Transforming a 19th-cenutry water factory into a luxurious boutique hotel is no easy feat, but seasoned hoteliers Olivier and Nathlaene Arnoux have made it look effortless with their Arcachon-based bolthole in southwestern France.

Opting to ‘do it themselves’ rather than fork out for costly interior designers, the recession-savvy couple sourced many of the hotel’s materials in Europe, including the French stone used on the exterior and the Spanish ceramic found underfoot in the lobby. The result is a spectacular conversion that certainly tickles our French fancy, with twelve well-appointed bedrooms boasting sleek, contemporary interiors, an on-site restaurant serving exquisite French classics and an in-house spa offering steamy sessions in the Moroccan hammam.

British touches are evident throughout, with luscious licks of Farrow & Ball paint, fabulous fabric by Mary Fox Linton, and occasional tweed, too, making something of a comeback. Built in 1884, the property hasn’t lost any of its original charm, either; authentic features have been kept, painstakingly restored and then recycled, such as the water tank, now flanked by crisp blue-and-white seating and used as a gorgeous al fresco swimming pool.


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The Biscuit House by AU*M Architectes Urbanistes, Lyon

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The Biscuit House

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The Biscuit House by Architectes Urbanistes

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The Biscuit House interior

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The Biscuit House inertior

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The Biscuit House bathroom

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Pastries by Camille Lesecq

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Pastries by Camille Lesecq

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Pastries by Camille Lesecq

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Pastries by Camille Lesecq

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Pastries by Camille Lesecq

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Pastries by Camille Lesecq

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Pastries by Camille Lesecq

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Lilas Animation Centre in Paris by Christian Biecher & Associes

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Lilas Animation Centre in Paris

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Lilas Animation Centre in Paris by Christian Biecher & Associes

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La Grand Place, Musée du Cristal Saint-Louis

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La Grand Place entrance

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La Grand Place interior

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La Grand Place, Musée du Cristal Saint-Louis

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Lilas Animation Centre

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Lilas Animation Centre in Paris by Christian Biecher & Associes

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La Grand Place

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VW House by Franklin Azzi

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VW House

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VW House entrance

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VW House by Franklin Azzi

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VW House interior

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VW House interior

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VW House by Franklin Azzi

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VW House kitchen area

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VW House bedroom

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Ara dress

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Ara dress by Heal Fashion
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Sleeveless Ara dress

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Sleeveless Ara dress by Heal fashion

Ara dress detail

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Ara dress detail by Heal fashion

Baby Horse dress

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Baby Horse dress by Ara fashion

Odysee dress by Ara fashion

Odysee dress

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Odysee dress

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Hotel Ville d'Hiver, Arachon

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Hotel Ville interior

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Hotel Ville d'Hiver, Arachon

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Hotel Ville d'Hiver

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Hotel Ville d'Hiver Entrance

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Hotel Ville d'Hiver wash basin

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Hotel Ville d'Hiver interior

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Hotel Ville d'Hiver, Arachon

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Hotel Ville d'Hiver, Arachon entrance

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Hotel Ville d'Hiver, Arachon interior

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Hotel Ville bar area

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Hotel Ville d'Hiver dining area

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Das Pop, from Le Mont St Michel

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Das Pop

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Man with electric guitar

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Pap Femme, from Le Mont St Michel

Pap Femme, from Le Mont St Michel

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Pap Femme, from Le Mont St Michel

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Pap Femme, from Le Mont

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Pap Femme, from Le Mont St Michel

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Pap Femme, from Le Mont St Michel

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Pap Femme, from Le Mont St Michel

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Pap Femme, from Le Mont St Michel

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Pap Femme, from Le Mont St Michel

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Pap Femme, from Le Mont St Michel

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Women wearing black clothes

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Musée International de la Parfumerie, Grasse

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Musée International de la Parfumerie entrance

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Musée International de la Parfumerie inside view

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Musée International de la Parfumerie, Grasse

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Musée International de la Parfumerie garden area

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The debut collection by Moustache

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The debut collection by Moustache

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A image of chairs

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The debut collection by Moustache

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The debut collection by Moustache

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The debut collection by Moustache

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The debut collection by Moustache

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The debut collection by Moustache

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The debut collection by Moustache

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The debut collection by Moustache

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Nomiya Restaurant, Palais Tokyo, Paris

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Nomiya Restaurant

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Nomiya Restaurant, Palais Tokyo

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Nomiya Restaurant, Palais Tokyo, Paris

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Nomiya Restaurant, Palais Tokyo, Paris exterior view

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The Hemera by PGO Automobiles

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The Hemera

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The Hemera by PGO Automobiles

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The Hemera by PGO Automobiles

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The Hemera by PGO Automobiles

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Borrowed Treasures by Philippe Rahm at the Musee d'Orsay

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Borrowed Treasures

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Borrowed Treasures by Philippe Rahm

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Borrowed Treasures

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Borrowed Treasures by Philippe Rahm

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Borrowed Treasures interior

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Borrowed Treasures by Philippe Rahm at the Musee d'Orsay interior view

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Borrowed Treasures inside view

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Borrowed Treasures by Philippe Rahm at the Musee d'Orsay inside area

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Borrowed Treasures by Philippe Rahm at the Musee d'Orsay

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Les Thermes Marins de Cannes

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Les Thermes Marins de Cannes reception area

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Les Thermes Marins de Cannes interior

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Les Thermes Marins de Cannes swimming pool area

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Melina Keays is the entertaining director of Wallpaper*. She has been part of the brand since the magazine’s launch in 1996, and is responsible for entertaining content across the print and digital platforms, and for Wallpaper’s creative agency Bespoke. A native Londoner, Melina takes inspiration from the whole spectrum of art and design – including film, literature, and fashion. Her work for the brand involves curating content, writing, and creative direction – conceiving luxury interior landscapes with a focus on food, drinks, and entertaining in all its forms