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BAL : Hôtel Le Splendid

Located on the banks of the River Adour, Hotel Splendid is an icon of the city of Dax. An emblem of the Art Deco style that was recently offered a spa and a seminar center by the Bordeaux architecture agency BAL. Ready for a trip to the roaring twenties?

In the heart of the city of Dax (40), the Splendid hotel dominates the banks of the Adour with its immensity and its white graphic allure. Built in 1929 on the ruins of an old fortified castle by the architect André Granet, the ship-shaped establishment - the liner Normandie would have served as a source of inspiration for its designer - once tempted the cosmopolitan clientele of the Roaring Twenties, from Joseph Kessel to Ernest Hemingway via Sacha Guitry. But like the big icons, the Splendid has aged, being stolen the spotlight by other addresses offering more services.

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Missioned to restore its reputation by imagining a new spa and a seminar center (the renovation of the rest of the hotel is entrusted to architects KAPZUL workshop), the Bordeaux agency BAL conducted by Jeanne Mauvezin, Thomas Cestia and Thomas Sabatier was faced with the difficulty of "Providing it with contemporary hotel tools while preserving its identity and value" - the building having been registered in the inventory of historical monuments in 1991. An embarrassment from which the team got out by assuming the marriage of styles and eras.

Arranged in the old spa area - where the remains of the old castle are still visible - and extended by "Two symmetrical extensions under a concrete pleat", the spa with a surface area of ​​2 square meters now offers all the comforts of a four-star establishment. There, the different architectural styles - medieval, Art Deco and contemporary - intertwine with elegance: the medieval vaults thus rub shoulders with both concrete and golden mosaics straight out of Gatsby the magnificent.

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The seminar center, with a capacity of 490 places, occupies the mezzanine level, and houses a total of twelve large, easily modular rooms. Here, the architects paid particular attention to physical and acoustic comfort, as evidenced by the many baffles perfectly integrated into the custom-designed furniture. In short, far from Sale temps à l'hôtel El Royale, the sun shines again on the Splendid of Dax.

Learn more about the site of BAL et from KAPZUL 

Photographs: Fabio Semeraro

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