Places to Stay in Bordeaux
Thanks to a renaissance, France's wine capital is now also its second most beautiful city. Offering fine art galleries, excellent food and drink, and great shopping, Bordeaux is an absorbing place for a weekend. Compact and largely pedestrianised, it is easy to explore its gracious stone houses and welcoming squares on foot. Alternatively take a drive into the surrounding countryside of châteaux and vineyards.
Bordeaux offers accommodation to suit all your requirements and tastes, from friendly youth hostels to elegant five-star hotels, reliable-quality international hotels and characterful bed and breakfasts, in locations ranging from the city-centre to glorious countryside.
There are plenty of good reasons to stay at Relais & Chateau hotel member Chateau Cordeillan-Bages, parts of which date back to the 17th century. There's the rather funky interior by French-Italian designer Anne-Monique Bonadei. Then there are the individually decorated guest rooms (28 in total, including four apartments) the swimming pool in the garden, and the intimate ambience. As it is just a few miles from Pauillac, Cordeillan-Bages makes a great base for touring the Medoc.
You learn something about Bordeaux wine just perusing the room list at Hostellerie de la Plaisance. Each of the 17 rooms - including three suites - in the hotel is named after a local domaine such as Figeac; appropriately, Pétrus lends its name to the most expensive suite. The hotel, which is also a member of the exclusive luxury hotel group Relais & Chateaux, is at the top of the medieval town of St-Emilion and rooms overlook the tawny rooftops and cobbled streets.
From the Hotel Hauterive-St James you can just see the heart of the city, over to the right and easily identifiable by Bordeaux's cathedral spine. This faux-industrial palace of eccentric minimalism - another Relais & Chateaux member - was designed by France's premier architect, Jean Nouvel, and heralded by Herbert Ypma, author of Hip Hotels, as the hippest in France. Guest rooms (15 doubles and three suites) are contemporary yet rough around the edges.