Bordeaux is a positively charming place for a family vacation, pairing playgrounds with open-air markets and historical squares in the same way you’d pair your wine to your dinner: because they complement each other. Without a good night’s rest, though, you’ll lack the energy needed to experience it fully. Enter Adagio Bordeaux Gambetta’s apartment-style hotel.
My family of four, which includes my 5- and 2-year-old sons, spent two nights at this property. It absolutely met all our expectations and greatly enhanced our enjoyment of the city. Its outstanding location, ideal room configuration, and various amenities meant we simply could relax and enjoy our surroundings.
One of the things that make Bordeaux so special is that its entire city center is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Therefore, new development is limited to the outer regions of the city. So it may seem difficult to find the kind of modern, spacious hotels that families crave. After all, period European properties aren’t typically noted for open floor plans and extra space.
Adagio Bordeaux Gambetta is technically located in the Meriadeck business district, one of the few areas in town that has been newly redeveloped. Yet, it’s just steps away from Place Gambetta and most of Bordeaux’s historic attractions. We walked nearly everywhere we went. (And when we didn’t walk, a tram stop was just a few blocks away.)
Being closely situated to this business district also meant we could take advantage of the shopping mall across the street, complete with a huge grocery store. I had a chance to stock up on a few favorite snacks and diapers immediately upon arrival. I hate to fill precious suitcase space with those items, yet I despise trudging all over a city in search of them immediately upon arrival.
Families will greatly benefit from the convenience of this right outside their door; there are very few large stores like this elsewhere in Bordeaux’s center, for the same reason noted above.
There is even a green space directly across the street where my boys could run around, burn off the last of the sugar from whatever treat we may have given them to cap off our dinner, or just admire the dogs being walked or the skateboarders doing tricks.
A fabulous location means nothing if the interior isn’t family-friendly. Fortunately, our room was perfectly situated for both play and sleep. We stayed in a one-bedroom apartment. During the day, we could open it up into one large room, but in the evenings, we could actually split the room into three separate spaces using pocket door dividers. It easily slept four with two trundle-style roll-away beds (not those typically uncomfortable sofa beds.)
A small kitchenette made very simple meals possible. It would be challenging to cook anything fancy here, but storing leftovers in the fridge and keeping healthy snacks and drinks cold was really helpful. A dining table for four meant we could all eat together, too.
And who doesn’t come to France and dream of stepping out onto a private balcony to admire the street scene below?
Each morning, I did just that, as did my children. Given how unpredictable spring weather is in Europe, this welcome blast of fresh air also helped me to gauge how everyone should dress for a day of sightseeing.
Our brief time in the city meant we didn’t take advantage of all Adagio Bordeaux Gambetta offers its guests. With laundry services, a fitness center, and a sauna, guests could certainly plan a lengthier stay and make use of those amenities.
We greatly appreciated the spacious lobby, beautifully decorated breakfast area, and even the patio courtyard. The helpful staff (quite fluent in English) helped us with directions and answered all our questions. A quality continental breakfast is offered at an additional cost.
In short, Adagio Bordeaux Gambetta is a rare find in a beautiful city — a pleasant accommodation that can easily host a family with its ample space and convenient location.
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Editor’s Note: Nicole was given complimentary accommodations at the Adagio Bordeaux Gambetta. As always, our opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Nicole Wiltrout.
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