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Bordeaux conjures up all sorts of images: the architecture is stunning, the markets vibrant and culture colourful, and there’s fantastic shopping, but wine is likely to be your first thought. This area has been connected with the wine industry since Roman times. Great wine lists come with the territory when it comes to the best places to stay in Bordeaux, with a delicious claret or summer rosé at the top of the list.
Bordeaux also offers up great pairings for that wine: it’s becoming a foodie capital. But it’s not just a destination for your taste buds, in 2007, the city and its elegant streets – adorned with 18th-century buildings – were declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site - it’s the world’s largest urban World Heritage Site. And the other half of the city is home to some spectacularly modern structures. It has also been classified as a ‘City of Art and History’.
What not to Miss
- Capital of the Aquitaine region and located in the Gironde département, Bordeaux sits on a bend of the River Garonne, before the Garonne meets the Gironde estuary and finally the Atlantic. After years of neglect Bordeaux’s we docks are one of France’s new hot spots, with some fantastic cafes, bars and restaurants, plus some interesting museums.
- The pedestrianised centre of town is where you’ll find most of the major sights - try starting with Sainte-Catherine Street. You’ll get a great view of the whole city from the top of Saint-Michel’s tower.
- Les Quais is where you’ll find the impressive Aquitaine Bridge, and stunning views over the other bridges,
- Gambetta Square is a good place to see grand neo-classical architecture,
- La Victorie is where you’ll find the roman Victory Arch and the public gardens are impressive.
- The Musee D’Art Contemporain is a great modern art museum and the Musee D’Aquitaine is a great place to find out more about the local area. There’s also a wine museum…
Within the city, our pick of the best places to stay in Bordeaux ranges from historical townhouses in the Chartrons district to an eco-friendly B&B and contemporary designer hotel. Head out into the countryside and you’ll find neat rows of vines filling the landscape with many a turreted château offering an elegant style of living. The choices are endless.
In the Heart of Bordeaux
- The Hotel de Seze is a classic grand dame hotel in a fine, 18th century building. There are 55 generously proportioned rooms with traditional decor and a smart restaurant, bar and cigar lounge. There’s also a small spa with a hot tub and a sauna.
- Villa Victor Louis is a stunning villa converted into an eight room hotel. The 18th century decor may make you feel like royalty, and you’re in a wonderfully central location.
The best places to stay in Bordeaux are an eclectic mix! Our favourites in the contemporary bracket are:
- Seeko'o Hotel - This luxury design hotel might look out of place to some; a modern cube sat amongst 18th century buildings on Bordeaux's waterfront. It offers forty five up to the minute suites, all mood lighting and designer furniture. And it claims to be very environmentally friendly. A lively bar serves great cocktails plus the spa is well worth a visit.
- Maison Fredon is a luxury, five room hotel and restaurant in the centre of town. The rooms are individually styled in a chic, but classic, French style, with exposed beams and contemporary art.
- Le St James is a contemporary design hotel with 15 spectacularly modern rooms and suites in separate pavilion conversions. There’s also a gourmet restaurant and glorious gardens.
- Le Boutique Hotel is an elegant townhouse hotel with 20 rooms and two self-catering apartments. The rooms are chic and filled with light and modern art, and there are stand alone bathtubs.
- The Yndo Hotel is a contemporary property with a modern townhouse feel inside a stunning 19th century mansion. There are just 12 rooms decorated in a mixture of period and designer furniture and details. Luxurious and trendy.
- La Grande Maison de Bernard Magrez is a 19th century mansion just outside the centre of town with six elegant rooms and a wonderful restaurant. This is a luxurious spot that foodies will love.
If you don't want to blow the budget then the best places to stay in Bordeaux can be the city centre B&Bs and guesthouses.
- La Villa Chaleemar is very centrally located and ideal if you want to be in the thick of things. The rooms have a Scandanavian feel with light painted wooden furniture. When the weather's good there's even a patio for sitting out.
For Great Value
- Mama Shelter, Bordeaux is a boutique hotel designed to be simple and comfortable, but it also manages to be hip. There’s a buzzy bar and restaurant and a fantastic roof terrace which is just perfect for sundowners. There are 97 rooms starting from around £60 per night.
For an Apartment or holiday villa
- If you’d prefer to stay in a self catering apartment or property we recommend you visit our online partner, Booking.com.
- Bordeaux-Merignac Airport is an international airport only 9kms from the centre of town. A lot of major airlines service Bordeaux, and if you can’t get a direct flight you’ll have no problem transferring in Paris. When leaving the airport you can catch a bus into the centre of town, which takes about 40mins, or a shuttle - which is quicker but also more expensive. A taxi costs about €40.
- Bordeaux is well connected to the French train network, SNCF, and, if you’re coming from London via Paris it’s about a six hour journey.
- Though 60 miles inland from the sea, around 20 odd cruise ships dock here each year.
- If you want to hire a car - which we highly recommend if you’re staying in Bordeaux and want to see a bit more of Aquitaine or the Dordogne - we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
- Bordeaux has a temperate, maritime climate, meaning the summers are hot, but it’s close enough to the coast to get the cooling sea breezes, and the winters are cool, but not extreme. Most visitors come between May and August, with the ‘proper’ summer months being the most popular. As well as being warm and sunny, the Aquitaine region is colourful with flowers at this time of year. You might think harvest season is a great time to visit a wine growing region, but actually a lot of wineries are closed to the public during the harvest. Winter is cool and wet and spring is warm and wet - but with plenty of sunshine.
Still not sure which to book?
Best Hotels in Bordeaux
Hotel de Seze 55 rooms from $240Bordeaux
This grand hotel in a fine 18th Century building offers guests comfortable accommodation in large rooms with elegant furniture and traditional interiors. There's a smart restaurant and bar with cigar lounge, plus a small spa with treatment rooms, a hot tub and sauna. Ideal base for wine lovers.Local exploring - Ideally located for exploring Bordeaux's highlights and getting out and about in the surrounding vineyardsSights nearby - Grand Théâtre de BordeauxSpa
Mama Shelter, Bordeaux 97 rooms from $79Bordeaux
Bordeaux's outpost of Mama Shelter is a hip, boutique hotel designed to be simple and comfortable. The bar and restaurant areas are trendy hang outs with a buzzing atmosphere. Enjoy a relaxed lunch or sun downer drinks on the rooftop terrace. A fantastic base for business or weekend trips.Value chic - Small doubles from just €69 per night.Sights nearby - CAPC Museum of Contemporary ArtHouse party feel - Be prepared to meet people.Recommended by - Tablet
Le Boutique Hotel 20 rooms from $193Bordeaux
An elegant townhouse hotel. Chic contemporary rooms filled with sunlight, parquet floors, modern art and giant stand-alone bath tubs. A romantic city break geared up for wine lovers and culture vultures.Families - There are two self-catering apartments.Spa - In-room treatments available.Four poster beds - For romantics.Local markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - I Escape, Tablet
La Reserve au Pavillon du Chateau Raba 9 rooms from $206Bordeaux
A glorious sandstone chateau in the heart of south Bordeaux. Boutique rooms and suites offer the height of luxury with four poster beds, creamy furnishings, and works of art. Fabulous fine dining restaurant and an excellent wine list, spa treatments, and pool. Totally pampering, very sophisticated.Foodies - Fantastic fine dining restaurant.Romantic BreakLuxurySwimming Pool - Outdoor and Indoor Pools
Maison Fredon 5 rooms from $163Bordeaux
A luxury hotel and restaurant in the heart of Bordeaux. Individually styled rooms are wonderfully chic with classic french style; think white washed walls, exposed beams, contemporary art and glass boxed, in-room, bathrooms. Boasting both a regional and Greek restaurants. Fabulous.City Style - A cool contemporary hotel, with sharp art-filled interiors and many of the cities attractions within a short distance.Sights nearby - Marvel at the picturesque Pont de Pierre, just a short walk from the hotel.Great walks - Take a relaxing walk along the Garonne riverbank.Full of character
La Villa Chaleemar 3 rooms from $90Bordeaux
A friendly, central B&B with charming rooms in neutral tones with lots of natural light. A lofty ambience in this home from home. The perfect place from which to explore Bordeaux.City StyleLocal markets - Good for local colour.Romantic - Good for couples.Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Sawdays
Yndo Hotel 12 rooms from $274Bordeaux
A contemporary hotel with a modern town house feel inside a stunning 19th-century private mansion. Designer furniture in elegant rooms alongside original period features. Evening and lunchtime meals can be ordered on request at 'The Table.' A luxurious, trendy spot in this exciting city.Wine tasting - Explore the famous Bordeaux wine region, and sample the different vintagesSights nearby - Located in the heart of Bordeaux's historic district, the property is ideally placed to see all of the city's attractions.Designer - There are designer pieces and artworks spread throughout the propertyGreat walks - Bordeaux's Public Garden
Le St James 15 rooms from $280Bordeaux
Unusual, very contemporary design hotel with gourmet food. Spectacularly modern rooms and suites set in separate pavilion conversions. Lots of natural light, terraces onto gardens, glorious swimming pool, and fabulous food. Somewhere for restoring wellbeing.LuxuryTotal relaxationWellbeingFoodiesRecommended by - Relais & Chateaux
La Grande Maison de Bernard Magrez 6 rooms from $298Bordeaux (Bordeuax)
La Grande Maison is a 19th-century mansion located just outside the centre of Bordeaux. The rooms are decorated in an elegant manner with pieces of period furniture and some even have a fireplace. Eating at their wonderful restaurant is an absolute must for any foodies! A luxurious romantic stay.Romantic Break - Luxurious rooms, walks around Bordeaux, a quiet atmosphere and brilliant cuisine-perfect for a romantic getawayFoodies - Restaurant serves up superb dishes created by the Michelin starred chef Pierre GagnaireSights nearby - Within a couple of miles you can go visit the Place de la Boruse, Bordeaux Wines Museum and the Musee d'Art ContemporainOpulentRecommended by - Relais & Chateaux
Villa Victor Louis 8 rooms from $166Bordeaux
The stunning Villa Victor Louis enjoys a central location in Bordeaux. Feel like utter royalty in this luxurious accommodation, decorated with elegant and antique furnishings mirroring typically 18th-century décor. An incredibly classy and upmarket city stay like none other!Local exploring - Villa Victor Louis is centrally located in Bordeaux, making it an ideal destination for those wanting to get to know the citySights nearby - You've got to go see the Miroir de l'Eau which has been officially listed as a contemporary World Heritage Site by UNESCOGreat walks - Meander aimlessly through the city's cobbled streets taking it all inTraditional
Seeko'o Hotel 45 rooms from $177Bordeaux
Boutique and quirky come together under one roof in this white ice-cube shaped design hotel. The rooms are more like sky-lit cocoons with their white-washed walls and surround-windows. It also has a trendy bar and slick meeting facilities. A unique hotel.City Style - A boutique design hotel, minimilistic in and out. Choose the Panoramic suite for spectacular views.Great walks - Take a stroll along the Garone River.Lively - Hip and happening.Lively area - In the thick of the action.Recommended by - Tablet