Les Prés d’Eugénie: a family manor with palatial standing


Biarritz-Basque CountryCultural HeritageEntertainment and NightlifeVillages and Countryside

Y. Chevojon / T. Clinch
© Y. Chevojon / T. Clinch

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 27 March 2024

The Les Prés d’Eugénie estate presents traditional architecture with a few exotic touches, in an embodiment of a country Palace. Its history dates back to 1861 when Empress Eugénie, the wife of Napoleon III, bestowed her patronage upon this little spa resort between Landes and Béarn regions of France. One hundred years later, the Guérard family took over stewardship of the estate.

C. Clanet
© C. Clanet

Standing amidst a vast 8 hectare estate, Les Prés d’Eugénie is made up of seven houses which contain 45 rooms, suites, and apartments. Guests are made to feel right at home in rooms that come with a number of personal touches: madeleines and fruit from the surrounding hillsides, eau de toilette and personalised homemade goodies, and bouquets of flowers from the garden.

Yoan Chevojon
© Yoan Chevojon

La Ferme aux Grives welcomes all bon vivants into a decor that recalls the inns of yesteryear. It serves traditional local cuisine, reinterpreted by the Michelin-starred chef Michel Guérard. The decidedly rustic and authentic setting is home to polished wooden tables and an imposing stone fireplace. And indeed, the fireplace is where suckling pigs, chickens and guinea fowl are spit roasted, turning gold before the very eyes of the diners.

Les Près d’Eugénie
© Les Près d’Eugénie

Tea is served in Loulou’s Lounge Bar every afternoon, under the watchful eye of Empress Eugénie, immortalised by the photographer Gustave Legray. Madeleines, gingerbread, and other gourmet treats are de rigueur. According to Christine Guérard, the house is a “living museum” that showcases antique paintings and furniture.

Corentin Mossière
© Corentin Mossière

La Table des Prés d’Eugénie has held three Michelin stars for the past 40 years. Michel Guérard’s cuisine blends classic staples, history, and creativity. The governing philosophy is that of natural cuisine that showcases regional produce. The restaurant works with artisans and suppliers who are mostly based in France, some not far from the estate itself.

Corentin Mossière
© Corentin Mossière

Roasted lobster, lightly smoked in the fireplace, a bed of St George and morel mushrooms with local asparagus, hen’s egg with caviar... A wide variety of iconic creations, first served in Eugénie, now form part of French culinary heritage.

Yoan Chevojon
© Yoan Chevojon

This former 18th century Landes farm boasts a 1000m² spa. Whether stopping by for a treatment or just to relax for a few hours, its 21 treatment rooms, steam bath, salons, and boutique all hold the promise of an enjoyable time.

G. Hervais
© G. Hervais

The houses are surrounded by eight gardens that play an active role in life on the estate. Three are kitchen gardens for vegetables and herbs, then there’s a fruit orchard and flower beds, various rose gardens, and an ornamental tree garden with water features. They are planted with ancient trees that include plane trees, oak, and hundred-year cedar.

X. Boymond
© X. Boymond

Here, everything is within walking distance, with the two houses standing a few dozen metres from each other. La Grande Maison is the estate’s main building. Its architecture is inspired by colonial buildings with gingerbread, banana trees, and giant bonsai trees. It contains the hotel reception, Michel Guérard’s fine dining restaurant, and 23 rooms and suites. Next door, the Empress wing contains Loulou’s Lounge Bar, the Salon des Dames and Salon du Pacha, as well as 5 suites.

By France.fr

The magazine of the destination unravels an unexpected France that revisits tradition and cultivates creativity. A France far beyond what you can imagine…