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 firm BAL. Ready for a trip to the time of the roaring years?

In the heart of the city of Dax (40), the Splendid hotel dominates the banks of the Adour by its immensity and its white graphic look. Built in 1929 on the ruins of an old castle by the architect André Granet, the ship-shaped establishment - the liner Normandy would have served as inspiration for its designer - formerly wowed the cosmopolitan clientele of the roaring twenties, from Joseph Kessel to Ernest Hemingway and Sacha Guitry. But like the big icons, the Splendid has aged, being stolen the show by other addresses offering more services.


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 "Endow it with contemporary hotel tools while preserving its identity and value" - the building having been registered in the inventory of Historic Monuments in 1991. An embarrassment that the team came out in assuming the marriage of styles and eras.

Housed in the old spa area - where are still visible the remains of the old castle - and extended by "Two symmetrical extensions under a pleated concrete", the 2 000 square foot spa now offers all the comforts of a four-star establishment. Here, the different architectural styles - medieval, Art Deco and contemporary - intertwine with elegance: the medieval vaults rub shoulders with both the concrete and the golden mosaics straight out of Gatsby the magnificent.


The seminar center, with a capacity of 490 places, occupies the level of the mezzanine, and houses in all twelve large rooms easily scalable. Here the architects paid particular attention to the physical and acoustic comfort, as evidenced by the many speakers perfectly integrated with 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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