INTERVIEW: Le Garage designers

Agnès and Pauline are the interior designers of the new 4-star Le Garage Hotel Biarritz. These two women combined their skills and expertise in the hotel and renovation industry to design this formidable project facing the ocean. Here, they share their inspirations and motivations for the creation of the Le Garage Biarritz hotel.

Agnès Guiot

spent 15 years imagining, creating and managing a brasserie and two hotels facing the ocean in Biarritz. She is a self-taught interior designer. She has opened her own design YNDO hotel in Bordeaux, a 5-star hotel with 12 rooms in a 19th century mansion. This luxurious project will become the signature of her work, highlighting her personality as well as her refined and innovative taste. It was through her innate talent for understanding space and its potential for transformation that she was entrusted with the Le Garage project in Biarritz.

Pauline Minsé

is a graduate of the Institut Supérieur Européen de la Mode in Paris – (commercial branch of the ESMOD group) where she studied interior design. She entered the hotel industry in 2016 by joining the rapidly expanding NERIS group with a current total of 17 hotels mainly in the west of France. She is in charge of managing the entire decoration and image section of Le Garage.

surf biarritz
piscine hôtel 4 étoiles biarritz

What kind of universe did you want to create for this new hotel in the Basque Country?

We thought of the Le Garage Hotel Biarritz as “La nouvelle Maison” (The new house) in Biarritz, a place where you have your habits and which makes you want to come back. The universe is eclectic, and imagined in the spirit of the times. It is a timeless and relaxed place. A luxury hotel yet accessible through dynamic, playful and cutting-edge design, a slight atmosphere of insouciance infuses the location.

You speak of a timeless and relaxed location, do people come to Le Garage for the holiday vibes?

Yes absolutely! The ambiance in the hotel is highlighted by conviviality and a relaxed mood. We designed the place with a swimming pool, a terrace as well as woven and colourful furniture. The direct access between the indoors and outdoors sets a holiday vibe. The bedrooms have open wardrobes to make you feel comfortable and many of them have private gardens, terraces or patios. The lobby has a large table where one can chat and share precious moments.

Why keep the spirit of Le Garage in Biarritz?

We wanted to respect the place, its character and its past. We wanted to honour the history of the place which was an aero club more than 100 years ago, then garage for the Regina hotel and finally a classic car garage. Le Garage Hotel tells a true story, translated into suggested details and souvenirs. The fundamental motivation had been to respect the architecture of this one-of-a-kind establishment.

ow did you transcribe the hotel’s spirit in terms of decoration?

By prioritizing industrial details. The location and elements around the “Garage” theme and its era inspired us. The choice of raw materials, such as an industrial-type ceiling in the lobby, or unfinished wood, steel and concrete… Bench-style furniture with steel legs, retro light fixtures and light switches, etc… However, the idea is not to fit 100% into a theme but to use it as a guideline in a subtle way. All of these details are combined with other more feminine, softer and bright elements. The idea is to keep a balance between the raw and the refined elements.

What kind of materials did you use?

We used raw materials such as concrete, terrazzo for the mineral side and wood to bring out the natural side. We also made use of carpets and fabrics (especially for the headboard) to give a feeling of warmth and comfort. For the record, the terrazzo had already been present in the owners’ apartment and the idea of ​​using an existing material appealed to us. In addition to our mutual crush, it also displays the richness of the nuances. We have also chosen eco-responsible materials such as those offered by Ames (recycled PVC) and to work with local craftsmen like the Blunt factory in Biarritz, craftsmen who make furniture from raw materials.

And in terms of colors, what tone did you give to the place?

The atmosphere in Le Garage Hotel is cheerful and colourful, with bright colours and no pastels. Among the selected colours, “deep blue” and “sea green” are reminiscent of the ocean and nature, offset by warmer colours such as terracotta, red and pink. Not to mention black for energy.

Buffet fruits et légumes - Hôtel Le Garage à Biarritz

In Le Garage Hotel Biarritz, we find many rounded shapes and arches, where does this desire come from?

We were inspired by the architecture of the building and its incredible arch-shaped facade that gives the place its identity. And indeed the arches were important throughout the project. You will find arch shapes in the lobby and in all the headboards, for example. The rounded shapes are in synch with feng shui, as it helps to soften and harmonise energy.

Le Garage Hotel Biarritz offers an experience that is out of the ordinary, we are clearly in a unique place, was there a desire to break the rules and surprise guests?

Yes. The setup is offbeat but it works, we put conformity in the background. You go to a hotel to have a different experience and to see things that you wouldn’t see or do at home. We have therefore thought of original and atypical decoration that makes an impression.

We hope that every guest will remember their stay at Le Garage hotel in Biarritz.