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“A backwater gem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Auberge de l'Arac

Auberge de l'Arac
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Auberge de l'Arac
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Castet d'Aleu | Ariège-Pyrénées, 09320 Aleu Aleu, France   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Aleu
England
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
185 helpful votes 185 helpful votes
“A backwater gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2012

Maybe I shouldn't call the Castet a backwater, but here, the gites actually back onto the water! It's beautiful - just lean out the window and watch dippers dive and wild trout swim by.

Mike and Moira have got the formula right. The gites are simple but cosy; clean and comfortable, decorated with a Northern taste in mind. As hosts they were friendly, kind and thoughtful, serving really excellent food and a fascinating selection of wines from the Aude (one of Mike's hobbies I think!). All excellent value for money

We've been coming to the Couserans for about 20 years, and have stayed in most of the hotels and lodgings in the area - the good the bad and the expensive! This is the nicest, best value for money we've found - we will be coming back to the Auberge. The week we stayed was not long enough.

Room Tip: The gites have the best views over the river.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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23 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    13
    6
    3
    1
    0
See reviews for
4
14
Solo
0
Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

Having meticulously planned our road trip through the South of France we decided to stay somewhere in the middle of nowhere to get away from the hustle of the cities. So going on some positive reviews (and a nice long drive from our lost stop Pau) we decided to book Auberge L’arac as it was in an interesting location which suited our requirements.

Having arrived and almost shooting past in the car (blink and you’ll miss it) we went inside to be greeted with a very rustic looking place with lots of old furniture and interesting ornaments, we felt we really have arrived in France. We were greeted by Mike who was friendly and always willing to answer our questions and met his equally nice wife Moira. Our room was a nice size, simple in design and not over fussy. Nice comfortable bed and minimal furniture with en suite shower and toilet.

No air conditioning but I don’t think you really need it being this high up and with the river nearby so the place was always cool. We even had wi-fi which I was surprised about having stayed in the Welsh mountains.

We decided to try Mike’s cooking and went for the duck, the starter being a healthy salad with shrimps very tasty indeed! The duck didn’t disappoint either, nicely done and crispy skin.

There are some lovely walking paths not too far away which Mike has maps and information of, he even made us a copy. If you have the time take the walks as the views of the Pyrenees are amazing!

My only comment would be the village is tiny don't expect to see much life about.

Overall I would definitely come back, do some more walks and maybe spend more time in this charming little place.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2012

We enjoyed our stay at this charming little hotel. Great value for money and friendly helpful owners. We had dinner and breakfast there which were both very good. The Auberge is easy to find, situated in a beautiful, if rather remote, area. The room was warm and clean, and the beds comfortable.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Kirkby Stephen, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2011

We spent 3 days here on a tour around France. We had a lovely stay and were made to feel very welcome. Our double room was clean and comfortable and the modern bathroom had an excellent shower. The English owners, Mike and Moira, were able to give us useful advice on good walks in the area. We ate at Auberge de l'Arac on two evenings (very delicious and good value) and went to an excellent restaurant in a nearby town on another night.
The hotel is easy to find on the main road but with the river running behind offers a tranquil environment. There are gardens and tables and chairs at the rear near the river, and a cosy log fire in the lounge/diningroom. Whether you just wanted to break your journey of spend a few days exploring the Pyrenees, we would recommend this place. I was interested to see that they have a number of gites that would be of interest to groups and families.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Fontenay le Comte
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2011

In fact we went to the Auberge in 2008 when Julia Stagg and Mark were the owners. Huge amount of work done and a nicer couple I've yet to meet. Both spoke French which endeared thgem to the locals.
We were there to support grandson ,cyclist with Maitre Jacques, in Tour of Pyrenees.
, The book just published, 'L'Auberge' by Julia Stagg clearly draws on her experiences
We wish the new owners much success.

Valerie and Brian Marchant

Room Tip: Bed was v uncomfortable in the Spotted Jersey gite !!
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Jersey, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2011

Very peaceful, ideal for those who want a quiet break. Plenty of walks, fishing and cycling.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Maidstone, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

We booked to stay here just one night en route to Spain because we wanted to watch the Tour de France stage which was passing close by.
The room was lovely and the evening meal superb.
After watching the Tour de France we could not continue our journey because the roads were closed until late that night. We phoned Moira at the Auberge de l'Arac and she had a room available, so we drove back across the mountain and arrived at around 9pm. Mike still cooked us a delicious meal and they both made us very welcome. A long and stressful day and we could probably have found accommodation nearer to where we got stuck, but it was worth the effort to know good food was waiting for us.
Highly recommended - the Auberge de l'Arac is in a stunning location and Mike and Moira are very welcoming. We will stay longer next time!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Auberge de l'Arac

Address: Castet d'Aleu | Ariège-Pyrénées, 09320 Aleu Aleu, France
Location: France > Midi-Pyrenees > Ariege > Aleu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Aleu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6

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