De Silhouette is the result of the complete renovation of one of the oldest manors in Biarritz, built in 1600.
Etienne De Silhouette was designed on Mars 4, 1759, at the height of the Seven Years War, Finance Minister to the King Louis XVth. He was very austere, he had to, because the royal finances showed a caothic situation that necessarelly had to be improved. For that purpose he thought up some action measures which annoyed even Voltaire and included issues like impossing taxes to the external signs of richness, for intance to the fact of having windows and doors in houses, taxes to the farms, for having servants, taxes to the benefits, and so on.
In October 26th, 1760 he implemented a war measure by which he ordered to expropiate the nobility, to be melted, then entire inventory of gold and silver the had. This measure, obviously, made him many enemies which had as a consequence De Silhouete were criticised as stingy and greedy. This is how the decission makers of that time coined a special term to define what is cheap, simple, everything which lacked distinguishing features. These influencers named this way of doing things, with the main of ridiculing the Minister, as doing them “to the Silhouette style”
In any case, De Silhouette had not go down in history thanks to his own merits or to the shortages made possible by the historical moment; it was thanks to a symbiosis between the neccesity and the glitz. Apparently, give the impossibility of paying portraits and other art works of greater importance on the part of nobles and bourgeoises now with less resources, it was started to outline only the contours of the characters to inmortalize like the Chinese shadow theater will do. That way was how the surname of the Minister started to define that art style of projecting contours of solid corps to depict them on the canvas.
De Silhouette´s father was Biarrot or in other words native of Biarritz, and this manor house which today wraps the hotel was once the family home. The Silhouette family coat of arms, carved on stone, hangs over the entrance door welcoming us.
It is located in the same neighborhood of the food market of Biarritz, one of most typical and genuine of the city, that place where happens most of its social life and very close to the legendary beaches Côte des Basques and Grande Plage.
De Silhouette is a modern boutique hotel decorated tastefully and with an extreme attention for details. Among the pieces that are dressing it we can find some of them signed by Fornasetti, Ermu, Hartô Bosc or Sonia Rykiel. On the walls of the Great Room combine alternating exhibitions of local artists. Once again another Basque hotel involved with the promotion of the culture of its country.
Rooms, absolutely comtemporary combine elements and styles and reaches its greatest expression with the use of the wallpaper, highlighting a combination of velvety textures and the blending of deeper tones and graphic details. The purecy of the scandinavian lines marries wellness and beauty.