|Photo by Freeimages.com/frederico paiva|
by Nicola Williams, The Daily Telegraph, July 12, 2016
The ultimate French wine-lover address, Château Cordeillan Bages languishes on one of the most prestigious wine-growing estates in the Haut-Médoc. Contemporary rooms enjoy Italian designer furniture and two Michelin-starred dining overlooks the vines. Guests can even try blending their own Bordeaux vintage.
In the utterly irresistible, gold-stone hamlet of Bages, 1.5 miles south of Pauillac on the left bank of the Gironde Estuary. Swathes of pea-green vineyards pierced by elegant 19th-century chateaux surround the village, making cycling the way to explore. When tasting and buying wine at neighbouring chateaux tires, guests can drive 32 miles south to the elegant city of Bordeaux: the recently opened wine museum here, La Cité du Vin is a wine-lover must. Otherwise, the dune-laced surf of the Atlantic Coast is a 30-minute drive away.
Style & character 8/10
Very boutique and personal, with just the right mix of contemporary design and traditional vintage befitting of a turreted chartreuse (country mansion), constructed from local gold stone in the mid-19th century. The hotel is part of the prestigious Lynch-Bages wine estate, love child of the Cazes family who single-handedly restored the hamlet of Bages and pioneered wine tourism in the area.
To understand their story – a beautiful tale – ask reception to organise a bespoke visit to neighbouring Châteaux Lynches-Bages where the wine is made.
Service & facilities 9/10
Spot on – and a treat. The four-star hotel is part of the luxurious Relais & Châteaux group and cocoons guests in a noble world of elegant, epicurean living.
Wine tasting and touring aside, the hotel organises cookery classes, bespoke wine courses, vineyard picnics, bicycle tours, helicopter rides over the vines, horse and carriage rides and DIY wine-making experiences. A 25m outdoor pool and gym languishes in the immaculate grounds.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
The hotel has 28 rooms overlooking the magnolia tree-filled front garden or the interior courtyard garden scented with pines and rows of lime-green verbena.
Double rooms are spacious and luxurious with bespoke oak cupboards, leather door ‘knobs’, Danish Frandsen lighting and artworks from the private collection of the Cazes family. Colour palettes are earthy and nature-inspired, and a glass wall separates the bedroom from a chic bathroom with Clarins products. USB plugs next to the bed and writing desk add an appropriate note of functionality.
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Food & drink 9/10
Grand cru to the last. Charismatic chef Jean-Luc Rocha uses local products – Arcachon oysters, Aquitaine caviar, foie gras from neighbouring Les Landes – to create contemporary French cuisine in the two Michelin-starred, gastronomic restaurant (lunch/dinner menus from £37/£74 (€45/€90); the wine list features 1500 labels. For simpler fare, meander down the road to Café Lavinal, a chic bistro overseen by the same talented chef.
Breakfast (£20/€24) is glorious buffet of hot and cold, sweet and savoury treats – including traditional Bordelais, sandcastle-shaped canelé cakes – served outside beneath mulberry trees in summer. The view: a sweep of vines.
Value for money 8/10
Double rooms from £198 (€239) in low season; rising to £322 (€389) in high. Breakfast excluded (£20). Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Yes. There are connecting doubles and suites sleep four.
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This article was written by Nicola Williams from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.