Bordeaux Intercontinental.

Yesterday saw a first for Bordeaux; The Grand Hotel at the heart of the city became France’s 6th Intercontinental Hotel.

Built in 1789, it remained closed in the 90s before the current owner Michel Ohayon gave it a new lease of life, reopening it 16 years ago. The hotel has made a name for itself in Bordeaux finally offering a large and top end range of rooms and services in the heart of the city, including a spa and roof top bar.

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This along with The UNESCO status awarded to the city in 2007 and the multitude of affordable flights from many major European cities has changed the face of Bordeaux tourism, establishing Bordeaux as a weekend break destination. Visitor figures increased to over 5 million last year, making it a popular destination even for those not making a trip out to visit the vineyards.

Intercontinental is a British brand and the love affair between Britain and Bordeaux is not new. It dates back to Eleanor of Aquitaine’s marriage to Henry Plantagenet in 1152.  Bordeaux and Bristol have been twinned since 1947 and Britain remains just about Bordeaux’s biggest wine export market, jostling with China for top position with values of between 230 – 270 million Euros per year.

In keeping with the British theme Gordon Ramsey took over the top restaurant of the hotel; Le Pressoir d’Argent earlier this year.

No wonder us Brits in Bordeaux feel so at home.

 

 

 

 

 

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