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“Easter in Carcassonne”

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Best Western Hotel Le Donjon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 30, 2014

We flew to Carcassonne on Easter Saturday. The airport bus was parked outside the entrance doors to the airport and they are timed to leave 20 mins after the flight has landed. Easy transfer to La Cite Medieval - cost 5 euros each. We were dropped off at the car park near the Narbonne Gates and it only took a couple of minutes to reach the hotel. We were not expecting our room to be ready as it said 4 pm check in on the web site. However, we were pleasantly surprised that our room, number 24 in the main Donjon building was ready. We dropped the cases in our room, put the passports in the safe and headed out to enjoy Carcassonne.

The hotel is in a lovely spot you walk out of the reception and you are in the midst of this beautiful place. We had lunch in Place Marcou - it was very busy and then had a stroll round the Easter Market. The hotel is only about 10 to 15 minutes walk to the centre of La Bastide St Louis - which is the newer part of Carcassonne. We used to walk down over the Pont Vieux and there are some lovely views of La Cite from the bridge - if you go at dusk it is all lit up and you can get some fabulous pictures. We also recommend doing a boat trip on the Canal du Midi.

We found the hotel to be fantastic, the location is great and we didn't have a problem with noise. The reception staff are very friendly and helpful and a credit to the hotel. The porter who drives the little mini bus is really helpful too.

We had breakfast included in our package. The first 2 mornings it was great however on our last morning there, there wasn't much choice. We seemed to hit it at the wrong time as the breakfast room was crowded with a large group of tourists and there wasn't much choice of food to eat. I managed to get some cereal and yoghurt. My partner only managed to get some toast, which was a shame as we were travelling home. The food wasn't replenished while we were there and we waited around 20 mins. The lady in the breakfast room seemed to be on her own and rushed off her feet - this is what let the hotel down in my opinion otherwise I would have given it a 5 rating.

I was also impressed with the checkout. We decided not to get the airport bus back as we would have been at the airport for 2 hours - a quite a long time for such a small airport so we booked a taxi via reception - it cost 18 euros - well worth it. The porter took us to the edge of La Cite in the minibus and our taxi was there waiting for us - excellent service.

Really enjoyed our stay and would definitely recommend to anyone. Would stay at Le Donjon again. It's well worth paying a little extra to stay inside La Cite .

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank footiefan10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 28, 2014

This hotel is great value for money and is also in an amazing location within the cite walls. The photos on its website don't do it justice. We were offered a free upgrade and stayed in the main hotel. The room was a great size with good quality linen and was extremely clean. The bed was comfortable and the double windows ensured a quiet nights sleep. Tea and coffee making facilities were provided.
It was a bit odd that the bathroom had no extractor fan or window and the toilet room which was separate had no sink, window or extractor fan.
We had an issue one evening getting a drink from the bar however the measures were incredibly generous when we eventually did. Other than this incident the staff were extremely friendly and helpful.
The buffet breakfast was poor and seemed expensive at €13.50. We had it on the first morning and arrived at the dining room mid service. There was no staff member to welcome us to the restaurant. Some of the food choices seemed to be in short supply-one croissant, 2 small baguettes, 2 mini sausages and one portion of scrambled egg. The waitress who appeared rarely was very slow to replenish these and then only with limited supplies that wouldn't have been enough for everyone arriving for breakfast. The juice was watery and the coffee which was kept warming in an urn was poor quality. On other mornings we had breakfast at Pech cafe near the information office. Fabulous freshly squeezed juice, choice of croissant and marvellous coffee! Together with baguette and jam for €6.90
A free hotel shuttle bus picked us up from just outside the cite walls. A taxi from the airport was €16.
The walk into the new town was pleasant and not too strenuous. Good map from information office with suggested walks and cycles. It's easy to walk across the river Aude to the canal du Midi, taking in the various churches and free art gallery along the way.
We did find there to be far too many tacky gift shops in the cite. There are plenty of places to eat but the menus are mainly limited to the regional cassoulet, duck and tripe sausages with no vegetables altho we did find the fabulous Jardin de la Tour where the food, atmosphere and service were all excellent. Local wine is fabulous!
Overall a good stay and we would certainly use this hotel again.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank QueenPlum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2014 via mobile

Very clean friendly helpful service .
Large bedroom seperate bathroom and a seperate toilet. Comfortable bed .
Perfect central location , good breakfast, cant fault the hotel.
No taxi access to the town, hotel runs a shuttle service to the taxi.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
1  Thank hgslcb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2014

This hotel is clearly understaffed and cannot deliver the most simplest of services. The reception speaks poor English and cannot communicate politely. They cater to the groups over individual travellers. Don't make our mistake, stay somewhere else.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank SannK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BW_hotel_donjon, Propriétaire at Best Western Hotel Le Donjon, responded to this reviewResponded April 30, 2014

Dear Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to let me know about your feeling relative to your stay with us, which I read with much attention.
I have been told, as soon as you arrived at the reception desk, about the waiting time for the shuttle. It is true that meanwhile you arrived at the parking our porter was busy already with another customer. That is why my reception staff proposed you to wait for a while or to walk to the hotel, without your luggage. The hotel is at only 5 minutes walking from the parking. The luggage would have been transported in your room afterwards. But you preferred waiting for the shuttle. In order to compensate the waiting, we offered you a bottle of wine with a strawberry basket.
On Behalf our entire time, please accept our apologies again for not having giving you entire satisfaction this time I hope that you will consider staying with us again so that we can have another chance to provide you with a superior experience.

Yours sincerely
Hermine Pujol

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

At the Best Western Le Donjon there are the few eccentricities sometimes associated with staying in French hotels, like odd plumbing, an aircon that only pumps out hot air in April, and a rather unimpressive breakfast.

But the worst is an infuriating “new” wifi system that seemed to require almost constant re-registration and log-ins. (Why do so many hotels - everywhere - fail to get this facility working properly? In Carcassonne a café round the corner from our hotel required one initial log-in and then recognised my phone automatically every time I visited. Why can’t hotels do the same?)

That aside, this is a nice, well-appointed hotel with very good staff and is reasonably priced, considering it’s in the very centre of the medieval Cité, where you step out of the front door into a thousand years of history.

You also step into a warren of small streets and squares, where you’ll find everything from tacky souvenir shops, craft shops, newsagents and (thank goodness) a couple of Tabacs, along with an almost bewildering choice of cafés and restaurants, most of which are fairly good.

First on the list of must-sees is the tour of the ramparts. Don’t go on a guided tour, but instead find the man who rents out the audio guide handsets, who’s just inside the gates. They are just as good and give you the freedom to go at your own pace.

If you want to walk down to the “new” town, which is pretty old as well, be prepared for a long hike, especially coming back, or take a taxi instead. Wrap up well, as the Languedoc is known as the “country of the winds” and a blue sky and sunshine won’t protect you. It can become uncomfortably cold outside at night, too.

The “new” town gives you access to shops, restaurants and the railway station, where you can take day excursions to places like Toulouse and Béziers. Near the railway station, try the Bistro beside the Terminus hotel for lunch - it’s really very good.

To get to the medieval Cité in Carcassonne, we recommend taking a taxi from the airport, just a short ride, and this will deposit you at the front gates where a small shuttle bus will take you up to the door of the hotel. Don’t, whatever you do, attempt to walk up from the front gate with suitcases over the uneven cobbled pathways. You won’t win - take the shuttle instead.

OK, back to the Best Western. The hotel is actually situated in three different buildings. We can only vouch for the Le Donjon. The others are just a short stroll away. Is it a great hotel? No, but it’s good enough. And, let’s face it - you don’t come to a place like Carcassonne to spend all day sitting in your hotel.

Room Tip: Try to find a room where the window actually opens, in case you can't rely on the air conditioni...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank mazurka9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2014

great stay at a very well located hotel. the staff were very friendly and helpful - would not hesitate to recommend - the airport shuttle drops off and picks up just outside the old town (cite)walls - it's a short walk to the centre where the hotel is situated - we stayed in a room overlooking the garden it was fantastic - the hotels pictures do not really convey the tasteful decor it really is very good - we did not eat in the restaurant as there are so many restaurants in the immediate area - airport shuttle drivers extremely helpful as are local bus drivers - took a train trip to narbonne (Tgv) and did the canal boat tour - really good

Room Tip: Try asking for a room in the garden annexe
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank krystyn_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2014

The desk clerk was very helpful as we were checking in, and she provided some good options for dinner (critical as we were visiting during the low season and many were closed). The hotel was very nice--great atmosphere and architecture in the public rooms, and our private rooms were very luxurious as well. Breakfast the next morning was delicious as well. All in all a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kiki B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Best Western Hotel Le Donjon

Address: 2 Rue du Comte Roger | Cite Medievale, 11000 Carcassonne Center, Carcassonne, France (Formerly Best Western Hotel le Donjon)
Location: France > Occitanie > Aude > Carcassonne > Carcassonne Center
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Carcassonne Center
#3 Luxury Hotel in Carcassonne Center
Price Range: $119 - $214 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Best Western Hotel Le Donjon 4*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of the medieval city of Carcassonne, Best Western Le Donjon is surrounded by the city’s ancient ramparts. The hotel features a restaurant and bar. It is divided into 3 buildings. Free WiFi is provided throughout. The rooms are individually decorated and include a flat-screen TV. They overlook either the citadel or the hotel’s garden. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Hotel Carcassonne
Best Western Carcassonne
Carcassonne Best Western

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