The Médoc region of Bordeaux produces some of the best known and most expensive wines in the world, and the hotel choices in the area seem priced to match. Unless you’re a professional in the wine industry, or on a luxury tour of the area with a first-class tour operator, it’s hard to get into the wineries and to find decent lodging options in the area without having to return to the city of Bordeaux each day. Or there is the option of paying an arm and a leg to stay in one of the shabbily maintained hotels in a riverside town along the Médoc wine route: the D2. If you are willing to venture a little farther afield (and into the wilds of the Médoc’s interior), you will find the delightful V en Vertheuil Inn, with just three large, modern, well-appointed rooms, and a price tag that comes in at under $80 a night, including breakfast.
The V en Vertheuil is located off the beaten path in a tiny hamlet that feels like it is at the edge of civilization. In fact, it teeters at the edge of wine country before you hit the wooded wilderness that divides the small towns of the Gironde estuary from the inland Médoc. Facing the town’s 12th-century abbey, the inn offers a short walk along country lanes rewarding you with a picturesque view of a crumbling bailey.
The antique façade of the inn’s 19th-century limestone building with robin’s egg blue shutters tells the story of the house’s origins as a bakery. You can even see the original wood-burning oven in the kitchen.
The inn has only three rooms, none of which come with a TV, though the WiFi works very well throughout the hotel. The Grande Chambre and Chambre Rouge go for 65 euro a night, and the Petite Chambre costs 55, though if the place is not full, you may get one of the larger rooms for 55 euro.
A rarity for European hotels and inns, the two larger rooms are very spacious. So much so, in fact, that they seem sparsely furnished with an eclectic mixture of antiques, flea market finds, and mid-century modern touches, along with a few hints of chinoiserie in the Chambre Rouge. The Petite Chambre is cozier at 150 square feet, but still sufficient. Everything has a re-finished antique feel, similar to the perfect cottage on Cape Cod, or a B&B redesigned by an architect. Despite its small town location, this accommodation is anything but your typical small-town inn.
The bathrooms are also large. However in the Rouge room there was no door to close, so you might get a little…intimate…with your chamber mate. On the upside, the lighting is good and the water pressure is strong.