Hotel FirstName Bordeaux Review

I feel like I have million trips to recap, plan, and write about sometimes. It feels a little daunting when I sit down to consider what I want to write about, to be honest. However, I know a lot of people may be planning trips to France this year, so I am trying to provide as much helpful content for France as I can for now. When I started planning our trip to Bordeaux this past winter, I really didn’t want to stay in a rental and was underwhelmed by the hotel choices. After reading a lot of reviews, I finally decided on Hotel FirstName Bordeaux. It ended up surpassing all of our expectations. We loved it so much that we booked it again 3 months later, and again 3 months after that. (Also, I’m pretty sure we’re going to try and get my mom on board with going to Bordeaux for Thanksgiving in 2024!)

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links for tours and products I love at no additional cost to you.  You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Journey of Doing - where to stay in Bordeaux

Hyatt Prive Benefits at Hotel FirstName

Hotel FirstName is part of the Hyatt JdV collection, which qualifies it for Hyatt Prive benefits. Hyatt Prive rates are bookable through luxury travel advisors (like me!) and provide extra perks and benefits. This can be a great way to enhance your Hyatt experience, especially if you don’t have status with Hyatt. I definitely took advantage of the Prive rate for our stay in Bordeaux. (I’ve also used it at Hotel du Louvre in Paris several times, too!)

When I booked Hotel FirstName in December, they were offering a buy 3, get 1 night free, as well as the following benefits:

  • Daily Breakfast for 2 in the hotel restaurant
  • Welcome amenity
  • $75.00 Property Credit
  • Room Upgrade
  • Early Check in / Late check out

If this is something that you would be interested in booking for your trip to Bordeaux, please feel free to reach out to me!

Journey of Doing - Hyatt Bordeaux France
Prive benefits are a great way to elevate your stay at the Hyatt hotels in Bordeaux.

Getting to Hotel FirstName in Bordeaux

I was really impressed how easy the train trip from Paris to Bordeaux was. We flew into Paris, took the RER to Montparnasse, and picked up the train from there. Within 2.5 hours, we were in Bordeaux. It was way easer than I expected, and I would recommend taking the train vs. driving from Paris.

Since this was our first trip to Bordeaux, we decided to take a cab from the train station to the hotel. It took about 15 minutes on a Sunday afternoon. The hotel is just outside one of the old gates to the city. Honestly, I think it took us longer to find a cab than it did to drive to the hotel. When we were catching the train back to Paris, we took the tram from right outside the entrance of the hotel. It took about 20 minutes to get to the main train station, but it was super easy, even with luggage and having to switch trams.

If you are driving to Bordeaux, Hotel FirstName does offer on-site parking below the hotel. It’s 25 euro/day, but it is super convenient to the hotel. You really don’t need a car in Bordeaux unless you want to visit some of the wineries in the area. We drove to Bordeaux on our third trip and made visits to wineries in Saint Emilion, Fronsac, and Pomerol. It was nice, but you can have a great trip to Bordeaux without a car.

Journey of Doing - best hotels Bordeaux city center

Room 435 – Corner Deluxe Room

On two stays, we were upgraded to a Carat room, which is a corner king deluxe room. The location felt very private, and it was very quiet, too. We rarely saw other guests, and we didn’t hear any noise from the tram in the evenings.

I loved how much light this room had, and it was lovely to have windows that open. The blackout curtains did their job in the evenings, but the city view during the day was lovely, even though it was overcast and rainy almost the entire time we were there.

The rooms include a lot of design touches made it feel like you were staying in someone’s very modern apartment, instead of a traditional chain hotel room. Our room included a French press coffee maker, as well as tea service. We loved the window seats for our in-room picnic, and the small table was appropriate for the zoom meetings I had to take while we were there.

The bathroom had dual vanities, a soaking tub, and both handheld and overhead showers. Consistent with French efforts towards more sustainable travel, the bath amenities were Oceopin. The toilet was in it own separate room with its own sink. We had a large walk-in closet with plenty of hangers, shelving, and a safe.

All of the finishings, from the carpet to the bed linens were plush and luxurious. It made the room feel a bit more cozy on those damp days. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable. I was very impressed with the quality! It might be the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in during a trip to France. We were SO excited to stay here again.

Journey of Doing - Hotel FirstName Carat Room Bordeaux
Journey of Doing - Hotel FirstName Corner King Room tour
Journey of Doing - Hotel FirstName Bordeaux Corner King Room tour
Journey of Doing - Hotel FirstName Bordeaux amenities
Journey of Doing - 5 star hotel Bordeaux room tour
Journey of Doing - 5 star hotel Bordeaux review
Journey of Doing - Hotel FirstName king corner room bathroom tour
Journey of Doing - Hotel FirstName king corner room bathroom tour

Room 426 – Corner Cockpit Room – King Corner Room

For our third trip to Bordeaux, I booked the Prive rate with the above amenities. Hotel FirstName immediately confirmed the upgrade at booking. When we checked in, they noted that we had come often and that we would have a corner room – but a different one this time! The biggest difference between the cockpit room and the carat room is size, but honestly, it didn’t matter to us. The room is still very large and quite comfortable.

If you’re looking for the true differences, the closet is a bit smaller, but still offers the same great storage space. And, the bathroom is a little smaller, but the cockpit room had a separate walk-in shower and soaking tub, rather than the combination. The water pressure and hot water were great in the shower and the tub. In the bedroom, the nightstands were a bit smaller.

We had a view of the park and loved all the natural light in the room. The AC worked great during the summer heat (approaching 90+ degrees – mon dieu!), and we were glad to have it.

As you can guess… we will be back!

Journey of Doing - Hotel FirstName king corner room tour
Journey of Doing - Hotel FirstName king corner room review
Journey of Doing - Hyatt hotels in Bordeaux
Journey of Doing - Hotel FirstName bathroom tour
Journey of Doing - Hotel FirstName bathroom tour
The toilet and the shower are in separate rooms at the Hotel FirstName, but there are sinks in both bathrooms! Hygiene first!
Journey of Doing - Hotel FirstName bathroom review

Hotel FirstName Welcome Gift

In addition to a large water and chocolates in the room upon arrival, the hotel sent up a bottle of red wine from Bordeaux. (They asked our preference between red and white wine at check in. They were willing to deliver at the time that worked best for us. I thought that was a really nice touch after a long travel day.) The wine was delicious with our in-room picnic of baguette and charcuterie.

On our second trip, they delivered fresh macarons that I still think about at least once a week. The flavors were so delicate and tasty. They also paired beautiful with the bottle of Sainte-Estephe wine we opened on our first night. (I do love mid-range Bordeaux wines so much.)

On our third trip, our welcome gift included wine and chocolate. It was there when we arrived with a note that acknowledged our return trips. I thought that was a nice touch.

Journey of Doing - Hyatt hotel Bordeaux centre

Property Amenities

Despite its very modern, block exterior, the Hotel FirstName is fun with a lot of character. One of the most unique things I’ve seen is that there is a small kitchenette on each floor with drinks and small snacks available for free throughout the day. It reminded me a bit of 051 Suites in Bologna in this respect. Don’t expect it to be a replacement for the Executive Lounge at the Hyatt Paris Etoile or the Hilton Molino Stucky though. It’s quite basic and very French.

There is a gym on site, but we didn’t use it – so I can’t review it. We enjoyed walking from one end of Bordeaux to the other. Despite how far things looked on the map initially, I found the city to be very walkable. Hotel FirstName is in the new part of the city, but it’s easy to get to the medieval city center. If you get tired of walking, you can always pick up the tram.

Journey of Doing - First Name Bordeaux review
The small details of the decor at the FirstName Hotel in Bordeaux contrasts sharply with the traditional architecture of the city. We loved it!
Journey of Doing - Bordeaux hotels 5 star
Complimentary drinks and snacks are available in a lounge on each floor of the hotel!

La Bada Bordeaux

La Bada is a chic restaurant on the first floor of the hotel with a focus on regional Bordelaise food and wine. Cedric Bechade is a Michelin starred chef, most famous for his work at La Table de l’Auberge Basque. It was very popular with locals during lunch, so if you are interested in taking advantage of the hotel restaurant, I would make reservations in advance.

Outside of lunch and dinner, the restaurant doubles as a bar with a limited menu. We used our property credit to try some of the wines while we worked during the afternoon. The property was very willing to accommodate us outside of their lunch service.

Journey of Doing - La Bada restaurant Bordeaux

Breakfast at Hotel FirstName

If you are Globalist or you book with Prive benefits, you will have breakfast included. Breakfast is served at La Bada restaurant. It includes a continental breakfast with cold items (like trout, charcuterie, and fruit), as well as pastries and fresh, made-to-order eggs. I think these are the best hotel eggs I’ve ever had. (I’m really picky when it comes to eggs.)

Though we rarely take advantage of breakfast (intermittent fasting), this particular hotel breakfast stands out because everything was extremely fresh. There were a myriad of choices, so you could really find something for everyone. Taking advantage of a rate that includes breakfast can also leave more money in your travel budget for trying all the amazing wines of Bordeaux.

Journey of Doing - breakfast at FirstName Bordeaux
Journey of Doing - breakfast at FirstName Bordeaux
Look how beautiful these freshly cooked eggs are. They are truly a work of art!

A Few Thoughts about Luxury Hotels in Bordeaux

One of the things that constantly surprises me about smaller, popular towns in France is how few great hotels there are. I’m actually really surprised there is not a Relais & Chateaux property in the center of Bordeaux, especially considering there are several Relais & Chateaux hotels in Alsace. There is one in Saint Emilion that I would love to try though.

I noticed this trend last year on our road trip through Normandy. There were zero luxury hotels in Mont St Michel, though I did find a fabulous vacation rental near Mont St Michel. We had the same challenge when visiting Bayeux, and the one luxury hotel I found was sold out for our dates. Bordeaux was no exception and offers very few true luxury hotels in the old city center. And, to the extent you can find them, I found most Bordeaux hotels to be very expensive for what they were offering.

For those reasons, I think Hotel FirstName Bordeaux is an incredible value at a great price point. The service is truly incredible, and the updated and modern rooms are a stark contrast against the beautiful architecture of the city. I think it’s one of the best places to stay in Bordeaux because its easy to get around on foot or by tram.

Journey of Doing - Le Grand Hotel de Bordeaux
The best located luxury hotel in Bordeaux with a price to match its location. Our tour guide recommended enjoying the rooftop bar rather than staying at the hotel.

Best of Bordeaux

I’m planning to update this post after our next trip to Bordeaux in June. However, I wanted to provide some recommendations for a couple of wine bars in the Bordeaux city center where you can try a variety of amazing wines by glass.

Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux

  • To try a variety of wines by the glass and excellent charcuterie, head to Le Sobre Chartrons. (They had unbelievable truffled ham, and I loved all the cheeses we tried!) We went back so often that the owner noticed us, and we made fast friends with him. The wines by the bottle are very reasonably priced. We ended up buying 3 bottles of the Pessac-Leognan to bring home. Imagine our surprise when they were retailing for over $200 per bottle in the United States. We paid about a 1/5 of that in Bordeaux. (Thank goodness for the wine suitcase!) My only regret? Not splurging for a bottle of Sauternes to bring home.
  • Max is a wine cave located on one of the main pedestrian streets of Bordeaux. It has the most extensive list of wines by the glass, but unfortunately did not offer any food… so we had to go slow. My favorite wine I tried was a 2015 Chateau Mazeyres Pomerol. In hindsight, we should have bought a few bottles of the Pomerol to bring home because 2015 is a great vintage and the price was unbelievable fair for the quality of the wine.
  • If you are just starting to get into Bordeaux wines, I would suggest that you start at Le Bar a Vin. It offers a small but mighty list of Bordeaux wines, including reds, whites, roses, and sparkling wines. The setting is gorgeous, though you may have to wait for a table at times. We visited a few times to try all the different red Bordeaux, and we started pairing them with cheese and chocolate. They staff was very kind. Once they realized that we were trying to DIY our own tasting, they offered to label the wines for us. You’ll need a little more French here than at the other wine bars.
Journey of Doing - Le Bar du Vin Bordeaux
I think Le Bar du Vin is one of the most beautiful wine bars in Bordeaux
Journey of Doing - best wine bars in Bordeaux

Le Cite du Vin / The City of Wine Museum in Bordeaux

The Bordeaux wine museum (Le Cite du Vin) was quite informative. I loved all the interactive exhibits, though I still have so much to learn on recognizing fragrances and flavors of wine. Their tasting room overlooks the Garone River, which was beautiful (even on a rainy day). We didn’t do a very good job of choosing wines for our tastings, so maybe visit the other wine bars before heading to Le Cite du Vin.

Journey of Doing - Le Cite du Vin wine museum Bordeaux

Walking Tour of Bordeaux

It’s been awhile since we visited a new city for the first time, so we booked a walking tour of Bordeaux with Caz on our second day in Bordeaux. We learned so much about Bordeaux history, the architecture and the adaptations made to secure UNSECO status, to learning more about the history of wine in the area. Caz was so knowledgable about everything related to the city that we will book a wine tasting with him when we travel back to Bordeaux.

Journey of Doing - walking tour of Bordeaux

Follow along with Sara!

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