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“Peace in the Basque valley ...”

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Hotel Restaurant Arce
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Peace in the Basque valley ...”
Reviewed 24 July 2014

The slick website gives the impression of a trendy modern hotel and restaurant. Fortunately, there's a lot of old world charm. Beautifully situated, with a private pool the other side of a pretty stream, this is a good choice for a family or couples for a few days exploring the Basque country. The rooms are spacious (many with a patio or balcony), with wooden floors, pretty rugs, and simply and comfortably furnished. There are plenty of public areas to spread out in. It's more expensive in the season, but at €120-180 still good value.
The restaurant has quite a local reputation, famous for its suckling pig, which unfortunately had sold out during our visit. There are two menus, one at €31, another at €55. Wines start in the low €20's. The rolled stuffed chicken was a little dry, probably having had to wait just a little too long. Breakfast was quite a spread, and worth its €16.
I think the restaurant can do better than my experience, and I'd like to try it again.

Room Tip: If it's just for a single night, or off season, the cheaper rooms without a balcony of patio off...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Melanosporumandme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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207 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2014

It's hard to add to the comments already made about Arces, but I'll try. We loved our time here and felt like we were coming "home" in the evening after a day out and about. After spending a day hiking in the mountains, we'd return to our riverside room, clean up, sit on the balcony with a glass of wine and then go down to the terrace where we were greeted as if we were family friends and led to our dinner table. Demi-pension or ordering from the menu are both excellent choices. Our room was very nice but there wasn't a lot of space for luggage or to store things. I didn't see the larger garden-view rooms, so can't comment on them but doubt we would have traded our riverside balcony for a larger room!

We HIGHLY recommend the "Iparla Ridge" hike described in Lonely Planet. In fact, that's what brought us to St Etienne de Baigorry to start with. It's challenging but very rewarding. The LP hike is a loop but Christine told us that there's another option (allowing more time on the ridge) which you can hike just one way by having a taxi take you to Bidarray about 14 km from the hotel and then hiking back. Would probably try that option if we return - and we hope to do so!

The weather was terrific while we were there, so all meals were taken on the riverside terrace but we walked through the inside formal dining room which would be stellar too. Hope to try that out sometime.

What else can you say? Lovely rooms and common areas. Great dinners. Nice (and reasonable) wine list. Many breakfast choices including homemade breads. Idyllic location. Friendly but professional hosts. Lots of outdoor activities in the surrounding area. Perfect!

Room Tip: Riverside balcony room is our pick.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank vobriant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2014

We stayed 1 night at Hotel Arce while riding across Spain and France. Hotel was a welcome stop. The location is perfect, with the river Nive running beside the hotel.
Unable to find a suitable restaurant to eat that evening we decide to eat at the hotel. The quality and service for the evening was excellent, far exceeding our expectations. Breakfast the following morning was was also great.
Staff were friendly and helpful, giving the hotel almost a family feel.
A nice stay and will recommend to our friends.

Room Tip: Options for eating in the evening were limited. Best eat the hotel. You will not be disappointed.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Barry H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
172 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Amazing location, right by the Nive river. We had an upper suite - this added to the brilliant views.

Good Points: fantastic food and service; lots of chefs at work - always a good sign. we took half-board, this carries risk in France, but it virtually always pays off as you get the chef's choice of the day. summer students in the main as waitresses but very proficient, friendly and polite - a pleasure to meet. a great room too.

minus points 1 we had smokers and dogs next to our dining table 2 (minor) the guy in town with the hotel Arce sign next to his garden must go crazy at (daft like us) people driving up his drive

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lindum20C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Poulton Le Fylde, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
825 reviews
144 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 302 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2014

The hotel is located in a picturesque setting by the river Nive des Aldudes across the bridge from the pristine little town of St-Etienne-de-Baïgorry. The staff were welcoming, helpful and sweet natured. Our room was simple and elegant with a balcony overlooking the river. We arranged half board and meals were served on the lovely riverside terrace under the arched plane trees. The evening meals were excellent quality, invitingly presented and consistently delicious. I used the pool every day and also enjoyed a late afternoon there on the comfortable sun beds reading. It was a lovely peaceful place to relax. We stayed 3 nights. It was a good base to visit various places such as St Jean Pied de Port, Ainhoa, Espelette and Biarritz. I think it is also a good base for walking but as we had been hiking quite a bit in Spain before crossing the Pyrenees we elected some sightseeing and relaxing for a change. The hotel is quite idyllic and it would have been a perfect stay but for one incident for which I did receive apology from the owner.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lavarcham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Had an excellent stay in the heart of small villa of St Etienne. Lovely old school property by the river, tranquil and relaxing. Mom and pop run, Lady of the house runs a professional operation, and was helpful to me from providing an adaptor to having my torn pants mended. Man of the house is the chef, and had a wonderful dinner by the side of the river listening to the current.

Room was comfortable and opened up to scenery. TV reception was spotty.

All in all a great stay from a lovely property and attentive staff.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chefmateo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2013

It is often dangerous to revisit places that you have special memories of, but when we returned to the Arce after 29 years we found the same homely luxury and elegant simplicity that we remembered. The food is wonderful, we loved sitting over long dinners and lazy breakfasts on the tree roofed terrace on the banks of the river. And the swimming pool was very welcome in the hot afternoon. . A great place for couples or families to unwind and enjoy each others' company in a lovely mountain valley setting.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a balcony on or overlooking the river.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DiNOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Restaurant Arce

Property: Hotel Restaurant Arce
Address: Route du Col-d'Ispeguy, 64430 Saint-Etienne-de-Baigorry, France
Region: France > Nouvelle-Aquitaine > Pyrenees-Atlantiques > Basque Country > Saint-Etienne-de-Baigorry
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Saint-Etienne-de-Baigorry
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Restaurant Arce 4*
Number of rooms: 22
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