The Hôtel Parc Victoria is an Art-Deco masterpiece in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, southwest of France. An inimitable institution that whisks guests back in time a hundred years...
When you cross the threshold of the Hôtel Parc Victoria, your journey is twofold. First, you travel far from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, finding yourself surrounded by two and a half acres of grounds covered in lush greenery and blooms, dotted with a series of suites in the shade of a sumptuous Art Deco manor.
You take a trip back in time, as well, because the Art Deco theme persists once you enter the manor, the rooms, the various buildings. Yet every piece of furniture, every door handle, every detail makes clear the fascination the owners – Roger Larralde and Richard Pérodeau – have for the Roaring Twenties. And demonstrates their remarkable patience and exactitude, too: not a single thing is imitation, each article truly does date from the beginning of the last century, meaning it was found in a search across thousands of flea markets, combed through over three decades. Pieces that may be nearly priceless, like a table of which only eight copies exist in the world, or the bar that once belonged to turn-of-the-century French actor Raimu. Entering this hotel means being drawn into family photos, thrust into the heart of The Great Gatsby or Metropolis.
It wasn’t long ago, though, that this manor nearly vanished forever: In 1986, it was almost by chance that Roger Larralde and Richard Pérodeau learned that it was to be razed to make way for a real-estate development. So the two men pooled their savings and joined forces to buy the house and clear the grounds on land that had been almost entirely abandoned.
Five years later, in 1991, the hotel opened and has since continued to thrive and expand. Around the sumptuous pool, two restaurants have seen light of day, including the gourmet Les Lierres. With Chef Guillaume Applaincourt at the helm, a man who trained with culinary masters like Jean-Marie Amat at the Saint-James in Bouliac, guests can enjoy fresh and local ingredients. “Simple things that we prepare with refinement,” says the chef with a smile. Unsurprisingly, starring roles are given to fish and truffles. There is a house specialty, too, passed down since the establishment came to be: the Luzeoizee, a cream of langoustine that the regulars simply adore. All, of course, in Art Deco salons that are both magnificent and intimate, giving the place the feel of a family-run boarding house, where you come not to be seen, but to see time suspended in its flight.