The seaside Regina Experimental hotel in Biarritz is built around an atrium bar with a grand piano and 1920’s vibe. Nick Hendry reports
The latest hotel from the Experimental Group has opened its doors to guests in Biarritz. The Regina Experimental is the latest incarnation of the Regina Hotel and Spa, a Belle Epoque building situated on a clifftop facing the Biarritz lighthouse, following a full renovation and restoration of the building by Experimental Group’s own design team.
The property comprises 72 keys and offers guests a spa with outdoor pool, vast orangery and Frenchie Biarritz restaurant and bar. The building features a 15-metre-high atrium, Eiffel glass roof and bay windows overlooking the ocean.The Experimental Group began with a cocktail bar and has included one at the heart of this hotel which is “plucked from the Roaring Twenties”. The menu comprises a mixture of classic cocktails and Experimental Group signatures, served at a long bar. The centrepiece of the room is a piano providing nightly live music. The atrium is surrounded on all sides by corridors containing those 72 guest rooms, which offer views of either the Bay of Biarritz or the Biarritz Golf Club.
Décor is themed to represent the nautical history of the region, with straw and rope combined with marine stripes and aquatic motifs. Signature Ocean Suite features a private in-room sauna, ocean and lighthouse views from the balcony, and sweeping aspects of the Bay. Following on from their collaboration at the Grand Pigalle in Paris, Experimental Group have turned to chef Gregory Marchand to helm on-site restaurant Frenchie Biarritz. A strong focus is put on local Basque products – culinary creations will feature black pork from Gascony, hake from Saint-Jean de Luz, and Basque ewe’s milk cheese from the Aldudes farm, among others – and group co-founder Olivier Bon had this to say of the partnership:
“We are very pleased to continue our collaboration with Gregory Marchand after opening Frenchie Pigalle in 2020 at the Grand Pigalle Hotel in Paris and Frenchie Verbier at the Experimental Chalet. The Frenchie spirit is strong: at once bold and generous yet open to the Basque country and its influences. The menu is designed to welcome new people and mix cultures, perfectly suited to Biarritz.” The original intent of this building in 1907 was as a spa, and Regina Experimental continues that tradition with the Susanne Kaufmann & Alaena Spa. The Spa’s treatment protocols are developed in Bezau, in the heart of the Austrian Alps, and comprise a blend of natural essences and pioneering active ingredients with traditional massage techniques.
Targeted movements and antioxidant treatments for the face, exfoliation and body wraps, and lymphatic drainage inspired by Japanese Kobido massage are among the available treatments.
Regina Experimental looks to expand on the Group’s identity and strengthen their “Made in France” approach to atmosphere and design. Rooms start from £268 per night.