Haaitza Hotel

Arcachon Bay - France, 2016
In collaboration with Philippe Starck
Sebastien Segers -  Haaitza Hotel

Location: Le Pyla-Sur-Mer, La Teste de Buch - France
Programme: Renovation and extension of an hotel including 38 rooms & suites, pool, spa, restaurant and gardens
Scope: Design and construction management assistance
Decorator: Philippe Starck
Architect: Sébastien Segers
Contract Manager: Groupe Demonchy
Area: 3.550 sqm (38.500 sq.ft)
Completion: 2016

Photo Credit: Nicolas Anetson

The old building was a major construction in the history of Pyla-sur-Mer. In order to promote and develop the seaside resort, Louis Gaume built two hotels in 1930: Haïtza in the midst of the pins and la Corniche on the sand dune. Back then Haïtza is a grand luxury hotel where famous people used to stay. It has been a privileged witness of the French Atlantic Coast golden age and rise.

Ideally located on the second line on the Arcachon Bay, the hotel’s architecture shows a regional character that was popular at this time. Haïtza – meaning rock in local dialect – is rooted in the sand. It is a massive building made of masonry coated white with a curved terracotta tile roof.

Closed since 2002 and faded, the ambition was to restore the character and the former glory of this prestigious institution. Ha(a)ïtza reopened its doors in July 2016.

On the ground floor, the old building host the reception, a bakery/teahouse, a large lounge and a cocktail bar. A few new extension constructions, also with regional style architecture, complete these spaces: on the street side a veranda/gourmet restaurant, on the garden side a spa, a fitness room and a seminar room surrounding the swimming pool covered by a glass roof that can be opened with during the warmer days. These extensions are built in the continuity of the old building and all together form a whole. In the upper floor of the old building, the hotel has 38 bed rooms, seven of which are suites and a 120m2 apartment with a panoramic view.

The architectural approach of the renovation and of the new extensions is intentionally “charming” to give the whole a harmonious consistency. Outside, the tall pin trees has been conserved, the vegetation provide a typical local forest atmosphere. The opening of the hotel and of the café Ha(a)ïtza across the street in 2015 gave the all area a new dynamism.