The winner of the 2006 award received his title with personal humility. I should not have a reward, working in this industry is a pleasure, Leimbacher says "I was born into the hotel business, my family has been in the business for five generations and I don't know how to do anything else". Engaging and warm, 61 year old Leimbacher has won plenty of awards, and puts his achievemnets down to his love of mixing with people. I like to meet people and that is the first thing to look for in a hotelier, in the hospitality industry you have to be hospitable. The Hotel du Palais is in Leimbachers blood since he spent the majority of his working life at the Hotel, beginning his career 42 years ago as a trainee in the Hotels kitchen; 2007 is his 19th year as GM there. Leimbacher claims there is no single secret to his success. You need to be free in your mind and work with your heart. The history of the iconic Hotel du Palais dates back to 1855 when Napoleon III offers his wife, the Imperatrice Eugenie, a jewel: a magnificent palace built in Biarritz. Transformed into a hotel in 1893, this jewel became the Hotel du Palais. After several renovations and expansions, the place remains today an address of prestige and one of the last great palaces of international repute. Today Jean-Louis Leimbacher and its team are proud to have taken part in preserving its memory, its style and history.