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What’s new in Bordeaux – A Luxury Travel Blog

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As authentic as it is dynamic, urban and natural, historic yet alternative, Bordeaux has plenty going for it! Famed for its vineyards, architecture and fine food, the destination also impresses with its cool attitude, cultural excitement and laid-back way of life. Between land and ocean, Bordeaux is influenced from all directions, and reveals a lifestyle that reflects all the authenticity of the South-West, friendly and uncomplicated. Liberated and inspiring, Bordeaux charms and attracts visitors with its enticing energy all year round, with a calendar full of exciting events. Pleasure seekers, heritage and culture lovers, sports fans, people in search of new hotels: every traveller will find their own Bordeaux in 2024!

Wine tourism

Enjoy a wine tasting workshop in a typical Bordeaux apartment or historic cellar, sip a glass in one of the city’s many wine bars: Bordeaux’s nectars are yours to discover and taste in all their forms! And to understand how the culture and trade of wine have set the pace and shaped the city for centuries: the walking tour “In the footsteps of wine in the city” invites visitors to open their eyes to the works of art, statues and architectural details with a wine connection. Every summer, the Bordeaux Fête le Vin wine festival truly brings the banks of the Garonne to life. See you from 27 to 30 June for the latest edition of this friendly event, which brings together wine growers and traders from the region and the general public with its tastings and activities.

And for those who want to extend the experience: from the city to the vineyard, sometimes it’s just a quick hop by public transport! The Bordeaux metropolis has a dozen wine properties accessible by tram, bus or bicycle. And a little further out, there are hundreds of wine properties which open their doors wide to visitors, who come to discover a profession, a passion, in the heart of a responsible, welcoming vineyard.

Gastronomy

From high-end gourmet venues to new, trendy restaurants, including places that focus on local products, food courts and lively markets: the art of appreciating the good things in life is taken seriously in Bordeaux. A quick overview of what’s new: a mecca of fine food, Ganache is launching festive dinner-evenings at the end of the week with the concept “Ganache lets its hair down”! In the city centre, Epicentre is a little gem that offers a complete menu for €26 at lunchtime. There’s a new name and new position for the Cromagnon restaurant: Inima takes its place, still under the leadership of talented, creative chef Oxana Cretu. At Vivants, the pair of Bordeaux chefs Tanguy Laviale and Maxime Rosselin offer casual fine dining with around forty seats which brings out the best in local products. At Souquo, the cuisine is homemade, vegetarian and really colourful! All to be enjoyed in a warm, cosy room. In the station district, a unique venue will open its doors in the first half of the year: Atelier des Citernes will bring together 900m² of food counters, community spaces linked to art and gastronomy, and a stage.

Culture

All year round, Bordeaux satisfies cultural appetites thanks to a rich programme in museums and a host of galleries that celebrate art in all its forms. The city is also home to some unique cultural places. Open since 2020 inside the submarine base, the XXL digital art centre Bassins des Lumières hosts several immersive exhibitions. From 16 February, the exhibition “From Vermeer to Van Gogh, the Dutch masters” invites the public to walk in the footsteps of the painters from the North. The short programme pays homage to Piet Mondrian, the architect of colour.

An essential stop on any visit to Bordeaux, the Cité du Vin is a unique cultural destination. Refurbished last year, the permanent exhibition draws on digital interactive technologies to highlight vineyards from around the world through their cultural, civilisational, heritage and universal dimensions. For the second year, a sensory journey called Via Sensoria will be available from 26 March to 3 November: visitors are invited to experience a unique tasting moment, accompanied by a sommelier, while strolling through four immersive spaces.

Accommodation

Atmosphere, budget, location: the accommodation on offer meets everyone’s expectations! New hotels are flourishing in the streets of Bordeaux, promising memorable experiences, like First Name, a shining 4-star establishment in the heart of the Mériadeck district, with a true feel-good spirit, or the Marty Hotel, with its colourful, vintage decoration and gallery feel thanks to the artworks displayed in the common areas, all for sale. In Les Chartrons, the 5-star Mondrian Hôtel des Carmes, designed by Philippe Starck, opened on the site of old wine cellars dating from the 19th century, with 97 rooms and suites, a restaurant and bar combining Japanese culinary art and Western flavours, a spa and large outdoor terrace. On the quays, the Indigo Bordeaux boutique hotel transports its guests into a bohemian world reminiscent of Arcachon Bay. As for planned reopenings: the 5-star Burdigala has made its comeback on the Bordeaux hotel scene, while the Majestic, located in the heart of the city, is having its big curtain-raiser in the first quarter of 2024. Located in Talence, the verdant Domaine de Raba is currently undergoing a transformation, and this year will offer new rooms in the heart of the forest and rooftop lodges, as well as a new spa. As for vineyards, Château de Léognan has a range of complementary accommodation celebrating the French lifestyle, and three lodges out in the heart of nature, promising a rustic, intimate stay.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games

Every year, numerous events really bring Bordeaux and its metropolitan area to life. After the Rugby World Cup last year, the destination will move to the beat of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the Olympic flame passing through on 23 May, and hosting seven matches of the women’s and men’s football tournament between 24 July and 2 August. On 21 and 22 June, the TOP 14 semi-finals will liven up the sporting calendar.

Embracing responsible tourism

Bordeaux as a destination is taking action to promote tourism with a positive impact for its inhabitants, visitors and environment. Concerned about its ecological and social impact, the Gironde’s capital is ethically minded and establishes itself permanently as a responsible tourism destination. In recent years, it has stood out for its growing commitment to eco-responsibility, ranking 9th in the world in the Global Destination Sustainability Index 2022 (GDS Index), an international barometer which analyses destinations’ responsible performance.

Welcome to a metropolis where every stay can be sustainable in terms of travel, accommodation, leisure… A city that enriches every trip and so allows future generations to come and enjoy a similar experience!

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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