Hotel de la Cite Carcassonne – MGallery Collection
What We Love
- Calm, beauty and a warm welcome within the walls of a magical city
- Home to the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Carcassone's medieval citadel
- The view of the city ramparts from the hotel’s outdoor heated pool (open May to September)
What To Know
- In peak season (June to August) Carcassonne gets extremely busy; call the hotel to organize parking and book tables in advance
- Cobblestones abound; make sure to come equipped with sturdy walking shoes
- In colder months, pack warm pajamas. The hotel heating can take a while to kick in
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
The discreet entrance to this hotel would make you think this was a small, cozy inn. But the hotel — built in the early 1900s on the site of the former bishop’s palace — actually stretches the length of the street. Elaborate murals and paneled walls decorate the reception area, which opens onto manicured gardens surrounded by the citadel ramparts. Understated furnishings and a neutral color scheme combine with a dramatic neo-gothic backdrop, so that the rich history of this beautiful building shines through without overwhelming.
Bed and Bath
Neo-gothic windows admit light onto pale gray marble, oak furnishings, and richly hued trimmings. Many rooms have separate bathrooms and toilets; all have classic white porcelain tubs and sinks, plus shining taps and fittings. Soft white towels and robes and Damana toiletries in recycled cardboard packaging keep the look understated and comfortable.
Pull out all the stops for a world class dinner with fabulously attentive service at the Michelin-starred La Barbacane restaurant, followed by a nightcap in the Library bar, or opt for a more casual gourmet lunch at Brasserie Le Donjon. Rising-star sommelier Baptiste Ross-Bonneau will advise on wine, and he’ll wow you with his knowledge, enthusiasm and passion. He also carries out wine-tasting sessions for guests in the hotel’s cellars (call ahead for advance bookings). Breakfast is a buffet feast; choose from pancakes, eggs and bacon, the freshest seasonal fruit and classic French pastries.
In the Area
A fortified settlement has existed at Carcassonne since before Roman times, and after a turbulent history filled with sieges, battles, fires, rebuilding and painstaking renovation in the 19th century, the city now stands as a proud example of a medieval fortified citadel. Explore the cobbled alleys, take a tour of the ramparts and, beyond the city walls, wander the quieter Ville Basse, or lower town, or stroll or cycle along the Canal du Midi. Hungry? Try Comte Roger for outdoor fine dining or Adelaide for family-friendly local fare. At night Le Bar à Vin has contemporary sounds provided by top local and international DJs.
How to Get There
Really excellent in every respect. Beautiful hotel, well run, great staff. Could not have been better and in the middle of everything! It has a very good restaurant as well, so no need to leave the l=place in the evening!
Given the narrow streets in the old Cite the hotel has a parking lot outside the walls, Euro 20 per day, and they take you up in a small car. The hotel is the former Bishop's Palace and it feels a very historic location with lots of atmosphere. The rooms are a bit tired and the pictures on the web site are a bit 'glossed'. We stayed in a junior suite. It had a very large terrace with views over the walls and the main bastion which was very nice, but the room was not a suite. It only had writing desk chairs to sit in and the bathroom was very tired. The restaurant is very good, but is not big enough for the hotel, so you cannot be certain of getting a booking and generally the service in the hotel is a bit slow and off-hand, with some individual exceptions. We stayed for 3 nights but 2 would make more sense. There is not enough to do in the old town for 3 days and the hotel quickly loses its charm.
The photographs of the hotel on line suggested a far more elegant hotel, instead we found it to be quite musty and felt the furniture and fittings in the reception/lounge/dining room could be refurbished but still fitting in with the exterior of the building. Hotel had the feel of being old fashioned and outdated rather than historical.
Our original room was small and dark and we were paying 1500 euros for four nights!
We were moved to 216 which was lovely with a beautiful terrace.
The food and service were really bad on the terrace for lunch, we did not eat breakfasts or dinner at the hotel because of this.
The online pictures showed the pool to be large and elegant when in reality it was small and enclosed and not comfortable to rest in for too long. The garden chairs were quite comfy but again online photos suggested the entire outdoor area was larger than the reality. Had we realised this, we would only have stayed for two nights.
This hotel was supposed to be one of the highlights of our trip, I would suggest no more than a night or two.
The car park is quite a way away and if you don't want to walk you have to wait to be driven by the hotel which may involve a wait when the hotel is busy.
Definitely short staffed in the dining areas whilst we were there and the staff did not speak or understand much English which at these top hotels should be expected.