Le Saint James Bouliac
Bordeaux, Bordeaux and the Dordogne, France
At a Glance
After World War II, this village tucked away above Bordeaux became a popular destination for lunches and dancing - it is still a gourmet destination in the Bordeaux region
Surrounded by vines the views from the bedrooms make you feel like you are in the middle of a secret vineyard
One of the best gourmet experiences of the Bordeaux region
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Bordeaux enjoys a temperate maritime climate with hot summers and cool winters but no real extremes of temperature. Summer is the most popular season to visit with sunny weather and long days lasting from May through to October and an average temperature of 24 degrees with little rainfall. Fall is cooler with more rainfall and winter can see temperatures averaging at 2 degrees and considerable rainfall. Spring is a pleasant time to visit as the landscape comes to life the days become longer, warmer, sunnier and drier.
The end of summer and early autumn is when the grape harvest takes place and wineries do not often allows visitors at their busy time. However, this does not mean that you won’t be able to partake in wine tasting, just not at the site of production. The Harvest Festival takes place at the end of October.
Call us on to start planning your vacation to Le Saint James Bouliac or take a look at our itineraries to Bordeaux and the Dordogne
Nicknamed the “balcony of Bordeaux” for its panoramic views, Le Saint James Bouliac has long drawn gourmets and gourmands, those who love art and art de vivre. Known for its vineyards and wonderful vistas it is a wonderful representative of Bordeaux.
Situated in the most beautiful location set in the midst of vineyards and graced with a Romanesque church lies the charming village of Bouliac, home to Le Saint-James. In 1989, one of Bouliac’s most beautiful eighteenth-century farmhouses, an elongated longère characteristic of the region, became this hotel and restaurant. Le Saint-James promises a gourmet experience well off the beaten path. The hotel is renowned for its unique contemporary architecture designed by Jean Nouvel as well as the exquisite, gourmet cuisine. With panoramic view of Bordeaux and, in the distance, the treetops of the great Landes forest, the views are glorious and the setting second to none.
Formerly a restaurant, the 18th-century farmhouse now housing Le Saint-James was transformed and enlarged in 1989 by Jean Nouvel. The architect designed four pavilions, each connected to the original building, to create the hotel’s guest rooms. Pavilions that echo the style of the Lot-et-Garonne tobacco barns of yesteryear. The architect even sought to preserve their rusty, chipped, patinated appearance, leaving everything as authentic as possible.
There are 18 rooms and suites, all are sleek and supremely contemporary, these rooms designed by Jean Nouvel in 1989 have retained their original spirit and closeness to the surrounding landscape. A concept and experience that make you feel you are living in the very midst of the vineyards.
The rooms and suites at Le Saint James Bouliac all ooze a contemporary airy feel with their crisp linens and furnishings to add splashes of color. The large windows offer lovely views of the grounds and the city making you feel very much at the heart of the vineyard. They are sleek and contemporary in design and their focus is on the views of the surrounding vineyards.
Children are welcome to come and stay at Saint James Bouliac. Extra cots and beds can be added to the room upon request. However, there are no particular facilities available for children at the hotel.
The dining room at Le Saint-James has been specially designed to reflect the beautiful greenery and vines which surround it. Nicolas Magie's (the head chef) menu is inspired by his hometown in the Aquitaine region and he buys his produce daily from the local market to create his masterpieces. The menu includes some traditional French favorites such as snails, scallops and veal followed by a tempting cheeseboard. The restaurant is open Tuesday through to Saturday.
The hotel's bar opens out onto the terrace so that you can soak up the views whilst enjoying a drink or two. A form of afternoon tea is served during the winter months.
Café de l'Espérance is located a few minutes away but is part of the hotel. It is a great place for a spot of lunch or dinner with its restaurant-style bistro serving roast meats, French fries and market-fresh produce. Perched above Bordeaux, this casual bistro welcomes guests with the warmth of wooden tables and chairs, a covered patio, and a vast terrace. The blackboard menu leaning against the counter lists dishes of the day and two buffets – one of starters, the other of desserts. Serve yourself, just like at home. The Café de l’Espéranceis open daily for lunch or dinner and is a less formal alternative to the gastronomic experience of Le Saint-James.
During your stay at Le Saint James Bouliac there is lots going on to keep you entertained. Why don't you book a cooking class to pick up some new skills from local experts? If you are after some R & R the pool and the sauna provide the perfect retreat or head to a nearby thalassotherapy center. For the adventurous, there are fishing trips, cycling tracks and golf courses. The area also provides the perfect conditions for some scenic walks, horse riding or canoeing along the waterways. The Bordeaux area itself offers much culture, heritage and history for you to discover. And of course there are the many vines and tours giving you the opportunity to learn about the process and enjoy some tasting!
Sarah Byrne (Staff)
Le Saint James is certainly unusual - a combination of old and ultra new. But it works and the Michelin restaurant and sleek cookery school make this the perfect place to start an adventure in France.
Location & directions
Bordeaux, Bordeaux and the Dordogne, France
Le Saint James Bouliac is nestle in the delightful little village of Bouliac, near Bordeaux in the south of France.
How to get there
From the North - Paris by car: On the A10 motorway, take exit N1 and head for Toulouse/Bayonne. Leave the by-pass at exit N23 Bouliac. At the roundabout take the first right. At the first set of traffic lights, continue straight on and at the second traffic lights, turn left. At the top of the hill, turn right and head for the church. Llocated opposite the post office, on the village square. By train: Train station SNCF Bordeaux - then a taxi transfer