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“Good..but room service is a joke!”

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Hotel de la Cite Carcassonne - MGallery Collection
Ranked #2 of 39 Hotels in Carcassonne
Certificate of Excellence
mallorca
Level Contributor
179 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
“Good..but room service is a joke!”
Reviewed 29 December 2007

This was very nearly a glowing report, and one that would therefore have surprised me, because I'm no great fan of Orient Express hotels...(for the low point on their management chart, see La Residencia in Deia, Mallorca).
But at this hotel, amazingly situated within the walls of the almost too Disneyesque citadel, things could not have started better. I got lost trying to get there of course, (and believe me it IS a tad difficult), but this could be either because my GPS system contains a tiny shortsighted buffoon, or more likely because I simply don't honestly trust a talking map. However, one call to reception, and not only did I find my way to the doors with only one more wrong turn, but the extraordinarily charming porter was standing there waiting for us. He parked the car in the locked park within the hotel garden, and was there with our bags by the time we'd signed in. The reception staff were helpful, funny, smart and relaxed.
Dinner at the swanky Barbacane restaurant was...well...not as good as they think it is, but perfectly acceptable. The service, again, was the high point, with only one waiter being overly up-himself, and the rest making up for it anyway.
Breakfast at the hotel's Saskia brasserie the next morning was fantastically good. A huge selection of stuff, and much as I hate buffets, they passed the impossible test of doing scrambled eggs so they don't turn into slush or bricks. Full marks, except, oddly enough, for the staff of young ladies who just don't 'get it' as far as service is concerned. Perhaps that's why it's self-service. Not a problem, then.
On our return trip, we had dinner at the Saskia too, and it was both excellent, and great value for money, Again, the staff were wonderful, albeit with a change of gender.
However....with Orient Express there's always a however...the next day, we ordered a ham and cheese sandwich from Room Service. After 20 minutes they called back to say they couldn't make a ham and cheese sandwich. I asked why. The answer was that they had no bread, no ham, and no cheese. In fact they couldn't make any sort of sandwich at all, apparently. This seemed so bizarre that I trekked up to reception to check with the unfailingly-charming and helpful folk there. They said that this was hardly acceptable. We agreed on this as a thought, and we checked out...again with the help of one of the most helpful porters I've ever encountered...and got a sandwich at the first motorway service station!
To complete this little report, the rooms we were allocated on both visits were spotless and perfectly situated overlooking the garden and the battlements. The decor is a bit dated, but all squeaky clean.
Just don't get the munchies in the afternoons, that's all!

  • Liked — The staff...except the room-service staff, obviously!
  • Disliked — Room service!
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank godfatherMallorca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2007

4:48 PM 10/15/2007

No wonder this hotel gets high marks. It is wonderful. I had the best upgrade (Jr. Suite) with a private terrace. It must have been attached to the biggest suite as it was off in a large private hall with crystal chandelier, adjoining the conference room. I was a happy camper. ........................................

I BOOKED DIRECTLY WITH THE HOTEL AND GOT THE INTERNET RATE. I think booking directly with them carries some weight as there wold be no commission to a middle man (agency or booking service).

The furnishings in the suite blond wood , deep windows, a wet bar, dining table, desk, and yellow upholstered couches (yes, there were 2) and chairs.

The bath had both a tub and a marble shower, 2 heated towel racks, l`octaine products, well lit, full of mirrors . The closet/dressing area were in the bath room area which was visionary in my opinion.

There was a bit of a" hicup" with the TV. It was in it's own box which had a motorized lift for raising or lowering the TV. It worked fine going up and down, but turning it away from the bed to face the couch was awkward at best.

The maintenance man came get it to work correctly, but I had to lift and turn it at the same time, or it wouldn't move. Since it wasn't a digital or slim-line TV (but a really heavy old one), I can only hope they are planning to replace it in the near future.

I was greeted with 6 fresh roses, a plate of chocolates, and a note from the management wishing me a pleasant stay.

Breakfast buffet in their restaurant Chez Saskia was good, but probably not worth 26€. The scrambled eggs were excellently prepared (soft not in hard clumps which are usually found on a buffet). The orange juice was fresh and there was no extra charge for a cappuccino.

There was not a problem with the lovely Orient Express property, the staff or the service. But it doesn't take 3 days to explore Carcassonne.

I had booked for a 3 night stay, but decided to leave after just 2 nights. Surprise, I was told I would have to pay for the 3 nights due to their 72 hour cancel period. YIKES! After some polite discussion they relented and charged me only for the nights I stayed.

It's tricky to get a cab from the rail station, but one eventually did show up. The cab came was prompt on the return. And the fare is less than 10€.

Now if I could only learn how to say "There will be no tip if you use your cell phone" in French.

  • Liked — It is within the Medieval walls of the old city of Carcassonne.
  • Disliked — The surprise at check out.
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank practical
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2007

Spent a long weekend @ the beginning of September to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary. Booked directly with the hotel who arranged a Taxi which was there upon arrival following a Ryanair flight.
The hotel staff upon arival imeadiatley made us fell welcome and they expained that we had been upgraded which was a truely nice gesture. the suite that we stayed in was truly spendid and very comfotable with a fantastic view overlooking the rampart with the city in the distance. Flowers ,chocs and sparking Wine were also presented in the room which was also a really nice touch.
We ate breakfast each day and the choice was superb.
We ate in the terrace reastaurant both in the evening and at luch time both meals very enjoyable.
Thanks to the management for making our visit truly memorable.

  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Orient123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2007

We visited this hotel for two nights in September to celebrate my wife's birthday. We booked two nights in a deluxe classic room via the hotel's website and travelled to Carcassonne courtesy of Ryanair. At Carcassonne Airport we struggled to get a taxi - this is the first airport I have travelled to where there was not a line of taxis waiting for pickups. If I came again I would pre-arrange a taxi via my hotel. When a taxi did arrive it was a 15 minute journey to the hotel - 25 euros including a tip.

Unlike many reviewers we did not get an upgrade and the room we had was satisfactory but not that special. It was on the second floor and fairly small, looking out towards the ramparts. To be truthful we were disappointed with our room hoping for something a little better for the price. However the rest of the hotel in terms of situation, attractiveness, staff and overall experience made up for our disappointment with our room.

The hotel is fantastically situated within the Citadel, attractive with pretty (but not that extensive) gardens with a pleasant swimming pool. If you are visiting for just a night a two to visit the citedel I would say this hotel is the place to be. All the staff we met were exceptionally helpful and courteous, and spoke good English.

We did not breakfast at the hotel to save space for lunch and dinner. On our first night we ate in the hotel's Le Jardin De L'eveque Restaurant. We had the chef's menu of the day which was ok but not that fantastic. On my wife's birthday we had dinner in the La Barbacane restaurant. We had the "La Barbacane en Fête" tasting menu and had a wonderful meal. The dinning room was very grand and the service was outstanding.

The citedel was beautiful and we had an enjoyable day exploring it. Paying (I think 7.50 euros each) to go into the Chateau Comtal (the castle) is a must. Once inside they have guided visits around the castle and along the ramparts with an English speaking guide. By staying in the citedel you get the benefit of less visitors early in the morning and evening.

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Carcassonne and staying at this hotel contributed to the experience.

  • Liked — Situation
  • Disliked — Room
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank dc1743
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2007

Hotel de la Cite was perfect for a one night stay in Carcassonne, it is right by the city walls and has a great view especially at night - maybe even nicer than actually being in the city. We wanted a good option that did not involve spending 700E for the relais and chateau property and this hotel was really the ticket.

Rooms are small but they come with everything you can think of loaded in - great showers, all the bathroom amenities, a range of lights including in floor lighting and a comfortable bed. Our rooms overlooked the pool and had it own patio (about the size of the room itself) which was very welcome and the breakfasts are good. Reception staff also navigated us towards some good dining options - no mean feat in such a tourist trafficed spot.

Not sure we would have wanted to stay for an extended period but if you are looking for a short stay this is a great option.

Stayed August 2007
Helpful?
1 Thank hoteljunky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
104 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2007

Another city and hotel listed on the 1000 places to visit before you die. So we did (visit, not die)
Booked a 2-day stay through the hotel website at a special package rate. Could not book for longer because the hotel was fully booked all other days that month. Still, a week before flying to France, we called the reception and miraculously an extra day was open prior to our check in date. We asked for confirmation but the receptionist said it would be our same reservation number. Retrospectively, we should have asked for an email or fax updated with our new dates
When we got there, surprise surprise, our early day was not recorded and the hotel was booked solid because of a wedding. It took quite an effort getting through the layers of staff to speak with the manager and the only thing he did was book us at a nearby hotel (Le Domaine d'Auriac) and upgrade our room when we checked in the next day.
Le Domaine D'Auriac was decent enough but pricy for what it was and it was very inconvenient checking in and out 2 days in a row.
One we made it to the Hotel De la Cite, our room was indeed upgraded to a junior suite and was very nice. Walking around Carcassone at night was great. Had dinner at the hotel restaurant La Barbacane which is supposedly a gastronomic restaurant but we were rather disappointed by the food and service. The food was just not up to par compared to other 1-michelin star restaurants we've been to in France. If you are driving watch out! The streets are impossibly small and are closed for entrance in town during the day anyway (but not for exiting). If you check in during the day, you will have to park outside the city and take a shuttle (think golf-cart) to the hotel. Your car will be brought and parked closer to the hotel in the evening.
The main reason to stay in this hotel is really to visit Carcassone early in the morning or late in the evening without the hordes of tourists that are plaguing it during the day. The architecture of the town is stunning, a real live Medieval City. Stores and shopping were a bit disappointing though. Catering to the masses rather than the elite but after digging a bit you can find some gems that are quite affordable. No nightlife to speak of in town apart for a couple of pubs with occasional live music. Other restaurants in town are very busy and quickly booked out. Only touristic fare at lunch time.
If you do go to the Hotel de La Cite, confirm, reconfirm, check in early and stay only 1 night or 2 max. If you want to explore the region for a few more days, stay at another hotel.

  • Stayed June 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Docsam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Orleans
Level Contributor
31 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2007

I will admit that my stay at Hotel de la Cite was a while ago (fall 2003, I think - pre-Katrina is all I really know for certain). However, my memories of the lovely hotel are vivid. The hotel, and the city itself, wonderfully historic (I was reading "Timeline" during my stay, which amplified the sense of history). Our room was quite comfortable and spacious. The restaurant was very good. The hotel was quiet, and had plenty of little areas to sit and relax. The garden is pretty, and a great place to people watch, as the tourists strolled along the city's double wall. The service was very good, and in fact the front desk allowed me to use their computer to check my email. We did not experience any problems with noice whatsoever. Because Carcassonne is so small, everything is an easy walk from the hotel. And, in the evening, when the tour busses leave, you have the entire cute city basically to yourself.

  • Liked — Its location inside of the old city.
  • Disliked — Can't think of anything. It was pricey, but you get what you pay for.
  • Stayed September 2003
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank nolachar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel de la Cite Carcassonne - MGallery Collection

Property: Hotel de la Cite Carcassonne - MGallery Collection
Address: Place Auguste-Pierre Pont, 11000 Carcassonne, France
Region: France > Occitanie > Aude > Carcassonne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Carcassonne
#1 Luxury Hotel in Carcassonne
#2 Family Hotel in Carcassonne
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel de la Cite Carcassonne - MGallery Collection 5*
Number of rooms: 59
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Standing between two historic landmarks, the Roman Chateau Comtal and the Gothic Basilica of Saint-Nazaire, the Hotel de la Cite is set in its own glorious gardens. With its solid stone walls, wood paneling and stained-glass windows, the Hotel offers luxurious hospitality and award winning cuisine in its two restaurants. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
De La Cite Hotel
De La Cite Carcassonne

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