Les Prés d’Eugénie: A little piece of paradise on Earth
I discovered Les Prés d´Eugénie thanks to my dear friend Alberto. I have never been there but I have already fallen under the spell of this enchanting place. My long talks with Alberto unveiled me a world of beauty and harmony, a pleasure for all senses: for the sight (because of the delicate and cozy decoration, marvellous gardens and beautiful buildings); for the smell (thanks to the scent of flowers, the fragrance of the herbs cultivated there and used for the spa treatments and the meals); for the touch (that you can feel in the bed linen and the smoothness of towels); for the hearing (because of the classical music and the relaxing sound of the water of the spa) and for the taste (thanks to the great cuisine of the chef Michel Guérard, a regular in Michelin guide) .
I have loved the history of this enchanting place, a love story, the one of Michel and Christine Guérard. Together they have made of Les Prés d´Eugénie (four hotel, three-restaurant, two-spa domain set in a marvellous 40-acre park in Eugénie-les-Bains) the delicious place that is today.
Eugénie-les-Bains, in the Landes countryside north of Pau, become a very renowned watering hole in the mid-19th century thanks to Napoléon III and his wife, Empress Eugénie (for whom the local spring ans town are named), patronized the resort. Its renaissance began on 1972 when Michel, chef-owner of the hot two star bistrot Le Pot au Feu in the Parisian suburb of Asnières, met Christine, owner/director of Eugénie´s Relais&Châteaux hotel and classic spa, part of her father’s thermal Soleil chain. They married on 1974 and after a period of reflection in Eugénie they decided to stay there and develop the original 19th-century hotel and restaurant. Since then Les Prés d´Eugénie has expanded into a delicious place with three additional inns (Le Couvent des Herbes, La Maison Rose and Le Logis des Grives), a country-style restaurant (La Ferme aux Grives), two swimming pools, a tennis court, a nine-hole golf course and -besides its original medical thermal baths- a luxury beauty spa. The last surprise of Michel and Christine is the Maisons Marines d’Huchet, a 19-th century baron´s former hunting lodge surrounded by Atlantic Ocean dunes north of Biarritz, an hour´s drive from Eugénie.
Well-being at Les Près d´Eugénie
The well-being is one of the keys of the philosophy of this delicious place. You can choose among the spa treatments: steam bath, massage shower, the treatments with thermal mud (very renowned for its benefits into health and wellbeing) and by the professionals that work in this luxury spa… Imagine yourself taking a bath contemplating the peaceful and beautiful gardens full of flowers and captivated by the smell of the herbs. Such a relaxing and incredible experience.
The well-being philosophy is also present in the cuisine of chef Guérard. His long-renowned lean cuisine led him into a cuisine minceur active thanks to his close collaboration since 1996 with scientists from Nestlé. In his research he discovered that the introduction of grains and dried vegetables into dishes starves off hunger. Now he composes delicious and healthy menus, full of flavor. But if you prefer you can also taste the delicious cuisine gourmande and “country” from Michel, an array of wonderful culinary creations. I´m sure that Les Prés d´Eugénie must be a place where people love to come back. A place where you can live every time a different but always incredible experience. Far away from the city, in the delicious french countryside, in a place full of beauty and harmony. What else can anyone ask for? This is how I imagine Les Prés d´Eugénie, like a little piece of paradise on Earth.