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Zazpi Hotel – St Jean de Luz, France

An imposing stone town house, architecturally renovated and extended, ideally situated slap bang in the middle of perfectly pretty St Jean de Luz, 20-minutes south along the beach from popular Biarritz on France’s Atlantic coast. Walking into this striking monolithic building is like stepping into a Conran Shop catalogue or the Milan Design Exhibition, with every piece of furniture specially chosen to complement the hotel’s stunning design. Indeed, everything sourced with an exacting love and attention by the owners can be purchased or ordered during your stay.

The Basque translation of ‘seven’ is zazpi; indicating the number of bedrooms within this bijou hotel (including two suites), as well as reminding guests of its cultural roots and geographical location on the edge of South Western France.

Each room is decorated differently but all have gorgeous, high quality wooden flooring, high ceilings, designer furnishings and technology throughout, with well appointed bathrooms and huge walk-in showers.

Check-in at 3pm / check-out at 11am.

SCENE:
Thirty and forty-something couples, honeymooners, female friends on a weekend break; families with small children are made to feel very welcome.

FUEL:

  • Restaurant – Breakfast times in the downstairs cafe space are flexible (continental breakfast, 12 Euros extra). There is no restaurant but baguettes and delicious cheese and meat platters can be knocked together at a minute’s notice and served in bedrooms or either of the terraces until around 11pm. Carmen and Michel, the proud owners of the Zazpi, delight in giving recommendations and advice on local restaurants and cafes.
  • Bar – No bar but hot drinks and soft beverages are available in the cafe or on the pretty ground-floor patio.

PLAY:

  • Sun terrace – The fantastic wooden-decked roof terrace affords beautiful views across red-tiled rooftops to the Pyrenees and Spain. With stylish sunbeds, tables and chairs, a small raised swimming pool with built-in current, and innovative ‘step-on’ shower, the roof-deck is a suntrap, oozing peace and tranquility. Wi-fi access and Bose speakers neatly positioned around the terrace bring the science of sun-bathing into the 21st century.
  • Beach – A 10-minute stroll through the gorgeous, narrow and bustling streets of St Jean de Luz, with their signature rust-red and green wooden shutters contrasting against white-rendered shops, houses and cafes. The huge crescent of golden sand is glorious and safe for families.

CONTACT DETAILS:

  • Zazpi – 21 Boulevard Thiers, 64500 St Jean de Luz (t: +33 (0) 5 59 26 07 77 / info@zazpihotel.com / www.zazpihotel.com).

VISIT DATE:
16 – 20 June 2008

WEATHER:
Warm and sunny 22/25°C, with a couple of cloudy days.

ACCESS:
St Jean de Luz has a small train station and Biarritz is a 20-minute drive away.

TOP TIPS:
All rooms are fantastic but a room either on the second floor at the front or on any floor at the back will avoid possible street noise.

THE FAT MOUSE VERDICT:

  • The Good – The owners, with their fantastically friendly and sparkly-eyed zest for life, make this hotel the huge success it is – they literally fall over themselves to help with requests and guidance, ensuring their guests want for nothing. The comfiest beds EVER with black out blinds at every window make for a truly deep and rejuvenating night’s sleep.
  • The Bad – The occasional early-morning street cleaner.

MACARON RATING:
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