Le Saint James Bouliac, a Relais & Châteaux hotel and restaurant at the heart of the Bordeaux vineyards, upgrades to CISA access control system

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A stone’s throw from the great Bordeaux vineyards, the village of Bouliac is nestled on the bank of the Garonne overlooking Bordeaux, “the pearl of Aquitaine”. The panoramic view offered to visitors has seen Bouliac nicknamed “The Balcony of Bordeaux” by its inhabitants. In 1989, the architect Jean Nouvel transformed a beautiful 18th century farmhouse into the Saint James of Bouliac, a Relais & Châteaux hotel and restaurant. Four pavilions to the original farmhouse complete the site, with architecture inspired by the regions traditional tobacco barns. The 4-star hotel has 18 rooms and a Michelin one star rated gourmet restaurant seating up to one hundred diners.

CISA eSigno system at Le Saint James Bouliac

The first access control system that was installed in 1989 included 18 CISA magnetic locks. Mr Torkington, Director of the hotel comments: “Although my primary role is to ensure perfection in client service, it was necessary to modernise the entire access control system to bring more comfort to our customers, and also to install a modern system to centrally manage all accesses: the rooms of course, plus the staff areas, and the cellar.”

Mr. Torkington continues: “Our access control system was 25 years old, and it became too limited in terms of features and versatility.” As a result, the existing system was replaced by the introduction of products from the CISA eSigno range with eighteen locks, three electronic cylinders, one wall reader for access control to the staff area, and an encoding device linked to the CISA management software. The installation of the new locks on the doors included the addition of brushed aluminum back plates to complement the Jean Nouvel design of the premises.

Specifically designed for the hospitality industry, CISA eSigno meets the specific requirements of all types of structures, regardless of their size. Easy to install, CISA eSigno requires no wiring or heavy work on the door. Powered by standard batteries that guarantee a long service life and operation even in the case of power failure, the contactless technology enables the door to open just by approaching the reader with the card. In addition, it is very easy to reprogram or reset the card. On the door itself, an LED indicator provides a “do not disturb” feature to inform staff when a guest is in the room.

“When we decided to upgrade our access control system, we reached out to Allegion with whom we stayed in contact, and as it was easy to implement their new technology, it seemed only natural to work with them,” says Mr Torkington. “Moreover, we had experienced the quality of CISA products first-hand and the design and aesthetics of the new product perfectly matched our hotel. Using a 'storefront' company was an important aspect in our supplier choice, one that will still be there in 10 years from now. The reliability of the proposed solution and the wide array of possibilities were also particularly appreciated. To conclude, as far as securing accesses is concerned, we have a classic setup for a hotel and restaurant with 50 employees, obviously with specific limitations such as the wine cellar.”

The Saint James Bouliac, is a beautiful “Relais & Château” named after one of the most famous streets of Bordeaux. The one star Michelin restaurant serves 20,000 diners each year and customers are mainly tourists who appreciate its comfort and environment.


Hôtel Relais & Châteaux
3 place Camille Hostein
Tél. : +33 (0)5 57 97 06 00

Office: +44 (0) 1922 707400

Find this case study with more images and information on CISA eSigno products at the CISA website.

18 CISA eSigno electronic locks
1 wall reader
3 electronic cylinders
Encoding terminal and software
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