The city of Bordeaux, in southwest France, is known as the wine capital of the world – and it makes for an excellent place for vineyard tours and tastings. We reveal some of its corking boutique hotels, bookable with Culture Trip.
Along with the wine, there are many other reasons to visit Bordeaux – its romantic atmosphere, ancient castles and world-renowned restaurants to name but a few. To get a true essence of life in this beautiful city, check into a boutique hotel. Many of these are in historic buildings, with comfort and personal service at the forefront.
The Singulier is in the Gambetta district, close to the Esplanade Charles de Gaulle. One of the hotel’s biggest selling points is the view from the rooftop, with comfy lounge-style seating and a small bar. The hotel has only eight rooms, but this intimacy simply adds to the charm, and each suite is designed with its own charming peculiarities, from the fabrics to the colour scheme to the hand-picked furniture.
In historical cities like Bordeaux, hotels often attempt to make guests feel as though they’ve travelled back in time, but few succeed with as much grace as the Hotel Le Palais Gallien in the Downtown district. The hotel’s three buildings are named after seminal local writers Montaigne, Montesquieu and Mauriac; and all of them are alive with period furniture, artwork and distressed wallpaper. Luxury is also a high priority, with a pool, rooftop bar, spa, fitness centre and five-star gourmet restaurant.
Prepare to be wowed by the Yndō hotel, a private 19th-century mansion that has been painstakingly transformed into a dazzling five-star hotel. French elegance is a part of every room and the warm welcome provided by host Agnès Guiot and her team, will make you feel instantly at home. The highly Instagrammable interiors combine original features with modern statement pieces. The restaurant is just as well curated as the rooms, with artfully presented dishes fashioned from local ingredients.
It’s hard to think of a classier statement than “Our hotel was once the home of a minister to Louis XVIII.” The 25-room Boutique Hôtel Bordeaux is not only a piece of living history, it’s also one of the most desirable small hotels in the city, right next door to the Triangle d’Or. The art-deco style manages to bridge the gap between the 18th and 21st centuries, so that its minibars, Nespresso machines and glass coffee tables don’t look out of place next to clawfoot baths and stonework. The hotel also has a wine/tapas bar and a bountiful breakfast buffet.
If you’re looking for an ultra-hip hangout in Bordeaux, the Mama Shelter hotel is the place to be. It’s built in the former headquarters of Gaz de France, commonly referred to as the Gas Tower. The post-industrial vibe is certainly eye-catching, and inside weird and wonderful touches like illuminated pool floats and cartoon masks characterise the common areas. Meanwhile, all of the 97 rooms have wall-mounted Macs, Proust quotes painted on the ceiling, free movies and organic toiletries. There’s a casual restaurant and a vibrant rooftop terrace bar, a basement lounge and even a crêperie.
This hotel enjoys perhaps the best location of any in Bordeaux, sandwiched between the Cathedral and Grand Theatre. The 19th-century building fits perfectly with its neighbours, while the interiors inject a touch of modernity. The rooms range from singles to apartments, and the style ranges from classical to contemporary, depending on what you plump for. As well as a hearty breakfast served in the period dining room, complimentary cakes and fruit are offered in the afternoon, and macaroons are sent to the rooms in the evening.
When it first opened in 2004, Seeko’o Hôtel Design Bordeaux stood out for its futuristic look. Years later, it is fair to say that atypical design actually set the tone of the Bassin à Flot’s neighbourhood transformation. Indeed, it perfectly blends with the science-dedicated Cap Sciences building, offers a stunning view of the Jacques Chaban Delmas bridge and the very avant-garde Cité du Vin. All the rooms are designed as loft spaces, ensuring all the comfort you need during your trip. If you’re travelling with a special someone, take a romantic walk on the Quai des Marques and pick a restaurant where you will eat while looking at the city’s lights reflecting on the Garonne river.
For a change of scenery, this 18th-century chateau on the outskirts of Bordeaux comes highly recommended. It’s home to five exquisitely appointed bedrooms with lounge areas in the original guesthouse, or if you fancy something a little different, book one of the four safari-style tents. These quirky lodges come with private terraces next to the lake. Although the hotel is small it packs a punch on the facility side of things with three restaurants, a bar, a cinema, a salon, a pinewood spa, an indoor pool and serene gardens to explore.
Jennifer Migan contributed additional reporting to this article.