At luxury French hotel Les Sources de Caudalie excellent regional wines can be found in bottles, barrels and infused into facials, scrubs, massages and more. Designed to look like a country village from an antique postcard, each of the hotel’s elegant rustic buildings has a new treat for visiting Smiths to uncover (there's even le Château du Thil, five minutes' drive away, available to book exclusively). Start in the Vinothérapie Spa – the birthplace of Caudalie’s world-famous, grape-based beauty products – then follow a winding pathway past outcrops of wild flowers and wander by the lake to reach bar Rouge where fruits of the house vines can be sipped and savoured. Through door number three is the two-Michelin-star-spangled restaurant. If you overindulge, just cycle off your six- (or more) course dinner through the vineyards or while perfecting your serve with tennis coach, Julien – but, staying here, you’ve already got a run of aces.
Wine-infused spa treats
One free breakfast each, per stay, a room upgrade if a higher category's available; SilverSmith and GoldSmith members also get a tasting session in Grocery Wine bar, and all Smith members get an extra-special VIP welcome
In the know
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Most ground-floor public areas and bedrooms are wheelchair accessible, and there are paved walkways around the grounds. A stroll through the gardens is like a wander through a contemporary sculpture park. Some of the large metal sculptures are identifiable as animals – it’s hard to miss Barry Flanagan’s large hare sculpture as you come up the drive – while others are more abstract and beautifully frame the grounds for an Insta-snap or two. Borrow a bike (free to guests) and take a leisurely tour of the grounds and surrounding area.
Leave as much space in your suitcase as possible to fill with Caudalie bath products and bottles of Smith Haut Lafitte wine.
Embody effortless elegance at La Grand'Vigne; save your jeans and checked-shirts for La Table du Lavoir.
Mr and Mrs Smith reviews
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this luxury spa and wine retreat in France and restocked their wine cellars and unpacked their Caudalie bath products, a full account of their countryside break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Les Sources de Caudalie in Bordeaux…
When it comes to cru, luxury hotel Les Sources de Caudalie is a real multi-tasker; here, you can taste, dine, and enjoy spa treatments with barrels full of Bordeaux’s best. This is the home of spa brand Caudalie, whose fragrant lotions and potions harness the best bits of grapes and vines to keep skin supple and youthful, proving that a glass while away keeps the (cosmetic) doctor away. Speaking of glasses… After a relaxing massage or nourishing facial, get a taste for Château Smith Haut Lafitte’s wines at a tasting in the Rouge bar, followed by a selection of two-Michelin-star-earning dishes in La Grand’Vigne restaurant. Aside from neat row upon row of vines, the gardens are home to a sculpture collection, two pools, a tennis court and even a couple of grazing goats. What’s the source of these natural wonders we hear you ask? Their deep-rooted success lies 540 metres below the earth in a natural hot spring.
Chemin de Smith Haut Lafitte, 33650, Bordeaux-Martillac, France
7.4 mi / 11.9 km from city centre
- Valet parking
- Aerobics instruction
- Exercise gym
- Internet services
- Tennis court
- On-Site parking
- Complimentary in-room coffee or tea
- Room service
- Onsite laundry
The hotel has three restaurants; head to the two-Michelin-star-awarded La Grand’Vigne for a sophisticated fine-dining experience, wine-infused Rouge for brunches and sharing plates, and La Table du Lavoir for a more relaxed – yet still exceptional – meal. Set in an orangery overlooking the lake on one side and vegetable garden on the other, La Grand’Vigne is run by world-renowned chef Nicolas Masse. He’s befriended local fishermen, farmers and the hotel’s gardener (who tends to a plot next door), to ensure he always gets the tastiest ingredients for his seasonal menus. Can’t choose between lamb or lobster? Ask restaurant manager Pierre Couturier for his picks from the à la carte. To experience Masse at his culinary best, order the tasting menu, which features traditional French fare and his own unique creations; of course, this should be accompanied by head sommelier, Aurélien Farrouil’s wine pairings. The smell of meat roasting on the huge period fireplace will be sure to draw you into La Table du Lavoir. From the vintage gingham tablecloths to the braised beef stew with duck liver, vegetables and pickles, this easygoing, bistro-style restaurant has a real farm-to-table feel. Take your time browsing the seasonal menu, written on antique laundry beaters (a reference to the building’s past as a wash-house for local winegrower’s wives): choosing between French favourites such as roasted duck breast and grilled sea bream and fennel-stuffed conchiglioni or tomato confit is très difficile. The Rouge wine bar tasting room is lined with bottles and crates from across Bordeaux and the southwest. Take a seat around the sleek, custom-built bar and get (well) acquainted with Bordeaux’s finest while tucking into foie gras and Iberian hams, or book in for a decadent poolside brunch.
On a sunny day, sit out on La Grand'Vigne’s terrace overlooking the hotel’s lake and picturesque grounds. In the evening, take a table by the window to watch the sun set over the vineyards.
La Grand'Vigne serves breakfast from 7.30am till 10.30am. Lunch at both restaurants is, from noon to 2pm, and dinner from 7pm to 10pm. Rouge opens from 10am till 10pm (6pm in low season), and the French Paradox bar is open 9am till midnight.
In the main hotel, have a baker’s basket breakfast brought to your room between 7.30am and noon. Snacks are available all day, and meals from the restaurant 12.15pm–1.45pm and 7.15pm–9.45pm. (There's no room service at Le Château du Thil.)
More traditional in style, the French Paradox bar is decorated with classical artworks and antiques, and has deep leather armchairs to sink into while sampling armagnacs, cognacs and whiskies from the dark-wood bar. Our favourite bit is its direct access to a wine cellar where 1,200 bottles are stored – a small fraction of Les Sources de Caudalie’s 16,000-bottle cellar. Head sommelier Aurélien Farrouil knows every nook and cranny of the cellar and has selected his favourite 16 reds and whites for the bar.
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