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“The old castle !!”

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Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Couiza
Certificate of Excellence
Chester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“The old castle !!”
Reviewed September 21, 2009

This was a very charming hotel and you very much knew you were in an old castle when you saw your room. I have just a few criticisms and they start with when you arrive (we stayed during August). We felt that we should have been shown to our room, as it was a complicated route and were instead, given a map of the rooms with arrows showing us which way to go. Also the steps up to the rooms in the turrets are very worn and can be slippy and I suspect could be fairly dangerous for those not too firm on their feet or in heals.

The room was very very small and the bathroom must have been the smallest I have ever seen. Although everything you wanted was there except a bath. We had evening meal in the hotel on two nights of our three night stay, it cost 55 euros for the set menu per person which as it turned out was the most expensive we had all holiday. I am vegetarian, so it was good to see that there were a couple of fish dishes I could eat, but if you don’t eat fish, then you will have problems. The meal was very good and the setting very nice and peaceful.

I felt this hotel was over priced really with the size of the room, but I expect there’s not too much can be done in an old castle. There was free parking outside of the hotel. The breakfast was good and the staff attentive and very pleasant.

The hotel is in the town, so there are a few restaurants within walking distance if you didn’t want to eat at the hotel.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Pollie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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384 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Stockport, UK
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2009

One of those things you've just got to do once. Well worth paying for a turret room - straight out of the history books. The parkland by the river was lovely, and the food was excellent.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JohnWoodford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 6, 2009

My husband and I were married at Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse in June 2009 with 80 family and friends present. We couldn't have chosen a better venue in every respect: the castle provided the fairytale backdrop, the amenities were exceptional and the staff very friendly and helpful.

From the time we first visited the castle (approximately a year before our wedding) to our special day we were treated with courtesy and respect. Planning our wedding from abroad couldn't have been easier with Dominique and her staff providing prompt replies to our constant email queries and organising everything from the florist to the hairdresser and so much more. Our unusual requests were catered for without question and nothing was too much trouble.

We are delighted to say that if we had our wedding day again there is nothing at all we would change. Everything was perfect!

If you dream of the fairytale wedding, Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse would be hard to beat.

  • Stayed June 2009
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank AandIMc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2009

We stayed at this Chateau in mid-July '09, towards the end of our three-week trip to France. While quite nice, we do not feel that the 165 Euro rate was justified, given the very small room we were assigned. We may have been a bit spoiled by our stay in another Chateau near Carcassonne the night before, where we had a much, much larger room, and bigger bathroom, for 120 Euros.

The Chateau here has been nicely restored, consisting of four exteriors walls that hold the rooms, and look out on a central courtyard where you can eat or drink when the weather cooperates, which unfortunately wasn't the case. Our room was terribly small, probably the smallest we had on our vacation. The bathroom was functional, with a shower enclosure (which we had requested, as opposed to a bath, which is also available) and lots of hot water and pressure. The bed was very comfortable, and the hotel is very quiet at night. There is also a pool near the back.

Other than the ambience, the best part of the hotel is probably the restaurant, where the chef specializes in French Haute Cuisine. Very nice experience is you've never tried it. Service was outstanding. Be warned, the price also reflects it! However, in Couiza, there is little else to choose from, so, if you don't want to leave town, be prepared to eat there. Breakfast was so-so, again, like most hotels in France, on the expensive side. The indoor bar is very special, inside the base of one of the turrets. There is also a covered outdoor bar.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jeanlap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huddersfield
Level 6 Contributor
205 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2009

A perfectly formed and restored castle, tastefully decorated rooms and enough space between everything. An excellent base for touring the countryside but not cheap. When we arrived we were told the restaurant was not operating that night but they had booked us in a restaurant nearby. (They had sent us an e-mail to warn us but since we were on holiday were obviously didn't receive it but full marks for trying). When we did use the restaurant it was excellent and well worth it.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank StefanMark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London UK
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2008

We stayed there for four nights in August 2008.

It's in a strange location within the town - you arrive and park next to what seems like an indistrial warehouse - but don't let that put you off. When you get inside it's classic mediaeval castle, with very worn stone staircases - not much good for wheelchairs or gammy legs. The bedrooms and wardrobes are pretty small (especially if you are used to US standards), but the character of the place is fantastic.

Food was also wonderful - really inventive and interesting. You could survive perfectly happy on all the freebies - amuses bouches, and sweeties. Veggies are catered for, even if dishes are not on the menu - you only have to ask.

Beware the birds flying overhead. There are copious umbrellas in the outdoor courtyard dining room - these are not just to protect you from the sun!

Staff are also great - very helpful and nice, and speak good English.

There are some lovely walks from the hotel - up into the hills along lanes and paths. We did one that was about 7 km. And the sea is about an hour and a half away by car. Nice beaches at Leucate and St Cyprien - and pretty drive through the mountains to ge there if you want to avoid the autoroute.

  • Liked — Food, character and ambience
  • Disliked — immediate environment - very different in charcter
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank crazymango
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
204 reviews
138 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2008

I recently spent two weeks driving in SW France and Northern Spain and came to stay at the Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse in Couiza. I was contemplating between staying at this establishment versus the Hotel de la Cite in Carcassonne, but since this hotel costs about 1/3 of the price of that in Carcassonne, I thought I would give it a try.

A typical French chateau complete with turrets and drawbridge. The rooms are small, although sufficient. The staff is very nice and speaks excellent English. Nothing special about the food at the restaurant. There is nothing to do in the town of Couiza, and getting to the hotel was a minor challenge since the only signage was the one next to the entrance into town, and it took me several rounds driving around town to realize the chateau is hidden behind a football field and if you are not paying close attention (and your car is heading the right direction) you would have missed it very easily.

And as usual in similar type of establishments, you will need to drag your own suitcases up narrow/round staircases.

For a one night stay and a visit to the nearby (30-45 minute drive) Carcassonne, I think it is worth a try.

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Enjoys_Relaxing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse

Property: Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse
Address: Allee Georges Roux, 11190 Couiza, France
Location: France > Occitanie > Aude > Couiza
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Couiza
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse 3*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An imposing castle with a striking silhouette; a square building that opens into a courtyard, set in a lovely garden through which the river Aude flows. Built on the land of the Cathars, the castle bears the stamp of a place steeped in history. In the bedrooms of this 16th century listed building, a medieval atmosphere and modern comforts are skilfully combined. The same clever recipe works its magic in the reception rooms, the old chapel converted into a lounge and the dining rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chateau Des Ducs De Joyeuse Hotel Couiza

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