“A slice of designer chic in Guéthary, ideal for surfers, serious foodies, design-freaks and honeymooners”
Arguibel has 3 double bedrooms and 2 suites. Of the double bedrooms, 2 are on the ground floor (Chambres No. 60 and 63, the latter has wheelchair access), and the other is on the first floor (Chambre No. 30). We really liked No. 63, painted in pale colours with a big driftwood-framed double bed; No. 60 is aubergine and avocado in colour, while No. 30 has a striking monochrome décor with pops of bright turquoise and pink in its paintings.
Each room has access to a terrace with views of sheep pastures, a glamorous bathroom, armchairs and in-built storage; No. 30 has a small balcony instead of the terrace. There is plenty of room, particularly because you have a private space outside too, and the owners expect you to spill into the huge lounge/bar area downstairs.
Upstairs, Suite No. 21 looks out of the front of the house (there’s a tiny sea view through the trees) and has a ridiculously wanton 4-poster bed with white linen drapes, a modern, multicoloured chaise longue and a sunken bath in a dark-tiled bathroom. It is a good size for 2 people, and there's space for a baby cot or extra bed. We’d recommend it for a romantic break.
Suite No 12 is larger, decorated in turquoise and white with accents of orange (it’s all very modern), with a small lounge and double sofabed, and a large bedroom with a huge, very comfortable bed. The best thing about this suite is the enormous balcony outside, with deckchairs, a table and chairs and stunning views. In good weather, you’ve effectively got another room, which we used as a dining room for picnics. You could comfortably stay here as a family of 4, or 5 with an additional baby cot. We slept really well and were woken by the gentle clang of sheep bells from the pasture next door - bliss!
The bathrooms throughout deserve a special mention: they are super luxurious, with roll-top baths and a shower in each (except No. 63, which just has a shower), as well as double sinks, bathrobes and slippers, and Anne Sémonin products.
This part of Basque Country France is a lesser-visited foodie pleasuredome. And despite the fact that Villa Arguibel only serves breakfast, it's a real treat. Pastries, fresh coffee, loose teas and freshly-baked bread are available alongside jambon de Bayonne (a local cured ham), hard sheep’s cheese, Brebis (local to the Pyrenees) and tempting cooked options. The jam deserves a mention too: a tasty blend of pink grapefruit and mango.
For other meals, the hotel is salivatingly-well placed for restaurants. There are 16 within 1.5km alone, including 2 Michelin-starred establishments, Brikétéria and Les Frères Ibarboure, both serving innovative Basque cuisine. There are similarly exceptional eating opportunities in St Jean de Luz, a short drive down the coast (and coincidentally the birthplace of the macaroon back in the 17th century), and Biarritz, where we love Côte 58, a slick beach brasserie-cafe overlooking the surf beach Côte de Basques.
Guéthary itself is a real delight. The bars and restaurants along the beaches are lovely - we took Francois’ recommendation and headed to Cenitz, renowned for its grilled and barbecued seafood. Beach café chic doesn’t come any better - it was full of groomed-to-perfection beach babes and surfers, and felt the right blend of relaxed and cool. This reviewer’s perfect day would start at the first of Guéthary’s beaches with a coffee, and meander down, tasting the delights of each cafe on the way towards a finish line and slap-up feast at Cenitz. Take cash though: these little cafes don’t all take credit cards.
We felt that Arguibel was a bit too chic for kids - not only would they not appreciate it, but they could get their sticky fingers on the designer furniture and ruin it for others. But having said that, we took our baby and the management couldn’t have been more helpful.
They don’t have a lot of child-centred equipment bar baby cots, extra beds and a microwave but it works if you’re coming for a short break. Any longer than 3 days and you might prefer to book a villa or self-catering apartment. They can also arrange babysitting if you ask in advance, so you can make the most of the local restaurants.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years)
The suites are suited to families, and the large suite (No 12) can accommodate 2 children and 2 adults, plus a baby cot.
Daytime activities really suit children around here: beaches, bikes, walks in the countryside, swimming and surfing, and children are welcome in all restaurants. In Biarritz, the main swimming pool is open to all, just behind the Grand Plage