Hugged by a historic forest on one side and local-secret beaches on the other, 70 Hectares et l’Océan is a hidden-away hotel in the sandy-soled southwest of France. Timber-clad terraces look out over pine-tops and the 70 hectares of Seignosse golf course, but shades of seafoam and forest green bring the great outdoors in without even needing to peek past your curtains, and sport-inspired touches will have you feeling at home even if your putt is a bit below par. Atlantic-lapped beaches are a sun-powered stroll or cycle away (e-bikes are available to hire) – go hit the surf with gusto, there’s a pine-shaded pool and local seafood a la plancha waiting when you return.
12pm, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £175.72 (€196), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €1.65 per person per night on check-out.
Rates don’t include breakfast, but you can tuck into the morning buffet for €25 (€15 for children).
The hotel’s cabana was the first on Estagnots beach, and since opening has earned a rep as the best on the southwest coast. Dip your toes in the sand with a well-earned aperitif from April to September each year.
At the hotel
Fitness room, library, electric bikes to hire (€35 a day), meeting rooms, air-conditioning, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, minibar, L:A Bruket bath products, free bottled water, blackout curtain, air-conditioning, free WiFi. Suites also have a coffee machine and kettle.
Our favourite rooms
All the rooms look out over lush greenery, but go for a suite if you want to soak in the sea air from your own private terrace. With views all the way out to the Atlantic, the Ocean Terrace Suite has our heart.
Sea-green mosaic adorns the heated outdoor pool, which is flanked by lush lawn, pines and a deck laden with loungers.
There’s no spa, but treatments can be booked at the L:A Bruket spa at sister hotel Les Hortensias du Lac, just down the road in Hossegor.
Your sturdiest sandals, in preparation for some serious sea-sprayed pedal pushing.
The hotel has a lift, but there are no adapted rooms for wheelchair users.
All ages are welcome, but the hotel isn’t particularly geared towards Little Smiths. The restaurant offers a children’s menu, and highchairs are available on request.
Here, local sourcing is the name of the sustainability game. The hotel is constructed from local timber, seasonal menus spotlight ingredients from local farmers and even the soap used in cleaning is produced by a local, sustainable soapmaker. There are also charging points for electric cars onsite.
Dine out on the terrace for views of the pool and pines beyond.
The hotel’s restaurant serves up a mix of small plates and hearty post-surf fare. Zingy ceviche and the catch of the day a la plancha are specialities, but lighter bites like ibérico charcuterie and truffle-topped pizzetta are also available. The restaurant opens out onto a wooden terrace, in toe-dipping distance of the pool and with views of the pine-dotted golf course. Come dusk, carefully draped garlands of lights set the mood.
The round-the-clock bar is at the heart of the hotel. Ask the barman to shake you a signature cocktail, or choose from organic wines from the Fontenille estate, then take your pick of sharing plates when peckish. Whatever you’re sipping (and whatever o’clock), saunter out to the terrace to savour the sea air, or order your drinks poolside.
Breakfast is served between 7.30am and 10.30am; lunch is available from noon to 2.30pm, and dinner is from 7.15pm to 9.30pm. Brunch is served on Sundays from 12pm to 2:30pm. The bar serves food from 12pm to 9.30pm.
A selection of sharing plates, charcuterie and cheeses can be ordered to your room, along with a range of dishes from the restaurant menu.
The hotel is in southwest France’s seasalt-sprayed Landes region, a skip from Seignosse’s beaches and minutes from surfer-hub Hossegor.
The nearest international hub is Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport, which can be reached directly from London and most major European cities. From there, it’s around a two-hour drive. Alternatively, flights from London Stansted and Paris touch down at Biarritz Airport, a 40-minute drive away. The hotel can arrange transfers from either airport on request.
Trains run from Paris, Bordeaux, Biarritz and more to Dax train station. After that, it’s a 45-minute drive – the hotel can arrange transfers on request.
The beach and the golf course are both a stroll away and Hossegor’s charms are in cycling distance, but you’ll want a car if you plan on branching out further into Basque country.
Cycling is de rigueur round these parts – and with so many forest trails and sandy stretches to explore, you’ll want to make like a local. Electric bikes are available to hire from the hotel for €35 a day.
Worth getting out of bed for
On lazy sun-hazed days, the heated outdoor pool is the place to be. Potter down and pick your perfect lounger on the pine-shaded deck – maybe with a detour via the light-flooded bar to acquire a cocktail or two. Come mealtimes, it’s a matter of steps to the restaurant, where plates of fresh-caught ceviche and chipirons a la plancha await. If it’s activity you’re after, pop by a Pilates or yoga class, or build up those biking muscles in the fitness room. When you’re all actioned out, curl up cat-like in the library – or flex your table football skills.
When the waves beckon, wander or cycle down to Estagnots beach – electric bikes can be hired for €35 a day. The cabana bar and restaurant has an all-day supply of sunbathing sustenance, but stay till dusk to catch a film night or concert. Beyond the hotel, the Atlantic breaks are kind of a big deal – head down the road to Hossegor for some world-class surfing with a laidback SoCal spirit. For a more gentle jaunt, Hossegor Lake is a prime paddleboarding spot. Like your adventures less splashy? Foray into the forêt via cycle paths and hiking trails, or rope in a four-legged friend on a horse-riding tour. And with two 18-hole courses – Golf de Seignosse and Golf d’Hossegor – nearby, golf gurus have plenty of opportunity to put their putters to good use.
Further afield, Biarritz glitters with architectural evidence of its Belle-Epoque past. A centre of the high-society seaside scene in the 19th century, today it’s better known as a buzzing surfers’ hangout. Or buckle up for a Basque Country roadtrip. Don’t let their chocolate-box looks fool you – these coast-clinging towns and hilltop villages are awash with swashbuckling history (and plenty of locally produced wine).
For a laidback lunch with harbour views, head to Capbreton institution Monsieur Mouette. This lively spot sits right on the marina and boasts fresh, regional dishes spotlighting local producers. Fine-dining devotees are spoiled for choice. Colourful homegrown delicacies make up the menu at Michelin-starred Villa de l’Étang Blanc, where ingredients are sourced almost entirely from within a 15-kilometre radius. Seasonal specialities include melt-in-the-mouth squab leg from Darrigade farm and the catch of the day fresh from Capbreton fish market. Le Hittau in nearby Saint-Vincent-de-Tyrosse has earned a Michelin star for head chef Yannick Duc’s fusion dishes. Seafood is the headline act here – don’t miss the lobster with green curry ravioli.
At Waxed Coffee in Hossegor it’s all about the artisanal bean, brought in specially from the co-founders’ favourite roastery on Brick Lane. You won’t go hungry though, as there’s a seasonal selection of brunch favourites – we’re talking spiced-up shakshuka and loaded blueberry pancakes – to accompany your speciality flat white. The cafe’s sleek surf-themed design makes it the perfect caffeine pit stop before heading out to catch some waves. Stop by Café Bleu for a light lunch of vibrant salad bowls, freshly pressed juices and generous slices of couldn’t-say-no cake. Between the candy-coloured chairs and the blooming potted-plant population, this health-conscious café is as photogenic as it is wholesome.
If it’s a laid-back beach spot you’re looking for, La Cabane des Etagnots (open from late April to mid-October) is calling your name. Shared by 70 Hectares et l’Ocean with its sister hotel in Hossegor, this chilled-out cabana has a deck that spills out onto the sand, sea-facing loungers for when sitting upright is an ask too far and oversize cushions to cuddle up on for cosy ocean-side nights. Choose from signature cocktails, classic aperitifs and Domaine de Fontenille’s homegrown wine, then sit back, sip and watch the waves roll in.
Strike out to Biarritz for glitzy bars and well-stocked wineries galore. For a dose of underground glamour, duck into Prohibido, a 1920s speakeasy at a hidden location deep in the city’s docks district. You’ll need the secret code to enter, and once you’re in, mum’s the word – this is the time of Prohibition after all. But give the dapper bartender a knowing nod and he might just rustle you up one of his globetrotting cocktails – we won’t tell if you won’t.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this forest-fringed hotel in Landes and unpacked their wetsuits and local wine, a full account of their oh-so-French break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside 70 Hectares et l'Océan in Seignosse…
What’s in a name? Well, in many ways, 70 Hectares et l’Océan does exactly what it says on the tin. The eponymous soixante-dix hectares of Golf de Seignosse, ranked one of the best courses in Europe, are putting distance from the hotel. And the ocean? Simply follow the sea spray – golden dunes and world-class surf await.
But to limit this hotel to its moniker is to do it a disservice. For starters, you’d never know about the forest-green timber facade, carefully camouflaged among the surrounding cork oaks and pines, never mind the soothing seafoam hues of the interiors, mirroring the marine forest and the Atlantic beyond. Even the sporting pedigree of Seignosse gets spotlighted – playful court markings pop against parquet floors and bespoke surf-themed lithographs by local artist Supakitch bring the sun-dappled sea inside. Hit only the headline acts and you might flit right past the pine-fringed pool, passing up the plancha-centric terrace restaurant as you go.
And then there’s La Cabane des Estagnots. Minutes from the hotel and known to locals as the coolest cabana on the southwest coast, this is a beachside secret you want to be privy to. Come for the ocean outlook and breezy Basque-style brunch, stay for a sandy sunset snuggle, complete with a perfectly chilled aperitif. So, what’s in a name? Quite a lot, it turns out – but at 70 Hectares et l’Océan there’s a whole lot more than initial introductions allow.