WHERE TO STAY DURING VACATIONS ?
I will just suggest some nice hotels in or around Bordeaux but I must warn you that I have not stayed at all of them myself, because I live here!
Very nice, beautiful and … expensive : « Le grand hôtel » (www.ghbordeaux.com/fr/index.php), in front of the big theater, in the center of Bordeaux. It’s a five star hotel with pool and spa, amazing, with everything to do in the town just at your feet.
If you prefer to be a little bit out of Bordeaux but stay in a charming hotel, I suggest 2 different addresses : « Le Saint James » in Bouliac (3 miles from Bordeaux) with an excellent view of the town (www.saintjames-bouliac.com/fr/index.php) or « La réserve du pavillon chateau raba » in Talence (3 miles from Bordeaux) in a beautiful old house (www.hotel-bordeaux-raba.com).
If you prefer to stay out of town in the vineyards, I suggest 4 hotels, about 20 miles from Bordeaux.
If you love to play golf on vacation, you should go and stay in one of these two hotels, in Medoc’s vineyards :
www.hotel-golf-du-medoc.com or www.relais-margaux.fr
If you aren’t a golfer, I suggest two wonderful hotels close to the very famous vineyards like Smith Haut Lafitte for the first one and Saint Emilion for the second one :
www.sources-caudalie.com or www.grand-barrail.com
If you don’t want to spend all your money in the hotel, I can give you some advices. First, I always surf on a french web site, www.fr.lastminute.com, before going somewhere on vacation to see if they have a top secret hotel in the town. What is it ? The best hotels in France have usually some free bedrooms but, because of their standing (4 or 5 stars), they can’t say openly that they sell those bedrooms for 50% less than the real price, especially during the low season. So, check it first. You will know the name of your hotel just some days before the arrival but for sure it will be a really good one for the price of a 2 stars hotel.
My second bit of advice is to go and sleep in a very original place : in a tree. I’ve tried it for you and it’s fantastic. You will be in your second childhood and the kids love that (over 4 years old for best security)! It’s less expensive than a classic charming hotel and you will take pleasure to find your breakfast outside after a good night in the middle of the nature. Well, it’s true, except if there is a storm during the night like I had… for my wedding’s anniversary !! www.naturacabana.fr.
My last advice is to go and sleep in a nice holiday cottage in a wine castle, where you can have a wine tasting in front of a beautiful castle. For that solution, my choice is for my friends, Nathalie and Hubert in their wine castle « Chateau Courtade Dubuc » (www.courtade-dubuc.com) in Camblanes et Meynac, located 10 minutes from Bordeaux. Hubert is an enthusiastic wine maker and he will explain how he creates merlots and cabernets from start to ending….in your glass! He and Nathalie gave us a wine tasting of his vintages and then showed us his vats, barrels and warehouse where he actually produces Bordeaux wine. You can take home some excellent bottles for around 8 Euros and you’ll be able to tell your friends you met the winemaker!