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“'B&B' by 'B&E' -- c'est formidable”

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Chambre d'Hotes au Domaine du Soleil Couchant
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 January 2014

How could anyone resist this wonderful place, and its even more wonderful owners, Beatrice and Eric? For the price of a standard quadratic 1980s space on the windswept 10th floor of some asbestos-ridden chain hotel with surly have-a-nice-day corporate cuties, we got a magnificent room in their nth century ex-winery with colossal bathroom (don’t toilets look small in these huge rooms?; it always makes me wonder what the loos are like in Buckingham Palace), a personal welcome like we’ve never experienced anywhere in the world, a wonderful breakfast in the stately dining room – and for an extremely modest price, a fabulous 4-course home-cooked dinner with local wine (and a shot of Banyuls, since we had visited one of the 4 places – Collioure – that produce this wonderful wine) shared with the owners. And – the most important thing of all – the company and the conversation. Don’t worry about language; it’s relatively easy with just a few words of French (though Beatrice did confide that conversing with a Russian family who spoke no other language tried their sign-language skills somewhat, and our very own French-speaking Canadian was, I acknowledge, a bit of a help during our visit). Eric, a lovely bear of a man, is urbane, humorous, and clearly has no time for M Hollande; Beatrice, a multi-talented lady, is obviously the business brains, but manages to run the place while making exquisite fresh warm home-made quatre quarts cakes for breakfast (Laura has the recipe in case you’re interested), and bowled us over with home-made foie gras, fondant chocolate cake, plumptious coquilles St Jacques, local cheeses and macaroons … amongst lots of other wonderful creations. (Other places on our trip through France were offering a breakfast croissant and a coffee for about the same.)

This is one of the most delightful places we have ever stayed, though Messrs Garmin and Tom Tom need to re-acquaint themselves with its location (we are grateful to the delightful anonymous local lady who helped us safely manoeuvre backwards out of a street that was only about 4 mm wider than the car). Beatrice and Eric were expecting a Michelin inspection before the end of the year, and since we stayed on 28th and 29th December, they could be forgiven for believing that the inspector was somehow sequestered within our motley group of myself and four ladies, three oriental and one Canadian. I reassured our hosts that we were not the inspectors calling, so can’t unfortunately help with that particular assessment. However, I hope I can persuade you to visit. We were the only guests at the time, so we were all accommodated in the main house; I can imagine that a full house in peak season might be a bit of a stress. So time your visit accordingly, and have a real treat.

One final comment relating to a mean-spirited aside from a previous guest who clearly didn’t enjoy their stay. It seems curious that when we visit a corporate multinational hotel we expect to pay up for every sip, every extra, every everything, and generally do so without complaint, regardless of the grinding mediocrity of the service, the zombie recitation of the corporate script for the zillionth time and the hypertension-inducing bun fights masquerading as ‘breakfast’. If you are ‘offered’ a special-hotel-minibar-sized micro-drink from your identikit Electrolux version 2.7.1, circa 1979, you will in general expect to pay for it. Why should it be any different in a French ‘B&B’ (when we were there, the price of the wines was clearly stated in writing)? Actually I’d much prefer to pay my money for the maintenance of this wonderful homely place and its lovely owners than to some rapacious corporate sharks and their shareholders trying to persuade us that in some parallel universe they offer a ‘personal service’ because they have taken over 27 other chains, including DoubleDecker™ at Rip-OffsVille®, and ‘proudly serve Starbucks’.

If you don’t like the food at la Domaine, you can always try the triple-starred Michelin establishment that’s apparently nearby, though I couldn’t remember the name, and its location is even more secretive than that of Beatrice and Eric. We didn’t bother and it wouldn’t have been as good.

This is no more a ‘B&B’ than a mega-sized skinny latte with fake-maple syrup served in a cardboard cup that lies when it says the contents are hot is a ‘coffee’. The classification of hotel-like establishments is due for a major overhaul, and that means we have to stop thinking of ‘B&B’ in terms of gaslit attic rooms with greasy breakfasts at £2 15s 6d a night (the £100+ ‘B&B’ in the UK is now standard), in the same way as a 5* concrete block with flunkies taking your luggage to your room in one of those ridiculous gilded cages, telling you how to switch on the lights and expecting a 5 euro tip is no guarantee of enjoyment, as we found to our dismay when staying at the Lyon Sofitel during the same trip. Give me la Domaine any time. We will return.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank David L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6 - 12 of 123 reviews

Reviewed 28 October 2013

Our trip to France this summer got off to an amazing start when we checked into the delightful home of Eric and Beatrice. We were made to feel welcome throughout our stay and enjoyed the excellent meals provided by Beatrice in the evenings and charmed by our host, Eric who took the time to get to know us and to tell us a little about the breathtaking scenery and the interesting history of abbeys and towns nearby.
We have recommended this delightful and authentic Chambre d'Hote to our friends in Canada and the UK and would love to visit again.

Room Tip: We stayed in the spacious 'Reve' room: plenty of room for us and our teenage daughter
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Fran D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2013

Just spent a few days in Domaine du Soleil couchant and enjoyed every moments!
Warm welcome from Beatrice and Eric, charming house renovated with taste and idea. My room (rêve) was perfect, spacious, so nice decorated, with a large bathroom and very cosy bed.
We had a gorgeous dinner, Beatrice is an excellent cook and the evening with them make us feel at home.
Breakfast the next day was huge, you have everything you can desire and that was a perfect way to quick my day!
Eric helped us to organize our day, very good advice about the region, that was very useful specially if you want to see more than just Carcassonne Medieval city!
Can´t wait to come back in summer to enjoy the swimming pool and dinner on the terrace outside.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ficart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2013

We recently spent several days at this great 'B&B' and from first being greeted by Eric in the courtyard until the day we left, it couldn't have been a better experience.! The house is simply amazing, and the hosts cared for our every need.
We stayed for the optional dinner the first night and really enjoyed the surprise 4 course meal and the company of the other guests. We ended up eating there every night as it was a great way to relax and enjoy dinner in front of the huge fireplace!
I whole heartedly recommend it and we hope to return again some day.!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BBGM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2012

We should stay 3 nights but we believe that the most important thing of a holiday is that the room/house/hotel you are staying is clean and it feels the same or better as home. Unfortunately this b&b is not....
We like animals but in this case you can see that the whole house is used by animals (f.e. a lot of hair on the stairs and later we found out also in our bed!).
The room we booked (in May!) was taken when we arrived. I double checked (with confirmation) a couple of days before we arrived because I had a weird feeling. My feeling was right... After a discussion with the owner we accepted the other (bigger) room because we could not win and we were tired after a long drive (this is France was the argument!). Now we think "why did we not leave directly?".
Because the room was not cleaned yet we stayed by the pool which was nice with a spectacular view. Later we heard from other guest that the dogs go in the pool and we did not like to go in anymore! There is a guest kitchen (dirty) which you can use and take a drink if you want (soft drink, beer, wine). When the room was 'cleaned' we went up and saw there was no lock on the door and there is no safe in the room. Also no air-conditioning (website says there is)! In the evening we had dinner with 6 other guests which was simple but nice. The wines were not special. It was raining that night but we had a nice evening and we were all making fun of the house and the owners (they were not eating with us so we were joking that they want to poison us). That evening we heard that our room was given to another couple with child because the complaint about their attic room (this room is not on the website and to small/hot for 3 people). They told us they have cleaned the room thereself and returned the towels they became because there were also all dog hair on it. There are more people/families in the house than there are (official) rooms.
We went to bed and a we put a chair for the door because I felt not safe because the front door of the house is also open all day and night (the rooms are Euro 120 per night!!!). The toilet did not flush properly so this was also 'nasty' and the next morning we woke up because it was raining in our bed (ceiling was leak)! This was the limit and we booked another place (only for one night because everything was fully booked). Luckily WIFI worked! The climax came when we put the mattress a little bit aside for the rain: dog hair!! We leaved without taking breakfast or a discussion because we were so angry! Our holiday unfortunately ended very abruptly but we could not stay (and pay!) another day in this house.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank NataschaR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2012

This was on arrival the authentic large french country house in pleasant grounds on the edge of a rural village, however our 2 day stay was disappointing and not value for money. The room we were allocated was not the one we booked. The room we were reallocated to, it must be said was spacious first floor apartment, but away from the main house. All well and good, but it had no lock on the door, a steep unlit staircase, no aircon and the bathroom definitely hadn't been cleaned before we arrived. The advert says there are 3 rooms available however there were at least 5 couples/ families staying. On a plus side they do take credit card which is unusual for B&B's in France. Be aware, if offered a drink make sure you ask for a price list! Breakfast was also very disappointing and we would not return to this B&B.

Room Tip: Ask for main house.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Bob D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 days ago
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Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank francoisesalencon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Chambre d'Hotes au Domaine du Soleil Couchant

Address: 14 rue Couchet | Languedoc Roussillon, 11200 Saint-Andre-de-Roquelongue, France
Region: France > Occitanie > Aude > Saint-Andre-de-Roquelongue
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Saint-Andre-de-Roquelongue
Price Range: £113 - £129 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Class and charm. In a beautiful village in the Corbières, overlooking the vineyards, unexpected house by its harmonious volumes, view, pool, park. 50m to village shops .. Warm welcome of Béatrice, sculptor, painter, excellent cook, and of Eric called "Papa Bear". Children and pets are allowed, Parking, bicycles, fitness, fireplace, piano, organ ... Open all year. 5 Bedrooms with great bathroom adjacent, air conditioning, fireplaces, price included breakfast, wifi, tv (TNT). ... more   less 
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