Hotel de La Cite
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TravelPod Member ReviewsHotel de La Cite Carcassonne
one of teh best hotels ever...great service and lovely property....
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel de La Cite Carcassonne
Can't Wait to Return!
My wife, our two kids (6 and 4 years at the time) and I stayed at La Hôtel de la Cité in July 2003. We were in Carcassonne for 3 days, en route to Barcelona from Paris.
The staff was welcoming and responsive to our needs. They provided us a babysitter so that my wife and I could dine out at the hotel's brasserie, Chez Saskia, one evening. The meal was fabulous.
Our bathroom had a marble floor and bathtub with L'Occitane amenities. We had a master bedroom and a second bedroom with two twin beds.
It was a real treat to stay within the city walls, and our experiences exceeded all my expectations. France was on the cusp of the deadly heat wave of 2003, and the hotel pool provided refreshing relief for my kids. The pool was a nice refuge from the tourist crowds strolling just outside.
There was a medieval festival and tournament nearby in the Grand Théatre de la Cité Médiévale which featured jousting and combat within an epic melodrama, "Epopée Occitane" (lit. Occitane Saga), which was quite entertaining. The storyline continues year after year like a soap opera. We're planning to go back soon and catch the next installment, and will definitely stay at Hôtel de la Cité when we return!
A real bonus out of season
This quality hotel is a number of linked old buildings backing onto the inside wall of the medieval city battlements.
We were upgraded to a Junior Suite - room 106 - which was spaceous, pleasantly furnished, very comfortable and with the added bonus of having a terrace with a view over the well manicured gardens at the back of the hotel. As it overlooked the gardens it was quiet. The hotel was very quiet due to it being out of season.
The buffet breakfast was a good choice of fresh fruit, small french breads/pastries, yoghuts, museli and a small selection of cheeses.
The standard of service and quality of food/presentation in the main restaurant justified it's Michellin star. We thoroughly enjoyed all the dishes we tried.
All the staff, but especially the ladies on reception, were very welcoming, friendly and helpful.
It is clearly a bonus to stay within the city walls. At night, out of season, walking along the deserted narrow, twisting, cobbled (some very uneven and quite steep!) streets was very atmoshpheric and created a wonderful feeling of Hogwarts meets Richard the Lionheart!
Some of the shops/cafes/restaurants were closed due to the time of year but there was certainly enough still open to provide an acceptable level of choice.
I would highly recommend visiting both the hotel and city out of season, (a little later in the year for those liking to dine 'al fresco') as it was easy to see how the streets/main square could easily become conjested with a large influx of visitors.
Wonderful contrast with the city
Carcassonne gets very, very, busy in August and pedestrian traffic jams can occur if two or three child push chairs should meet in one of the narrow streets. The souvenir shops sell toy swords and shields. The swords let out an electronic clang when banged against each other. We've never seen so many small boys duelling with their fathers at the same time. So the streets are noisy as well as hectic. The hotel provides a welcome contrast. The quite bedrooms and public rooms are as one would expect from an hotel of this class. The main restaurant is correctly rated by Michelin. It has an excellent wine list, concentrating, as French lists do, on the local area. This means that the advice of the wine steward should be sought and followed. As a result you are likely to make a delicious find at a reasonable price, considering the quality.
Do bear in mind that on arrival, one cannot drive directly to the hotel but must enter a specially designated car park outside the walls where a policeman will have a list with your name already on it and hotel staff will put you and your luggage into what seems to be like an Italian ice cream van, small enough to get through the gate. They look after your car for you and somehow or other it appears when you need it for your excursions to neighbouring Cathar villages and your eventual, and regretful, departure.
Usually I'm one of the 'who carers about the room I'll be out all the time' brigade so it took a bit of consideration before booking this hotel. What an inspired decision it turned out to be. OK so let's be clear - I didn't go the whole hog and book the carlos fandango have your own sitting room kind of suite - I opted for the cheapest internet special rate but it was glorious. Best location - right in the city walls, gorgeous garden -including a pool with a view and staff who just couldn't do enough (rather unusual in itself - let's just say I don't look like a major tipper). The room was giant....double sinks in marble bathroom, antique French furniture, posh, sweet smelling toiletries, fluffy bathrobes - you get the picture. But when you get there don't just gloat at your inspired choice - waddle down to the restaurant. This is an experience I will take to the grave. Gourmet face stuffing at it's finest. I could fault nothing. I'm still boring people with the details of my meal. I was worried that my previous experiences of frosty waiters who seem to delight in your discomfort in a hushed dining room would be repeated in such a fine establishment but this was not the case. The restaurant was buzzing and the staff knew when to pamper and when to give you peace to talk rubbish to your partner...ideal. GO!
We have just come back from this hotel and it is quite simply an amazing place, we arrived about 2.30p.m for check in and were upgraded to a junior suite with terrace, this room was absolutely stunning!, it was 33c outside but this room was like an ice box, it was just what we needed after spending the previous night in toulouse dripping with sweat!.
If you want to celebrate a special occasion in an amazing walled town look no further!
I have been vacationing in the area since I was a kid -that's for the past 30 years or so : I know it quite well. I walked passed the gate to the Hotel de la Cité numerous times, while touring visiting friends round Carcassonne.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to stay there at the peak of the season.
This is some kind of experience.
You cannot drive your car in the walled city. You have got to self-park your car in a special well designated spot outside the wall, where a van will pick you up to the hotel. They will drive your car to the front door in the morning, leaving it to you to drive through a packed crowd in narrow streets, which is a rather unpleasant experience.
The hotel is a stunning middle-aged atmosphere 19°C building, next door to the cathedral, in the very heart of the Cité. It comes complete with suits of armor, cordoban-style leather hangings, Viollet-le-Duc-style furniture and stained glass windows, packed with corridors, passageways and flights of stairs.
My room, a basic one, was on the smallish side, not the most modern I have stayed at, with some kind of a view, a nice but not over luxurious bathroom with separate toilets. It was overall nice and cosy, but outrageously overpriced would not it be in its location.
Because this is it : an amazing building in an amazing place. The area is very hot in summer, and the only swimming pool within the walled city is the hotel's, exclusive to the guests. Not a huge one, but still, great ! The walled city is very-very-very crowded during day time. Part of the experience consists in having the walled city to one's self at night : all tourists are gone, and you are all by yourself, in an out-of-time experience.
Food is really nice, including breakfast.
Staff are nice, and french, as other reviews point it out ; so french as they won't go the extra-mile to make your stay memorable. But this is France, and the only Deluxe hotel within a 200 km radius, in what has always been and still a cheap tourist destination. They just do what they can, or have been taught.
I could not recommend the experience any warmlier, to those ready to pay at least three times as much as they would pay any other hotel in the area (except Domaine d'Auriac, a nice Relais&Chateaux 2 miles away, in the wild, but something really different).
The grand dame of Carcassonne
We stayed at the la Cite in June 2004. Getting there can be a minor pain -- taxis do not meet the trains, and the taxi ranks in the town are always bare -- and the taxi call phone has been removed from both the train station and the taxi call stand. We tried to walk to the hotel, but there is no way to do it with luggage -- too steep. I'd suggest calling the hotel from the train station to ask them to call a taxi. The hotel is magnificent. Really a castle, and a medieval floor plan. Lots of ups and downs, stairs, and passageways. The staff is excellent. And the location is inside the wall of a medieval city. Rooms are not large, but they are well done. And when you walk out the door, you are in another century. By the way, the restaurant almost opposite the front entrance, which cooks with a wood oven, has the best paysenne pizza in France. You need to book the la Cite in advance -- they fill up quickly as fellow travellers told us (who could not get a room there). There are other hotels in the walled part of Carcassonne, but they looked small, and no where near as magnificent as the la Cite. The pool in the back is in a garden, and the views to the west are great at sunset.
The glorious Hotel de la Cite
The glorious Hotel de la Cite. We arrived to a wam welcome this week and were showed promptly to our suite - 118. As we walked up the stone steps to the front door via a beautiful glassed atrium area we were welcomed to the first view of the suite. A table and chairs with flowers, chocolates and a bottle of champagne first greeted us. To the right there was a well stocked little kitchenette with a fridge that actually kept drinks cold!! lovely teas, coffee and more chocolates in the fridge. Then there was a very comfortable sofa and desk along with fax machine etc. (if required). Then a door onto the decked terrace area with table and chairs with a wonderful view across the hills from Carcassonne where we supped champagne and chattered. The bathroom had everything you could wish for and a huge selection of goodies including L'Occitane products (one of our favourites!) - huge walk in shower, separated loo and huge bath. Towelling dressing gowns and slippers. The bedroom was lovely with a TV that swizzled round for viewing from the sofa and coffee table or to relax our feet lying on the beds. The hotel offers nearly 100 videos as well at 5 E's a go. Due the the somewhat foul weather during our stay these were avidly watched as we dried ourselves off. And more - the hotel restaurant is stunning, food wonderful with a pianist happily playing thru the evening. Breakfast served in your room or in their Saskia Restaurant was 100%. The hotel has the only swimming pool within the Ramparts but due to the weather we really did not need to dip! I would recommend this hotel to anyone and cant wait to go back. I will write separately on our additional gourmet experiences as well as travel experiences.Enjoy, relax and luxuriate in this stunning hotel full of friendly, efficient staff - nothing was too much trouble.
Perfectly French in Caracassonne
Hotel de la Cite was a wonderful, magical stop. The hotel was beautiful and perfectly French. The staff and grounds were equally amazing.
Whatever money you have to spend, you owe it to yourself to experience this terrific destination. At night, you can feel the history calling you.
Absolute luxury from the moment we arrived.The suites are fantastic with some of the best views I've seen.I can't fault the food,the only place I have ever eaten that was better was The Ritz in London. If you want to treat someone special,this is the one! I will definatley be making a return visit.
TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel de La Cite Carcassonne
Travel Blogs from Carcassonne
We had a wonderful breakfast at our B&B this morning, and as it was David's birthday, we made sure that his morning was special. It was a rainy morning here, so we knew that there was nothing locally that we needed to see before heading south again towards Carcassonne. So after breakfast and packing up, we headed out! I had already made …
As we drove into Carcassonne we were in awe of this beautiful walled city. We parked in an outer carpark and were met by a porter in a tiny bongo van. We squished into the van and off we went. Next thing we were crossing the drawbridge and into the city. Dodging people all around the porter aimed for this small archway with a 90 degree turn (just …
... that I had gone through very slowly and as I emerged onto the steep road away from the ford I didn't have enough power to get up the hill and stalled with my back wheel still in the water. I got a bit panic stricken as I had visions of me failing to re start the bike or falling off backwards into the water, but all was well and on the second attempt we made it up the steep road. Very shortly I found myself on another gravel track but by this time I thought ...
... has Charlemagne living here briefly, in 800AD, to establish the monastery, and reputedly marking out the hills with his buttocks. The walk around the village is the Pied de Charlemagne, literally, his footsteps.
Finally, locals take kindly to our attempts at French, humouring us and filling in the gaps where even a Franglais word won't suffice.
... we drove a few more hours to the Carcassonne walled city which was amazing. There was heaps of shops and restaurants and it was a super hot beautiful day!! We then checked into our hotel which was in a lovely old building with a huge grand staircase. We just had a quite night in watching the soccer in our ...