WHERE TO STAY
Both in response to the city’s tourist boom and its popularity as a business and meeting venue VINEXPO, the world’s most prestigious wine and spirits exhibition was founded here in 1981 and has been held here every other year since then, Bordeaux has become an excellent hotel town with addresses of charm and distinction for all budgets.
For an experience of sumptuous luxury in an historic setting, nothing beats the Intercontinental – Le Grand Hotel, which is located in the heart of the city just across the street from the Grand Theatre de Bordeaux, both buildings were created by the architect Victor Louis in 1776. The lush décor of the 130 rooms at this historic hotel is the
work of celebrated Paris interior designer Jacques Garcia, who chose a Napoleon III theme that includes rich jewel-tone colours, fabriccovered walls and brass lighting fixtures.
One of the best features of this property is Les Bains de Léa, its superb Nuxe spa on the 5th floor. This complex includes an indoor pool, sauna, hammam and treatment cabins where a variety of massages and beauty regimes are offered. The spa also has an outdoor jacuzzi open in good weather where you can have a good soak while enjoying a spectacular view of the Grand Théâtre across the street. The hotel also has two restaurants, Au Pressoir d’Argent, a gastronomic table, and Le Bordeaux, a brasserie serving simpler food. Service is flawless at this prestigious and very comfortable property.
For anyone who prefers a smaller moderately priced hotel, the Hotel de Tourny also has a very convenient centre-city location and a lot of charm. This twelve-room boutique property occupies two 18th century townhouses that have been joined together and given a stylish contemporary décor that contrasts with historical architectural elements. Service is charming, too.
Another option is the very good value 97-room Mama Shelter, a hip French hotel chain with a great visual sense of humour in the interior décors by Philippe Starck at all of its properties. The Bordeaux hotel occupies a former modernist office building known locally as the Gas Tower, and the rooms are very spacious and comfortable, with tongue-in-cheek décors of children’s masks used as light fixtures and graffiti and quotes painted on the walls in public spaces. Overall, the atmosphere here is young and fun-loving, which reflects the client, although the lobby bar and restaurant with a menu by Guy Savoy is as popular with the locals as it is with hotel guests. Friendly staff and a very handy location, too.