Bordeaux estates have embraced wine tourism welcoming guests for tastings, lunches, dinners and even overnight stays. A few offer the unique opportunity for wine enthusiasts to live the full Bordeaux château experience, with exclusive use of their properties. Such an invitation can include private access and visits to cellars, extensive tastings and seriously good food specifically designed to complement the wines on show.
It’s also an opportunity to discover local architecture from the inside. The ‘Chartreuse’ is a classic Bordeaux architectural style, an ‘enfilade’ of rooms, often book ended with towers. Even when grand (some are very grand) it gives an impression of intimacy that lends itself well to hospitality.
Here’s a collection of very different Bordeaux châteaux you can call your own.
For those considering a trip, the suggestions below are based on both their attractiveness for wine lovers and their renown. The cost range given is based on the cheapest low season price, up to the highest in high season. In most cases breakfast is not included.
Cos d’Estournel’s Chartreuse
SLEEP: Rentable as entire chartreuse only, six doubles, two suites
PRICE: €32,000 (£27,532) per night, all year round
CONTACT: No website; booking enquiries via email to email@example.com, or call +33 5 56 73 15 50
Extraordinary luxury is the signature of La Chartreuse at Château Cos d’Estournel in St-Estephe. Hardly surprising when the owner, Michel Rebeyier, is also the head of the luxury hotel chain La Reserve.
With its exotic architecture and three pagodas, Château Cos d’Estournel dominates the hillside approach to the appellation and the Chartreuse doesn’t disappoint. Designed by Jacques Garcia as a family residence, the six bedrooms and two suites are all unique with Carrara marble bathrooms. One suite even has its own fitness space.
Guests have access to the owner’s library, cigar lounge and personal cellar.
As well as the dining room, lounge, terrace, indoor and outdoor heated pools there’s a steam room. It’s perfect in the summer for a dip and in the winter for the log fires, but it has all year round appeal due to the unique access to the spectacular cellars and wine tastings of Château Cos d’Estournel.
Château Ormes de Pez
SLEEP: Seven doubles
PRICE: €155-€195 (£133-£167) per night including breakfast
CONTACT: https://www.ormesdepez.com/en /
St-Estèphe is surrounded by its tree lined park. It belongs to the Cazes family, owners of Château Lynch Bages and the hotel Cordeillan Bages – so they understand hospitality.
It has five double en-suite rooms and two smaller bedrooms, two living rooms, a breakfast room and a dining room that can host 14 guests.
There’s a swimming pool in the park and a concierge service for vineyard visits, restaurant bookings and, should you prefer, the services of the inhouse chef.
SLEEP: Five doubles or entire property (no children under 12)
PRICE: €140-€230 (£120-£297) per night
Chateau Giscours, one of the largest properties in Margaux, is surrounded by a beautiful park and woodland. Close to Bordeaux, it’s the first Margaux property as you drive up the Route des Châteaux from the city. Three charming and cosy rooms have been renovated for guests above the old stables next to the impressive neoclassical chateau.
Château du Tertre
Five beautifully decorated and spacious en-suite double rooms. Accessible from the courtyard with views across the vines. A delicious breakfast served in the elegant dining rooms and the chateau probably has one of the most picturesque swimming pools in Bordeaux.
SLEEP: 13 doubles
PRICE: From €355-€405 per night (£305 – £408).
Known as the Versailles of the Medoc, Château Beychevelle in St-Julien is on the banks of the Gironde, originally built in the 1500s, the current majestic chateau was rebuilt in the 1750s. The elegant gardens running down to the estuary were created by the Heine family in the 1800s. From the terrace you can watch ships float past on their way from the Atlantic to Bordeaux city.
Thanks to renovation by Grands Millésimes de France, in the cellars and the chateau, it now boasts 13 guest bedrooms and two suites. Wine enthusiasts are received in elegant reception rooms and served menus designed to complement the wines of the chateau in the splendid dining room.
Château Prieuré Marquet
SLEEP: 11 doubles and an English bus that sleeps four
PRICE: €290-€480 (£249-£413), the entire château also available from €9,500 (£8,174).
To the north of St-Emilion, this 15th-century chartreuse has an eclectic mix of old and new, with contemporary art on the walls, a heated pool, billiards room, fishing, woods, a heliport and even a classic Fiat 500 in the dining room. Car lovers can book the 1969 Silver Shadow Rolls Royce for train station collections or arrange for a drive around the grounds in the 1957 Willys Jeep.
Asked to provide his own description of the place, owner Bernard Canonne says simply, ‘It’s pretty singular, as well as being elegant and refined. But the best thing to do is come and stay with us.’
Château Le Pape
The Wilmers family, owners of Château Haut Bailly, purchased neighbouring Château Le Pape and its 10 hectares of Pessac Léognan in 2012. It spent three years renovating the property, bringing symmetry to the 18th century chartreuse by adding a second tower. It opened to guests in 2015.
There are four double bedrooms and one suite, a salon and an elegant dining room that hosts breakfast and dinners. Taste wines from both properties in the intimate ‘vinothèque ‘ and then select a few to accompany dinner.
House guests can also visit the fabulous new wine cellars at Château Haut Bailly and, for a change of scene, stay to dine at ‘La Table Privée.
La Chartreuse du Château Le Thil
SLEEP: Nine doubles and two suites
PRICE: From €260 (£223) per night all year long
Tucked away in the woods nearby is La Chartreuse du Château Le Thil. The Cathiards, of Château Smith Haut Lafitte, bought this 11 hectare vineyard in 2012 and handed the 18th century chartreuse to their daughter and son in law, Alice and Bertrand Tourbier, owners of Les Sources de Caudalie – the 5* hotel and spa in the grounds of Smith Haut Lafitte (and the recently opened Les Sources de Cheverny in the Loire).
In 2013, they opened Chateau le Thil as a ‘lodge’. Stone stairways at opposite ends of the house lead up to nine tastefully decorated rooms and two suites. The three ground floor reception rooms open onto stunning parkland, a small lake and classified woods.
The garden is classed as a ‘Jardin Remarquable’ and visitors can follow signs along the two-hour, ‘five senses’ walk, stopping to touch, smell, listen, hear, and finally, taste the nature around them.
Château Sigalas Rabaud
SLEEP: Five doubles
PRICE: €199-€220 (£171-£180)
Château Sigalas Rabaud, the smallest of the first classified growths in Sauternes, has been home to the de Lambert des Granges family since 1863.
Sixth-generation Laure de Lambert Compeyrot has given the property a new lease of life since she took over in 2006. In this time, Laure has created five beautiful guest rooms in the 17th century chateau. There’s a family feel, an elegant mix of traditional, cosy and eclectic. Don’t miss the shower in the tower of the Marie-Antoinette room.
Guests can enjoy a ‘sweet aperitif’ on the sunny terrace of the château or by the lap pool near the vines. Or perhaps a morning cup of Sauternes coffee made from beans aged in her Sauternes barrels.
At the foot of St-Emilion’s southern slopes, the 18th century Château Bellefont-Belcier has been beautifully restored by the Kwok family.
The classified growth opened 11 guests rooms and three suites in 2019. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, parkland and woods it enjoys views across the valley and vines towards the Dordogne river.
Available by the room or to privatise, the château is ideal for corporate retreats thanks to conference rooms that open up on the terrace as well as the pool and tennis court. It also has an apartment available to rent in their nearby Château Tour Saint Christophe
SLEEP: Available as full house rental only, six doubles, two suites
PRICE: July-August weekly rentals only seven nights €15,000 (£12,908). The rest of year minimum two night stay from €5000 (£4,302).
The Teycheney family has owned Château La Loubière in the Entre deux Mers since 1837. In 2015, 4th generation Patrick Teycheney and his daughter Caroline also invested in St-Emilion, adding two Grand Cru properties to the portfolio: Château Fleur de Lisse and Château L’Etampe. In 2018, an organic vineyard, now christened Château Fontfleurie, joined what is today Les Vignobles Jade.
The 19th century Chateau L’Etampe has been renovated and converted into a private home to rent. With five suites, a heated pool and a billiards room, it’s the perfect ‘home from home’ for wine tourists.
Château de Ferrand
SLEEP: Three doubles
PRICE: From €350 per night. (£301) Private rental for the three rooms, salon and dinning room is from €3000 (£2,581) including a masterclass from the château’s sommelier.
Built in 1702, this beautiful property 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 Château de Ferrand firmly into the 21st century with design-led technical, architectural, environmental and artistic renovations.
The château is surrounded by one of the largest green spaces on prime appellation land not planted with vines, including a unique collection of over 200 year old trees.
The Bic Contemporary Art collection includes over 200 works by international artists of which over 30 works now grace the walls of the château. In 2019, designers Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku, created three elegant rooms, so guests can now sleep in this work of art.
Château Troplong Mondot
SLEEP: The Vineyard House, The Art Studio, Edouard, The Bell Tower Bedroom
PRICE: Prices range from €250-€450 in low season November to March and (£12,908) €330-€550 in high season April to October (£4,302).
Situated at the highest point of the appellation, near the imposing water tower, Château Troplong Mondot has several accommodation options available all within perfect sunset viewing of St-Emilion town and its iconic church steeple. Stay in the cosy ‘Vineyard House’ quite literally nestled among the vines with two double, en-suite bedrooms, lounge and terrace – perfect in the summer just a short stroll or bike ride from the town or in the winter with its log fire.
You can also stay a touch nearer the main Château and winery, with it’s Michelin star restaurant Les Belles Perdrix, in the ‘Art Studio’ with one or two en-suite bedrooms, the Edouard room or The Bell Tower Bedroom.
While the recently renovated main Château building is usually reserved for private clients the estate will consider private rentals. Please get in touch directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call +33(0)5 57 55 38 28.
Château Beauregard offers the same warm welcome that Pomerol is known for since the Knights of Saint Jean de Jerusalem started welcoming pilgrims in the 12th century.
You’ll find the Templar cross – the Beauregard emblem – discreetly repeated in the decoration and marquetry of the château. This Napoleonic chartreuse was so admired by the Guggenheim family that they built their own copy; Mille-Fleurs’ in New York. The five beautifully renovated guest rooms have that clever blend of historic and modern that Bordeaux is so good at (you’ll see the same theme in the cellars).
A private salon, tasting room and dining room look out over the terrace edged by two dovecotes. Cross the bridge over the small moat to the garden designed by Victor Louis, the architect of Bordeaux’s Grand Théâtre.