During a short coast to coast trip through southern France our first stop was in Bordeaux, a city both Timothy and I have been wanting to visit. As we both like our share of luxury we decided to stay in the InterContinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel.
Located in the centre opposite the Grand Theatre and just around the corner from the famous Quinconces Square it can easily be reached by tramline C from the railway station.
This is a classic hotel located in a building dating back to 1776 designed by Victor Louis, the architect of the Grand Theatre located across the square. While originally built as a private residence for a wealthy family it was later transformed into a hotel, incorporating some of the surrounding buildings to provide more rooms.
As a result of using different buildings the interior hallways consist of several levels connected with small staircases, for people with reduced mobility this might prove to be a bit more challenging to walk around the hotel. Style wise the hotel is exactly what you would expect from a classical French hotel, keeping a consisting theme throughout.
After a short wait we were assisted by a very friendly lady behind the check-in desk that immediately wished me a happy birthday as we visited around the time of my birthday, after finishing up with all the necessary administration she then showed us to our room, a very friendly gesture and much appreciated because of the maze the hotel corridors can be.
We where assigned an Executive Twin room facing an interior courtyard, decorated in an opulent classical style. There were two very comfortable beds and a multiple USB charger on the night table.
In front of both beds there were two corner sofa style chairs around a table, which could be used to work on the table or watch some TV on the Huge HD TV screen mounted on the wall. A great feature of the TV was that it was equipped with a functioning and easy to use Chromecast, enabling us to stream YouTube and Netflix from our phones onto the TV screen which thanks to the excellent Wi-Fi also worked spotless.
As we were upgraded to an executive room the coffee makers was a more upscale pod style machine, which also brewed the hot water if you wished to drink some tea. The minibar was located in the entrance corridor, with a big selection of glassware in the glass cupboards. The hotel also provided some useful items like a USB charger and a power bank which could be bought from the minibar.
In the entrance corridor there were also the closets containing room to store your clothes as well as an umbrella, an iron and ironing board and shoe care items.
In between both closets there was a small desk area with a power outlet, ideally suited for Timothy to get some work done on his laptop.
Thanks to my Ambassador status and birthday we were presented with a fruit plate, a bottle of still water a birthday card and some chocolates.
The toilet is separated from the main bathroom and both are cladded in marble. The bathroom itself was small but contained everything you need.
Getting in and out of the bathtub could be challenging as it was a quite high and wide side to step over. As the tub also had a glass partitioning wall you could take a shower without flooding the bathroom. There was only 1 sink with little room to store your personal care items. The bathrobes and slippers where hanging at the opposite side of the bathroom while more towels and tissues could be found in the cupboard under the sink.
The provided amenities where the standard Agraria brand as used in most intercontinental properties.
The piece de resistance of the hotel must be the spa area, completely themed in a somewhat tacky Roman bath theme. It’s located on the upper level of the hotel and has a huge footprint. The male changing rooms are divided in between two levels, the lockers on the lower level and the showers on the upper level.
Right next door is the well-equipped gym with a wide array of machines to do all sorts of workouts on.
When you turn the other way when exiting the elevators you walk through the reception area where you receive your pool towels and you could get some make up done.
Down the corridor you arrive in the ‘Roman bathhouse’ with a very inviting and warm pool that you can reach through the openings in the wall. Aside from some traditional loungers near the main pool area there are also some Roman beds in an adjacent room. Further down you can also find a sauna and a Hammam.
Upstairs on the mezzanine level there is a small tea bar where you can relax with a nice cup of tea while overlooking the pool area.
A further flight of stairs takes you outside onto the rooftop bar where the Jacuzzi is located in between the bar tables. While on the first night the bar was still opened it was not very inviting to go into the jacuzzi when a lot of dressed people are sitting drinking their drinks on the tables around you, the second night the roof terrace was closed because of the rainy weather.
Breakfast was served on the upper level of the ground floor Brasserie and featured a nice breakfast buffet. There was a live cooking stations where you could have eggs and crepes made to order, right next to it was the corner with hot items like sausage, scrambled eggs and bacon.
In the middle of the room you had the sweet offer while the opposite side had the charcuterie, cheese, fruit and vegetables. Among the fruit juices the hotel also provided some more original tastes like strawberry-kiwi and plum juice.
Hot drinks where served at your table and the service staff was very fast and efficient in cleaning used plates away from your table. The breakfast spread was very nice in taste and quality, but also relatively classic in not offering a whole lot of healthy options for people trying to eat healthy.
We also had dinner in the brasserie one night and we were curious how the food would be as the brasserie is said to be led by the famous British chef Gordon Ramsey.
The prices of the dishes where not significantly higher than the restaurants in the city, despite the name. We enjoyed some very delicious duck as well as an original millefeuille and moelleux as dessert, so in our opinion the restaurant lived up to it’s reputation.
All in all we had a very enjoyable stay in the InterContinental Bordeaux le Grand Hotel, they are truly a grand hotel and provide a stay just as you would expect it from a hotel of their standing.
While not cheap their excellent location, facilities and extremely friendly staff make a stay at the hotel a very enjoyable experience. When visiting Bordeaux in the future I will most definably consider staying there again.
Do you like a classical hotel experience like the Intercontinental Bordeaux, or do you prefer staying at a more contemporary hotel? Let us know in the comments below!