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The 10 Best Cultural Hotels In Carcassonne, France

The 10 Best Cultural Hotels In Carcassonne, France
Said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s 1959 version of Sleeping Beauty, Carcassonne’s fairy-tale fortified city attracts almost four million visitors each year. There are plenty of hotels around to accommodate this massive influx of tourists, some inside “La Cité”, some in the Lower Town (“Ville Basse”), and some outside the town. Each one offers something a little different, so take a look at our guide before planning a journey here.
Hôtel de la Cité © Pinpin/WikiCommons

Hôtel de la Cité

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The citadel
The citadel | © Louis Vest/Flickr
Visitors for whom money is no object should look no further than the 5-star Hôtel de la Cité, situated within the walls of Carcassonne’s magnificent 12th-century citadel. Boasting an outdoor pool, spa, wine cellar, two bars, and three restaurants (including the Michelin-starred La Barbacane), this hotel is pure luxury. Many of its lavish rooms and suites contain lounge areas and balconies, while a separate villa has its own private patio. Surrounded by cobblestone streets and sitting opposite the Basilica of St. Nazaire and St. Celse, Hôtel de la Cité’s location is also enviable.
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Hôtel Le Parc Franck Putelat

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The ramparts
The ramparts | © Patrick Down/Flickr
A 600m2 park near the medieval heart of Carcassonne comprises both this swanky hoteland an upscale restauranthelmed by Franck Putelat himself, whose “classic fiction” cuisine – a reimagining of classic French staples – has garnered him two Michelin stars. Gourmet breakfasts are also served every morning, and guests are free to wander around the complex’s private gardens. The hotel has just seven rooms, but no expense has been spared in making the experience as exclusive as possible. Each one has either a balcony or terrace and has been individually designed, incorporating wood and slate as key elements.
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Hôtel Montségur

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The pool
The pool | Courtesy of Hôtel La Bastide Saint Martin
The Faugeras family who oversee Hôtel Montségur have been hoteliers for five generations, beginning over a century ago in the community of Argentat in France’s Limousin region. The resplendent cream façade and ornate iron gates of the 19th-century mansion that the hotel occupies gives a hint as to the quality found within. Each of the 18 rooms is outfitted with classical decoration and furnishings, and even the standard rooms have balconies. The character of the place extends even to their employment of a night watchman.
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Hôtel La Bastide Saint Martin

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Pont Vieux
Pont Vieux | © thierry llansades/Flickr
There is no more tranquil a place to stay in Carcassonne than in this traditional Languedoc country house just outside of town. The grounds of the 3-star Hôtel La Bastide Saint Martin back onto wooded areas and sunflower fields, so the 12 bedrooms and three suites here are perfect for those looking for a rustic getaway lacking in ostentation. Owners Francine and Philippe are welcoming and personable, putting in effort to make sure their guests have the best stay possible. With an outdoor pool, sun deck, ornamental garden, and cozy lounge area equipped with a fireplace, relaxation is guaranteed.
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Hôtel du Pont Vieux

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Hotel and garden
Hotel and garden | Courtesy of Pont Levis Hôtel
Hôtel du Pont Vieux is found within a charming 18th-century terraced building with wooden shutters on a street in Carcassonne. The Pont Vieux (“Old Bridge”) from which it takes its name is nearby, and stupendous views of the citadel can be had from the rooftop terrace. Its 19 rooms are understated but comfortable, and a private garage is also provided. The establishment is family-run, and Catherine and Jean Michel are happy to allow guests to bring their pets with them on their trip.
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Pont Levis Hôtel

A renovated 18th-century property that “blends contemporary architecture and historical heritage,” the Pont Levis Hôtel is just 50 miles from the Porte Narbonnaise, or “Narbonne Gate,” the main entrance to Carcassonne’s medieval city. Exceptional attention to detail has been given to each of the 12 stylish rooms and their private terraces. A bar, outdoor pool, and landscaped garden are also found here. Of particular note is the buffet breakfast: fresh, local produce including eggs, cheeses, foie gras, cold meats from the Montagne Noire region, smoked salmon, and all the usual breads, pastries, yogurts, tea, coffee, and juices.

Address & telephone number: 40 Chemin des Anglais, Carcassonne, France, +33 4 68 72 08 08

A stretch of Le Canal du Midi © Peter Gugerell/WikiCommons

Hôtel Aragon

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Rue Trivalle
Rue Trivalle | © Andy Mitchell/Flickr
Hôtel Aragon is just outside the citadel, giving its guests impressive views of the ramparts. From your vantage point in the outdoor pool you’ll be able to see the citadel’s turrets thrusting into the sky. The hotel’s location also makes it an effective base from which to explore the sights of the area, like Le Canal du Midi, an almost 150-mile engineering marvel built in the 17th century that helped connect the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The work of Pierre-Paul Riquet, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Hôtel L’Octroi

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Place Carnot
Place Carnot | © David Bramhall/Flickr
Perhaps what sets Hôtel L’Octroi apart most from its competitors is the striking color scheme used in its rooms and throughout its premises. The vibrant blocks of color lend a real modern edge to the establishment’s design. But tradition isn’t neglected, as the hotel also offers cooking classes where the participants learn to produce local dishes that have been made in the region for centuries, like cassoulet, a casserole of white beans, pork skin, duck or goose confit, and sausages.
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Hôtel de la Bastide

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Château Comtal
Château Comtal | © elPadawan/Flickr
This affordable hotel in Carcassonne’s town center is a good place from which to explore the Lower Town. It is close to Place Carnot, a public square brimming with restaurants and cafés that has a marble fountain depicting the Greek god Neptune standing at its center, which dates from 1767. A market is held on Saturdays, an ice rink is installed in the winter, and it also hosts occasional live entertainment. The railway station is just a few streets over from Hôtel de la Bastide and for added transport links, tourist shuttles are also found nearby.
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Château Comtal © elPadawan/Flickr

Hôtel du Château

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This 4-star boutique hotel combines a medieval setting with contemporary design. Some of its plush rooms have terraces situated around the edge of the heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi area, and its spa, hammam, and steam room can all be privately hired. Scrubs, facials, manicures, and other beautification procedures can be enjoyed by the guests, who can also make use of three nearly 50ft2 massage cabins. The hotel is less than a 10-minute walk from the Château Comtal, a 12th-century hilltop castle in the middle of Carcassonne’s citadel.
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