We chose this simple hotel for a one-night stopover during a long drive from Carcassonne to San Sebastian, as it's fairly close to the autoroute. We found it from the Logis de France website; it looked promising both there and from its own website.
So it turned out! This hotel may be small and simple but it is a little gem, well worth the detour from the A64/E80 (access from junction 17). Nestier is quite remote and finding our way needed careful map-reading, complicated by several Route Barree signs, a frequent experience in rural France. Without those navigation would have been simple.
We arrived rather early (mid-afternoon) and the hotel gave no sign of life, though we didn't try very hard to attract attention, preferring to use the time to visit the nearby Grottes de Gargas. This was an interesting and worthwhile tour in which the guide was kind enough to add an English commentary specially for us. The hotel was open on our return and "Madame" showed us to our room, a simple, fairly basic but nice double on the first floor, with a small en-suite shower room. The old-fashioned bedstead had wooden headboard and footboard and a sprung base, but it was comfortable with a good, firm modern mattress. The Castera caters for romance as only this kind of French hotel can.
The glory of this place is the food; it's not an exaggeration to describe it as excellent. Menus are quite simple but everything is based on good ingredients prepared and cooked with skill, There's a strong emphasis on local specialities. It's fantastic value for money (we paid 66 euros for our room and breakfasts, and 78 euros for our dinners). Breakfast was good with freshly baked bread and freshly made croissants.
Although it was smaller and less architecturally impressive, the hotel had similarities with the Hostellerie du Grand Duc at Gincla and reminded us of it.
A longer stay here would be justified as there is stunning mountain scenery and every kind of hill activity from walking to climbing in the Pyrennees just to the South.
We might just go back for some of that!