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Plan your personalized
itinerary with our concierge
To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
*Total price provided for information only, based on accommodation for two people in a double room for the number of nights per property as indicated on this page, exclusive of recommended activities, properties that cannot be reserved online and restaurants.
Restaurant and hotel in a vineyard. It was in the late 1980s that we transformed this 18th century golden-stone mansion into a luxury hotel. The hotel is situated in the heart of Médoc’s wine country, set in countryside under the flightpath of migratory birds. Cordeillan-Bages has 28 elegant rooms and a two-Michelin-starred restaurant. Chef Jean-Luc Rocha’s fare is a surprising mixture of innovation and tradition… ... Learn moreless
This is the story of a rebirth. The small village which neighbours our family estate had lost most of its residents over the years. After successive purchases of surrounding vineyards, we realised that a large part of the village now belonged to us. Rather than tearing its houses down, we decided to restore them. Today, the village once again houses businesses and artists’ workshops. Obviously, I recommend a visit to the Lynch-Bages wine storehouses; the receptionists at Cordeillan-Bages will be pleased to organise an appointment for you. www.villagedebages.com
This little island, opposite Pauillac, is one of my little secrets. With help from the French coastal protection agency, Philippe Lacourt has restored its beautiful white lighthouse and built a sleek and modern haven. Come here to listen to birdsong and the river in between two expertly-cooked dishes. The host also offers tasty picnics. Reservation necessary. www.gensdestuaire.fr
You must come to Cap Ferret and try a few oysters, washed down with a nice glass of wine. One possibility is the Hôtel de la Plage in L’Herbe village, which was recently taken over by some locals. I also like the atmosphere of the little port of Andernos-les-Bains at high tide. Pay a visit to Joël Lahaye at hut 20 on Quai Lahillon to eat oysters with your feet in the water. A real treat.
Hotel and restaurant in town. The Grande Maison de Bernard Magrez is a private 19th century mansion, driven by two ambassadors of excellence, at the service of the arts. The art of hospitality is showcased by the six elegant guest rooms inspired by Napoleon III style. Culinary arts are embodied by the exceptional cuisine of Pierre Gagnaire. The art of Great Wines, with a wine list unique in the world, boasting 259 positions including 172 Grands Crus Classés, is perfectly aligned to the remarkable signature dishes of the Chef with new creations around local products. The journey continues with contemporary art at the Cultural Institute Bernard Magrez, across the street, with the permanent exhibition of works from the collection of the owner. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a village. This large and beautiful building, constructed of wood and glass, was designed by the architect Jean Nouvel, who was inspired by the old tobacco drying barns which were found in the region. From the hotel, owned by Marie Borgel, there is a splendid view of Bordeaux. The bedrooms are decorated with reproductions of furniture by Jacobsen, Prouvé and Le Corbusier. People come from miles around to sample the food of chef Nicolas Magie. ... Learn moreless
Bordeaux’s submarine base is a must-see. This gigantic concrete structure was built to house a flotilla of German submarines during the Second World War. Today, part of the base plays host to living art shows and very fine photography exhibitions. An added bonus: if you fancy some oysters (I’m mad about them!), don’t miss Huître à Flot (basin 2), a rather strange and unexpected place.
The two-hundred-year-old storehouses belonging to this merchant are definitely the most beautiful in Bordeaux. Picture an 8000 m² storehouse, built entirely of freestone! Inside you will find 2.5 million bottles, 80% of which come from local vineyards. Guided tour and wine tasting by reservation. www.millesima.com
I really like the CAPC. Situated in a former warehouse for colonial goods, this was one of the first museums in France to be entirely devoted to contemporary art. Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman, Buren, Christian Boltanski and Keith Haring have all had work exhibited here. The programme is really high quality. www.capc-bordeaux.fr
Hotel and restaurant in a village. Wine enthusiasts will instantly recognise the name Saint-Émilion as one of the principal appellations of Bordeaux. Savour some great wines at the Hostellerie de Plaisance, where hosts Chantal and Gérard Perse warmly welcome guests to their elegant but relaxed retreat with stunning views of the vineyards as well as the medieval village, a Unesco World Heritage site. The interiors are an excellent blend of sophistication and comfort. At the restaurant be spoiled by the cuisine of the chef, who draws inspiration from the fresh food markets and the treasures of local farmers. ... Learn moreless
The Jurade, the guild of Saint-Émilion winemakers, was created in 1199 by the king of England. It was revived in 1948 by local winemakers, and every June and September it organises a parade of “jurats” who march up to the top of the Tour du Roy, dressed in their traditional red robes.
The Château Villemaurine, located on the outskirts of the village, offers Saint-Émilion’s most creative guided tours. Lantern in hand, you can discover the superb underground quarries of this grand cru classé, through a sound and light show which combines history and legend. www.villemaurine.com
Wandering the streets of Saint-Émilion is a real delight. Its World Heritage site status has made it possible to retain great uniformity. The variety of wine merchants and wine bars should be enough to please everyone’s taste buds. My favourite is still l’Envers du Décor (11, rue du Clocher).
On this flower-lined cliff road, don’t miss the view over the Bec d’Ambès, where the Dordogne and Garonne meet, or the houses…
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Finally, pay a visit to Frédéric Boivent at the Château de Mirambeau. This is a superb example of Renaissance architecture. The château was entirely renovated in 2002, and retains its sumptuous old furnishings. The house specialities are shellfish and fish from the estuary and the ocean, meats of Limousin or Aquitaine, snails of Charente... But the centrepiece is perhaps the “Cognathèque”, with its impressive collection of Cognacs. We have left the Bordeaux region behind and now we are in another world. ... Learn moreless
This impressive citadel, recognised as a World Heritage site, looks out over the Gironde estuary. The military complex, built under orders from Vauban, stretches over almost 38 hectares.
Built by architect Victor Louis, the Château du Bouilh is a superb example of late 18th century neoclassical architecture. Owner Jean-Frédéric de La Tour du Pin was appointed minister of war by King Louis XVI… in 1789! This listed building, which was never completed, is a real film set. www.chateaudubouilh.jimdo.com