Biarritz, France

Regina Experimental Biarritz

Price per night from$272.47

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR254.55), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Putting on the (Biar)ritz


Oh hey, Bay of Biscay

Back in its swinging and champagne-swigging past Regina Experimental Biarritz was dubbed Le Petit Palais, a nickname that doesn’t convey how statuesque this coastal queen is, both in its cupola-topped Belle Époque building or repute. Jeanne Lanvin would sketch designs in the soaring, galleried lobby’s piano bar – the site of proms and galas – and original features such as Eiffel-style glass, deco friezes and swooping staircases still evoke the era of Chanel and her stylish contemporaries. Now, with postmodern colour and form (courtesy of designer Dorothée Meilichzon), a tucked-away spa and plenty of bang behind the bar, the Experimental group have reinstated it as a Biarrot crowning glory.

Smith Extra

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Two cocktails on arrival


Photos Regina Experimental Biarritz facilities

Need to know


72, including 13 suites.


11am, but flexible, subject to availability and a charge. Earliest check-in, 3pm.


Double rooms from £236.29 (€280), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €4.75 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates don’t include the hotel’s buffet, Continental or American breakfast options (from €30 a person).


Common areas are wheelchair-accessible and some rooms have been specially adapted.

At the hotel

Spa treatment rooms and a hammam; atrium lounge; bikes, e-bikes and scooters to hire (for a charge); charged laundry service; and free WiFi. In rooms: TV with Chromecast, minibar, espresso-maker with organic coffee, tea-making kit, air-conditioning, bathrobes and slippers, and LA Bruket bath products. Suites also have a Marshall speaker and Crosley turntable.

Our favourite rooms

The Experimental group’s signature look is the sterling work of designer Dorothée Meilichzon – and she’s done a beautiful job of teasing out the brand while bigging up Biarritz in her design of the rooms and suites here. Curvaceous postmodern furnishings and architectural forms get a coastal feel with mint-green and blue hues, marine stripes, shell shapes and ocean-liner-deco details. The ocean views are the ones to plump for, but swingers might want to overlook Biarritz’s historic Golf du Phare course. And the Regina Ocean Junior Suite does indeed rule here, for its private sauna and spa area, and panoramic ocean views you can wake up to.


The sizable pool (heated from April to October and open 8am to 9pm) is also a chic, view-blessed sunbathing spot, or you can take a refreshing salty dip off Miramar Beach (a five-minute walk away).


Working with the crèmes de la crème of spa spoiling, across three cabins, products from luxe Austrian brand Susanne Kaufmann and homegrown studio Alaena are used in massages, facials, scrubs and wraps. Extra-special spoiling comes in the form of gommage, lymphatic drainage and face-lifting Japanese Kobido massages, and you can book beautifying finishing-touches too.

Packing tips

If you’re staying in a suite pick up some suitably Yé-yé vinyl for a boogie round your room.


The concierge can help with even more outlier requests: pet-sitting, make-up artists, car-valeting…


Small stylish chiens (under six kilogrammes) can stay in all rooms for €30 a night (let the hotel know when you book). See more pet-friendly hotels in Biarritz.


Kids are very welcome here, with family-sized rooms, babysitters on call bikes and scooters to borrow and younger-skewing itineraries. But they do need supervising in the pool.

Sustainability efforts

The hotel has low-energy LED bulbs and motion sensors, water-savers on showers, has a strict recycling programme, uses local suppliers and eco-friendly products where possible. The building was insulated during renovation, and staff who use public transport are reimbursed.

Food and Drink

Photos Regina Experimental Biarritz food and drink

Top Table

Frenchie’s terrace is ideally placed for discreetly snooping on Biarritz’s very stylish citizens go about their day – or gazing out at the lighthouse and ocean. And it’s edged with clouds of the town’s signature hortensias.

Dress Code

Biarritz was Coco Chanel’s strutting ground (she opened her first boutique here), but you needn't layer up labels here (unless you want to). It's really rather cool and casual.

Hotel restaurant

​​Meilichzon’s brought a postmodern beach-y look to this outpost of Frenchie restaurant: shapely earthenware displayed on thick-rope-strung shelves, deckchair-striped banquettes, white-painted wood and lots of cheery gold-sand yellow throughout. The chef Gregory Marchand is in a similarly playful mood here, with plenty of Basque coastal bounty to tinker with, plus cherry-picked Pyrenean trout, black pork from Gascony, hake caught in Saint-Jean de Luz’s streams, pink veal from Axuria, local milk-fed lamb, Tomme and Ossau-Iraty sheep’s cheese from a farm in Les Aldudes, and liberal shakings of Espelette pepper. The menu is a changeable feast, but expect the likes of hot-smoked Banka trout with wild anise, Granny Smith apple and cucumber; tortellini stuffed with young chanterelles and goat's cheese from the Aldudes Valley; Basque pork with Kaffir lime, chorizo and hyssop; and strawberries with verbena mousse.

Hotel bar

The bar is at the centre of the hotel’s spectacular atrium with four tiers of colonnaded arches on all sides. Reinventing the building’s original 1920s piano bar, it’s deco but done experimentally, bien sûr. As with the brand’s other properties, Dorothée Meilichzon has dropped hints and homages to the hotel and area’s history and landmarks, with style references design nerds can revel in: a curvaceous ocean-liner-style counter inspired by modernist architect Eileen Gray (specifically her Villa E-1027 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin), sofas following the shape of Guéthary’s Itsasoan footbridge, and hanging lamps by Ingo Maurer and Anthony Dickens, alongside some striking-straw-wrapped columns, all under a glass ceiling with Eiffel-style metalwork. Drinks-wise, the Basque country’s wines are well-represented, but cocktails are in the Experimental Group’s DNA, so have the barkeeps build you something flavourful. 

Last orders

Breakfast is from 7am to 10.30am, lunch from noon to 2.30pm, and dinner from 7.30pm to 10pm (reservations required). The bar stops pouring at midnight.

Room service

With 24-hour in-room dining (breakfast ends at a leisurely noon) you can sample the Basque country’s best without setting a foot outside.


Photos Regina Experimental Biarritz location
Regina Experimental Biarritz
52 Avenue de l'Impératrice

Regina Experimental Biarritz’s 1907 Beaux-Arts building overlooks the Bay of Biscay, set by a lighthouse-topped headland, Miramar Beach and the town’s most historic golf course.


Biarritz Airport is an easy 10-minute drive from the hotel, and is well connected across central and north Europe. The hotel can arrange private transfers in a range of increasingly luxurious vehicles on request.


The Gare de Biarritz is a 15-minute drive from the hotel. From here you can connect to Paris or the French Riviera via Bordeaux. Transfers from here are €60 each way.


While Biarritz itself can be navigated on foot or by public transport like much of the south of France, it’s best explored by car, especially if you want to seek out Les Plus Beaux Villages in the region, or sample the fruits of the Basque country’s farmland. The hotel can help with hire and there’s parking onsite for €20 a night for each car.


Biarritz has clung onto the bougie-ness of its Napoleonic resort days, which might explain why there are several heliports to touch down along the coast.

Worth getting out of bed for

Regina Experimental Biarritz sits outside the town centre, which is a pleasant 15-minute stroll along the other end of Miramar Beach, but there’s classic Biarrot charm by the bucket and spade load here, right by the Bay of Biscay, a 19th-century lighthouse (brave the 248 steps for panoramic views and to see the hotel’s Beaux-Arts building in all its glory), and legendary Le Phare golf course, where kings Edouard VII and Alphonse XIII teed off back in the day. Guests get preferential rates and can request tutelage while doing the rounds; and there are a further 16 courses within an hour’s drive, but if that’s not how you want to get into the swing of things, there’s plenty more to experience. The town’s Atlantic-buffed coast has ideal surfing conditions and enthusiasts of all levels can hit the gnarliest spots with local experts; boats can be hired by the half or full day, for sailing out to spy dolphin pods or find a new aspect of the Virgin Rock’s statue; cast out for a seabass or bonito on an in-shore or big-game fishing trip; and antique wrecks lure scuba-divers to the depths. More pulse-racing aquatic pursuits include rafting, canoeing, and jet-ski rides; and by land you can hop on horseback, play paintball, go off-roading in a four-wheel drive, sky-dive or go-kart (ask the concierge to book); they can also book you in for slow-down sessions of yoga or Pilates at neighbourhood studios. Or set out to explore the wider surroundings, hiking the ledges of the Basque coast, the Pyrenees pass and picturesque countryside of the Landes or Bordeaux, or out to the Holzarte footbridge, which is suspended 180 metres over the Olhabudi gorges. Too much effort? Can we tempt you with food? Perhaps a tour of nearby farms and wineries, such as the Egiategia cellar, where the reds, whites and rosés are fermented 15 metres underwater. There’s a fleet of bikes, e-bikes and scooters to borrow for a fee; saddle up and pedal out to the Port-Vieux neighbourhood, with its charming fishermans’ cottages, harbour and esplanade, or hop Anglet’s beaches.

Local restaurants

It’s testament to the Basque country’s culinary bounty that Michelin stars are rather run of the mill here, and the hotel has its own constellation. L'Impertinent has no time for self-deprecation, being too busy showing off their fun irreverence through tasting menus with showstoppers such as spider crab and white asparagus in almond milk and blackcurrant wood oil with fresh edible flowers; or semi-feral lamb tenderly cooked in zaatar butter, burnt shallot and chilli with limequat. Sillon is a restaurant and tapas bar, whose dishes only slightly mess with tradition; red-mullet karaage comes with pil-piland lemon blossoms, squid with stracciatella and ginger, veal with capers and bergamot; and desserts up the quirk with saffron-glazed quince in sabayon with Andalusian pistachio; or bitter chocolate with black-olive caramel and fennel granita. And Le Pim’Pi is a laidback sociable bistro, with a frequently updated menu of elegant, well-portioned eats, such as pig-trotter croquette with shrimp tail and creamy artichoke; fish rillettes in coconut-and-cucumber curry cream; or lamb shoulder with ras el hanout, hummus and piquillo peppers, topped off with dense chocolate pots. 

Local cafés

Hungry Belly is a pâtisserie and vegetarian ‘micro-canteen’ with lavishly fruit-laden pavlovas, and topping-heavy cookies; and tasty lunchables such as stuffed, fried courgette flowers or spiced cauliflower with orange-harissa and burrata. The faux-meat katsu sandos are a popular pick too. And Dodin Biarritz is famous for its flavoured caramels.

Local bars

The Experimental group got their grounding in Parisian bars, so they’re reliably excellent when it comes to drinks – but you could sashay over to coastal hangout Etxola Bibi for apéro hour. Here you can watch the waves as you dip bread into melt-y honey-drizzled camembert and sip wine- or prosecco-muddled cocktails. And Bar Jean is a crowd-pleasing, not-too-polished spot with Basque tapas, live music and a well-stocked wine cellar.


Photos Regina Experimental Biarritz reviews

Anonymous review

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 Beaux-Arts belle by the Bay of Biscay and unpacked their rash vests and cashed in their chips at the casino, a full account of their glamorous Gallic break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Regina Experimental Biarritz…

We’re not sure what the French equivalent of ‘Yass, queen’ is – probably something a touch more seductive-sounding – but legendary coastal stay Regina Experimental Biarritz is deserving of an enthusiastic one. Built in 1907, this Belle Époque building, crowned with white cupolas and strung with decorative balconies, has been the reigning glory of the stretch of coastline just north of Miramar Beach, by the lighthouse and looking serenely out over the Bay of Biscay. Its dining terraces and poolside have been the ideal hangouts for surreptitiously watching the fashion designers, artists and actors who frequented these parts behind oversized sunglasses; its cathedral-esque lobby bar was a dazzling soirée spot (where Jeanna Lanvin used to sit and sketch out designs); and the esteemed Le Phare golf course (where European kings teed off) is practically its backyard. In renovating this historic hideaway, the Parisian Experimental Group haven’t messed too much with the regalia, keeping the pomp of the Eiffel-style glazed ceilings and staircases you feel you should demurely negotiate in a Dior ballgown, but bring in Dorothée Meilichzon’s signature postmodern furnishings, architectural flourishes and cheering use of colour, ensuring that this Regina still indisputably rules. 

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Price per night from $272.47