Instead, this rather ugly ex-gas tower, is now the 97-room Mama Shelter Bordeaux, is one of the hottest addresses in town. Facing Place Saint-Christoly, the hotel couldn’t be more central.
French Designer Philippe Starck has taken hold of this non-descript building and shaken it until vibrant colours literally pour out of the foundations. His quirky signature style is everywhere; from the rows of candy-coloured inflatable pool floats suspended above the bar to the superhero masks masquerading as amusing lampshades in the rooms.
The ceiling of the bar/dining room features graphic graffiti and long wooden communal tables are lit by brightly-coloured woven cane lampshades.
Rooms come in varying sizes and are painted in a muted candy pink with another Starck signature; flowing white curtains covering the large windows.
Bathrooms feature their own-branded creams and shampoo and microwaves, kettles and a Nespresso machine are handy if you just fancy lounging alone. Some rooms have illuminated headboards, statement black and white striped sofas and all bedding is crisp white.
Food and drink
On a warm night, there’s no better place than the rooftop terrace.
Here live music entertains the young crowd as they sit on colourful chairs and nibble on mixed boards such as roasted cod and pizzas.
On the ground floor, the open-air restaurant is where it happens.
Most start the evening with a cocktail while sitting around the huge oval bar before moving on to dining on dishes that include, beef tataki, creamy burrata, parmentier of candied duck and yuzu-marinated sea bream. All are served by incredibly effervescent, young staff who genuinely love this place.
Bordeaux is a joy to wander, through narrow winding streets, lined in Gothic buildings with ornate iron balconies, lead onto courtyards lined in lively cafes.
Don’t miss the shrine to wine, the spectacular the Cite du Vin, showcasing the best of the region’s produce as well as a comprehensive history of the sacred grape with plenty of tastings.
The main thoroughfare across from Place de la Bourse, is home to a spectacular pool, Mirror d’au which has spurting jets and misting.
In a former submarine base, Les Bassins de Lumières projects great works of art from masters such as Canaletto and Monet’s scenes of Venice across the walls and pools.
More masters such as Picasso, Rubens and Matisse can be viewed at the Musee et Galerie des Beaux-Arts.