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“Lower Your Expectations, Great for Budget Trips”
Review of Hotel Bristol

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Hotel Bristol
Ranked #37 of 39 Hotels in Carcassonne Center
Reviewed 4 May 2014

Hôtel Bristol is situated in an old building right across the train station (Gare de Carcassonne), and at the heart of the lower city. It's very easy to reach, not only because the train station is less than a minute's walk away, but also because the bus from the airport stops right in front of the station. All you have to do to reach the hotel is cross the Pont Marengo (bridge) and you're there. From Hôtel Bristol it's (at leisurely pace) a 30 minute walk to the medieval city, or in French: 'La Cité Médiévale'. And it's not a boring walk as you'll pass plenty of shops, bistros, restaurants, French architecture, and modern and traditional street art.

That being said, the website of the hotel itself boasts 'breathtaking views' on Canal du Midi, a restaurant, and more. I went in late March so I can't say if this counts for high season as well, but the restaurant was decidedly closed while I was there. Also, the views are nice, interesting, but you won't be overwhelmed by visual beauty. Canal du Midi must be appreciated for its design,length, and functionality (you can read about that on the UNESCO World Heritage website), but the sights on it are far from dazzling, at least when looking at it from the hotel windows.

The personnel was friendly enough, but as a visitor who spoke little to no French I noticed them get crankier as my stay continued. They don't speak English, or little to none. Additionally, the rooms don't include tea or coffee making facilities, but they will bring you coffee in your room. At 4 PM they may look surprised at your request, but they'll make it for you. If they're busy they'll tell you to come and pick it up yourself. If they bring it they make take 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how busy they are, and then they may charge you for a full breakfast instead of the coffee you had. When you ring to the reception to order a coffee, a not-at-all-English speaking staff member may answer the phone and mistake your coffee order for a breakfast order. All of this happened to me, the mistake with the coffee/breakfast happened to me twice (even when I made clear in French that I didn't want 'le petit dejeuner' the second time - I have no idea where that went wrong),and I didn't find out about the bill until I was at the airport.

As for breakfast, they'll bring it to your room on your request, but expect it to be a little meager, and perhaps not actually fresh. If you really want to have your breakfast there, I'd recommend eating in the restaurant so you'll have the possibility to choose.

So if the service was that bad, then why am I giving it 3 out of 5. Well, despite of what I read here on TripAdvisor, my room was very clean. I won't deny the mould on the bathroom ceiling, or the cracks in the plinths, but it's an old building (and I think the cracks add to its charm). Additionally, my room was spacious, with two large windows from floor to ceiling, and I had a little balcony. The mattrass was old but it was deliciously soft and I slept like a baby each night. I should probably mention that there's a club right next to the hotel, so in the weekends it can get noisy. It didn't bother me as I like the bustle, but I can imagine it's bothersome if you really want to catch your sleep.
Also there was free, fast Wi-Fi. The staff member couldn't explain this to me as she didn't speak a lot of English, but you get Wi-Fi for 24 hours (code on a receipt). At first I thought I had to ask for a new code the next day, but it only runs out when you actually use it, so not until you've effectively used up 24 hours of online access. The reception also has loads of leaflets, flyers, and free maps of Carcassonne and the surrounding area, which can be convenient for those who come without a plan.

Since I travel as much as I can, I'm mostly a budget traveler. This hotel, despite the staff, was perfect. Seeing as I don't travel for luxury, I had a comfortable, decent place to sleep, and surrounded by lots of places to eat. Just walk out of the hotel, go left, then go left again, and there are two bistros on the same block. Also nearby are pizzerias, a FANTASTIC (note capital letters) little restaurant called Le Massilia (looks worn on the outside, but crazy cheap and super delicious good food, I'm not even kidding - go right from the hotel and it's on the other side of the road, slightly to your right), and there's a supermarket opposite of the square.

Just one thing: if you're a coffee addict like me, bring your own coffee making facilities, or maybe ask the staff if they can provide it (and then hope they won't misunderstand). All together a reasonable place for a reasonable price for those who don't need much.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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3  Thank Sabrina V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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62 - 68 of 257 reviews

Reviewed 15 April 2014 via mobile

My boyfriend and I booked a double room with a canal view and got a twin room with a view of a building. No canal in sight. There wasn't a kettle in the room so the staff told us we could use the coffee machine in the breakfast room and we were disgusted to be presented with a bill for €100 for the coffee at the end of the week!
Room service only came twice to tidy/empty bins/replenish toiletries etc and not once were the towels changed.
Breakfast was an utter disgrace at €9.50 per person with only a small selection of mini croissants and cereal.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Jo D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2014

Very, very dirty place. They manage to "clean" the room in 5 minutes after the previous guest left and we arrived. The room is old style with hairs in the bathroom and toothpaste spots on the mirror! Hotel in very good location however really neglected

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Katarzyna J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2014 via mobile

Great location, fabulous staff and good value. Room was large, nice view over canal.
Rooms and general hotel is 'aged' and could be cleaner. Mouldy shower. Room was nice and warm with plenty of hot water.
All in all a good enough stopover for the price with a nice location.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank c42pilot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2013

Reception desk very helpful and friendly. Reasonably priced last minute room (was taking part in a charity hitch hiking trip). Good central locatiom in Carcassonne. Only downside was the pretty dated/ tired decor (think The Shining).

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ciaramcd93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2013

Overlooking the Canal du Midi and handy for the railway station, the airport bus and boat trips, this is the ideal location for an early or late visit to Carcassonne. In summer, I'd imagine that it'd be noisy - the canal banks being an ideal location to party into the night, not to mention the club next door.
A 10 minute walk to the town square along the main (pedestrian) street and 25-30 minutes to the Cite (back or front entrances). Many opportunities to buy breakfast on the way and a colourful produce market in the square on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and many bars and cafes.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank petitable
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2013

We had read reviews but as we wanted to be central decided to chance it. I am pleased to say that we were pleasantly surprised. Maybe it is a bit old fashioned but it was a typical old style french hotel with a lovely large room with a generous and clean bathroom. We had asked not to be given a room overlooking the street and the room (207) was on the side overlooking red tiled roofs and the distant hills..It was quiet and the beds were comfortable.. I had to pay to park the car but parking is at a premium in central Carcassone. The staff were pleasant and helpful and seemed pleased that we attempted to be polite and spoke some french.If you expect clincal modern rooms then it is not for you but the lift worked, the air-con worked and so did the wi-fi. Breakfast was additional as usual but fresh and continental--who needs an English breakfast in France.

Room Tip: Not on the main road side as there seem to be a lot of noisy motor bikes at night Room 207 was ideal...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Padstowcarol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Bristol

Address: 7 avenue du Marechal Foch, 11000 Carcassonne Center, Carcassonne, France
Region: France > Occitanie > Aude > Carcassonne > Carcassonne Center
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #37 of 39 Hotels in Carcassonne Center
Price Range: £36 - £70 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Bristol 3*
Number of rooms: 54
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Carcassonne Bristol Hotel

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