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“1/2013 - Fantastic Stay”
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Review of Cartier Bresson

Sitting room and french windows to Balcony
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Sitting room and french windows to Balcony
Luxury Kitchen Bedroom
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Very good
9 reviews
Sitting room and french windows to Balcony
Luxury Kitchen
Bedroom
Town House
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Overview
Condo/Apartment -
1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 2
Carcassonne Center, Carcassonne, Aude, Occitanie

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Very good - based on 9 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
English first
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English first
brooklynp...
NYC
Level 6 Contributor
59 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Nice enough apartment, hospitality lacking”
Reviewed 26 August 2013 for a stay in June 2013

The stay did not start on a good note. I found that prior to arrival, the owners were generally slow to respond to emails, and would sometimes reply but then not answer the questions I posed. I wrote a couple of times to ask about arrival, telling them what time my train was arriving, and inquiring how I could get a taxi to the apartment, but I got no answer. Eventually Alex did reply and essentially said "ok, see you then", but still didn't answer the questions about how to get there. They also did not send any stock welcome/arrival info, such as we are located here, you can reach us at this number, the best way to get to the apartment is this, etc. When I get to the main train station, there are of course no taxis. I stood around for a bit, then started walking and found a taxi stand. No cars there, so I waited a while. I called the owners at the number shown in their emails, no answer. Just then a taxi comes, and the ride was short because the apartment is very close to the hotel, but too far to lug the bags I had. I get to the apartment and rang the bell, nothing. I stood there for some time. I saw the wine shop next door and assumed that was theirs, but there was no one in it and it was shuttered. I was probably out there about 20 minutes and then by chance, some guests renting the top floor apartment came out, so they gave me Pipa's cell number, which I didn't have. We tried from their phone, no answer. The guests also tell me Alex is out of town! I had sent him an email from my phone and he replied that Pipa was expecting me at 2 and should be there. Of course she was not. Long story short, after a long wait standing in the street with my luggage, eventually she showed up to the store, I guess by chance? And was basically like she was expecting me at 4 because that's check in time, like I was 2 hours early. Despite Alex having said she was expecting me at 2, and my having emailed several times to say I was arriving at 1:30. So that was not a good start.

Once in the apartment, it was pretty nice, gorgeous original wood floors, shutters and other details, nicely furnished for the most part and felt pretty homey. Know that being on the first floor means you will hear footsteps on the ceiling. Some things were worn and needed replacing. For example the door to the armoire was broken and I was afraid to use it lest it come off completely. The rate includes 25 GBP for linen, towels, flowers and apartment cleaning, but there were no flowers anywhere in the apartment. And, sorry but the linens and towels were by no means "fine" as described on the website (as in luxurious quality). The first morning there I woke up to a power outage, which they said was common to Carcassonne/the region (?) and was probably just an overloaded switch. Not sure if that means it frequently happens in the apartments. The website advertises a balcony, but it's not really usable--the chairs are kept turned down against the table and pigeon poop abounds.

The location was ideal, about a 10 minute walk from the train station, maybe not even, and just 1 minute from the great farmer's markets which happen twice weekly. It's very easy to walk all around Carcassonne including up to the medieval city. I would say the location is the best thing about the apartment.

Cleanliness was not really up to par. In the bathroom and kitchen there were vents that were ringed with dust--hopefully it wasn't mold. In the bathroom they left a really disgusting toilet bowl brush, thankfully they gave me another when I asked. The washing machine also had some mildew.

With regard to amenities, there is no dryer, which wouldn't have been a problem except for the tiny drying rack, which held not more than a few tshirts or just some socks & underwear. There may have been another one kept downstairs for the apartments to share, but I didn't see one. So doing laundry was an inconvenience, and of course the ability to do laundry is normally a key point for a self-catering apartment. The kitchen was great, very easy to cook with good equipment, utensils, nice size fridge, etc. The only quibble here is that you really had to crank the electric ranges, like up to a high number, or else they weren't very hot. But for me, the main reason I wanted an apartment was to be able to prepare meals, and in that regard, the apartment served its purpose. The TV had cable, but almost no watchable channels and they did not subscribe to most. So you spend most of your time flipping through blank stations you can't watch. Wifi worked well.

The apartment came with a little notebook/binder that had information about the apartments, restaurants, etc., but some of the info had not been updated--most critically the phone number on how to reach them in the store. Pipa noted that they had just gotten a new phone number for the store, but this was not reflected in the book. Also missing were any details about area services, like transport/taxis and most importantly, emergency info. Every apartment rental I've used, including one in Paris I had just come from a couple weeks before, has information not just on how to reach police, fire, but also local doctors should the need arise. I ended up looking for this on the internet.

All in all, I guess that they are really more about their wine business than the apartment rentals. I see that most people give positive reviews, so I don't know if perhaps I simply was not privy to the hospitality that others received. But it did not measure up to any of my other self-catering experiences. I would not rent here in the future.

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Travelling group: Solo
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
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Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
22 Oct 2013
We take the rental business very seriously and the care and enjoyment of our apartments by our guests is paramount. Nevertheless where criticism is fairly due we always take note to address these issues. We respond as best we can and immediately. In this case the guest was very particular and we did everything we could to accommodate her demands, from an early check in to storage of her bicycle, even to supplying specialist blender for the apartment.

This guest arrived on a day when the office and shop was closed and we arranged to meet her exceptionally at 2pm. It a short walk from the station and if guests arrive earlier than agreed we are more than happy to take in luggage at the shop and office on the ground floor. Almost no other holiday rental apartments offer this a service to guests arriving early. Taxis in Carcassonne will not take anyone for a drive of less than two minutes walk. We do normally provide details of how to reach the apartments if arriving by train, car or bus but guests do normally make their own checks before travelling. In terms of this booking Pipa made a special effort to drive to Carcassonne two hours early arriving at 2pm as arranged, and coming from the florists with fresh flowers for the apartment. The flowers are evident even in the pictures this guest posted.

The linen for the apartments is mostly Frette egyptian cotton, no synthetic material. Some the furniture is French antique but never faulty. There has never been a problem with any of the fixtures or fittings that has gone unfixed and we have gone to considerable effort to ensure that we meet as many of our guests expectations as possible. Our apartments are scrupulously clean but we cannot legislate for the occasional mess made by a pigeon on the balcony.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RoseAlee
Georgetown, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
455 reviews
137 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 259 helpful votes
“1/2013 - Fantastic Stay”
Reviewed 7 April 2013 for a stay in January 2013

We went to France in January to attend the Sarlat Truffe Festival and to tour Carcassonne. While staying in Sarlat last year we noticed that there was a Truffe Festival on the 3rd weekend in January and booked flights and a home in that area. Never having been to Carcassonne, we decided to split our time and found the Cartier Bresson apartment. As it turned out, the truffe festival had been moved to the week before our arrival (signage still showed the 19th & 20th) and no truffe for us! Everything happens for a reason! We contacted Alex and came to Carcassonne early and I had mistakenly thought that the apt was located inside the walls of the medieval city. Luckily it wasn't, as the old city was virtually shut down during January and our apartment afforded the convenience and location to enjoy the local food and wine. Alex and Pippa just happened to have a fabulous wine shop on the ground floor with discounts for guests, advised us on the best places to eat and put us in contact with Barriere Truffes. Thus we had great food, wine and purchased beautiful truffes!!! The Bresson apartment is exactly as it appears in the photos, is spacious, clean, well maintained and most of all, comfortable. Wireless internet was reliable and there were numerous DVDs on hand. We would definitely recommend this property and would stay there again. The apartments are located on the first and second floors, thus may be difficult for the physically challenged. Larry & Kelly, Georgetown, Texas

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Location, wine shop, and hosts.
Liked least: Nothing
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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