I would rate the Chambres d’Hôtes Tour Sainte Cecile excellent (even outstanding) because of the property itself, the location and the host. In our years of travel, this has to be ranked as one of our most unique and enjoyable experiences because you really felt like you were swept back to the 16th century with the brick residence and its setting in the old city.
We stayed in the spacious and elegant Suite Sainte Cecile which was on the main level. The suite was elegantly decorated with more high-end, period furniture, tapestries and high beamed ceilings. The bed was comfortable and we both slept well. The bathroom situation was bizarre in that each function (sink, shower and toilet) was squired away into a different area. I guess I just accepted the fact that the home was not originally built with modern bathrooms in mind. While okay, I think the views were better from some of the other rooms.
I spent some time talking to Bertrand, a very kind and accommodating host who was originally an optician. Bertrand who is single inherited the family place from his father, a famous eye surgeon who treated celebrities including the Pope. Several years ago he decided to turn it into a B&B. Bertand’s sense of humor cracked me up. Once I realized that he is absolutely the French equivalent of Mr. Bean, I was able to engage him in some very amusing dialog.
A note of caution, if you are not adventuresome, this place is not for you. Access is extremely challenging, particularly if you have large suitcases which we did for a month’s vacation. Because there is no car access, you must park some ways away in the Cathedral car park. (Make sure you park in the free spaces.) Within the building, you will have to navigate through narrow corridors and numerous steps. But for me, these challenges were well worth it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the centre of Albi, some rooms have panoramic views of Albi Cathedral and city centre. Chambres d'Hotes la Tour Sainte-Cecile has uniquely-decorated guest rooms, which are all air-conditioned. Each is equipped with a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. ... more less
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