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The Regent Grand Hotel - Bordeaux's Very Finest

"My first job in the wine trade (over 40 years ago) was in Bordeaux, picking grapes in Pomerol, then pushing barrels around a chai or cellar on the Quai des Chartrons,"Anthony HANSON

Story & Photo By Ch'ng Poh Tiong

The Regent Grand Hotel Bordeaux was inaugurated in December 2007. The hotel looks directly across the Grand Theatre, perhaps the city's most endearing architecture and social marker.

The hotel is also directly next door to L'Intendant, the best place in the city to buy Bordeaux wines – great, good or modest; white, rosé or red. The provenance of the wines is also impeccable. This is because L'Intendant is owned by the Duclot Group, itself owned by Jean-Francois MOUEIX (proprietor of Chateau Petrus).

Until the Regent Bordeaux came along, there was no hotel of a truly international standard in what many people regard as the capital of the fine wine world. This omission has now been rectified.

Being in the heart of the City of Bordeaux (more so than Place Gambetta, where the Virgin shop is), the area around the Regent has been a regular witness to history.

In 1870, for example, Victor HUGO, a member of the French Parliament, was at the Café de Bordeaux (in front of the Grand Hotel) when he stood on a table to proclaim, 'If we do not want any more wars to be waged in Europe, then together we must build Europe'. Legend also has it that an Indian maharajah once met an extremely beautiful chambermaid here and went all out of his way to charm her until she became his wife.

(More recently, of course, former International Monetary Fund chief, Frenchman Dominque STRAUSS-KAHN, was alleged to have also gone all out of his way to chase a chambermaid at the Sofitel New York).

The neo-classical facade of the Regent Bordeaux is in perfect harmony with that of the Grand Theatre. This is hardly surprising given that both stately buildings – erected in 1776 – were the creations of architect Victor LOUIS.

Fast forward to modern times, in 1999, Michel OHAYON, a native son, decided to acquire the building that was to become the Regent Grand Hotel Bordeaux. (The new owner also bought some other surrounding buildings).

The Bordeaux architect, Michel PETUAUD-LETANG, was assigned the task of giving the eight different buildings a unified look. As for the interiors, designer Jacques GARCIA was given the job of endowing the entire place with the feel of a luxury resort. The Regent Bordeaux has 22 suites, 150 rooms, 13 meeting rooms, and, 4 food and beverage outlets.


The Regent Grand Hotel Bordeaux has two restaurants: Brasserie l'Europe, and Le Pressoir d'Argent.

At Brasserie l'Europe, Chef Pascal NIBAUDEAU proposes "the classics" from their a la carte menu. A casual setting, what makes the originality and the quality of the brasserie is its kitchen that opens onto the dining room, with a traditional firewood oven, a plancha, and a rotisserie.

During the summer, there is no better place to soak up the sun and a bottle of wine than on the Place de la Comédie.


Le Pressoir d'Argent is a 1- Michelin star restaurant. The menu has been created by Yves MATTAGNE, himself a Michelin star chef of the Sea Grill restaurant in Brussels. Le Pressoir d'Argent, itself, is helmed by Chef Pascal NIBAUDEAU, who had worked at the Sea Grill. Langoustines and caviar from Aquitaine, Belon oysters, and Breton blue lobsters are some of the specialities NIBAUDEAU showcases in a varied menu.

Le Pressoir d'Argent, as its name implies, is also the proud owner of a lobster press. There are, apparently, just five of these in existence in the world today – one in Brussels, one in Berlin, two in Paris, and now a completely new one in Bordeaux.

You can watch the press in ingenious action when you order the Breton blue lobster dish. Presented live to the diner, it is then pan-cooked in the kitchen. The dish is, however, completed in the dining room with the lobster's coral being pressed to make the accompanying sauce for the meat and pasta.

Le Pressoir d'Argent's Head Sommelier Vincent DELORS offers more than 400 different wines – sparkling, white, red, and dessert on the wine list. Very user-friendly, they are listed according to price bands.


Wine merchant, writer, authority on the wines of Burgundy, and Senior Consultant to Christie's (the auction house), Anthony HANSON is also consultant to the Regent Bordeaux.

"The Regent Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux asked me to join their team, to help maximise their links with wine collectors, enthusiasts, chateau-owners and commentators – indeed all those who enjoy visiting Bordeaux to taste and discover its wines. This is a fantastic opportunity, as making connections around great bottles is second nature to me! My first job in the wine trade (over 40 years ago) was in Bordeaux, picking grapes in Pomerol, then pushing barrels around a chai or cellar on the Quai des Chartrons.

"I have been lucky to meet many of the region's key wine people, over the years. So, we have been developing special wine dinners in the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant, the Pressoir d'Argent. They feature great Bordeaux chateaux, of course, like Pichon-Lalande, Cheval-Blanc, Vieux Chateau Certan, Haut-Bailly and Climens, sometimes linked with great Champagnes, including Louis Roederer. Also wines from outside France, like Opus One, and Vega Sicilia.

"Astonishingly, Bordeaux has never before had a truly luxurious place to stay. The Grand Hotel's opening is a strong magnet attracting wine lovers who enjoy real service, top comforts – and the best, most central location in the historic city! Using it as a base, we organise day – or longer – trips for guests up to Margaux or Pauillac, to the UNESCO world heritage site Saint-Emilion and its rolling vineyards, to the Graves, birth-place of great Bordeaux 1st growths like Chateau Haut-Brion, or to Sauternes.

"Intimate groups are best, to get behind the scenes, to visit and taste. Eight to twelve people, for a 3-night stay, for instance, can be perfect. Proposals can include vineyard visits, transfers and travel around Bordeaux, welcome dinner, fine wine dinner, and of course luxury stays in the Grand Hotel's de luxe rooms or suites, with all the hotel's comforts!"

All Rights Reserved · The Wine Review · 2013