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Most Famous Guests: Grace Kelly, Jacques Chirac, Queen Elizabeth II. The magnificent walled city of Carcassonne, France, is certainly a wondrous sight. The words ‘walled city’ can be used to refer to a huge number of cities around the world but in Carcassonne’s case the ‘walls’ are more castle ramparts than walls and so, rather excitingly, it could be said that Carcassonne is a city within a castle. So popular is it though that the hordes of tourists that descend on it every summer can take somewhat from the experience that such a stirring sight can promise. The walled city of Carcassonne has though a, not so little, secret that those in the know can use to take in all that medieval atmosphere without the masses. The secret is Hotel de la Cité, a beautifully crafted Neo-Gothic castle hotel tucked into the ramparts of the ancient walls that apart from being, in itself, a gorgeous and atmospheric property and the city’s only five star hotel, also gives access to the walls around which you can wander freely in the peace of the evening or night when all the tourists are gone. THE ACCOMMODATION: Hôtel De La Cité is undoubtedly Carcassonne’s READ MORE
The 4 Star Château de la Caze is a very romantic, Renaissance era chateau hotel with a fairy tale like setting in the Gorges du Tarn near Rodez, a canyon gorge that is one of this area of France’s most well known natural wonders. The chateau has an intimate, boutique hotel feel and a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere. It also some lovely gardens, a heated outdoor swimming pool, a spa bath, a gym and an excellent gastronomic restaurant amongst other things. THE ACCOMMODATION: They have a choice of rooms and suites available from standard double rooms to 40 m² suites. Most of them are in the chateau itself with some suites also to be found in the Maison de Martine, an adjacent converted old farm building. All the accommodation choices are doubles but in the Maison de Martine suites you can sleep an extra two people using the sofa bed (though for an extra charge). Some people have reported that some of the standard double rooms are a bit on the cramped size, to be certain of adequate space you can go for the superior rooms or above. Of the suites the only thing to decide is whether to take one READ MORE
The 4 Star Château de Labro is a luxury vineyard hotel & spa near the town of Rodez in central France’s Occitanie region, previously known as Midi-Pyrénées. The medieval château oozes old world elegance and the grounds have charming gardens, a swimming pool, orchards and vineyards. There is a very fine restaurant at the château too and the food and the wine is superb. For an extra novel stay, if a medieval château bedroom doesn’t appeal, you can also spend the night at the luxury treehouse in the gardens. THE ACCOMMODATION: The treehouse is a very popular choice so can get booked out months in advance. It is a fine piece of engineering, architecture and design and once inside it feels more like luxury studio apartment than what you might imagine a treehouse to be. The 16th century château itself has charmingly romantic rooms, with antique furniture pieces and four poster beds. The rooms are mainly doubles but there is also a family room which can sleep up to four, as well as a self catering apartment to also sleep up to four. Being a luxury hotel you can expect the accommodation to be high quality. Comfort is paramount, and READ MORE
Château Marteret is a fairytale-like, luxury chateau for rent in the heart of Gascony, South West France, near to both Bordeaux and the foothills of the Pyrenees. It has eight bedrooms and can sleep up to fourteen people very comfortably. The beautifully renovated interiors are minimalist and chic, and maintain loads of historical charm. Surrounding the chateau there are over 400 acres of estate to be explored which include orchards, woodland, meadows, a lake and a small herd of Meren horses. ACCOMMODATION: The chateau has a total of six spacious double bedrooms and one twin. It also has five very nice bathrooms some with romantic bathtubs, an elegant, French country style kitchen (catering services can also be arranged though if you don’t feel like cooking), dining room, and lounges and sitting areas with comfortable seating and stylish furniture. The chateau itself is undoubtedly beautiful and atmospheric but for many the estate’s private grounds make a stay there extra special. They cover nearly 450 acres in total and you can go swimming and sailing (there is a small boat there to use) in the large lake, sunbathe on its sandy shore, wander for hours around the meadow fields, orchards and woodland, READ MORE