of house wine or beer as we have experienced in hotels throughout the world.. Or put wine/beer/soft drinks in the guests rooms on Tuesdays.
The hotel is lovely but we got fed up with the mantra but it is Tueday and no apology.. We paid £415 for 2 rooms and despite the receptionist telling us repeatedly we had a good deal, we felt because it was Tuesday, the hotel fell far short of our expectations. Very disappointed.
Firstly, the staff.
Arrived before check-in time and the first thing out of the staff member's mouth was "your room isn't ready". No "welcome, how are you?" Or "Apologies, but your room isn't ready, but please feel free to use the bar/facilities after your travels". Simple things go a long way.
After walking around the area for 45 minutes, we returned to the hotel and we shown up to our room. We were immediately disappointed, the room (standard terrace), is absolutely tiny. When we booked this with hotels.com the description stated "separate living room". There wasnt even enough room to live in, never mind a 'seperate' living room. When I went to enquire with the lady on reception who had checked us in, a 10 minute head scratching commenced, with lines like "this is wrong", "there is no living room" and "I'll talk to my manager who is not here now". Given I had a number of business calls to make as my wife wanted to rest following travelling, I suggested an upgrade given the misrepresentation in the room description. This was met with further confusion and a suggestion that we could move into a "premier" room the next day and it would cost more. The room itself was costing £250 per night, so yes, I did expect a separate living room.
I left the staff member with trying to sort it after speaking with her manager but heard nothing further during our stay - not even an apology.
This wasnt an isolated incident with staff. On our last night, I approached the reception desk and informed them that I would be leaving around 5am to catch a flight from Bordeaux, and asked whether I could take some breakfast (which I'd paid for within my rate) with me. "No, not possible. It's too early" was the response. I asked whether there were any pastries, cereals which I could take with me. "No, not possible" was the response again. OK, so I finally asked for a cup of tea to be sent to my room in lieu of my breakfast. This arrived about 5 minutes later via a waiter who had the card machine with him. I showed my disgust in the circumstances and refused to pay for the tea. I cant believe the ridigity of these staff members, they do not have an ounce of customer service in them. For a customer paying £250 a night to stay in their shoebox rooms, I expect service to be paramount.
Utterly horrendous and unacceptable.
Secondly, the hotel. Not worth 2 stars, honestly. Tacky, weird and unfriendly. The "spa" is disgraceful - the sauna wasnt working and what is left is an old shower, a mini hot tub which if you are over 4.5 foot tall you will have to duck to get in, and, let's not forgot...the "massage table". The poolside loungers are uncomfortable, the pool, a cheap plastic tub and evey other item an uncomfortable plastic shape! Pink chairs in the dining room are terribly shocking, and difficult to sit on without any arms or support for your back! The red "glass" makes it look like it is more befitting on the front of a street in Amsterdam!
Finally, the area. Dated, in need of cleaning and shops are random. When compared with Arcachon and Cap Ferret, this area is light years behind!
We will not be staying here ever again and would advise others to avoid to save disappointment.
This place is amazing. The beach, the hotel rooms, the restaurant are all so perfect.
We had an amazing time, we sunned on the beach, swam in the sea and body surfed. The staff here are amazing, everyone makes you feel welcome especially the front desk. We had the best meal and it was only 25 euros each. Shellfish platter with great aoili, main of sole fillet with great vegetables and strawberry dessert. On a beautiful terrace, with amazing service and a perfect bottle of white Bergerac. The glowing sun set while we were there. See pictures.
Breakfast is fab and the relaxed atmosphere and great facilities make for a perfect stay. We will be back without fail.
What a find.