I am always happy to write a glowing review for a family-friendly accommodation we tried during our travels. And this is especially true of Chateau Julie, where we stayed while visiting the Bordeaux region, as I had fretted that my children would be unwelcome in the sophisticated wine country. I need not have fret – we found the trifecta of family hotels – room for children to play, a place for parents to relax with a glass of wine, and great value.
This is not a sponsored post or paid advertisement – we paid for the b&b with our own money and just love to pass along a good thing to readers.
Our family of five stayed at Chateau Julie in April – a shoulder season when trees were blossoming and wine branches were showing their first shoots. The grand old house has lots of character, featuring high ceilings, wood paneling, large rooms, and large windows and shutters. It is on the ancient Camino de Santiago pilgrimage path and has been used to host travelers and grow wine.
We stayed in a family room on the second floor which was large and comfortable, although the furnishings are a bit dated. It had a large queen size bed, two singles, and they provided us with a sturdy baby cot – all of which fit comfortably into the huge room. Our favorite features of the room were the large tub, which is great for kids bath time, and our view out onto a rows of grape vines, stone walls, and a small pond.
Our family ate at the hotel restaurant both nights of our stay and loved the meals. The food was delicious and hearty, feeling more home-made French than fussy French. Some meals we had were salad as of smoked salmon, pork stew, and a cheese plate for desert. The Chateau Julie wine was a perfect compliment. We even bought an extra bottle to take our our continued journey through France.
The chef, Rinse, was also happy to make different food for our children that they would like, such as pasta carbonara and hot chocolate as a treat. It was just so relaxing to be able to have a bottle of wine with the meal without worrying about the drive back from a restaurant.
After the kids were asleep we could chill out in the over-stuffed leather seats of the lounge, enjoying an aperitif.
The best part of Chateau Julie was the grounds and the freedom our children had to play. Our family enjoyed walking down to a little pond, kicking around a soccer ball, climbing a tree, and jumping on a trampoline.
The ultimate highlight of Chateau Julie is how ridiculously friendly the staff is. It is run by the lovely Dutch couple Renee and Rinse who live there with their friendly children. Renee gave us maps and highlighted good spots to explore with children. She even called a winery to make a reservation for us for a tour and tasting. (The tasting at Chateau Gaby was perfect for our family – a review soon to be posted!)
Logistics and Location: You definitely need a car for this hotel, and their location right by the main north/south highway makes it a perfect spot for vacation by car. We went into Bordeaux one day – an easy 15 minute drive to the nearest train station (La Gardette Bassens – Carbon Blan), and then another 20 minutes on the tram into the heart of the old city. We also drove from here to Saint-Emilion through the gorgeous countryside full of stone houses, vineyards, and fields. We booked the hotel through booking.com.
I would highly recommend Chateau Julie for any families visiting Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion , especially if you are driving down to the area from the North like we did (it is right off the highway). It is a beautiful wine-country location, good value, fun and comfortable stay at a bed and breakfast with the warmest welcome you’ll receive in France.
Chateau Julie: website
11, Rue Naudonnet
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