Hotel Finds: Bordeaux
108 Rue Abbé de l’Épée
You might actually walk right past the Yndō Hotel the first time you visit. The neoclassical mansion sits on a small boulevard in the heart of Bordeaux. From the street only the hotel plaque – with five stars – and an arched, intricately patterned wrought iron gate are visible. Upon entering the property, you realize just how extensive and strikingly beautiful the hotel is. Murano chandeliers and Louis Poulsen lamps decorate the entry. Ceramics by Joël Cazaux and whimsical furniture by Hubert le Gall fill the living areas and guest rooms. The hip vibe has made the hotel a favorite spot for filmmakers. Look for French movie stars giving a press conference in the hotel lobby.
The staff is especially welcoming. It’s very likely the owner, Agnès Guiot Du Doignon, will check you in personally. That is if she’s not baking some of the delectable pastries served at breakfast or preparing dinner for a guest. Friendly and unpretentious, she is devoted to her guests and to maintaining high standards for the hotel.
Twelve spacious guest rooms are offered at the Yndō Hotel. Each has its own unique style, although all the rooms are quite modern, both in terms of decor and amenities. Flat screen TVs, iPads and fully stocked mini bars are provided. Most rooms have either garden patios or balconies. Mattresses are heavenly – so comfortable that you might be tempted to linger in bed throughout the morning. But then you’d miss breakfast, which is especially impressive!
Tarts, cookies and assorted delicious treats are available throughout the day at the hotel. Breakfast, however, is a masterpiece. In addition to luscious pastries, guests may select from freshly-made yogurt, crêpes served with house made preserves & jellies. Eggs, freshly squeezed juices and gourmet coffee complete the meal. For a special treat, book a dinner at the Yndō Hotel. Agnès Guiot Du Doignon will help you plan the meal and prepare most of it herself. A house wine list and cocktails are available as well. The hotel’s intimate dining room and attentive staff will make any occasion a celebration.
GRAND HÔTEL DE BORDEAUX
2-5 Place de la Comédie
Easily the city’s poshest hotel, the five-star Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux represents the ultimate in luxury. Originally built in 1776, the exterior of the neoclassical building remains, essentially, as it was created by Victor Louis. The interior, redone in 2007 by designer Jacques Garcia, is awash in tapestries, chandeliers and velvet upholstered settees. The property is also strategically located directly across from the Grand Théâtre and at the entrance to rue Sainte-Catherine, the large pedestrian shopping center.
The hotel offers 121 rooms and 27 suites. All rooms are richly appointed and have marble bathrooms, although the standard rooms are somewhat cramped. The executive rooms and suites, on the other hand, are exceptionally large.
The hotel’s primary restaurant, Le Pressoir d’Argent, is overseen by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. A tasting menu, available only in the evening, might include beef tartare with Aquitaine caviar, smoked chestnuts and Noir de Bigorre ham, roasted veal sweetbreads with truffles and trompettes de la mort mushrooms, Scotish venison, or Arcachon sole.
Le Bordeaux is the hotel brasserie featuring casual dining service seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The Victor Bar pays homage to the writer Victor Hugo, who lived in Bordeaux. Service is available daily with a wide selection of Champagne and whisky. A high tea is offered each afternoon in the Orangerie. Later in the day, DJs entertain at the Black Diamond club.
Les Bains de Léa spa includes a swimming pool and fitness club as well as a hydro massage bath, oriental scrub room and Vichy shower. Everything you need to enjoy your stay in Bordeaux.
HÔTEL DE SÈZE
23 allée de Tourny
A block away from the Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux, the Hôtel de Sèze is also well located, just off the Place Tourny and Place des Grands Hommes, near both the Opéra National and Grand Théâtre. Numerous restaurants and shops are within walking distance as well.
The four-star Hôtel de Sèze is an architectural gem, constructed in the 18th century. The building features an illuminated façade, corbels and wrought-iron balconies. The property offers 55 guest rooms, which are comfortable and attractively furnished, although standard rooms are on the small side. Most visitors find that the ultra-affordable prices compensate for the lack of space.
The restaurant, Le Comptoir de Sèze, provides a traditional French menu, serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and brunch on Sundays. A jazz dinner concert is available every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. A spa with private steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi and sensory shower experience is available seven days a week.
OPTIONS OUTSIDE BORDEAUX
Route des Châteaux
Beautifully situated hotel and restaurant next to Château Lynch-Bages, owned by Jean-Michel Cazes, owner of Lynch-Bages.
LES SOURCES DE CAUDALIE
Chemin de Smith Haut Lafitte
Set among the vineyards of Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Les Sources de Caudalie provides top service and a world-renown spa offering treatments using Caudalie skin products developed from grapes. There is also a natural hot spring to add mineral and oligo-elements to treatments.
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