Need to know
60, including 21 suites.
11.45am. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $217.68 (€192), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €4.00 per person per night on check-out.
Rates exclude a buffet breakfast of fresh pastries and breads, charcuterie, fruits, cereals, yoghurts, cheeses, eggs and bacon (€26 a person, each day).
A stroll through the gardens is like a wander through a contemporary sculpture park. Some of the large metal sculptures are identifiable as animals – it’s hard to miss Barry Flanagan’s large hare sculpture as you come up the drive – while others are more abstract and beautifully frame the grounds for an Insta-snap or two. Borrow a bike (free to guests) and take a leisurely tour of the grounds and surrounding area.
The hotel is closed from 8 January to 24 January 2018.
At the hotel
Château Smith Haut Lafitte winery, tennis court and coach, small farm, bikes, gym and personal trainer, and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV with DVD player, iPod dock, Caudalie bath products, minibar, free bottled water, Nespresso coffee machine and tea-making facilities.
Our favourite rooms
Decorated by French wedding-dress designer Delphine Manivet, the waterside île aux Oiseaux Suite is one seriously romantic honeymoon hideaway. If you’re celebrating a special event, or are to the château born, book the elegant 18th-century Château Le Thil in its entirety: it's a five-minute drive from the main hotel.
You’re spoilt for swimming options here; there are three pools and a hot tub to choose from. You’ll need to book a treatment to use the spa pool – what a bother – but the rest are open to all. The main indoor pool is set in a converted barn with original beams; the floor of the pool is emblazoned with a print by photographer Mathilde de l’Ecotais. Open from May to October, the heated outdoor pool is surrounded by elegant, sun-blessed loungers. The water for the outdoor hot tub is drawn from a natural hot-spring, 540 metres beneath the earth; the tub is suitably shaped like an old wine-press and is open all-year round.
Not just any spa, this is the Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa, the birthplace of Caudalie’s wine-based lotions and potions. There are 19 treatment rooms, three for couples and some with private barrel baths, and a small indoor swimming pool with built-in seats from which to admire the hotel’s picturesque grounds pre- or post-treatment. Don’t be fooled by the the spa’s luxurious woodshack look: treatments here are high-tech; Caudalie employ recent scientific discoveries to squeeze each and every mineral out of their grapes and vines. If a single treatment isn’t decadent enough, book a full- or half-day ritual; couples can try the Vines for Lovers ritual, which includes a 50-minute facial treatment, a Fleur de Vigne candle massage and a romantic barrel bath filled with natural spring water drawn from 540 metres below the hotel. For weekend pampering sessions, you'll need to book at least three treatments, and we recommend booking all your spa sessions at least a month in advance.
Leave as much space in your suitcase as possible to fill with Caudalie bath products and bottles of Smith Haut Lafitte wine.
Most ground-floor public areas and bedrooms are wheelchair accessible, and there are paved walkways around the grounds.
Dogs can stay in any room in the main hotel for €25 a night. The hotel can provide dog bowls. See more pet-friendly hotels in Bordeaux.
Kids of all ages are welcome. Babysitting costs €35 an hour and must be booked a day in advance. The hotel can provide baby cots, changing mats, bottle-sterilising and warming facilities, highchairs, toys, books, DVDs, arm bands and kids bikes.
There’s something for every age here; toddlers can pet goats and play with other small Smiths in the Le Petit Château games room while teenagers perfect their serve on the tennis court or work out any angst in the spa.
All rooms in the main hotel can fit a baby cot (£20). The hotel is spread across several buildings, so be sure to check with Smith24 when booking that yours are in the same place.
Children will be occupied for hours at Les Sources de Caudalie. There’s plenty of outdoor space to explore; there’s a farm at the bottom of the garden with goats and chickens which kids can feed. Borrow bikes – the hotel has petit vélos for kids – and cycle past the vineyard to the tennis court; tennis coach Julien offers kids coaching lessons. Le Petit Château games room has lots of soft toys, books, board games, crayons and paints for small Smiths. Ask at reception to see the DVD library stocked-full of U-rated films to watch in your room.
Kids can use both of the hotel’s pools but must be supervised at all times – it’s French law. No need to pack arm-bands and swimming aids, the hotel is all set for waterbabies.
Kids will enjoy the laidback atmosphere of La Table du Lavoir compared to the crisp white setting of La Grand'Vigne, although both have kids menus and highchairs on offer.
Babysitting costs €24.50 an hour and must be booked at least a day in advance.
No need to pack
Anything really… The hotel can provide changing mats, cot linens, baby-monitors, bottle-sterilising facilities, bottle warmers, baby baths and mini-bathrobes and slippers.
The hotel is part of the 1% For the Planet project and donates one per cent of its revenue to charities that work to protect the environment. The hotel has an electric BMW i3s to chauffeur guests around (at an extra cost), and if you’ve brought your own electric car, there are two charging points. Château Smith Haut Lafitte recycles gases produced in the fermentation process, promotes biodiversity in their vineyard’s ecosystem and they only use horses to plough the land – wine with heart.