What We Love
- A hip stay at a quirky château with art gallery and spa in southern France's Languedoc regionChilling in stunning guest rooms and suites with plenty of playful and quirky decor
- Reliably good cuisine paired with organic wines grown on the Château Castigno estate
- Perusing the incredible Castigno Art Galerie for its exhibitions by established and emerging artists
What To Know
- The home-away-from-home feel is perfect for couples, friend groups, and families
- Dine on gourmet dishes at La Table and tapas at La Petite Table all washed down with locally-made eco-wines
- On a romantic rendezvous? Drop by onsite bespoke lingerie shop Petit Pêché
It’s all absurdly quirky at this characterful château located between Carcassonne and Montpellier in the south of France. Owned by Flemish couple Marc and Tine Verstraete, who stumbled across this crumbling property in 2007 and then set about buying an entire village to house their hybrid hotel creation, you’re treated to a whimsical world of intimate design and pure French charm at Village Castigno.
Set in four historic freestanding buildings, the accommodation ranges from one- and two- bedroom wine-pickers’ houses and converted stables, to a nine-bedroom manor. There’s also an outdoor pool, gallery for high-calibre artworks, lingerie boutique, divine spa for treatments and massages by a Balinese therapist, and secluded vine-laden terraces for all-day chilling.
Unsurprisingly, it’s all rather excellent on the food and drink front too. There are three unique dining spots, plus an outstanding choice of organic wine from the Château Castigno estate a grape’s throw away. When you’re not quaffing wine, there’s plenty more to keep you busy; most excitingly herb-picking, vineyard-hopping, baking bread, taking ceramics or cooking classes, or borrowing the retro scooters to zip around the beautiful Languedoc region.
How to Get There
We enjoyed our stay here. But as a stay here is expensive, let me tell you first the problems .
Our arrival was not good. I had booked a Junior Suite, and it was slightly smaller than most hotel rooms, with about 1 meter round the bed. It was a nice room , but should never have been described as a junior suite. To be fair they did offer to upgrade us, but in the end we stayed where we were.
Chambermaiding was bad, sloppy and spasmodic - they threw a chocolate beside the bed on 1 of the 4 nights were were there, but did nothing to tidy the room
The "no wifi" policy is really weird. On our first night, eating in the Petite Table restaurant, every other table was illuminated by the glow of mobile phones. To get wifi you have to go to a dark, soulless, cold room and wait ages to download emails or anything else. I was spending 15 minutes a day just to do emails, and getting very angry. Given everyone else was using a mobile phone, their no wifi policy is just potty.
Given that they have now grown to 28 rooms, there is not enough table space in the Petite Table for breakfast (tables are crammed together) and not enough staff, 2 girls was not enough.
Having said all that, I was very enthusiastic about the hotel. It was a nice place to stay, the Michelin Restaurant was good value for money and produced excellent food. We ate there 3 times
There is plenty to see in the area - the Canal du Midi and Carcasonne are withing reasonable driving distance.
The wine tasting is well worth doing to. It is a pleasant 30 minute walk, if you don't fancy driving. Our tour round the winery was in French, which we were happy with. I don't know if they have them in English
So, we will return
A tiny weeny town hidden among vineyards, whimsical beauty with an easy vibe, with beautifully restored hotel properties scattered among the dilapidated buildings, perfectly in harmony with each other; to see them all you just wander slowly from one end of town to the other (similar to the concept at hotel Crillon-le-Brave, but this place was even more stunning). No wifi (but I did get 3g) to encourage digital detox & a more contemplative experience. My room Clairette was a joyous riot of pink and sunlight (read from previous reviews that some of the other rooms were rather dark, my room had no such issues as it had glass doors on both sides of the small room ) This was a fantastically relaxing place where city dwellers like myself can really unwind, add to that lovely restaurants ie “la table” for dinner with superb food and wine (well deserved Michelin star).
A minor niggle: did not like their 4 pm check in policy (check out is at 11 am)
Other than that, the place was perfect and one of the more special hideaways around. Hope to come back one day.
My daughter and I spent a few idyllic days at village Castigno and we loved it. The whole vibe is great, lovely touches like a wicker hold-all with flip-flops and sarongs, bikes to just jump on, secluded day beds round the pool. The staff friendly, the food amazing and the house wine fab!!
All 3 restaurants well worth visiting, a Michelin star well won.
Things to be aware of- no local amenities, we had a car so we could scoot off. Not all restaurants open every night.