Once the several steps of the Splendid’s gardens, now open onto the town, have been climbed, the majestic colonial-style lobby reappears virtually identical to what it was when it was inaugurated back in 1929, the year of the stock market crash! This establishment, listed in the French historic monuments inventory, is the work of André Granet, an architect renowned for designing national palaces, in particular the Salle Pleyel in Paris.
Glassworks, bronzine and wall hangings
The flamboyant centrepiece of the lobby, the luminous graphic-patterned glass wall of the great staircase, imagined by Genet and Michon, was dismantled and cleaned piece by piece. A first since its creation. Long-forgotten details reappeared. Missing pieces of glass were unearthed from a private collection in Chartres and even in the USA, before being silvered in Paris, under the watch-ful eye of the DRAC (Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs) and of the Bâtiments de France.
The surrounding Luxor, New York and Timbuktu bronzines have been restored to their original glo-ry. They can be admired from original armchairs, restored using 1930s fabrics reproduced by Cré-ations Métaphores, a Hermès subsidiary.
On the Smokehouse wall sections, the new ever-so chic Roaring Twenties-style hangings, the work of the prestigious Pierre Frey and Lenglart firms, seem to have always been there. As for the res-taurant with its original red columns, the patterns on the carpet were recreated based on period photos whilst the animal- and fruit-tree-featured medallions on the walls required some fifteen colour attempts before the right shade was found.
Wooden sock dresser drawers
On the upper floors, the bedrooms, with totally revised sound and insulation, have also been re-newed in accordance with best practices, from the doors with their old-fashioned handles, the large wooden cupboards with their dresser drawers for shirts and socks to the cast-iron radiators, and graphic tapestries reproducing original decorative features.
On the outside, the hotel, dominated by a myriad of arcades, continues to be enhanced by its ori-ental-inspired mosaics coloured green, yellow, red, orange, etc. This spirit is also to be discovered in the brand new luxury spa with flotarium, in the magnificent basement area among the historic stones of the former fortified castle and the vestiges of the Dax Salins Thermal from the end of the 19th century. The large infinity pool, set under a seven metre high ceiling, is totally decorated with green ceramic, whereas the ice fountain along the sensorial discovery path features small golden squares. Pure harmony.
Hôtel **** & Spa Le Splendid
2, cours de Verdun 40100 Dax
Tel: +33 (0)5 58 35 20 10 www.splendid-hotel-spa.com
From €96 per night in a double room.
Spa from 9:45am to 8pm (except 1:30pm – 2:30pm for sensorial Aqua). Price: €25, €45 for two. Treatment on appoint-ment.
Gastronomic restaurant and tapas Made in Sud-Ouest (Made in the South-West).