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Dec 8, 2010 12:31 PM

Hegia in Pays Basque

My husband and I will be traveling in this region in June. We are celebrating very big birthdays and want to splurge and stay somewhere very memorable. I have read about Hegia in Hasparren....Souphie and others have recommended this special inn. My question is how far in advance should we book a night here?

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    1. They only have five rooms, so I'd book as soon as your travel plans are set.

      Don't forget your GPS.

      1. Thank you. I just e mailed them.

        1. Yes, to all of the previous responders. FWIW, I have special rooms booked as far out as mid-August. As you say, yours is a special visit. Why wait and have to settle for less than you can experience.

          At these prices (Une nuitée avec petit-déjeuner : 480 € ; Dîner, nuit, petit-déjeuner : 650 €) why not discuss room options and choose the one you prefer.

          11 Replies
          1. re: mangeur

            I cannot recommend Hegia too warmly. Arnaud is one of the few persons in the food world I consider my master and mentor. You'll love it there. We have to make contact before you go there.

            1. re: Ptipois

              Thanks all for the recommendations of Hegia.

              I e mailed them at on Thursday morning. I did not hear back yet.

              On the web site, there are two telephone numbers, and one is a cell phone. Should I just call them today? I certainly do not want to lose out on this special experience.

              1. re: glsebs

                Well if both phone numbers are on the guesthouse's website, I suppose you should use them.
                The only guesthouse with a Michelin star...

                1. re: Ptipois

                  Yes. We have found that many country properties are closed at this time of year and don't respond to emails until after the first of the year and even sometimes until April. However, they do answer the telephone and will (albeit begrudgingly) make reservations. This assumes, of course, that they are in house. Many country hosts go on vacation from late fall to late winter.

                  So, again, make the call and see if you get a response.

                  1. re: mangeur

                    Technically they do not have a seasonal schedule, it all depends on the bookings and they may close temporarily when they have none. Hegia is their home so there's nearly always someone there. However Arnaud takes care of Café Pleyel in Paris until June and is there two days a week. He may also be roaming the region to source his vegetables, meats, ducks, etc. So I would advice calling both numbers to plan safe.

            2. re: mangeur

              to Mangeur or others in the know:
              Based on CH comments, my husband & I decided to celebrate our 40th anniversary (Aug15) at Hegia and have booked a room. However since we are not familiar with his place, Arnaud just suggested we pick out our room when we get there. Of course, if the other 4 rooms are already occupied, we will not have any choice at all. So.....can you tell me which room(s) you prefer & why? Merci beaucoup!

              1. re: boredough

                The best thing to do is to arrive early -- then you get to chose your room. My favorite is the one with the gigantic bathtube in the middle. The one with mezzanine is also very lovely, but requires some agility, and is smaller. The other ones I don't remember, so I suppose I liked them less. There were six though, as I remember it.

                1. re: souphie

                  Merci but I was hoping for enough info to pick out our room in advance, since we don' t plan on arriving before the room is ready (which could mean: along with the other guests who might have already chosen their rooms). I assume we won't be disappointed no matter where we end up.

                  1. re: boredough

                    I'd recommend the one with the bathtub in the middle as well, and if not that then the one with the loft, as souphie suggested. Don't forget that some people may be staying for several nights (it's vacation time after all) so it'll be hard for Arnaud to guarantee you a specific room. I'd propose just not to worry about it too much.

                    Did I mention you shouldn't forget your GPS? :)

                    1. re: QdeBro

                      Thanks QdeBro. Maybe we'll just have to wait after all. And thanks aussi for the warning, but we wouldn't attempt to navigate this corner of France without John Cleese (the voice on our GPS).

                      1. re: boredough

                        Just reporting back to confirm the general consensus about Hégia. We loved everything about it, even being woken up by an owl in the middle of the night. Although the room with the big tub was very tempting, we prefer a shower - so we took the "red room" (the only thing red is the bed frame), with both a lovely shower & a large tub. Arnaud was quite the host, and truly seems to love what he is doing. Each of the (10 or so) dishes was delicious & unusual, topped off by his demonstration of how a glass - in which Bas Armagnac was swirled to its non-existence - smelled like his grandmother's "placard". The highlight of breakfast was his version of scrambled eggs that never set, but were served as a tasty liquid garnished with chives. We hope to go back one day. In the meantime, I'd like to thank glsebs for starting this thread - without which I would have never known about Hégia - as well as the other commenters.