“Intimate designer B&B (or house for 8-12) with decked pool and concierge-level service, tucked between Atlantic dunes, oyster lake and pine forests”
Tucked on a cul-de-sac overlooking protected forests, a stroll from Hossegor's oyster-farming lake and a short drive from those Atlantic breakers, this 4-room designer B&B is a real hidden gem. It's run by a Franco-German couple Olivier and Christina, who after a decade of summers here, decided in 2014 to make it their home. Together they welcome you with the sincere pleasure and personalised advice of born hosts - plying you with homemade fig jam and the region's best bellota ham for breakfast; arranging surf lessons, electric bike hire or superb massages for daytime détente; ordering sushi for al fresco dinners on their poolside deck. It's one of the classiest chambres d'hôtes we've seen, and can also be rented as a whole house for 8-12. Get in there quick.
- Faultless service: Olivier and Christina magically bring what you need when you need it, then slip away so the house feels yours
- Wonderful designer touches in the bedrooms, from vintage surfboards to Le Corbusier chaise longues
- We loved lazing on outsize cushions by the heated pool
- Endless sandy beaches and shady forests ensure you'll blow the cobwebs of office life away
- If you need a drop of culture, Biarritz is 30 mins' drive away, San Sebastian an hour
- Room prices are higher than you'd expect from what is essentially a B&B - but once you get here, you'll see why
- Big waves make sea swimming tricky
- Not ideal for young children, due to the sharp-edged design and tranquil atmosphere
- Despite the sylvan setting, there's still a slight hum from the minor road nearby
- No twin-bedded rooms
Best time to go
Our top tips
For a more sheltered swim at Biarritz, try Port Vieux beach: the waves are tamed by rocks around the Rocher de la Vierge promontory.”
- Boutique B&B
- Breakfast; other meals can be delivered
- All ages welcome
- Closed: 1 Nov 2020 - 14 Dec 2020
- Heated Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
- Bicycles Available
There are just 4 gorgeous bedrooms: 2 on the ground floor and 2 under the eaves. The lower rooms get sail-screened terraces; Room 440's is large enough for al fresco breakfasts. Upstairs, Room 420 is a sweet couples' hideaway, while Room 450 is significantly larger, with a Le Corbusier chaise-longue and huge bathroom (eggshell tub, walk-in shower). Both have small balconies overlooking pool deck and forest.
Decor is beachside-industrial chic: sun-bleached kilims on polished cement floors, brilliant Plümacher prints on white walls, and an alaia (early surfboard) to remind you where you are. In Room 430 a giant wooden mill screw serves as a phone stand; Room 420 has a hanging purple wardrobe. Olivier loves his gadgets, so expect bluetooth Bose speakers, blue pinprick nightlights, magnetic door catches, electric blinds.
Queensize beds are blissful, dressed in artfully crumpled organic linen. There are no twins, but 3 rooms can take a BoConcept child's bed ("very comfy", says our son Oscar). You also get minibar, satellite TV, branded pool towels, cool canvas beach bags, and superb toiletries.
- Air conditioning
- Bose sound system
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Ipod dock
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
Olivier and Christina choose all their favourite things for the breakfast spread: wonderful acorn-fed bellota ham, delicious sheep milk yoghurt in dinky ceramic pots, a trio of jams (including their own fig), plus fresh pains au chocolat, hand-squeezed orange juice and more. It's served on the pool terrace, or inside at a lovely communal table during cooler mornings; or you can have it brought to your balcony at any time until noon.
For dinner, ask for their latest recommendations, from fresh oysters 5 mins' walk away at the lake, to upmarket seafood by the dunes. Or stay in and pick from excellent sushi, pizza or pasta menus, which Olivier collects and presents on wooden platters, along with a glass of Sancerre, champagne or fruity Woll beer from his short but excellent drinks menu. You can also pre-order a generous tapas platter, piled with more of those irresistible cheeses and cold cuts.
- Dinner by arrangement
- Lunch by arrangement
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- The Côte d'Argent has over 200km of sandy beaches, pounded by Atlantic breakers and backed by dunes and pine forests - ideal for surfing and long meditative walks, not so great for swimming (but you've the heated pool for that)
- Olivier can fix you up with a great English-speaking surf instructor, Xav, who will collect you from the door, fit you with board and wetsuit, and take you to the best breaks
- Stroll round Hossegor's millpond-still lake, past oyster farms to the fishing harbour, then back via the wonderful Patisserie du Golf for macaroons and café au lait
- Try out SUP (stand-up paddle), finless alaias or any number of surf crazes; Estagnots, 1.6km away, has reliable waves and few crowds
- Recover with a massage in the garden, at the hands of Cécile Page; UK-trained, she's the pro-surfers' favourite
- Escape to Biarritz (30 mins' drive) for Belle Epoque beach bling; or cross the border to San Sebastian (1 hour) for Michelin-starred pintxos
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Well being
Lake Loft is aimed more at couples than families, but with the heated pool, the sandy beach nearby and the super-welcoming owners, families with older kids will also have a great time here.
If taking the whole house you get an extra bedroom which is beside the pool, making this a great option for families with 5 double bedrooms at your disposal.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
#440 and #450 can fit an extra bed or baby cot, while larger families can take either the upstairs pair of rooms (can sleep 2 + 3), or the downstairs pair (can sleep 2+2, with direct access to terraces) - but bear in mind that all beds are queensize rather than twins.
- High chair
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids Activities on site:
- Swimming pool
- Bicycles available
Families Should Know:
Interiors are not great for toddlers: sharp edges, heavy metal doors, adult-oriented furnishings such as a hot glass wood-burner, a sliding coffee table (made from an old brick factory wagon), or a vintage (and purely decorative) pillarbox-red ham cutter. The pool terrace does have railings, but also lots of steps; the shallow end is around 1m.
Lake Loft is on the edge of the small town of Hossegor (also called Hossegor - Soorts), in the Landes department of SW France. It's at the end of cul-de-sac which borders the forest, 400m from Lake Hossegor, 1 mile / 1.6 km from the beach, and 2 miles / 3 km from the town centre.
Biarritz-Bayonne (Anglet) airport is the closest (42km); Pau Pyrenees is further (110km); Bordeaux further still (174km), but served by a wider range of flights - see the links below. You can also fly into Bilbao in Spain (180km), but make sure you're allowed to take the hire car into France.
From the Airport
We'd recommend hiring a car so you have the freedom to explore the area. You can park securely off-road. Alternatively, the owners can arrange airport transfers, and you can cycle or taxi to the beach or town (or walk, if you're energetic).
There's a train station in Benesse-Maremme (12km from Lake Loft), or a larger station at Dax (35km). Both are on the line between Biarritz (30 mins) and Bordeaux (2 hrs).
By Ferry from UK:
Bilbao (2 hours' drive away, in Spain) has ferry connections from the UK.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com
More on getting to France and getting around
- Biarritz (Bayonne) 42.0 km BIQ
- Bordeaux (Merignac) 174.0 km BOD
- Beach 1.6 km
- Shops 1.0 km
- Restaurant 1.0 km