At a Glance
Composed of five beautifully restored, 18th-century buildings, the aptly named Grand Hotel de Bordeaux is the city's top address for an opulent, old-word ambience.
- The multi-level spa with a gorgeous pool with a view
- Night Plage, the groovy cocktail lounge on the rooftop with expansive views
- The sixteen new Junior Family Suites (introduced in 2014) with Bonpoint amenities for the kids
Bordeaux's grande dame hotel is located right across from the dramatic Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux(both were designed by 18th-century architect Victor Louis) in a prized location in the city's historic center. Five buildings were merged to form the present-day hotel, which makes for a unique layout in many of the rooms. There are 130 guest rooms and suites, the best of which have views towards the Grand Théâtre.
Jacques Garcia, the fabled French designer behind Paris' sultry Hotel Costes and romantic L'Hotel, found his more classical voice at this property. There are still details of the boudoir style that made him famous – wallpaper that looks like draped velvet; dramatic fabric-clad headboards; silky curtains – but overall, the interiors are beautiful and very comfortable. There are seven room categories, all with their own design and color schemes, but the most important request is a view (several rooms face courtyards), and older travelers should ask to be close to the elevators to avoid walking up and down the stairs that connect the five buildings.
Families traveling with children should book one of the Junior Suites that were launched in 2014 in a partnership with Bonpoint and feature amenities for kids from the acclaimed French company. The Grand Hotel does a fabulous job advising families on child-friendly activities in the wine country, like an afternoon at a nearby chateau that also creates innovative, non-alcoholic "tastings" for children.
The multi-level Bains de Lea spa is a haven of serenity with a gorgeous indoor pool with a view and a hushed ambience that immediately inspires relaxation. The rooftop restaurant is only accessible to spa goers during the day. More bustling is the al fresco terrace of Le Bordeaux restaurant, which overlooks the Place de la Comédie. During lunchtime when a good mix of locals and visitors dine on the well-focused menu (for something very local, try the small "pots" of foie gras, pâté or rillettes). At night, the rooftop transforms into Night Plage, a lounge and bar for cocktails with a view.
Who Should Stay
Couples and families who want to stay in Bordeaux's grandest – and priciest – address.
Written by Simone Girner