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“An Unconventional Room with a Terrific View”

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Hotel Le Saint-James Relais & Chateaux
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bouliac
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 July 2014

A hotel stay can be influenced by many things and without doubt our very positive experience at the Le Saint James owes much to the General Manager Anthony Torkington and his staff. We were most fortunate to be upgraded to chambre 10, a blissful experience if ever one is to be had in a hotel room. This space is magnificent in every imaginable way. A sumptuous room with view straight out of a postcard overlooking the grounds and the city of Bordeaux in the distance. A huge bed in the centre of the room overlooking rows of vines just outside the window. A lovely seating area and electronic privacy blinds that can be adjusted as the sun sets. The room is huge and the bed is quite high off the ground but having it placed in the middle of the room with superb bedding and linens gives a great impression on entering the room. Windows on three sides also provides a wonderful sense of light and space.
The hotel is just at the edge of the pleasant small town of Bouliac which has a nice little pizzeria that is frequented by the locals with a very welcoming owner. We had lunch here just before leaving town. We enjoyed a stroll around the town watching the events in front of the Mairie. I am not sure what was happening but it looked like someone was being presented with a medal or other honour. In any case it made a very nice impression of the formality that can be quite dramatic in France.
Breakfast was mostly self serve with an Nespresso machine set outside near the seating area. It was decent value for money though I would have preferred a wider selection of fresh fruit, particularly at this time of year (mid to late June). Eating outdoors overlooking the pool and the city of Bordeaux was a real treat.
We really enjoyed dinner at the restaurant though I am not sure it was quite at the same level as the rest of our experience at the hotel. Certainly the staff were outstanding and it appeared they made space for us as we had arrived late and not made a dinner reservation. A wedding rehearsal dinner was going on with a big table of guests but the staff did not miss a beat and were very attentive to the regular diners. There were no slips up in any way and each course arrived with good pace and was beautiful to behold. The food was generally excellent but there were a few strange elements. For instance a "side dish" of fish bones still on the spine sitting on a bed or stones. Beautiful to behold but with no real taste-we checked to be sure these were to be eaten and not simply admired while we ate the flesh of the fish! In several of the courses one item seemed to have been dipped in and coated with a clear sugar glaze and we found this repetitive and not that tasty. With these small complaints aside the quality and taste of the dishes was excellent. We ordered the prix fixe menu which included foie gras as a starter. This course was followed by a delicate serving of rouget with glazed heirloom carrots and potatoes. Next time I would try the a la carte menu to explore the cooking in more detail as the hotel also has a cooking school. You can see into the kitchen and it is amazing to watch the chef create the dishes as they make their way down the "assembly line.".
In summary it hard to beat the location and the view of this hotel and similarly the staff are first rate in terms of being friendly and extra helpful and the contemporary art that is spread throughout the hotel only adds to the great impression. We had an amazing day visiting Chateau Rieussec in Sauternes which is quite near the hotel and similarly Bordeaux and the airport are not far away. I can highly recommend this hotel, particularly in the upgraded rooms.

Room Tip: Room 10 was spectacular but other rooms in the adjoining buildings looked like they would be equally...
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ChemProf9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ATorkington, Directeur général at Hotel Le Saint-James Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2014

Dear ChemProf9,

Many thaks for your lovely feedback following your recent stay with us. I have shard your glowing report with the team and we have also looked at the few points that we can improve upon.

As you noticed it is the team that makes the difference and your comments will be a great source of motivation for them.

We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Saint-James.

Kindest regards,

Anthony Torkington,
General Manager

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Reviews (469)
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63 - 69 of 469 reviews

Reviewed 30 June 2014

My wife and I just finished a short but thoroughly enjoyable stay at Le Saint-James. From the moment we arrived, our every whim was catered to with precision and care. Carolyne at the front desk handled our reservation with ease and grace. She welcomed us by name on our arrival and she and the rest of the staff did whatever they could to accommodate us and to please us. For instance, we sat at the bar last evening (well after dinner) for a cup of tea and enquired about a cookie or biscotti to go with it. Instead, we were told that Chef had made each of us a (complimentary) delicious dessert (from the Michelin Star kitchen, no less).

We took a cooking class today at the cooking school here at the property and were extremely happy with the instructor, the class and the resulting meal.

Our room was spacious and airy with a spectacular view of Bordeaux overlooking the on-property vineyard. The entire property is spotlessly clean and well maintained. Every staff member greats you with a smile and 'bonjour'. The main kitchen is in view of guests passing through the property and is meticulously maintained in an organized and cleaner than clean manner.

Overall, this is an amazing property with first class staff and a complete pleasure to visit. We will be back soon, that is for certain.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank M C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ATorkington, Directeur général at Hotel Le Saint-James Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2014

Dear M C,

Please let me thank you for havieng taken the time to share your views on the Saint-James following your recent stay with us.

Guest feedback is a great source of motivation for all the team with whom I have shared your comments.

"Getting things right" and constantly trying to improve where necessary are essential elements of day to day life in the Saint-James.

Once again many thanks, we look forward to welcoming you back.

Kindest regards,

Anthony Torkington,
General Manager

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Reviewed 26 June 2014

We stayed here as p andart of a trip through France. From the welcome on arrival to departure, the staff couldn't have been more helpful and friendly. The outside (from the back) of the hotel looks a bit odd, but don't let that put you off. The rooms are exceptionally comfortable and the pool a delight. We had our dog with us and he loved romping through the vineyards. We ate dinner in the main restaurant and it was superb, worthy of its Michelin star. We also ate lunch in the brasserie over the road and this was also excellent. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: Go for a ground floor room for access to the gardens.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank RobertF1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ATorkington, Directeur général at Hotel Le Saint-James Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2014

Dear Robert 1972,

Many thanks for your kind report following your recent stay with us. I have shard your comments with the team and they are a great source of motivation for us all.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Saint-James.

Kindest regards,

Anthony Torkington
General manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2014

Overnight stay in this iconic and astonishing hotel where modern melts into the traditional. Perfect for exploring BX ... a lovely pool awaits you at the end of the day, lovely views over the vineyards, innovative and delicious food and impeccable service. Only one thing to complain about: our stay was too short!

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank iloveliguria59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ATorkington, Directeur général at Hotel Le Saint-James Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded 3 July 2014

Dear iloveliguria59,

Many thanks for your lovely feed back following your recent stay with us. Yous comments have been shared with the team and they wiil be a great source of motivation.

As the stay was too short you only have one option... come back soon!

We look forward to welcoming you again to the Saint-James.

Kindest regards,

Anthony Torkington,
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

this hotel has a unique look which i really like.
i found the architecture very interesting and the rooms are somehow unique.
beautiful view on the vineyard, and bordeaux.
very pleasant pool.
only minus is the rooms are quite small.

otherwise the restaurant is a trap. to avoid. i wish i tried their bistrot instead in the city

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank baptistepoupard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ATorkington, Directeur général at Hotel Le Saint-James Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2014

Dear Bat952,

Thank you for having taken the time to share your views following your recent stay with us.
The architecture is quite unique – the hotel was designed by the famous French architect Jean Nouvel.

Our rooms vary in size and we also have 3 big suites – one of which has a terrace with a Jacuzzi and panoramic views over Bordeaux.

Guest usually enjoy the restaurant and a lot of them actually visit us with the restaurant being a priority. I am sorry to hear that this was not the case for you and hope that you will visit us again to review and perhaps change your opinion.

Kindest regards,

Anthony Torkington
General manager

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Reviewed 13 June 2014

We had lunch here a few days ago - the service was excellent, the food was historic and the whole experience was so enjoyable. I was the driver so was not drinking (unclouded judgement).
Having very luckily eaten at some of the best restaurants around the world I would say - and the rest of my party agree, it was definitely in our top 5. I have allergies but they certainly were not fazed by it and adapted some courses for me and i did not feel short changed at all. Would definitely recommend and it and we will be returning. The chef came out to speak to us and was really pleased that we had taken time to thank him and his team. It was such amazing value at €49 for 3 courses - including 2 lots of amuse bouche, coffee, 2 glasses of wine and water!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank bruno3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ATorkington, Directeur général at Hotel Le Saint-James Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2014

Dear Bruno3,

Many thanks for posting your comments on Trip Advisor following your recent visit to the Saint-James.

I am delighted that you enjoyed your meal and I will pass on your comments to the team.

We strive on a daily basis to make our guests as happy as possible and your comments push us even more to make things as near to perfect as possible.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Saint-James.

Kindest regards

Anthony Torkington,
General Manager

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Reviewed 26 May 2014

We closed out a recent tour of Southern France with a one night stay at the Saint-James and wished we could have stayed longer. Ironically, if our flight back to the UK had been later we probably wouldn't have stayed here (we tend to prefer St Emilion and the surrounding areas to Bordeaux itself) but it had a great reputation so we thought we'd give it a try.
To be fair, the village of Bouliac is very pretty and well worth an explore in its own right if you've got a spare couple of hours to wander around. It's quite the suburban haven away from what is not one of France's prettiest cities (although Bordeaux does twinkle nicely at night from this vantage point) and clearly one of the most desirable addresses in town with its wide leafy streets and impressive houses. But back to the hotel which effectively dominates the small village centre, even spilling over to run the Bistro over the road.
Rooms are very well appointed and quite different to the more traditional style of Relais & Chateaux properties. 'Modern' yes - but I don't agree with earlier comments that it is 'sterile' - the minimalist interior works well with the focus primarily on the views across the vineyard and over the town. The view is probably at its best at night and the restaurant gives everyone a decent vantage point with it's tiered seating but it's what happens on the plate that probably deserves your full attention. The food here is exceptional and, having been fortunate to sample Michelin starred dining in various 1-3 starred restaurants around the world, I'm frankly surprised the Inspectors have only given it one of their much sought after gongs. Everything we had was prepared with great care and a meticulous attention to detail and you can see the effort that goes into everything first hand through the viewing windows that run the full length of an impressively large and bustling kitchen. We also really enjoyed a bottle of the 'house' wine, literally made in tiny quantities from the vines that grow in the garden - a classic Bordeaux and pretty good value from an impressive wine list.
You'll remember eating here for some time to come but your wallet will too as this quality comes at a hefty price. We had booked as part of the Relais & Chateaux 'South West Gourmet' DB&B package and saved a small fortune having done so - excellent value and highly recommended. It would be hard to pick any fault, apart perhaps from the breakfast being a relative disappointment compared to what we had sampled the night before. Preparing my own coffee at a Nespresso machine is hardly a great experience either - I can and do do that at home. That being said, next time we find ourselves in or around Bordeaux, I have little doubt we'll be back at Le Saint-James. Better start saving....

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank Dr_John
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ATorkington, Directeur général at Hotel Le Saint-James Relais & Chateaux, responded to this reviewResponded 2 June 2014

Dear Dr John,

Many thanks for your feedback following your recent stay with us.

We are delighted that you liked Jean Nouvel’s architecture – one of his goals was effectively to enable guests to benefit from the panoramic views over Bordeaux throughout the property.

I have passed on your compliments to the Chef who will share them with his dedicated team. I am glad that you enjoyed the bottle of house wine – as you know only 400 are produced every year and sometimes even less!

I have discussed breakfast comments with the F&B Manager – the Nespresso machine is on the buffet so that guests can have a real expresso but it has not be planned as a self-service set-up! Sorry for that!

Please feel free to contact me personally for your next booking so that I can take of it and give you the best possible deal.

Kindest regards,

Anthony Torkington
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Le Saint-James Relais & Chateaux

Address: 3 Place Camille Hostein, 33270 Bouliac, France
Region: France > Nouvelle-Aquitaine > Gironde > Bouliac
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bouliac
Price Range: £173 - £330 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Le Saint-James Relais & Chateaux 4*
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
Hauterive Saint James Hotel

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