I am just back from spending a week in this hotel having never stayed there before. I don't normally write reviews but I wanted to counter some of the comments left by a couple of recent reviewers. This is a unique and lovely hotel. It is a genuine historic castle and that is still obvious when you stay there - it is not one where they have left the shell and inside it is like any other modern hotel. The staircases are stone spiral steps and the walls of the bedrooms are at least a metre thick. But a lot of money has clearly been spent putting in modern bathrooms and central heating and the corridors have beautiful thick carpets. Yes the walls of the bedrooms are largely stone; but it is a castle - and a very comfortable one.
The hotel itself is in a beautiful position with lovely grounds and the area is ideal for visiting the Cathar castles, the lower slopes of the Pyrenees, Carcassonne, Toulouse and the coastal areas around Narbonne and Perpingnan. And of course there are lots of vineyards to visit.
But what makes this hotel one of the best I have ever visited is its people - every single person from its managers/proprietors, its dining room staff to its reception staff could not have been kinder. They were friendly, very willing to speak English when my poor French failed me and they went out of their way to make our stay memorable. Nothing was too much trouble - because we were there for a week and the set menu has only a few choices on it (there is also an a la carte menu) they offered to make new fresh dishes every evening as long as we told them each day if we were in for dinner that night. And the food was beautiful every evening - a real treat. They also advised us nightly on lovely wines to go with our food - and within our budget.
This hotel is a real hidden gem and I would recommend anyone to try it..
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An imposing castle with a striking silhouette; a square building that opens into a courtyard, set in a lovely garden through which the river Aude flows. Built on the land of the Cathars, the castle bears the stamp of a place steeped in history. In the bedrooms of this 16th century listed building, a medieval atmosphere and modern comforts are skilfully combined. The same clever recipe works its magic in the reception rooms, the old chapel converted into a lounge and the dining rooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chateau Des Ducs De Joyeuse Hotel Couiza