The couple running this hotel have clearly taken a decision to make it stand out against the rather mediocre opposition and their eccentric approach will be appreciated by many but not by everyone. f your tastes in decoration and furnishing run along minimalist lines you might want to consider staying elsewhere in Castres. The Renaissance's rooms are a cornucopia of antiques, ornaments, nick-nacks, hangings and much else. It's a little overwhelming, like an eccentric Disney creation, and some of it is a bit kitsch, but in a nice way and it has all clearly been chosen lovingly and in a spirit of fun by the husband and wife owners who are most welcoming and helpful. Whichever room you are allocated, you're in for an eyeful. I'll say no more than that so as not to spoil the surprise. The furnishings serve to imbue the rooms with character, which is much needed because, this being in a narrow side street, daylight is at a minimum and interesting views completely out of the question. This is a good place to stay if your visiting Castres or the surrounding area. It's a minute's walk to the town's central square and a minute or two more to the river. The area has plenty of bars and restaurants and don't be afraid to venture up the streets on the other side of the river where you will find additional dining options including the very good Brasserie Marso. Access and parking was surprisingly easy. You can always find a non-payment parking slot in the main streets outside the town walls – just a few minutes walk from the hotel. A short drive to the north is the charming hilltop village of Lautrec and to the south the hamlet of Sorèze has an interesting abbey-stroke-military academy, now closed for business and open as a visitor attraction. It's a good idea to buy some provisions for lunch in Castres before venturing out into the countryside where catering options are severely limited.