We stayed 3 nights here and booked the package through a travel website in US that include breakfast and a king-size bed. The package was a good price. We chose this hotel partly because of its 1-star restaurant.
The front desk staffs and Madam du mason were extremely friendly--1) we were not allowed to handle our own luggages, even though the lady (staff) was obviously struggling with two heavy suitcases, and we could easily help her a bit. 2) What?--our young child is to share our king-size bed? " That is too uncomfortable--we would not allow that--the comfort of our guests is our responsibility!", said Madam of the house, "We will put an extra bed in for her easily--the room has enough space." How can we refuse such hospitality? The room was beautiful, the bathroom was large and modern.
Luxury is all about details. While the appearance of the room is beautiful, you do not want to admire too closely. The curtains that drape the nice french windows are made of very cheap material and are thin (even for decorating purposes). The faux period chairs were cheaply made: you know it if you sit on it. The bed mattress was very hard, and bedding was of low quality cotton. The bathroom tub was huge, but the shower head had very small water flow to the point of being uncomfortable.
They kept pressing us to dine in their restaurant, which we did once. But once was enough, and we wanted to try out the Michelin 2-star restaurant nearby. When we asked the Madam to help make the appointment, her face immediately turned ice-cold, and jaws dropped. Although she immediately made the phone call, the smile disappeared completely, showing her displeasure clearly (not that I care).
The management is too desperate for money. Upon checking out, we realized that the extremely hospitality upon checking in, the extra bed that they had to put in for our comfort, had a hefty hidden price-tag--the extra bed was 75 euro a day, and that was never mentioned (and perhaps purposedly so). The glass of wine I had at dinner was charge 18 euros (local wine!). I was surprised, but with all that excessive friendliness and "hospitality", how can you protest?!
It is not that the extra charge added a huge financial burden to me. Anyone who chose to stay in such type of places probably does not concern too much about money. But that is beyond the point. This types of hidden charges and very sneaky practices are an insult not only to the guests but also to the ancestry of the chateau. I understand that taking care of and honoring this type of family heirloom with a history of 3-4 generations comes with a price, and the later generations have to make a living. But there is an honor code in behavior that goes together with the history and honor of the family with such a history. Such a dishonest behavior only shows a desperate need for money and put a shame on the family name. Maybe the Madam thinks it OK to exploit "stupid" Americans. But really, don't be so desperate. And don't fake so much. There is no need.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The tranquil Domaine d'Auriac Relais et Châteaux, welcomes its guests to calm and comfortable surroundings.It is set a mature 3000 years old park, an idyllic haven of greenery on the Mediterranean doorstep encircled by the black mountains and the stunning southern region of the Corbières.The are two smooth-watering restaurants "Bernard Rigaudis" and "Le Bistrot d'Auriac" available for food lovers.An 178 holes golf course, swimming pool and tennis court will all go towards making your stay both an enchanted and relaxed one.It is a stunning location at the foot of the "Cite de Carcassonne" with the "Canal du Midi" nearby. ... more less
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