To me, visiting Bordeaux, is for popping some corks and great food on plates and surely I am not the only one. Bordeaux is a city of old money and legendary vintages, where most come over and spend their time to taste great wines and cuisine perfected over generations.
Surrounded by ancient châteaux and some of the most valuable vineyards in the world, my recommendations to wine connoisseurs to spend their holiday time would be best staying at one of the beautiful châteaux in appellations that they fancy visiting.
Would I suggest travellers to stay in Bordeaux city? Sure! The city does has its charm for some great shopping, wine bars and great restaurants not to be missed. A night or two in the city surely doesn’t harm. However, if you were measuring strictly by the number of quality hotels, you might conclude that the city of Bordeaux is little more than a backwater. For a city where mostly supported by wine tourism and trades, it’s a bit short on noteworthy hospitality experiences. This February and June, I made a tour of different hotels in the city and here is my suggestions of few of my tops:
GRAND HÔTEL DE BORDEAUX & SPA
2-5 Place de la Comédie
From 350 (Superior room) -3000 (Royal Suite) Euro
If you talk about city-center, Grand Hôtel it is; Right across from the Grand Théâtre.
If you talk about classic elegance, Grand Hôtel it is; A 18th-century grande dame reopened after a redesign at the hands of the well-known Parisian interior designer Jacques Garcia.
Garcia mixes modern elegance with classic decadence in the Grand. The bedrooms are decidedly french old classic in style, yet with an edge of new glamour that makes them a lot more appealing in a way that you feel the grand history but not at all old-fashioned.
In typical grand hotel style the Grand has a fine dining restaurant, a separate brassiere, and a cocktail bar named the Victor Bar, after two Victors: Victor Hugo, the writer, and Victor Louis, the architect responsible for Bordeaux’s Grand Théâtre. And with the opening of the hotel’s spa on top floor of the hotel (which was a pity I did not have the time to submersed myself in it, which makes it another reason for revisiting next time), the Grand Hôtel is once again Bordeaux’s de facto luxury hotel standard.
HOTEL LA COUR CARRÉE
5 Rue De Lurbe
From 95-135 Euro
Situated in the centre of Bordeaux, 100 meters away from Grand Hommes Square, Allées de Tourny and Gambetta Square where you can find shops and restaurants around, and where grand theatre is just a step away. This 200-year old building features elegantly decorated rooms and a terraced patio which is certainly neat and convenient.
Despite most of the contemporary-style guest rooms are a little too petite, all has feature wooden beams and exposed-stone walls, also provided with an LCD TV and some have a single seated sofa.
A buffet breakfast is prepared every morning at hotel La Cour Carrée. If you are looking for a chic simple stay at the centre, Hotel La Cour Carrée is the one!
HÔTEL DE SÈZE
23 allée de Tourny
From 205-360 Euro
Hôtel de Seze is located a 5-minute walk from the Grand Théâtre in Bordeaux city centre and features air-conditioned rooms with an LCD TV, a restaurant and a spa centre. Cocktails are served at the lounge bar. There is a cigar room as well where I enjoyed a glass with few friends during late night as it can be opened all night long with request.
What is sweet about HÔTEL DE SÈZE is all rooms in the hotel are in different design by the sister of the owner. What I love is the suite also includes a Nespresso machine which make my cafe break at ease.
A buffet or continental breakfast is served every morning. Le Comptoir, the hotel’s restaurant, proposes French, traditional dishes.
Saint Catherine Street is a 5-minute walk away, while the Meeting Centre and the lake are a 10-minute walk away.
It is certainly my home away from home at Villa Grands Crus. It is a cozy spacious 186sqm 2 rooms apartment in Bordeaux center which offers a spectacular view of the Grand Theatre and the Comedie Square.
Whether I am on business trip or vacation, this place is somehow perfect if you would like to invite friends or have a tasting at your own table which fits around 12 person. My work space would be iMac with printer and Wi-Fi which may be a help to travelers as well.
Villa Grands Crus offers a range of a-la-Carte services with the French touch such as wine tours, chef at home, cooking class, Yacht rental at Bassin d’Arcachon and more. It is surely a personal and unique place if you want to feel like home sweet home in Bordeaux.
40, Rue Edmond Michelet
From 125 Euro
It is a self-catering serviced apartments which are located in the heart of Bordeaux, 200 metres from Gambetta Tram Stop, 10-minute walk to the famous shopping street, Rue Sainte-Catherine. It is the most spacious compare to other hotels I stayed in with similar price in Bordeaux.
Each air-conditioned apartment is equipped with satellite TV, a kitchenette with table and chairs. The one-bedroom apartments offer a separate living room. Guests can relax in the sauna, and use the fitness centre and free Wi-Fi.
Not exactly the most well designed hotel but what a comfortable stay at great value! Highly recommend if you like your traveling nights feel like home!
LE BOUTIQUE HOTEL
3 Rue LAFAURIE de MONBADON
From 169-500 Euro
First experience with the hotel was great. Right next to HOTEL LA COUR CARRÉE, It is a small remodeled elegant yet contemporary townhouse as well located in the centre of Bordeaux, just 100 meters away from Grand Hommes Square, Allées de Tourny and Gambetta Square.
Their 12 rooms and suites rooms named after wine châteaux do remind you that you’re in serious wine country. They are neatly blend original parquet and mosaic floors with contemporary chic such as designer chairs, huge beds and chrome lighting; shower cabins is chicly equipped with rain showers, while many have in-room bathtubs or jacuzzi as well. There’s also a pair of 2-bedroom apartments on the top floor, complete with open-plan living areas and fully equipped kitchens. Downstairs is a handy wine bar where you can either bring your own bottles or open some of theirs.
However, disappointment arrived at the end of my stay. A darling wine bottle of mine was left on the table in my room when I checked myself out, definitely a fault of mine being little careless at stay but I presume many of you may have yourself in such situations somehow. When I called back for the bottle in an hour, i was being told that the cleaning lady never seen it during check out cleaning. Few calls were place by my assistant after where at first they mentioned it was fortunately being found and I could go and pick it back up. A day later when my I called to confirm the pick up, they mentioned it wasn’t there again but they will replace it. The story somehow ended up with no follow-up of such replacement by the hotel until today which is 2 months after my stay. It hurts to know there is such bad management over something quite pleasing.
Everything is near perfect here but am sure that there are much room for service improvement at the stylish designed hotel.