Bassin d'arcachon,

With the open­ing of two Philippe Starck de­signed ho­tels La Co(o)rniche and Ha(a)ïtza in the up­scale beach com­mu­nity of Pyla-sur-mer, vis­i­tors can now take ad­van­tage of this ex­cep­tional lo­ca­tion on the Bassin d'arcachon

Bordeaux J'Adore - - Contents - SUZANNE NEL­SON

Sum­mer par­adises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

LA CO(O)RNICHE AND HO­TEL HA(A)ÏTZA ARE TWO PHILIPPE STARCK DE­SIGNED REN­O­VA­TIONS OF HIS­TORIC HO­TELS, run by co-own­ers So­phie and Wil­liam Té­choueyres, bring­ing glam­our to this stun­ning lo­ca­tion on the Bassin d'arcachon.

‘The most impressive place, the most beau­ti­ful, the most poetic, the most sur­real, the strong­est forces of na­ture; it is one of the most beau­ti­ful places in the world,’ says Starck.

In 2016, lo­cal en­trepreneurs So­phie and Wil­liam Té­choueyres un­veiled Ho­tel Ha(a)ïtza, a ren­o­va­tion of the his­toric land­mark ho­tel built in 1930 by Louis Gaume, their sec­ond ho­tel in Pyla-sur-mer. Gaume was a lo­cal de­vel­oper, largely re­spon­si­ble for estab­lish­ing Pyla-sur-mer and im­pos­ing the char­ac­ter­is­tic neo-basque ar­chi­tec­ture on the vil­las his firm built. When the Té­choueyres took over the ho­tels, they teamed up with in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned de­signer Philippe Starck. In­te­gral to the project was the Té­choueyres' com­mit­ment to re­viv­ing the vil­lage at­mos­phere of yes­ter­year, with a café, a bak­ery and tea room, and the ho­tels, of course. 'These build­ings are part of the col­lec­tive mem­ory of this place,' ex­plains So­phie, who grew up a short walk away. Her hus­band Wil­liam grew up across the bay in Cap Ferret, and be­came a French rugby player, play­ing for di­vi­sion one at Bè­gles.

Ho­tel Ha(a)ïtza builds on the suc­cess the trio en­joyed with the nearby Ho­tel-restau­rant La Co(o)rniche, built by Gaume in 1933. La Co(o)rniche is fa­mous for its stun­ning lo­ca­tion on the Dune of Pi­lat. As soon as Starck heard the his­toric Gaume ho­tel was un­der ren­o­va­tion, he came to visit, meet­ing Wil­liam for the first time. The two men hit it off and Starck, who has a home on the Bassin d'arcachon, was im­me­di­ately drawn to the chal­lenge of cre­at­ing a ho­tel wor­thy of the lo­ca­tion he loves. 'This is one of the most beau­ti­ful places that I’ve ever seen!' says Starck.

La Co(o)rniche em­braces the view from its out­door bar, restau­rant and pool as well as from the rooms, suites and cab­ins. The lo­ca­tion is truly re­mark­able. The Dune de Pi­lat is the largest sand dune in Europe, of­fer­ing a panoramic view of the bay, ocean and The Lan­des Pine For­est. It's 105 me­tres high and 2700 me­tres long — 60 mil­lion cu­bic me­tres of sand! While the ho­tel and restau­rant have un­der­gone a com­plete facelift, Starck and the Té­choueyres were care­ful to keep the con­nec­tions to the past like the old tamarind tree in the gar­den. The orig­i­nal stair­case is lit by a Mu­rano lamp. The goal was not to trans­form the place but to awaken a sleep­ing beauty, ex­plains So­phie.

At the much big­ger Ho­tel Ha(a)ïtza, one of the chal­lenges was to make sure it didn't feel like it was play­ing sec­ond fid­dle to La Co(o)rniche. The trio gave Ho­tel Ha(a)ïtza its own iden­tity, still friendly, re­laxed and so­phis­ti­cated, but more of a year around ho­tel-spa. For in­stance, the swim­ming pool at Ho­tel Ha(a)ïtza has a re­tractable glass roof. Retro-style bikes can be bor­rowed for cy­cling on the path lead­ing to Le Moul­leau, the beach or Arcachon. There's a Parisian hair salon, so­phis­ti­cated spa treat­ments, a stylish Cake Shop and Tea Room, a gourmet restau­rant Le Skiff, bar and lounge, and a range of com­fort­able rooms, all de­signed by Philippe Starck.

At Le Skiff, chef Stéphane Car­rade has brought his trade­mark cre­ativ­ity to the menu, mak­ing the most of lo­cal seafood and the farm-to-ta­ble cui­sine renowned in the re­gion. Din­ner at Le Skiff Club might start with a Medal­lion of Spiny Lob­ster with sea urchin, a tiny Kekette chicken egg poached in black pud­ding con­sommé or an in­verted rossini of seared foie gras, pa­per-thin slices of raw beef, ca­pers and chicons with Ar­gan oil and a Perigueux sauce. Mains in­clude Roasted Pi­geon with rum, co­conut milk potato Mous­se­line, car­rots, blood orange, Salmis sauce and ‘la Cuite’ sirop.

It's a sum­mer par­adise.

◆ Hô­tel Ha(a)ïtza

1, av­enue Louis-gaume, 3315 Pyla-sur-mer,, 05 56 22 06 06

Rooms: €195- €545, suites: €435 to €785, two-bed­room apart­ment: €995- €1595

◆ La Co(o)rniche

46, Av­enue Louis-gaume, 3315 Pyla-sur-mer­coor­, 05 56 22 72 11 Rooms: €275 to €965, suites: €450 to €935, cab­ins: €395 to €995


Co(o)rniche’s swim­ming pool.


Hô­tel Ha(a)ïtza.


Hô­tel Ha(a)ïtza’s kitchens.


Sun­set at La Co(o)rniche.


Restau­rant Le Skiff.


Stéphane Car­rade at the Skiff.


A chef’s mas­ter­piece!


A Ho­tel Ha(a)ïtza suite.

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