The hotel welcomed its first guests. High society, French and foreign, immediately flocked in, drawn by its superb ocean views, a winter garden with a grandiose skylight, a splendid golf-course, fabulous receptions. New Year's Eve 1908 was etched into people's memories: 120 selected guests attended an enchanting ball in the patio lit by 1,000 lanterns!
When war broke out, the hotel became an army hospital, then a convalescent centre. Soldiers on leave converged on Biarritz.
In the Roaring 'Twenties, celebrities flocked to the Régina. Its sumptuous evenings made headlines: "Here the Biarritz of American millionaires and Spanish grandees dances till dawn". In 1926, the hotel was enlarged.
After the Wall Street Crash and Spanish Civil War, the Régina fell into decline. It was again requisitioned in World War II, then occupied by German troops who devastated it in six months, making it unrecognizable.
Major renovation restored the Regina's former glory in the late 50's, a time when top fashion designers were moving to Biarritz. The hotel was one of its flagships, a haven for many personalities of the day.
The Royal Monceau company acquired and fully renovated the hotel, except for the winter garden which kept its original style. A substantial undertaking and cost for the group, which finally resold it to Accor in 1998, when it became the "Mercure Thalassa Régina & du Golf".
The Neris group fell for the hotel's charm, acquiring it in late 2013. Significant renovation was undertaken while preserving the hotel's authenticity. Its "couture style" decor recalls the 1920's and the arrival of renowned names in Biarritz: a boudoir by Paul Poiret, Armand-Albert Rateau's birds on furniture, camellias recalling Coco Chanel… Homage to the town's past, marked by a century of art and renewal.
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