Sept 24-26, 2013
After a thrilling visit to the Grotte Niaux and a tour of Mirepoix, we found our way here in a remote region of Ariege and in the village of Camon. Katie and Peter Lawton has taken on the ambitious task of renovating an ancient abbey into a upscale hotel. Much of the abbey still remains to be restored, but the hotel part appears very authentic and leaves enough to the imagination of the 12th c Order still walking the wide corridors while we are asleep.
A big problem, here more than other hotels, is the lack of a lift. The twisting stone staircase is tricky to negotiate with the dim lighting (if you remember to turn it on). The steps are pie-slice shaped and cannot be taken casually. You should ask for the lower floor rooms.
Besides the dim lighting, there are few other significant niggles. My wife found a used Q-tip in the corner under the shower curtain next to the wall. Though gone the next day, a thorough housekeeper would not allow this to happen. Another important failing was the extremely poor water pressure through the shower head. The water just dribbled over the face of the shower head. I had to hold the handle of the head and let whatever water fall on me. I had two terrible showers. One other thing was a desk lamp light that would go on and off inexplicably.
On the positives, the room was very large with a large comfortable bed. The dinner at the hotel was like eating in a medieval castle room with a huge fireplace and a stuffed boar's head. The 5-course dinner at 42€ was tasty and very satisfying. We did not try the 18€ breakfast.
The village of Camon is tiny with only a sundry shop selling coffee, pastries, and groceries. No other shop seemed open except for the home of a very kind and hospitable couple, Paul and Cassandra Einstein. Within their house, she runs an artist studio and gallery.
This was an experience ones needs to try once in a lifetime.
- Also Known As:
- l`Abbaye Chateau De Camon Hotel Camon