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The riverport city of Bordeaux, in south-west France, is renowned for its 18th- and 19th-century architecture and winemaking. However, it’s also a buzzing university city with a modern edge – check out the Bassins de Lumières (Ponds of Light), the world’s largest digital art museum. This dual identity is reflected in the increasing number of boutique hotels, fusing tradition with contemporary design. Here’s our pick of places to stay in this dynamic city.
Also located in a 19th-century building, this five-star boutique hotel is among the best Bordeaux can offer. The atmosphere is intimate, with only 12 rooms and suites, each carefully designed by the owner, Agnès Guiot du Doignon. Each room includes a flat screen TV, air conditioning, an iPad, and room service is available 24/7. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a delicious homemade breakfast, plus freshly-made pizzas served alongside aperitifs on the garden terrace.
Among the 18th- and 19th-century buildings lining Bordeaux’s waterfront, Seeko’o sticks out. This four-star hotel, whose name means ‘iceberg’ in Inuit, is shaped like a giant block of ice. Along with the nearby Chaban-Delmas bridge, it hails a new architectural tradition in Bordeaux. Every one of its 45 loft-like rooms is over 29sqm (312sqft) and offers free wifi and flat-screen TVs. Some, on the fifth floor, have incredible panoramic views and terraces. There’s also a relaxation area where you can enjoy a sauna and a steam free of charge, as well as a hip cocktail bar.
Caroline Harrap contributed additional reporting to this article.