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The story of a local school transformed into a charming hotel

Seaand garden view rooms in the heart of Guéthary

Set on a hill overlooking the ocean, in the heart of a small Basque village, this school has welcomed generations of children for over 100 years. One day, the school was emptied of its pupils, who left for a brand new, bigger school. A family from the village decided to give a new lease of life to this beautiful stone and brick building that overlooksGuéthary. They have turned it into a simple, beautiful hotel, bathed in light, a haven of peace open to all, all year round. Spacious bedrooms have replaced the classrooms, and a flower garden has taken over the playground. But the spirit of the school is still there: a fresco on the surrounding wall, a huge blackboard, beautiful old maps and children’s drawings remind visitors of it. The hotel owes its name, Balea (whale in Basque), to the mosaic on its south wall, created by the artist Killy Beall. An emblem that goes back a long way,Guéthary was a whaling port. The cetaceans are long gone, but have left their silhouette on the village balcony.