The idea of “seawater therapy” has ebbed and flowed out of fashion over the centuries – much like the tides that fuel it. The Greeks and the Romans were renowned for the sea baths they had installed on the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coasts, giving the ancients an outlet for finding their well-needed spiritual and mental wellbeing.
Its modern incarnation can be traced back to the 19th century boom in beach resorts across Europe, when sea water and sea air were considered to provide therapeutic remedies to the increasing pressures of industrial city living.
Today, with ‘wellness’ back in vogue, these centuries old practices have been updated and upgraded, and spa towns like Biarritz are again competing for the title of ‘capital’ of seawater therapy.
The Sofitel Miramar Thalassa Sea & Spa resort is one of three therapy institutes in the French surfer town. Nestled between the cliffs of Saint Martin’s Point and the bay of Empress Eugénie’s beloved Grande Plage, this elegant establishment invites guests in for a very convincing experience of total well-being.
Couples, Individuals or small groups of friends looking to take a deep dive into relaxation and recovery, and don’t want to travel too far to have all their needs met.
Spread over six floors, the hotel has 126 rooms and 17 suites with terrace views of the ocean or of Biarritz’ typical grand architecture.
The rooms and balconies are spacious, well equipped and many look down onto the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool, providing a constant motivation to get out and get active.
The Miramar’s 3000 m² space dedicated to thalassotherapy and well-being is impressive by any standards, and a multi-treatment package covering various modern therapies alongside a traditional massage is the key to fully unwinding and let the spirit of the sea wash over you.
We experienced a seaweed wrap, which left us so relaxed it was a lot like sleeping with the fishes, followed by an invigorating jet power shower, which we were told encouraged lymphatic drainage, although I suspect it just was just a pleasant experience.
The treatment rooms are surrounded by a hamam, in-door and outdoor pools, a jacuzzi and small but pleasing lazy river. Moving between space to space with a fresh cup of herbal tea is a perfect way to unwind for an entire day.
Food and Drink
The hotel includes a restaurant, bar and an in-spa wellbeing ‘comptoir’. The included breakfast provided a solid start to the day with the usual buffet breakfast staples rounded off with a selection of French cheeses and abundant Basque tarts.
The lunch offering was less inspiring, a very basic club sandwich and a small bowl of quinoa rice came in at nearly 40 euros – luckily Biarritz town is a short walk away, presenting far more varied options.
Is Wi-Fi included?
Yes and available throughout the buildings.
Standard rooms start at around €225 not including breakfast going up to around €970 for the executive suite with breakfast included.
If you do decide to leave the complex (for dinner, it would be a wise idea), the famous Biarritz coastline is on your doorstep. A leisurely 15 minute walk will take you down town, where plenty of food and drink options litter the cliffed coastline.
If you’re craving a little bit of Basque culture, we recommend the fish and pixtos at Crampotte 30, in the town’s small port.