My partner and I spent 3 wonderful nights in the beautiful village of Montolieu staying at the excellent Maison Rives. We were warmly welcomed by the very friendly host Cathy and shown to a very spacious and spotlessly clean bedroom with balcony overlooking the village and one of its gorges. The quality of fittings and attention to detail could not be faulted. The breakfast was of the same high standard with fresh croissants and fruit etc. and was a very pleasant experience chatting with the other guests and Cathy. I would not hesitate to recommend the Maison Rives as the perfect place to stay while exploring the Montagne Noire and Carcassonne.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Maison Rives, dating back to before the French Revolution, has a history as fascinating as Montolieu itself. The furnishings in all the rooms compliment perfectly the natural light pouring through the windows. Whether your view is over the bridge and the Alzeau Gorge or down a village street, all our rooms are spacious, light and airy and have en-suite facilities. Enjoy breakfast downstairs in the salon, where we can help you plan your day or find your way if you wish.We also propose diner and organise thematic courses :- Innovative cooking courses with regional, organic produce.- Walks and initiation in photography.- Training in calligraphy.Montolieu—originally Montis Olivis, or Mount of Olives—sits atop a rocky ridge separating the Alzeau and Dure Rivers at the foot of the Montagne Noire, welcoming its many admirers. Surrounded by Cathar castles, caves, abbeys, forests, rolling fields, clear-running rivers and lakes, this pretty village in the Aude region of France has an historical pedigree to match its natural beauty. Among its ancestors are Charlemagne and Colbert; the former founded the Monastery of St. Jean de Mallast in 800 AD; the latter, Louis XIV’s minister, established a Royal Manufactory that exported high-quality woollen cloth. In 1146, the Viscount of nearby Carcassonne fortified the village. It’s early inhabitants—those who weren’t nuns or monks—first made their living working the rich vineyards and olive groves; they also tamed the river torrents to run water mills, which powered highly successful textile and paper plants. As the times changed and ‘progress’ brought those heady days of success to an end more than fifty years ago, a community of more than 3,000 shrank to around 900. A book lover stepped in to motivate the modern-day renaissance of Montolieu as a book village—a village du livre. Today, the village is on the itinerary of many visitors every year. Non-bibliophiles, too, love the place, and are happy to leave their book-addicted companions to browse the shops while they indulge in the many outdoor activities afforded by Montolieu’s natural and historic wealth.Access:We are 15 miles from Carcassonne. Take the road towards Toulouse D.6113 then after crossing the village of Pezens, turn right on D.38 towards Montolieu book village. We are located just opposite the tourist office next Stéphane library's "Ailleurs" and Nathalie's organic restaurant "Salon d'Ici". ... more less
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