Bordeaux continues its evolution from wine tourism laggard to excellent performer, with the range of accommodation options and activities expanding all the time.
In the town centre alone there have been several new openings, including the Marty Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton on Rue Georges Bonnac which is just a 10 minute walk from the town centre. It has 61 guest rooms, many with terraces and balconies. The name is derived from a combination of the letter M for the Meriadeck district in which it’s located and the ‘arty’ concept of the hotel.
Best chic city stay
- One family room, five suites
- €160-€200 (£138-£173)
If smaller and more cosy is your style, the newly opened Maison Labruyère has one family room and five deluxe suites – or high-end apartments to choose from. Located in a five-floor Haussmannian town house bordering the Jardin Public in the city centre, the building combines history and modernity and includes an intimate terrace on the roof for perfect sunrise and sunset views.
It is owned by the winemaker family of Château Rouget in Pomerol, Domaine Labruyère in Moulin-À-Vent, Domaine Jacques Prieur in Meursault and Champagne J.M Labruyère in Verzenay. More akin to a private members club, there is no formal check-in or check-out system for ultimate flexibility. A daily housekeeping and a digital concierge service is also available 24/7 for requests or advice.
Another great and luxurious city option is the always elegant, five-star Villas Foch hotel. It has 20 rooms including eight suites situated inside its vaulted ceilings and 19th century bourgeois architecture. The hotel includes a heated swimming pool, steam room and sauna as well as the excellent Le Ferdinand cocktail, wine and spirits bar. Address: 25 Cours de Maréchal Foch. https://www.villasfoch.fr/en.
Moving out of the city and into the vines there’s somewhere for every wine loving tourist to stay, from luxury suites and gourmet dining to nights in an ancient windmill or simply picnics in the vines. The offer is as diverse as the wines of the region.
The list below is best used as a tasting menu of the many different styles of vineyard stayovers now available. Prices are per night, and range from lowest in low season to highest in high season. They include breakfast, unless otherwise noted.
Best visitor experience
Les Sources de Caudalie, Pessac-Léognan
- 62 rooms, including 20 suites plus 11 rooms in the Chartreuse de Thil
- €300-€1,300 (£260-£1,128), breakfast not included
Les Sources de Caudalie ticks so many boxes. It’s at the heart of the organic Château Smith Haut Lafitte vineyard, with an award-winning wine spa, three restaurants, including the two star Michelin restaurant La Grande Vigne. The 61 rooms and suites are spread across several different buildings, each with their own personality. Renovations last year included an elegant new cocktail bar and this June, the establishment became the first ‘Palace Hotel’ to win the European Eco label certification, thanks to its philosophy of respecting both its natural environment and its guests.
Also great for visitor experiences is the personal care offered at Château Troplong Mondot in St-Emilion. A collection of beautiful rooms, suites and a cottage in the vines are available to rent and perfect for a good night’s sleep after dinner at its Michelin star restaurant Les Belles Perdrix, named after the daughters of the previous owner. In the day you can take a safari trip round the vineyard and there’s even a special baby Land Rover tour just for kids.
Best for blowing the budget
The Chartreuse at Cos d’Estournel, St-Estèphe
- Entire Chartreuse with six rooms, two suites
- €32,000 (£27,700) per night, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a private winery visit
The owner of Château Cos d’Estournel, Michel Reybier, is famous for his hospitality group which owns a collection of high-end luxury hotels including La Reserve Geneva, Paris and Ramatuelle. When he re-designed the cellars of Cos d’Estournel, he also renovated La Chartreuse. It has six bedrooms and two suites, two swimming pools (indoors and out), a hammam and two beautiful sitting and dining rooms all designed by interior decorator Jacques Garcia, as is the winery. It is a stunning and discreet place to stay, with a team to pander to your every whim from private dining to a personal concierge service.
Although still a class act, neighbouring Maison d’Estournel offers a more affordable and by-the-room option. In the 1800s this was Louis Gaspard d’Estournel’s private home, now both properties are once again in the hands of the same family. Reybier, with English designer Alex Michaelis, has transformed this classic Bordeaux building into an elegant hotel with fourteen rooms and suites. https://lamaison-estournel.com/fr/
Also good for blowing the budget The three-bedroom, 18th-century Château La Lagune in Ludon-Médoc is only rented in its entirety, to offer complete privacy. The main bedroom is decorated in royal Louis XVI style, with a canopy bed, taffeta curtains and matching tapestry. Five additional bedrooms complete the property. Guests will enjoy the services of a chef, butler and housekeeper, while concierge services include restaurant bookings, oyster farm visits and boating in Arcachon.
Best for quirkiness
Le Moulin de Margaux , Margaux-Cantenac
- Windmill, minimum three night stay.
- €150 (£130) per night
Spend the night in a converted 18th century windmill in the heart of the vines of Margaux. The Moulin de Margaux is owned and run by Nathalie Schyler of Château Kirwan. The circular bedroom at the top of the tower offers 360° views across the appellation.
With one bedroom, a bathroom, kitchenette and sitting room, it’s a perfect self-catering base from which to tour the Medoc (bicycles are available for guests). It shares a swimming pool and gardens with the one-bedroom cottage, which is also available to rent.
Best for foodies
Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Sauternes
- 10 rooms, three suites
- €350-€700 (£303-£606)
Dating back to the 13th century, this fortress-like château has always been an iconic part of Sauternes architecture. Under the ownership of Sylvio Denz since 2018, it is now enjoying a renaissance as the luxurious Lalique Hotel, bringing a new dynamism to the heart of the appellation.
With Lalique crystal everywhere, it takes quite a chef to compete with the décor. Jérôme Schilling has risen to the challenge with a menu that plays with different ways of using the region’s sweet wines in preparing the food and serving it. He gained a Michelin star within a year of opening and then a second star and the Meilleur Ouvrier de France award in 2022. On sunny summer days the central courtyard transforms into an open-air dining room where the chef works his magic on the BBQ.
Also good for foodies The other foodie option worth considering is the delightfully combined services of Château Haut-Bailly and Château Le Pape, near Léognan. Château Haut-Bailly has an excellent ‘private table’ gourmet lunch and dinners for between four and 15 people, also offering cooking classes and a wine boutique. You can then retire to Château Le Pape, under the same ownership and only five minutes away. It has five bedrooms priced €230-€480 a pool and a sun deck overlooking the vines
Although they do not offer accommodation, other châteaux restaurants that come highly rated include the newly-opened Restaurant Le Jardin at Château Petit Faurie de Soutard, St-Emilion, L’Atelier de Candale at Château de Candale, St-Emilion; La Terrasse Rouge at Château La Dominique, St-Emilion; La Chapelle de Guiraud at Château Guiraud, Sauternes; and Les Secrets Château Pey La Tour at Château Pey La Tour, Entre-Deux-Mers.
Best for families
Maison Dubreuil, St-Christophe-des-Bardes
- Whole property, six bedrooms including four suites
St-Emilion classified growth, Clos Dubreuil, is perched high on a limestone hill in St-Christophe-des-Bardes. Recently renovated as a small Provençal style hamlet around a running fountain, it opened a wine bar last year, serving their wines alongside food platters. It also opened the newly renovated guest house, the Maison Dubreuil.
Originally a 1908 farmhouse, it’s a lot more glamourous now. The 7,500 sq. ft. interior welcomes up to 12 guests in its six bedrooms including four suites. Old stone and wood dominate the decor, with several sitting rooms, a library bar, billiards room, orangery and a kitchen that inspires envy. The outdoor terrace is perfect for al fresco dining overlooking the vines, there’s daily breakfast and happy hour, housekeeping and laundry service and house car! A chef can also be arranged.
Uniquely available as a whole house rental, it’s a perfect base for a right bank wine tour which they will be happy to organise for you as well as helicopter, bike and hot air balloon tours.
Also good for families If the Maison Dureuil sounds a little precious for your family, Château Biac offers a relaxed approach to hospitality with Le Vieux Biac a ‘village’ of three duplex farmhouse style cottages. All have fully equipped kitchens and sitting/dining areas. There’s a separate laundry room for week-long guests, gas barbecues on the three terraces that offer ‘al Fresco’ dining areas around the central pool. They supply cots, sheets and high chairs as needed. One to five rooms available from €225 (£194) per room.
Château St Ahon is another good family option in the Médoc. There are three independent cottages and four 48-hour vineyard-facing parking spaces for motor homes, as well as woodlands, winemaking tours and tastings.
Best for history lovers
Château La Tour Carnet, Haut-Médoc
- Two suites
- €323-€379 (£279-£328) per night including breakfast.
Château Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan
- From €269- €659 (£233-£571) a night for one of the two rooms including breakfast.
Both properties can be privatised.
Sleep in a four-poster bed in a fortified tower. Classified growth Château La Tour Carnet is also a moated medieval castle that is part of the Bernard Magrez portfolio of properties alongside Château Pape Clement in Pessac-Léognan and Château Fombrauge in St-Emilion. The château and its two suites have been renovated with luxury tourism in mind and with a sense of the middle ages history in style.
Château Pape Clément, close to the centre of Bordeaux, is also perfect for history buffs. It was the home of the first French Pope Clement Fifth. A replica of his tomb is in the cellars under the château. The gardens are amazing, with a collection of over 600 plants and trees including ancient olive trees that you can discover on ‘Les Jardins Extraordinaires’ tour via your smart phone.
Best for culture
Château de Ferrand, St-Emilion
- Three double rooms
- From €350 (£303) per night
Built in 1702, Château de Ferrand was acquired in 1978, by the Baron Bich, creator of the Bic® pens. Since 2010, his daughter, Pauline Bich Chandon-Moët and her husband Philippe have brought firmly into the 21st century with design-led technical, architectural, environmental and artistic renovations including three elegant guest rooms created by designers Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku. 30 works from The Bic Contemporary Art collection grace the walls of the château. Don’t miss the Orangery, with its cloud like ceiling and cool rotating tasting bar and the ‘Salon Bic’ tasting room where the walls are covered with a fresco by Alexandre Doucin, drawn uniquely in Bic biro.
Château Chasse-Spleen, Moulis-en-Médoc
- Three rooms
- €200-€230 (£173-£199)
The 18th century chartreuse of Château Chasse-Spleen is home to a modern art centre, a ‘locavore’ wine bar (using all local produce), a winery (of course) and three contemporary guest bedrooms. Facing south, the rooms have views over the gardens created by owner Céline Villars-Foubet who is also a landscape architect. An impressive pair of giant wellington boots welcome you as you drive up to the chateau.
Best for eco-friendly holidaymakers
Château Bonhoste, Entre-deux-Mers
- Two wooden vats
- From €155 (£134) per night for two guests including breakfast and a tour and tasting
Sleep in a vat at Château Bonhoste, high on a hill overlooking the Dordogne valley in the Entre-deux-Mers.
Dating back to 1895, the Fournier family, which cultivate its 44 hectares under sustainable certification is very innovative in its product range, lighter packaging and in wine tourism too. It welcomes guests in two 20m2 wooden vats that would normally be used for wine fermentation.
Each one has been adapted to include a bed, a sitting area, a small kitchenette and a bathroom.
Also good for eco-friendly holidaymakers is Château du Payre in the Entre-Deux-Mers which farms its vineyards using sustainable agriculture. The château recycles its water, encourages biodiversity by letting grasses and hedgerows grow wild, uses only natural fertilisers and avoids all glyphosate treatments throughout the 40ha property.
Accommodation is in a sumptuously restored château, which has passed from mother to daughter since 1881. Your host, the Labrousse family, offers food and wine pairings as well as the option to adopt a row of vines. There are three bedrooms, including a family suite from €90-€210 (£77-£181) per night depending on season.