Boutique Hotel Hospitality at Chateau Cordeillan-Bages
A trip to the Mèdoc vineyards in Pauillac isn’t complete without a visit to Château Cordeillan-Bages. It’s a hotel of distinct character and a member of the Relais & Châteaux group of fine hoteliers and restaurants. Petit, but formidable, it’s a four-star property with a five-star mentality.
Firstly, the rooms are completely renovated and updated to reflect the modern thinking of the Cazes family, owners of the estate since 1939. Sleek interiors with outdoorsy wooden built-ins, floating shelves and soft hue fabrics clearly modernize the décor. Details like the leather strap drawer pulls and needlepoint headboards add a gracious touch of old-world to the otherwise contemporary design.
Additionally, reconfigurations to the rooms helped to add closet and drawer space without compromising on the flow. Plenty of outlets both by the desk and on each side of the bed are welcome additions.
Lastly, walk-in showers with adjustable hand-held sprays in addition to the overhead rainfall showerheads are oh so helpful for gals like me. J’adore rinsing off without getting my hair wet every time. And, I do appreciate that they have built-in benches to place personal toiletries upon that doubles as perch for my feet when shaving my legs. Strong blow dryers and fluffy towels make the whole getting ready process easier and more pleasurable.
Public Spaces Pop with Color
Because the public spaces needed little improvement, adding pops of Hèrmes orange, and swapping antique chairs for chic rounded club chairs is all that it required. Consequently, the small changes made big impacts. Most notably, I adore the all-glass walled front room. No matter the weather, natural light abounds and makes you feel like you are outside even when it’s raining.
The Restaurant Outdoors Indoors
Chef Julien Lefebvre joined Château Cordeillan-Bages in 2017, hailing from Normandy originally. His concept at the restaurant is to bring nature from the local vineyards and sea into the restaurant – literally. Small vine topiaries in glass containers are the only decoration on top of the white linen tablecloths. Appetizers arrive delicately balanced upon branches of old grape vines and palette cleansers appear in glass replicas of sea urchins.
The cuisine is colorful, imaginative and undeniably ambitious. His use of local products is evident and the freshness can be tasted in the dishes. Chef Lefebvre earned a Michelin-star here and I am sure he and his team aim even higher in the future.
Of course their exceptional wine cellar (1,500+ varieties) is known for their Grand Cru Bordeaux labels which adds to the cachet of the restaurant. Chef Sommelier Arnaud Le Saux pairs the food and vintages masterfully. Arnaud appeared at our table with the perfect bottle to celebrate the auspicious occasion of our 29th wedding anniversary – a 1989 Château Lynch-Bages Grand Cru Classé. We thank the generous Jean-Michel Cazes for allowing that special bottle to leave his collection. We savored every drop!
Thank goodness the attention to detail and the countryside hospitality is as wonderful as ever. The efficient concierge made appointments for us in advance of our arrival to visit important local wineries. They also helped with, difficult to get, Sunday evening restaurant reservations at a charming spot nearby. (More about these adventures in future posts.) We had an early “ugly hour” train departure for the city of Bordeaux. The kind staff provided a delicious picnic of breads and butter, bottled water and piping hot coffees to-go. From the easy check-in to the hospitable departure, our visit to the updated Château Cordeillan-Bages was a delight.
Route des Châteaux
Tel: +33(0)5 56 59 24 24
Fax: +33(0)5 56 59 01 89
Just so you know, the meal was gratis, but as always, the opinions are my own.