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Hotel Saint-James, Bouliac

Editor's Pick
3 Place Camille Hostein
Tel: 33 5 57 97 06 00's insider take:

A five-mile trip from the city center, across the River Garonne in the hilltop village of Bouliac, this 18-room faux-industrial palace of eccentric minimalism was designed by France's premier architect, Jean Nouvel. Although the place is calm and starkly elegant, its pretentious take on art and kitsch can be wearing (Room 9 has a Harley-Davidson parked in it). But the views, the inventive lighting, and the striking navy swimming pool make up for a lot. The very formal Michelin-starred restaurant serves outstanding food—at outstanding prices. The hotel also has a cheaper postmodern brasserie called Le Bistroy, as well as a café, La Rôtisserie, for light meals.

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