We arrived quite late at the Hotel du Chateau and there was just one person looking after both reception and the bar, which didn't bode well. We had booked a double room with three beds, one double and one single for our granddaughter. When we had booked in, the girl on reception showed us to our room, pulled out the sofa bed for our granddaughter, and explained how to use the air conditioning. The room was nicely done in medieval style, but was extremely small and the toilet and shower section were very tight. We chose the hotel due to its proximity to the old city, and decided to have a quick visit before bed. When we came back, we had a couple of drinks in the bar and then went straight to bed, as we had been travelling all day and were exhausted. As soon as we turned out the lights, the first problem emerged - the curtains were thin, there was no blind on the window, and there was a streetlight shining in from outside. Luckily, we were so tired that we all slept, though I woke up at the crack of dawn with the sun shining through. We later checked the window and saw that there were shutters outside which were not visible from the inside and which we could have closed; we felt that the receptionist should have told us about this. But that was mild compared to what happened next.
When I went into the bathroom, I noticed some dead flies in the bath. Then around the sink and emerging from under the rim of the sink, some of those large winged ants that look like flies. I dispatched them, and went into the tiny shower closet, where I noticed several small ants scuttling around the floor. I got rid of those too. Went back into the bedroom, where I spotted one of the large winged ants on the bedclothes of our bed - I was afraid to check any further. To cap it all, when we closed up the sofa bed, there were three dead insects underneath on the floor. Luckily, we had only booked for one night, and were leaving that morning anyway.
After the (just about adequate) continental breakfast - expensive and disappointing for France -we complained to the manager (who was on reception) and I must say got a frosty and insulting response. She first of all asked us if we had opened the window with the light on, as this would let the insects in. We explained that we had gone straight to bed, and didn't go near the window (at this point I mentioned the shutters, and was basically sneered at for not knowing that shutters are on the outside in that part of France). We brought her down to the room so that she could see the dead insects for herself, at which point she corrected me that one of the insects I had identified as a fly was, in fact, an ant!
Back at reception, she continued in defensive mode by saying that it wasn't as if there was a scorpion there, and it was, after all, 'la nature'! She also said that such a thing had never happened before, so maybe we were unlucky. However, this hotel has obviously never heard the maxim that 'the customer is always right' and we found the service overall to be deplorable. No way is this a four star hotel. To be fair, we were given a reduction in our bill - our breakfast and bar costs were refunded which saved us about 60 euro. However, I really regretted booking that hotel and would certainly never go back, on account of the rude, slipshod service as much as the insects.
I would recommend the Best Western Le Donjon to anyone visiting Carcassonne. The old city itself made the visit well worthwhile, and we were sorry we hadn't booked the Donjon which is nestled cosily just inside the city walls. We went inside, and were struck by its warm and welcoming atmosphere and authentic medieval vibe. It's also a good bit cheaper than the Hotel du Chateau. Will definitely stay there next time!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The hotel is ideally situated, facing the towers and city walls of the medieval Cité it welcomes you at the entrance to the drawbridge. The marriage of ancient and modern offers an interesting journey between the medieval and the contemporary.The hotel is totally unique : a rare elegance and model of aestheticism, it is a constant reminder of timeless good taste and defines the art of entertaining guests.Wine tasting and enjoyment in the panoramic bar…A special space, relaxation in the sun or shade around the heated pool, opening from Pâques to Toussaint or the heated Jacuzzi opening all the year. Relaxation, pleasure and absolute refinement in our luxury SPA CARITA ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Du Chateau Hotel
- Du Chateau Carcassonne