A Bold & Full-Bodied Visit to Bordeaux

Steeped in history, Bordeaux is an old-world city filled with quaint shops, bustling bars, flowering parks, captivating energy and charming restaurants. Admire the breathtaking architecture of the La Cité du Vin. Visit the legendary Big Bell of Bordeaux, an 18th-century bell above a former dungeon for juveniles that is rung on special occasions. Sip a coffee and savor a Canelés De Bordeaux the small French pastry flavored with rum and vanilla with a soft and tender custard center and a dark, thick caramelized crust the locals rave about. To visit Bordeaux is to immerse yourself in a gracious world of simplicity and lots of great wine.

Just minutes from the center of this glittering city is the ultimate in luxurious boutique-style accommodations – the Hotel Yndo. This private mansion has been transformed into a 5-star hotel with French elegance at every turn. Owner Agnès Guiot is a master of interior design and the hotel retains the charm of its classic exterior while inside, however, guests are met with the ultimate in modern luxury and unique character. Visually stunning, the lower lobby level with its high ceilings is the epitome of elegance and fun, decorated in dramatic tones of purple and gray. This breathtaking ‘living room’ of the hotel is a popular gathering place for guests wanting to try out their whale-inspired chairs.

The hotel’s guest rooms are spacious and appointed with every imaginable modern convenience and each room offers unique décor that is fun and quirky. Sink into plush beds, enjoy an espresso or a glass of wine as you toast your arrival. Funky artwork, modern furniture, and delectable amenities are the hallmark of every guest room, providing a peaceful ambiance.

The hotel’s complimentary breakfast is top-notch, with friendly service and comfortable surroundings creating the feeling that you are dining in someone’s private home. Each morning indulge in a sumptuous breakfast spread offering a bevy of cooked-to-order egg dishes, assorted cheeses and meats, fresh-baked bread and freshly squeezed fruit juices.

Fortified after such bountiful a breakfast, you’ll be ready to take on the day and visit all of the nearby sites of the city. If it’s wine you’re after, be sure to spend some time at La Cité du Vin –The Museum of Wine. This impressive new generation museum is a place where wine comes to life through an immersive, sensory approach, all set within an evocative architectural design. Around the building, walk through the Cité du Vin gardens, a green space ideal for a breath of fresh air and to enjoy the atmosphere of the city, the river and the quays. In addition to the permanent exhibition and temporary exhibitions, the variety of experiences on offer at the Cité du Vin makes it a decidedly unique place, a living place, a social and cultural destination, whether you live in the region or are just visiting Bordeaux. After exploring all the exhibits head up to the top floor for wine tasting and try one of the many varietals on offer from all over the world.

One of the most beautiful places in the region, just 15 miles north sits Margaux an important appellation in the Haut-Médoc district of Bordeaux. The appellation is famous for producing supple, perfumed wines, predominantly from Cabernet Sauvignon and hosts the world-famous Chateaux Margaux. The estate has been occupied since at least the 12th century, a feast for the eyes, the grounds are gorgeous, and you can stroll the vast vineyards laid out as far as the eye can see.

For those looking to visit a winery closer to the city, Chateaux Les Carmes Haut-Brion is situated just on the outskirts. After being confiscated during the French Revolution, the estate was purchased by the Léon Colin family in 1840. Their descendants the Chantecailles put years of work into enhancing the property, adding a chateau and landscaped grounds, before selling it to Patrice Pichet in 2010. From one family to the next, these limited changes of ownership have helped to preserve the spirit and magic of the site. Tours begin with an opportunity to explore the estate and its heritage. Discover the estate’s history by visiting key sites of the chateau before stepping into the vineyards. Each visit then continues in the winery, where the secrets of wine production are revealed. The experience ends with a guided tasting of a Carmes top wine vintage and a vintage of C des Carmes Haut-Brion.