We found Le Maxil and its bar and restaurant purely by chance, and were absolutely charmed by the excellent rooms and service and by the heartfelt welcome from its owners.
We were cycling over the Port de Lers in heavy rain. After nearly getting blown off the mountain we decided to head down the valley to Massat and try our luck for accommodation. For the cyclists, it was a very spectacular descent to Massat (even if we couldn't feel our hands and feet!!).
Le Maxil turned out to be a truly lucky find after our wet, cold ride. In spite of our be-draggled appearance, the lady behind the bar was very welcoming and cheerfully showed us a choice of rooms from the newly renovated building about 50 m from the bar owned by Le Maxil.
The rooms were very large, and had a small kitchenette. The bathroom had a fantastic shower, with a choice of rain shower-head, massage jets and hand held shower head (fun!). It also had a heated towel rail, and the room had a heater, which was very useful for our wet cycling gear. And while there wasn't a lift, the staircase was a beautiful wooden one, clearly old and lovingly restored.
Another note for cyclists, Le Maxil had a locked garage where we could safely store our bikes.
Once we were dry and presentable, we returned to the bar. It was a great experience, as it seems the hospitality of the owners of the bar is renowned to all the locals of the village too. So, we got to see the local villagers share a beer and chat before heading home to dinner. The same was repeated at breakfast the next morning, as a range of young and old came into the bar for morning coffee and pastry. It was actually a really nice insight into the local village, and while we were clearly outsiders, we did not feel unwelcome, especially by the owners of Le Maxil. In fact, they went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable.
Last but not least, our meal at the restuarant was one of the best we had in France (and just the best thing on a wet night - a very rustic, very tasty lamb casserole, and an amazing chocolate pudding - wow!).
So, if you are travelling through the Pyrenees, Massat and Le Maxil are well worth a visit, not only for the local scenery but for the local hospitality. Enjoy!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Maxil's Team is pleased to receive you all year long 7/7.The Kitchen is mostly made with local product, which gives you an authentic flavour in your plate.The establishment has been fully renewed and you will enjoy some very charming and cosy rooms. Very dedicated to the service, the team will try to make your stay as great as possible.To finish our partnership with local activites, in addition to have an excpetional site to enjoy nature sports. ... more less
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