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“Amazing Wedding Venue”

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Chateau du Puits es Pratx
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 23, 2012

A huge thanks to Tim, Sasha and their team for putting on a fantastic wedding for us - it exceeded all of our expectations.

The Chateau is a stunning setting for a wedding - we had the ceremony in the vineyard and then the breakfast around the fountain in the courtyard. Accommodation on site, both in the main house and in the cottages, was perfect (and great for a long weekend) and there is really good accommodation in the village for the remaining guests (that can all be arranged by the Chateau).

Plenty to keep people entertained as well - pool, table tennis, badminton, boule....or you can just sit on the terrace, soaking up the sun and drinking the local beer and wine.

Food was of an EXCELLENT standard for all 4 days - wedding breakfast and canapes were amazing but a special mention to the Friday buffet and the Sunday BBQ. Despite the last report on here, there was a LOT of food as well....most had 2nds and some had 3rds on the Friday and Sunday.

Wedding day was perfect and went very smoothly - Tim & Sasha (and Stephanie) worked extremely hard to make the day as relaxed and stress free as possible. They provided everything from the music to a babysitter for the evenings. Sasha does a great job with the flowers / decorations and you can pick the flowers from the suppliers the day before the wedding.

Very reasonably priced as well - Sasha worked with us to ensure we kept to our budget and beer, wine and champagne are all really nice.

If you're thinking of getting married in France then i'd thoroughly recommend Chateau du Puits es Pratz to anyone - very easy to get to for a long weekend to visit and see for yourself (we drove down the first time....takes about 10 hours from Calais).

Thanks again, unforgettable experience.

Richard & Melissa x

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Richard121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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77 - 83 of 210 reviews

Reviewed September 19, 2012

After our experience many of the previous reviews astound us. Whilst the location is undoubtedly beautiful the service provided by this rival to "FaultyTowers" was terrible.

First the accommodation. The room was grubby. Towels were not changed once in four days and the curtain covering the bathroom and supposed to offer privacy was wholly inadequate. The wall next to the loo was liberally covered in what appeared to be bogies and snot and was quite disgusting.

Food. The meals served were sub standard lacking in choice and grossly overpriced. There was a standard charge of €22 for adults and €11 for children. However, there was no children's menu provided and from our experience there were many children who survived the four days on junk food.

Service was slow and the meals were seved as if in a canteen queue. The fod was often undercooked and it was clear therevwas simply not enough to adequately feed the number of guests who attended. The wine was also well overpriced and was warm and from a box! This was very dissapointing when one considers that the chateau is located in one of the finest wine producing regions in France.The staff even stated that they provided gourmet standard food. This was a gross exaggeration of the actual position.

At the farewell BBQ the food was of a reasonable standard. However, the 22 euro price was advertised as for two courses. The staff attempted to fob guests off with their interpretation of this as salad and meat all taken at the same time. I assume there were complaints as guests were then served the previous nights croque en bouch together with left over camembert! Miraculously the staff were able to produce French fries despite the fact that the previous night when requested for children the response was we don,t do chips!

It is clear the whole place is run on a shoestring and simply does not have the resources to effectively provide a reasonable level of service. For example, at the wedding breakfast, the most important meal of any wedding, the last guest to be served received their food one full hour after the bride and groom! No champagne had been poured for the traditional toasts and this resulted in a delay of over thirty minutes whilst the glasses were filled. The response of the owner was that no one had asked for the champagne to be poured. This from a supposed experienced organiser of such events ! He should have been on to this and checked with the bride and groom.

Whilst on the subject of incompetence and lack of forward planning , whilst guests were actually sat at the wedding breakfast it was with utter desbelive that the the owner was seen balanced precariously on a high set of step ladders hacking a branch from a tree with a long pair of shears, dangerously positioned over young children. This was to facilitate the placing of Chinese lanterns over the seated guests. He then proceeded to string the lanterns out over the guests as they ate! I understand this was an extra paid for by the bride and groom. In any event the sight of the owner fumbling and stumbling over placing out the lights was a sight to behold. If it had not been so important an occasion it would have been comical and more suited to a circus.

The pool. The pool deserves a special mention. The water was cloudy and dirty. There was a broken piece of decking with jagged edges that was potentially very dangerous. I know of at least one guest who was injured by the broken wood. This very dangerous and obvious health and safety hazard was not dealt with and this fact says much about the standards employed by the owner. For some time a light in the pool was left dangling on the end of an electric wire. Although this was pushed back in at the end. However, I am not sure if this was done by the owner or a guest.

Summary. To be fair to the owner I believe there were some positive aspects of the experience. The location is wonderful and I believe the arrangements for the actual wedding and photographs were carried out quite well. However, I believe the disadvantages far outweigh any positive aspects of what's offered. Anyone considering using this place to have their wedding blessing would be well advised to avoid it and try somewhere else. In a nutshell, they simply do not have the resources to cater for an average wedding party and there seems to be an unseemly desire to take the guests for all they can.

How so many people wrote so many good things is a mystery and my advice is check this place put very very carefully before you allow "basil" to take control of your big day.

Room Tip: I simply would not go
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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25  Thank Travelleruk186470
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mouscat, Owner at Chateau du Puits es Pratx, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2013

If a guest has a really bad experience at any venue, it would be expected they would complain to the Management at the time so any issues could be dealt with at once. If we are to believe what this reviewer has written, she stayed through 4 days of being so uncomfortable and disgusted with almost everything, and yet prefers write about it anonymously afterwards. As partner to the Bride’s Father we would have expected a complaint from the Bride herself but we did not. In fact quite the opposite, the Bride and Groom were thrilled with their weekend and thanked us very much.

With all Wedding groups the Bride and Groom choose the accommodation in which to place their guests. In this case the reviewer was allocated an apartment originally designed for disabled guests and which is wheelchair friendly. It therefore has no door between the bedroom and bathroom but a large curtain for easy access and nowhere is there any mention that this is “supposed to offer privacy”.

All our accommodation is cleaned to a very high standard and if this guest had any issue with cleanliness they had only to mention it one of our team and it would have been dealt with immediately. If there was something unpleasant deposited on the wall next to the loo we can only wonder if it may have been left there by one of the other occupants staying there at the time because all walls and floors, particularly next to toilets are washed and disinfected after each stay. Complaints after the event from anonymous sources are impossible for us to redress.

Towels are changed in the Chateau bedrooms every 2 days and with all self-catering accommodation they are changed on a weekly basis as is standard anywhere. If any guest request towels within that time frame we will change them in goodwill but for Wedding groups staying over 4 days this is an unusual request. If MsOrton had requested a change of towels we would have happily supplied them.

With regard the comments on Children’s food, the reviewer was obviously unaware that a range of children’s menus are in fact offered to the Parents of all children under 10 years. These are a choice of pastas, meats and sources that most children adore. On this occasion as the main meal was being plated and served a specific request was made by the Mother of one child who refused to eat anything except chicken nuggets and chips. In the middle of cooking a gastronomic feast for 90 guests the Chef cannot be expected to fry chips for one child.

With regard to the comments regarding the wine served, indeed the chateau is located in one of the finest wine producing regions in France. We are very lucky and it is wonderful to be able to provide superb quality wines at a reasonable cost. Unfortunately on this occasion due to budget restrictions, the Bride and Groom chose to give their guests boxed wine which, unlike a bottle, cannot be placed in an ice bucket at the table when served in a pichet.

The criticism levelled at us for a delay in serving champagne for the speeches was due to a last minute change of mind by our Client. To open 15 bottles of champagne and pour it into 90 glasses takes two members of staff at least 15 minutes. They in turn had to be taken off other serving duties and then take the glasses to each table. We provide all Wedding couples the opportunity to choose options such as this, months before their Wedding and it had not been chosen.

We are always very happy to find solutions and say yes to specific requests where possible and had this request been made in advance we could have organised the staffing to deal with it. Luckily I always keep a surplus of Champagne and wines in stock and on this occasion it was served as quickly as it was physically possible. I think it unreasonable to be criticised for following our Clients wishes.

To be as successful as we are, with over 23 Weddings in 2013, we have to be open to constructive criticism and urge guests to talk to us while they are with us if they have an issue about any aspect of our venue or service. This is so that we can deal with it immediately as we cannot promise to resolve problems after customers have departed.

This reviewer clearly has agendas and revels in making personal insults about me, and the way we run our business. I believe in this case it tells us more about the writer than what actually took place. Many of her comments could be taken seriously if not libellously if it were not for the fact that we have so many pleasant and genuine reviews, including praise and thanks from the Bride and Groom at this Wedding.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2012

Dear Tim and Sasha
thanks a million for making the 4 day wedding weekend of our son Richard and daughter in law Melissa so wonderful - from the minute we arrived on thursday 30 August until monday 3 September you made the whole experience briiliant - from the continuous michelin star food provided by Sasha and her team to the never ending care and attention from Tim and his team and the very comfortable accommodation in the Chateau ( and in the various other locations the lovely Stephanie arranged for the family and friends ) and to the evening music and entertainment ( some of it liquid ! ) you were great - and Tim's photos are quite exeptional
we have been married for nearly 40 years but the weekend tempts us to get married again at the Chateau ( of course to each other ) !
thanks again - and we hope to visit again before too long
very best wishes
Mike and Christine Arundel
xx

ps we very highly recommend a wedding weekend at Le Chateau - it wa such fun and one of the best weekends of our lives , much helped by Tim and Sasha

Room Tip: have a room in le Chateau
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank mikearundel_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

I recently got married at the Chateau and my husband and I had the most amazing time. I know all of our guests did too as they keep telling us! I know lots of our guests want to go back to the Chateau and many have fallen in love with this part of France. The area is so laid back, stunning scenery, weather with great food and wine. Celebrating our wedding at the chateau and in Ginestas was unique and an experience we will treasure. My husband and I wanted to have our reception outside, so the UK was ditched pretty quickly as a venue given our recent rainy summers, we love France, we got engaged in France and the venue is a few hours away door to door with flights. it is the perfect setting for a party with accomodation on site or in the village for all guests. Having visited the Chateau and the church 18 months ago, we both knew instantly it would be pretty special and most importantly it would be the wedding we wanted. Getting married abroad I expect takes more organisation than at home e.g. you are much more involved in on site accomodation/room planning and it's a bigger comittment from guests given flights, but it is so worth it, especially as you have a few days with all your guests not just your wedding day. Tim, Sasha and Steph work so hard on making the whole weekend perfect and nothing was too much trouble when you were there. They went beyond the call of duty. The food was amazing each night, Sasha organised all the flowers,we just provided the colour scheme and they were first class. Tim was also our photographer, he took hundreds of photos. He knows exactly where, when and how to take the photos. We would highly recommend him. We had a band on called Zia on the wedding night, and they were superb. We also got married in the village church which is a seven minute stroll from the chateau. St Luc church looks like nothing from the outside, but is spectacular inside as they always are in France. There is also a fab pub next to the Church, which is really friendly and serves great food too. My husband, best men and ushers had their pre-ceremony food and drinks in there. You must take in the village and surrounding area of canal du midi, it is delightful. It is lovely to feel we can't wait to go back and celebrate our anniversaries for many years to come.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
Thank boydymanchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

We have just returned to the UK after 2 beautiful weeks staying in Monet Cottage at Chateau du Puits es Pratx. Such a relaxed environment with the attentive hosts & helpful staff in an area of France we have fallen in love with. 2 super evenings with live music & glorious weather. We will be back.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Natasha R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

Since the moment we walked through the timeless gates into the quaint rustic courtyard we were absolutely taken over by the magic of the chateau. Then we met Sasha, Tim, Stephanie and the team and didn't want to ever have to walk back out. The shabby chic, original french venue is perfect for those looking for a homely, personal and relaxed atmosphere. Beautiful shots with every snap of the camera wherever you are on site, be it the vineyard, front lawn, courtyard or in the 'maison', food to die for and traditional authentic bedrooms and accommodation which are very comfortable. We had such a wonderful time and everyone is looking forward to the next time we go back. If you're looking to have a wedding here - you don't have to worry about organising it being far away, it's all looked after.

Room Tip: any - from complete floral coated french rooms which are HUGE to cute old wine cottages beautifully...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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Thank stenhouseholes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2012

My husband and I (still love saying that!!) got married at the Chateau in May. It truly is a great place to have a wedding. We had the best weekend of our lives and all our family and friends had a great time celebrating with us.

The Chateau and its surroundings are gorgeous. During the weekend we were able to use the Chateau to its full potential. We had all our family staying in the Chateau and all the accommodation onsite. In addition, we had a family meal in the Chateau on the Thursday night, a buffet dinner for all our guests in the courtyard during the evening on the Friday. On the Saturday, the wedding reception took place in the vineyard, the drinks reception in the formal front gardens and the wedding dinner in the 'Cave'. We also had a BBQ on the Sunday afternoon in the courtyard. As you can see the Chateau really offers a great setting for a variety of different events during the weekend.

The food during each meal was incredible. Sasha and her team do a fantastic job making some really yummy food and it is impossible to feel hungry during the weekend!

As 'wedding organisers' Sasha and Tim really allow you to plan a wedding weekend of your choice. Within reason, we were able to select our own itinerary for the weekend, our own menus and absolutely nothing was too much trouble. They are both great at making some fantastic suggestions and really know how to make the weekend work seamlessly. They organise everything from coach transfers to meals and drinks to the flowers, the celebrant, the decorations, the music... You name it - they do it! Both Sasha and Tim really ensured that our weekend was a success - they are amazing!

The accommodation is great as it allows you to have everyone either onsite or very close by. The rooms in the Chateau are beautiful and all the surrounding cottages / apartments onsite all have small kitchens and lounges allowing your guests to have some independance and provide a great opportunity to have all your family and friends close to the celebrations.

We chose Tim as our photographer and he took some great shots and we had Ruairi as our DJ who was also great - he had everyone dancing all evening!

The flowers looked incredible - again Sasha did a great job making the Chateau look even more beautiful.

Chateau du Puits es Pratx has been the topic of conversation with all our family and friends over the last month and we are so happy that we chose it as the setting for our wedding. They created our dream wedding for us and we are so grateful.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank 366MrandMrsM366
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chateau du Puits es Pratx

Address: 40 avenue du Minervois, 11120 Ginestas, France
Location: France > Occitanie > Aude > Ginestas
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Ginestas
Price Range: $103 - $107 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This is a wonderful Napoleonic Chateau in Southern France run by English owners as a private & friendly hotel with additional self-contained cottages to rent. Superb food, a heated pool, Wine or Cultural Tours and Creative courses are offered including Cooking, photography & Painting. It provides a unique holiday experience for anyone, from individuals to large groups. Situated in the beautiful Languedoc region it is surrounded by stunning scenery in a calming & tranquil setting. ... more   less 
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Chateau Du Puits Es Pratx Hotel Ginestas

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