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“Charming and Welcoming Hosts”

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Chateau de Quarante
Ranked #6 of 7 Quarante B&B and Inns
Reviewed May 2, 2011

I always make a point of staying here whenever I am in the area. Klaus and Nicole are wonderfully convivial hosts,the rooms are very comfortable and the food is consistently excellent. It is a privilege to share their home with them.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled on business
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Thank Olly001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 - 36 of 79 reviews

Reviewed March 28, 2011

Ablolutely awesome...a vacation at Chateau de Quarante was an amazing experience! Hosts Klaus and Nicole Neukirch worked tirelessly to make our stay enjoyable. To begin, our rooms were spacious, tastefully decorated and clean. The entire downstairs common area gave us the feeling we were in our own home. We were persoanlly guided on day trips by Klaus each day. The destinations were left up to us, but we were skillfully guided in our decisions by both Klaus and Nicole. Once on our daily trips, Klaus provided transportation and most interesting narration about all points of interest visited. Tours included small villages, goat cheese farms, olive oil processing, wineries, ancient Roman ruins, fortresses and an all day cruise of the Canal di Midi, to name only a few.

Nicole and Klaus made us feel as if the Chateau was our home during the week we visited. Then there was the food! Each day as we were traveling with Klaus, Nicole was preparing a feast for the evening. Both Klaus and Nicole are excellent chefs. We had the most elegant, made from scratch dining creations imaginable.

A visit to Chateau de Quarante would not be for everyone I am sure, but if you are looking to visit Southern France and see the region with your own personal guide, then reurn home each evening to a warm home-like atomsphere that includes extraordinary home cooked mealls, complete with wine and conversation with your interesting and talented hosts, Chateau de Quarante is a unique and absolutely fascinating adventure.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank fjnewkirk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chateau_quarante, Owner at Chateau de Quarante, responded to this reviewResponded April 7, 2011

Hello Missouri !

Mon Dieu!
How do you say "Thank you" to people who are sweet enough to take the time and say "thank you" to you for their visit in your home with such kind and heartfelt words?

Opening our doors to kind and appreciative persons such as you gives a true meaning to our decision to have a Chambre d'Hôtes and opening our private home to the world.

You shed a bright light and a new feeling to a sentence blurted out with a heartfelt hug a long time ago by a lovely young Belgian couple who said: We feel that we are staying at our favorite cousins' home.
You ARE at the very top of the special Club of our favorite cousins !

Your true and genuine enthusiasm has some sort of magic power to erase some deeply felt hurts caused by lies or distortions.
Of course, scars will stay. You can't unring a bell.
But, somehow, your review restores our faith in human kind (or part of it) and its joys to share in life's happenings and beauty with men and women from all over the world.

Come back !

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Reviewed January 31, 2011

My husband and I were guests at Chateau de Quarante for 2 days in Sept. Our dream was to have a peaceful, relaxing French countyside experience and we were not disappointed. Our hosts, Klaus and Nicole, were so very warm and invited us into their home and made us feel so comfortable. Our room was very large, clean, with a fireplace sitting area and on suite bathroom. Breakfast consisted of coffee, toast and a variety of jams. Dinner was mouth watering. Nicole is an exquisite cook. Both evenings we were served dinners that I will never forget. ( I want to return and take some cooking classes from her.) Klause is very knowledgable about the history of the area and is a wine expert, as well. We were fortunate enough to be in the area at the time of the harvest of the grapes so that was an added treat. We have recommended this chateau to our friends and family and will stay here again when we are in the area, to enjoy a glass of wine and more fun.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jayhawk03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chateau_quarante, Propriétaire at Chateau de Quarante, responded to this reviewResponded February 17, 2011

Bonjour Dear Friend in Kansas !

If it has been written by some sourpuss that reviews about us were contributed by friends. Well, we can joyfully agree that this accusation is sometimes not too far from the truth.

Indeed, we cherish the warm and sincere feeling of friendship which can grow out of an encounter with perfect strangers who cross our threshold with an open mind, an open heart and a solid determination to have a good time with us! These guests are our kind of people. And, you were part of them !
The rest just follows quite naturally and can bloom into a very unexpected and marvelous feeling of empathy called friendship even if we are miles apart.

We are glad you came into our home and brought along with you your good humor, your enthusiasm, and your exuberant laughter.
Our door will always be open for you. Come back soon, you hear?

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Reviewed December 2, 2010

I wish I had taken more notice of comments by Carys4africa. We booked for 4 nights but left after 3. No hot water for nights 1 and 2. No heating for 1st night. No services to the room - no beds made, no clean towels. France is not good for big towels but towels here were smallest and thinnest in 6 weeks away and stayed wet after 1st use as there was nowhere to dry them. No privacy to room as there was no key provided and hosts entered twice while we were in and entered at least once every day when we were out, said to be to empty the bathroom bin although it was not emptied. Our bags were searched and food (apples and wrapped chocolate bars) confiscated while we were out. The building was old, cracked windows in the guests' lounge/dining room and infested with ants (host advised us of this). Room large but cluttered with plastic flowers and plants. No key provided to the house or gate and as both house and gate were kept locked we were either locked in or locked out. No phone, TV, CD, DVD, internet access. No mobile phone reception. "Included" breakfast is bread and 1 cup brewed black coffee, anything additional on the menu (fruit, cereal, croissants, hot chocolate or cafe au lait) is at extra cost. Arrived day 1 for dinner - waited 45 minutes listening to shouting, dishes crashing and pots banging to be served as 1st course a bowl of shredded cucumber. Main -fish and mashed potato, crushed chestnuts for dessert. Arguing still on for breakfast day 1- waited 20 minutes listening to shouting between Nicole and Klaus, often in English and very loud so impossible not to hear their argument. Coffee and bread finally arrived when it suited them but another morning when it suited them coffee (cold) and bread already on the table when we came in although their clock was showing we asrrived exactly on time. More arguing, crashing of dishes and banging pots whilewe sat waiting for dinner day 2.
The tour and full catering is really overpriced and not good value. The 'included' lunch on day 2 was a 2 euro ham sandwich from a kiosk. Other days 'included' lunch was soup and 1/2 fruit. No choice in any food served and nothing else offered when one meal returned. Dinner was hearty rustic cooking (e.g. stuffed cabbages, chicken in a casserole) but not haute cuisine. The agenda was provided to us by Klaus but set by Nicole and not open to discussion regardless of expressed preferences. Our 2 main sights nominated in emails to Nicole were not included so when we left early we hired a car in Beziersand drove to these 2 places ourselves. Klaus had hearing difficulties so a 3 way conversation with a tour guide at an olive crushing factory who spoke only French was very frustrating as he did not pass on much of the long explanations. Lost confidence in Klaus's information when he insisted there were no Crusades after the 9th century. Some interesting trips on the tour (a goat cheese-making farm was the highlight) but Klaus was lost often and had to ask directions. He did not include bathroom stops and had no idea where clean bathrooms could be found. After a very small accident in the car he hired for the guided tour where we would have exchanged insurance details and driven away in a few minutes we lost nearly an hour with long discussions with the other driver on site and then at his place of work. On 3rd day Klaus declared he was having Sunday afternoon off. Klaus refused to drop us to another nearby town so we were locked out of the chateau on a very cold Sunday afternoon in a tiny village with nothing open except the church. We left after this experience.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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14  Thank UKEUtravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2010

On a recommendation from a friend, my wife and I booked a two night stay at the chateau. The day of arrival we were welcomed with the warmth of family members. The chateau is just as you would imagine. Our room was huge with fireplace and sitting area. The bed was so comfortable with crisp sheets ,comforters and pillows that guaranteed a good nights rest. We recommend you sign up for the dinners at the chateau. The quality,taste and presentation are extraordinary. Nicole is a fantastic chef and hostess. Klaus did a wonderful job as our sommelier. Information on the area is at your fingertips, all in english, which was very appreciated by us. We hope to return and take advantage of Nicoles cooking classes and the personalized tours that Klaus has available. Our only regret was not having longer to stay.Tip: This is a B&B and not a hotel. Bring personal sundries i.e. shampoo, conditioner etc with you.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ourturn2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chateau_quarante, Propriétaire at Chateau de Quarante, responded to this reviewResponded October 8, 2010

Thank you ! Merci !

We were thoroughly delighted to welcome you in our home.

You have no idea how easy it is to open our door to people when, just like you, they are friendly, funny, enthusiastic and appreciative of every little detail.

Every minute spent with you reminded us that there is a great deal of joy in greeting perfect strangers and trying to show them a good time.
The best part of the deal is that these perfect strangers know how to win our heart and make us feel good.
That is when our "job" becomes a true pleasure !

We are glad you crossed our lives and we hope to see you again soon. Your thoughtful gift, Rosita, is doing just fine !
A bientôt !

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Reviewed August 27, 2010

If you're familiar with the concept of a chambre d'hotes, this one offers value for money. We had an excellent dinner, good beds and the whole building was very clean. It's beautiful to stay for a day (or a few days like we did) in such a nostalgic looking house and walking trough the garden.

As we needed to take our plane pretty early in the morning, the host explained us that it wasn't possible to get breakfast. That's not what we hoped for of course but ok. Overall it's definitely worth visiting, you'll enjoy it.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank STASegers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2010

This is a lovely property however the garden needs tending and unfortunately it is not somewhere I would stay again...it has somewhat of a convent feel; I do not smoke but one of my party did. He was told that he would have to leave the property altogether and smoke on the street...a bit extreme for the price you pay for a service :-( We had dinner and compliments to the chef (which is Klaus' wife...although we did not see her once during our stay) however we were told dinner is at 8 and if you're late, tough. Another couple who stayed the same night we did were in the area to see friends and they were told they had to be back by midnight otherwise they would be locked out. Breakfast was served at 8.30 and at that time, Klaus put a cup of coffee each on the table. The couple that were staying there with us came down ten minutes late and no fresh coffee was made for them. In addition, a bottle of water cost 6 euro (I paid 1 euro in a supermarket and 3 euro in a Best Western) the cup of coffee at dinner and the extra cup of coffee at breakfast all cost money on an already expensive stay. We stayed at 12 places over the last two and a half weeks and this is unfortunately the only one that I would not recommend. Klaus was friendly and his wife seemed lovely from the emails before arriving but it was over-priced and too many rules for a relaxing stay.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
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12  Thank carys4africa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chateau_quarante, Propriétaire at Chateau de Quarante, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2010

Bonjour Carys4africa,

Thank you for your comments.
Even though we aim to please, we know we are not perfect and we always try to improve. In that spirit, we would like to share some thoughts with you on what seems to have bothered you about our way of sharing our home with others. We hope it will help you and maybe other members as well to understand a little better our life style and avoid some disappointments.

• Indeed, your visit took place at a time (in the dead of Summer) when park and garden were not at their best. We will respectfully bring to your attention that our region had been suffering a major drought for weeks, that there had been a water shortage and some water restrictions had been imposed as well. Inevitably, some plants and bushes had suffered. We are the first to deplore it.

Maybe, the arid and dry climate of our region took you by surprise. We live deep in the South of France and not in lush England where lovely green lawns grace the landscape and beautiful flowers (roses are my favorites) are a total enchantment throughout Summer time. Maybe a visit in Spring or Fall next time would be more to your liking.

Usually, we find guests enjoying our 9 acres park for an early jogging, a little snooze under the pine trees, a cocktail under the cedar tree or a cup of tea by the small pond. No matter the season, they seem to make allowances for weather whims and don't seem to bother with passing inspection while they are having a great time. We sincerely regret that you were disappointed.

• In a true spirit of fairness, would you agree that all hedges (boxwood, laurel and others) were properly trimmed (Klaus' work) and all plants in the veranda as well as in the house were alive, strutting and well (my care). In other words, wherever we had some control over the greenery, we did our best, didn't we?

• We are at a total loss about the "convent feel". Our living-room regularly welcomes improvised waltzing whirls (my favorite), or crazy "twist" (Klaus' specialty), the veranda has seen a very lively "sardana" with local costumes on, the winding stair case is the perfect spot to hear the latest adventures of our residing ghost "Swooshie" with resounding "whoooooooooooo", children jump for joy ready to feed fish and birds while games of "pétanque" with a "pastis" on the side get quite lively. Of course, we realize that it is a little difficult to jam all that in an abbreviated one night stop over. We find it a little difficult to agree with the "convent feel", or maybe a convent of a very special kind!

• Smoking is totally forbidden on our entire property, you are absolutely right. The fact that the entire property (including the park with all its pines and cedars) is a non smoking zone is clearly specified on our web site home page in English as well as in French.

• However, we courteously invite smokers to practice their private habit in one of two places: either in their own car which is a private inviolable space and where they can use their very own ashtray instead of dropping unsightly and dangerous cigarette butts all over the place (potted plants or the fish pond being unfortunate favorites), or outside the plainly declared non smoking property, and that means outside our gate. It's the smoker's choice. A better option yet might have been to select a place where smokers are welcome.

• Just for information: who you kindly tell which service did that smoker pay for which he was denied? We don't provide any special services to smokers (not even an ashtray) and we make that very plain even before a reservation is taken. For the record: the one in your party in question did smoke in the bedroom and left us all his cigarette butts as souvenirs. We were disappointed with what we consider a behavior a bit uncouth and disrespectful.

• Thank you for your kind words about dinner. They are much appreciated.

• The "chef" has a name with which you are very familiar because you corresponded with her by Email. It's Nicole, yours truly. Allow me kindly to decline that title of "Chef" which you graciously granted me but which, in our family, has always been reserved to my beloved Grand-Mother. She has always been a source of great inspiration to me and I try to emulate her never ending enthusiasm for good food lovingly prepared from fresh products and always presented to appreciative guests in an enticing way.

• You are right. It is true that you never saw the cook. It happens sometimes. Especially when the guest is there only for a brief, one night stop over. Maybe the time has come for me to share some very private facts which are usually reserved to family and close friends.
Plagued with cancer, cardiac problems and arthritis, I have good days and bad days. Just like many other patients, I have to make do. In my everyday life, my priorities go to planning and preparing good meals, taking care of laundry, tending to plants and answering Emails. On days when I feel terrible and look like death warmed over, I prefer to go about my business diligently and not impose my appearance to others who are not here in our home to be reminded of the ugliness of illness. Somehow, bringing me to justify my "non appearance" strips me of a few shreds of dignity to which I cling for dear life.

• Yes indeed, you are right, our guests are cheerfully reminded of dinner time (already given during Email correspondence) in order to allow them plan their activities without being rushed: it might be a long bath, a quiet lounging time in the park, a cocktail in the veranda, a walk through the village or a snooze after a long drive.

• This being a private home and not a restaurant, dinner is served when the hostess is ready to serve and not according to the diners' individual preferences or timetable. This is true the world over in private homes and we are a private family home.
In addition, the French Chambre d'Hôte Chart is specific about the obligation to serve one meal, one menu with one service. However, we do our best to instill some flexibility in our meals in order to accommodate, young children, people with allergies and vegetarians.

We don't quite understand "tough". Tough what? Would it mean that you would take dinner in mid-flight and skip the first course? Did that happen? Not in my home, it would not ! ! !

• Indeed, you were late. So was the other couple. No excuse was offered by anyone, but you were certainly not penalized. We just waited patiently for everyone to sit down before proposing and serving wine and then serving dinner (almost one hour late). Not a word of reproach was uttered at any time, even though the hostess was boiling in the kitchen. My Grand-Ma would not have been that understanding or accommodating.

• You are right. We keep certain hours. In order to avoid any last minute surprises to our guests, these hours are very precisely specified on our website both in English and in French. If these hours are not convenient, it is easy enough to make a reservation elsewhere or to try and find a compromise beforehand at the time of reservation as we have done before.

• May we respectfully remind you of the fact that ours is a private home, a family house with its own habits and its own rhythm of life. Unlike hotels or motels, we welcome people in our own intimacy without any paid employees at the ready 24 hours a day, and if some adjustments are necessary on our part, it is also true that some adjustments are to be expected on the part of our guests. We might suggest that, perhaps, the choice of Chambre d'hôte over a hotel or motel was not a wise one.

• We are puzzled about your comment regarding our closing time. The midnight hour did not seem to bother you in the least. You went to bed straight after dinner. Why speak on behalf of others who have not expressed themselves and were back home around 11:30 PM?

• At the risk of repeating ourselves, we will say again that we are not a restaurant or a cafeteria and we don't brew fresh coffee, one cup at a time according to people's awakening time. We don't provide a continuous service to our guests.

• Please allow us to say again that our breakfast is offered free of charge. It is a gift. It is not compulsory. We invite our guests to enjoy our continental breakfast with homemade preserves, crusty bread, toasts, and fresh coffee or tea at the time we offer it. Since it is free, those who rather lounge in bed and not partake can choose to go to the village bar and pay for a cup of coffee later.

• We feel certain that we can count on your fairness to recognize that you were served piping hot cups for breakfast. Here again we are puzzled about your intervention about someone else who did not complain about anything.

• Unfortunately, it happens, very occasionally, that some guests might mistake our home for a hotel and mistake us for a server, a waiter a maid or a butler. Accordingly, some of them act with what they consider the appropriate lackadaisical or condescending behavior
We feel exceedingly uncomfortable being treated like servants in our own home. We see ourselves as a welcoming family sharing some time in our life with perfect strangers who are all potential friends in the making.
We are fully aware of the fact that the amenities we propose are not those of a grand Hotel. However, we have often been told that our enthusiasm, friendliness, personal care, warmth and availability are priceless. It is all in the spirit of a Chambre d'Hôte as we see it and we love it that way.

• Please, may we remind you of the fact that we are not a supermarket, and we are not a Best Western. Mark ups on beverages are set freely in France. However, we provide our guests with a detailed price list. It is up to them to decide whether or not they want to order anything. We never force consumption. Free tap water was available too.

• Just for reference, if our 1 1/2 liters bottle of water costs 6 Euros, the pizzeria down the road charges 4 Euros for half a liter. Any comments?

• Along the comparison line and in a spirit of fairness, wouldn't you agree that in France, supermarkets do not provide service extending to water being brought to guests in stem glassware with the enjoyment of a comfortable armchair or sofa to lounge in the living-room, under pine trees or in a veranda to sip their chilled water in a fairly nice setting? Drinking lukewarm water straight from the bottle on a car seat or in a parking lot does not have quite the same feel, does it?

• You are absolutely right we do not provide cups of coffee at will for free. Not at dinner time and not at breakfast time either. Kindly agree that after having dinner in a restaurant or ordering a cup of coffee in a bar, you are not likely to get any free second or third helpings.

• Undeniably, you have travelled a lot since you hopped through 12 places in 17 days. You spent one night with us. If you stayed in other Chambres d'hôtes, you might have noticed that each is different and each has its very own style.
We regret deeply that our own way of doing things did not suit you. We would have liked infinitely better to hear from you while you were still in our home, smiling face to smiling face, and thus give us a chance to talk over friendlily about whatever might have chafed you or inconvenienced you. We do not have the pretention to be perfect but we aim to please our guests and we sincerely try to learn from each comment or critique.

• We respectfully need to emphasize that we do not have "rules". However, we live our own life in our very own private home in our own way with our personal habits, our everyday rhythm and our specific style. Unfortunately, there can be, sometimes, some sort of disappointment if guests are determined to "import" and impose their own habits, customs and time table. That type of expectation (which we can fully understand and respect) is more suited for a hotel or a motel, or a resort or what we call a "gîte" in France.

• We have some difficulty understanding how we were "over priced" since all prices ranging from the room rate to the meals all the way to beverages (and the ill fated bottle of water) are all either published on our website or on the menu card we provide our guests. We give all our prices ahead of time so that none of our guests will be faced with any surprise. We consider that it is a question of honesty and fairness. If our amenities are too onerous, maybe another place would have been more in equation with the proper level of budget.

• We assure you that we find it totally desolating that you did not have a "relaxing stay" in our home. We can fully appreciate that the circumstances of your quick "stop over" in our home (about 15 hours total) could not be a leisurely happening: arriving past dinner time, having to undo suitcases in a hurry for just one night, taking a bath, adjusting to the non-smoking situation, and passing inspection of "the park in need of tending ", all that took time and we do understand that it did not contribute much to what could have been nonetheless a relaxing "stop over".

People closing their car door with a big smile but with a heart full of disappointment and rancor is, for us, a distressing sign of unfulfilled expectations which we find very saddening and could have been avoided.
At departure time, we love to see our guests with broad thankful smiles of happiness and sometimes with tears of sadness at the idea of leaving us and our home. Hugs, kisses, photos and waving arms all the way down the road turn are the usual fare. It fills us with joy, and that is what keeps us going !

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Additional Information about Chateau de Quarante

Address: 25 avenue du Chateau, 34310 Quarante, France
Location: France > Occitanie > Herault > Quarante
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Quarante
Price Range: $93 - $130 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On the outskirts of a Medieval village, this 19th century small Château, nestled in 9 acres park, is ideally located to let you discover the unspoiled beauty of Languedoc.Sandy beaches, rugged mountains, fortresses, vineyards, abbeys and much more, all within a short driving distance. ... more   less 

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