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“a hidden gem”

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Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Couiza
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 June 2014

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..

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Jan423
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
duc2joyeuse, Propriétaire at Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2014

Dear Madam,

Thank you for taking the time to share your impressions with us following your stay.
We are very sensible to your enthousiastic comments and are happy that you enjoyed your holidayy in our beautiful castle.
We sincerely hope to welcome you on another occasion and wish you a pleasant summer.
Yours sincerely.
Isabelle & Vincent Nourrisson

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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95 - 101 of 419 reviews

Reviewed 27 May 2014 via mobile

We stayed for two nights on honeymoon, having married in the Languedoc the previous weekend. We know the region well, owning a flat in a chateau nearby in Capestang, so we're delighted to find a similar offering in Cathare country.

The positives - a characterful fort with interesting history and a gorgeous courtyard and location next to the river. Lovely receptionist who kindly upgraded our room as we were on honeymoon. Delightful head-waiter who made every extra attempt during our meal on the first night. Exceptional Chardonnay from a Limoux cooperative.

The downsides, the room whilst characterful and with a view of the river was dark and gloomy and really needs a makeover. There is nothing by way of communal areas in the May offseason - the bar area seemed closed both nights and we had no idea what to do after dinner.

My main issue, having gratefully accepted the offer of a honeymoon upgrade on night one, we slept in late. As a result of being near checkout time and in a unique location, I decided to extend online with a hotel website to earn points and frankly to achieve a cheaper rate.

This resulted in an angry confrontation with the manager during which I was lectured like a schoolboy. I take the point that I could extend with a phone call, but why would anyone pay 15% more for extending this courtesy.

I am certain management's response will focus on the upgrade. I'll point out that I was summonsed to reception like a detention on discovery of my 'faux pas' at which point I offered to change rooms or pay the difference to placate our host.

They did very kindly book out wine tasting later.

I would not recommend.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Neighbore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
duc2joyeuse, Propriétaire at Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse, responded to this reviewResponded 29 May 2014
Google Translation

Monsieur,
Nous venons de recevoir votre commentaire que nous attendions déjà.
C’est avec plaisir que nous vous avons surclassé en Junior Suite dès le premier soir à l’occasion de votre lune de miel et ceci sans réservation au préalable.
Nous avons, pour la première fois en 30 ans de métier, été confronté à un client, qui réserve le lendemain de son arrivée, une chambre standard par internet depuis sa Junior Suite pour une deuxième nuit et de ce fait nous impose un surclassement de deux niveaux.
Vous n’avez pas apprécié notre comportement, nous n’avons pas plus aimé le désagrément causé. La goujaterie se rencontre encore et pas seulement chez les hôteliers.
Si notre métier de contact et de relation humaine doit être résumé à une machine à réserver, nous envisagerons rapidement de changer de métier.
Vous ne souhaitez pas recommander notre établissement ; nous souhaitons à aucun confrère d’être dans la même situation que celle que vous nous avez imposée.
Cordialement.
Isabelle & Vincent Nourrisson

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Reviewed 6 May 2014

Disappointing managment of the castle... a lovely place, great estate, but badly manage. Check-in was all but firendly, unlucky that the room heater was nois all-night long...and i sufered a lack of hot water just before dinner...probably the price for being in a very nice old castle.
Food is good but a bit like modern cuisine... i mean 30 g of meat is enougth and great design around...a pity as each plat was a master-chief, but not enough is not enough...

Room Tip: just go in the castle, have a look inside, take a drink and find another place for sleeping ;)
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Floris G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
duc2joyeuse, Propriétaire at Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse, responded to this reviewResponded 9 May 2014

Thank you for taking the time to share your impressions with us following your stay.
We have taken good note of all your comments and would like to inform you that we will do our best to improve the negative points and to upgrade the standard of our services.
Concerning the heater noise and the lack of hot water, we are always at the desk to get the information and resolve the problems immediately.
Looking forward to the pleasure to receive you again in the Castle.
Yours sincerely,

Isabelle&Vincent NOURRISSON

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Reviewed 18 April 2014

A lovely chateau that has retained its character but has modern facilities such as an excellent wifi. All the staff were very friendly and the service from reception to the restaurant was excellent. It was lovely to have drinks in the courtyard and then we had a lovely meal in the restaurant, it has to be one of the best hotels we have experienced for a long time at a very reasonable price.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Colin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
duc2joyeuse, Propriétaire at Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2014

Dear Sir,

Thank you for taking the time to share your impressions with us following your stay.

We really appreciate your enthousiastic comments and look foraward to welcoming you again at our beautiful property.

Yours sincerely,

Isabelle & Vincent Nourrisson, Owners

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2014

Stayed for 2 nights in what was supposed to be the best room/suite in the chateau. I had personally called the hotel to ensure we had one of the best room. I was assured we would get the room they normally allocate for weddings etc.
Unfortunately when we checked in, early afternoon, there was an "unusual" and "incomprehensible" contretemps with a lady at reception desk . Another lady at reception quickly stepped in and apologized for the misunderstanding. It was off putting. To make matters worse our room allocation had been changed and instead of heading to the lovely "suite" we had been promised, we were shown to another suite overlooking a football pitch in lieu of the river.

The Chateau is perfectly located if you are visiting the Cathar country. It is a magnificent castle - typical medieval with turrets. The grounds around the Chateau are limited. The front is located next to a football/rugby pitch and some commercial buildings which is not very alluring. The best is at the back of the Castle with a river, a swimming pool which was being refurbished while we were there and well kept grounds.
The internal courtyard is stunning and magical. Perfect for dinning and having drinks.

The room/suite was on the dark side but very spacious and a"not so modern" bathroom. Terrible noise coming from the bathroom was sorted out the following morning.
Wifi worked well
Breakfast was excellent. Staff were very friendly, professional and attentive.
Dinner was great, good local wine recommendation and excellent menu with local produce. And again great and friendly staff.
Appreciated the new owner taking time to talk to guests at breakfast and dinner. Proof of good management.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Mimi769
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
duc2joyeuse, Propriétaire at Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2014

Dear Madam,

Thank you for taking the time to share your impressions with us following your stay.
We appologize for any inconvenience you could have had during your holiday at the castle and we hope you'll be able to come and see our new swimming pool and surroundings.
We would also inform you that we will do our best to improve the negative points and to upgrade the standard of our services.
Yours sincerely,
Isabelle & Vincent Nourrisson, Owners

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Reviewed 27 October 2013

A great historical chateau hotel centrally located in cathar country. Great staff. Friendly, attentive, and helpful. Will not disappoint. Management and reception were the very best I've met in all my travels. WiFi was very reliable. Large comfortable room with generous bathroom.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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4  Thank Anna W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
duc2joyeuse, Propriétaire at Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse, responded to this reviewResponded 30 October 2013

Dear Madam, Dear Sir,

Thank you for taking the time to share your impressions with us following your stay.

We really appreciate your enthousiastic comments and look foraward to welcoming you again at our beautiful property.

Yours sincerely,

Isabelle & Vincent Nourrisson, Owners

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2013

Four of us visited the chateau for lunch. The service was polished, discreet and friendly. Food was excellent, although I was disappointed with the cheese course. I expected a cheese trolley but we were simply served four small slices without any choice. However, on balance, it was a very good meal.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Scribbler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
duc2joyeuse, Propriétaire at Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse, responded to this reviewResponded 27 September 2013
Google Translation

Madame, Monsieur,

Nous venons de prendre note de votre message et vous remercions pour vos commentaires.
Nous sommes très heureux que vous ayez apprécié notre cuisine. Concernant le fromage, nous prenons en compte votre remarque et nous ferons notre possible afin d'améliorer notre prestation à l'avenir.
Dans l’attente du plaisir de vous recevoir à nouveau au Château.
Cordialement,
Isabelle & Vincent NOURRISSON

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse

Address: Allee Georges Roux, 11190 Couiza, France
Region: France > Occitanie > Aude > Couiza
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Couiza
Price Range: £82 - £221 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse 3*
Number of rooms: 34
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

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