Our Story


Eugénie’s History originates in 1861, when Empress Eugénie, the wife of Napoleon III decided to grant her sponsorship to this small thermal station in the outskirts of the Landes and Béarn regions. A few years before, she had sojourned there for a stopover on her way to her summer quarters in Biarritz.


For the first half of the XXth century, the place fell into a gentle slumber ; Eugénie’s adventure started all over again in 1961 when Adrien Barthélémy, the father of Christine Guérard, fell in love with the century-old trees of the Parc and decided to buy the thermal domain and the hotels adjacent to it.


Christine – aged 22 – took over the property in 1967, on her return from Mexico. Inspired by the history and rural beauty of the buildings, she undertook renovations and relaunched the hotel. Her unrivalled sense of style and staging was honed, and soon the “Eugenie” spirit was making its first appearance.


Le Grand Hôtel, as we were then known, joined the young Relais de Campagne association, the forerunner of today’s famous Relais & Châteaux. Our membership at the end of the sixties makes us one of the oldest Relais & Châteaux members #proudmember.


In 1972, destiny once again bent down on Eugénie’s cradle, when Christine met her future husband, Michel Guérard, then a young chef in Asnières-sur-Seine, and one of the founders of what would later be known as Nouvelle Cuisine.
From this shared love at first sight came “great things”, including two daughters – Eléonore, in 1983 and Adeline, in 1986 – and a vineyard, in 1984.


In 1974, Michel Guérard left his Michelin-starred bistro for Eugénie. An eternal culinary troublemaker, he invented Grande Cuisine Minceur® while watching his slimming customers eat, a concept that immediately won him international acclaim.

It was also the moment for our Property to change its name to Les Prés d’Eugénie, a curiosity at a time when “Châteaux”, “Hostelleries”, “Clos” and other “Domaines” dominated.


In 1975, the Michelin Guide awarded chef Guérard’s creations one star, then two stars in 1976 and finally three stars in 1977 !


Buoyed by Michel’s 3 Michelin stars and his growing reputation in the United States (Michel worked in the kitchens of Régine’s in New York, and his Cuisine Minceur was such a hit that it made the cover of Time in 1976), the Property now lacked enough rooms to accommodate all the gourmets who flocked to Eugénie in season.
New rooms were added to the “Sources” building, which gained 2 floors, as well as a new thermal spa to accommodate the growing number of spa-goers.


The estate expanded, thanks to the restoration of a former 18th-century convent in 1989.
Christine instilled this poetic “Couvent des Herbes” with a romantic, noble, rustic and timeless touch that was acclaimed the world over and by numerous magazines.


The restoration of an old family farmhouse, “Les Charmilles”, enabled us to open the Auberge de La Ferme aux Grives in 1993.
At the time, the opening of a second table by a Michelin-starred chef was the talk of the town.
Unbelievable ! a full menu was served for 155 francs !
But in reality, it was the fulfillment of a childhood dream for Michel Guérard, who now had a place where he could showcase the generous produce of our terroir and the bourgeois and family recipes he loved above all else.


In 1996, the estate expanded with the creation of the Ferme Thermale®.
Here, Christine is once again at the helm. Her vast knowledge of the spa industry (which she also practises by managing the french leader in thermal spas) is expressed in a style as ecumenical as it is refined, compiling the Celtic, Greco-Latin and medieval know-how of water and plant treatments.
At a time when the “Spa” phenomenon had yet to emerge, it was an incredible innovation, unanimously acclaimed by the critics.
La Ferme Thermale was the subject of numerous reports, and attracted the whole world to its “Healing Week”.
Anne-Laure Nussbaumer, Les Prés d’Eugénie’s General Manager since 2018, took her first steps here, as Gouvernante.


The “Eugénie” spirit takes root on the Landes coast, with the opening of Les Maisons Marines d’Huchet, our Beach House.
Formerly Baron Boulard’s hunting lodge, it was acquired at Christmas 1997, then patiently restored.
Eugénie now follows the rhythm of the tides!


After two years of renovation, the Empress wing, its salons and its five elegant suites open to the public.
Ten years earlier, Christine and Michel had begun one of the finest collections of colonial-inspired furniture and paintings from the Second Empire.
Today, Les Prés d’Eugénie is one of the few hotels in the world to boast a collection of this magnitude, accessible to all guests.


Opening of Café Mère Poule and Institut de Cuisine Michel Guérard.
This cooking school, harmoniously nestled in the heart of the gardens, welcomes amateur-chefs and professionals throughout the year, through partnerships with health and higher education establishments (Ferrandi Paris, Cordon Bleu, Lyfe ex Institut Paul Bocuse).
Students come here to learn the fundamentals of Cuisine de Santé®.


On July 27, 2017, Les Prés d’Eugénie became France’s 24 th Palace. This fine distinction rewards hotels that bring together exceptional characteristics in terms of their geographical location, their particular historical, aesthetic or heritage interest, as well as the excellence of the services offered.
A sweet reward for our loyal team of 180 “virtuosos” in the Art of Hospitality.

That same year, Hugo Souchet, a disciple of Dominique Lory, Chef at Alain Ducasses’s Louis XV, joined Eugénie and took over the reins of the House kitchens, alongside Michel.


Adeline and Eléonore Guérard officially take the reins at Eugénie, following in Christine’s footsteps.
They continue the House’s original vision – poetry, naturalness, timelessness – and enrich it with new touches: lightness, mischief, festivity, vacation spirit and attention to families.


After 30 years of loyal service, our Maison Rose country inn is getting a facelift, with 36 new rooms in a “cosy chic” style and bright lounges.

A few months later, we launched our “Mind, Body & Soul” program, offering our guests a range of activities every week: yoga, fitness, workshops, snacks, guided tours…


Revolution at Michel Guérard’s Grand Restaurant!
It is moving from its historic location to the majestic salons de l’Impératrice.

Michel, Hugo, Adeline and Eléonore have also rethought the culinary ritual as a new gourmet journey, dotted with small dishes designed like succulent jewels.

The freed-up dining rooms welcome a new restaurant, L’Orangerie, dedicated to local produce sublimated by our fireplace and a cart of desserts from yesteryear.


As Eugénie celebrates its 50th birthday (remember… Les Prés d’Eugénie took its name in 1974, with the wedding of Christine and Michel Guérard), the heart of the Property is getting a facelift.
A new reception area, nestled in the Galerie des Bananiers, now serves as a meeting place for all Les Prés d’Eugénie guests.