Raise your glasses to a weekend in this food- and fun-loving city in southwestern France – a holiday that suits all tastes, young and old(er). Bring the whole clan, and book your stay with Culture Trip.
With its vinous associations and its august history, it’s tempting to consider Bordeaux for adults only. But, in fact, it’s fun for the whole family – even the famous wine exhibition centre Cité du Vin has a fascinating children’s tour aimed at ages seven to 12. The kids will love splashing in Bordeaux Lac (the city lake) and the Miroir d’eau (the largest reflecting basin in the world) or cycling along the riverside dock. There are trams and boats to travel by, and a picnic in the park will satisfy even the fussiest eater. Tempted? You just need suitable lodgings. So here they are, the best family-friendly places to stay in (and around) Bordeaux.
Courtesy of All-Suites Appart Hotel Bordeaux-Lac / Expedia
Enjoy the best of both worlds out here at the lake. You’re close enough to tram-it easily into town and visit the sights in Bordeaux – yet you’re staying beside a sandy beach, so children can swim and kayak. There’s go-karting, bowling and – for parents – even a casino nearby, and the hotel is also conveniently placed for the Convention Centre. This is apartment living – accommodations range from studios to three-room affairs, all with flat-screen TVs and wifi, comfy beds as well as kitchenettes with a microwave and fridge. Bring pets – they’re welcome.
By all means, bring your car – there’s private parking – but Victoria Garden is just a short walk from the mainline train station and closer still to a tram stop. So it’s an ideal base for walks to museums, the Cité du Vin and the historic sights in Bordeaux. For families, it’s just the ticket, with communicating rooms and two-bedroom suites, simply but comfortably furnished. The air-conditioned apartments have kitchenettes, and there are flaky croissants and chocolatines at breakfast. You can always burn those calories on one of the share-scheme bikes in the city.
As you’d expect of a hotel belonging to the highly rated Accor group, no amenity has been omitted here. Right on the lake, with direct access to the Convention Centre, the wheelchair-user-friendly Pullman Bordeaux Lac has a pool, a bar and a restaurant, as well as private parking. Among the room categories are modern family suites – we love the deep-sleep-inducing beds – snazzily decorated in either Pomerol-red or Sauternes-gold. Just a 15-minute tram ride from central Bordeaux, you’ll enjoy the perfect balance between a city break and resort relaxation.
Staying here, in the Maritime Quarter, you couldn’t be closer to Cité du Vin, the wine exhibition centre built in 2016 in the shape of a giant curvaceous gold decanter. This Ténéo Apparthotel (there are several in and around Bordeaux) is a smart, clean and functional affair, with compact accommodations sleeping up to four. The decor is cool and crisp, in white and dark brown, there are kitchenettes, and you have a breakfast room and laundry facilities, as well as parking at the back. It’s less than 20 minutes on foot (or a quick tram hop) into the centre of town. Alternatively, sail here aboard the Bat3, along the River Garonne.
Courtesy of Meininger Hotel Bordeaux Gare Saint-Jean / Expedia
In a newly revamped part of the city, a short walk from the mainline train station Saint-Jean, this is a vibrant hotel: family accommodation has fun, funky furniture in light, airy spaces, with playschool colours, double beds and, for kids, bunks. The rooms are air-conditioned, and wifi is free throughout the property. Step out, along the river, or take a short tram ride to all the attractions in the city – staff will even provide a packed lunch for your day(s) spent sightseeing. When you return, let the young ones loose in the game zone while you settle in at the lounge bar.
Hilton Garden Inn Bordeaux Centre
4.4/5 (652 Reviews)
Courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Bordeaux Centre / Expedia
The new Hilton Garden Inn is the bee’s knees in Bordeaux when you’re travelling en famille. The enormous (45sqm/485sqft) family suite – all mid-century-modern-style furnishings in shades of mushroom and mustard – is every teenager’s idea of a cool weekend pad to brag about to fellow pupils back home. It has everything you need for a trouble-free stay, including air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, a fridge and a coffee maker, while views across the River Garonne are stupendous. There’s free wifi and a perfectly decent fitness centre – but we say stretch those legs by boarding the tram to the top sightseeing spots: a 10-minute ride takes you to the Opera and the Cité du Vin, for starters.
The good-value Adagio has rooms for families of three or four, as well as apartments for up to five. All have air conditioning, free wifi, both bathtub and shower (with a separate WC) and a kitchenette with a microwave, fridge, hob and dishwasher. There’s wheelchair access, and parking is available. This close to the pretty Place Gambetta, you’re bang in the centre of Bordeaux, close to shops, museums and historical buildings. After a hectic day sightseeing, try the hammam or sauna at the hotel.
Bordeaux, with all its history, architecture and museums, might be a good 30-minute drive away. But who cares when you’re holed up in a magnificent château? Immersed in the prestigious vineyards of Saint-Émilion, stretching as far as the eye can see, this is a five-star retreat, with the ultimate in luxurious rooms, including family suites. How to spend your days? There’s a swimming pool, a spa and a sumptuous restaurant serving gastronomic cuisine and A-grade wines. Speaking of which, do make a day of it in the delightful town of Saint-Émilion and the surrounding winelands – sip, sip, hooray!