After a swift 25-minute taxi or drive from tiny Beziers airport, its hard to know who'll be more excited as the first view of the rolling grounds, beautiful limestone turrets and glistening infinity pool of the magnificent Chateau les Carrasses sweeps into view. Will it be grown-ups, who'll be chomping at the bit to check-in at their sleek and stylish new home, or mini-guests who'll be totally enchanted by the Disney-esque fairytale castle exterior. Whichever it is, there's little doubt that the initial surge of excitement is unlikely to fade.
This chic yet family-friendly chateau was treated to some serious investment in 2011 and now boasts 28 luxurious self-catering apartments and former grape-pickers cottages, some with private pools, a kid-friendly but foodie's paradise of a bistro, a cocktail bar, glamorous boutique, clay tennis courts, electric bikes, gourmet picnic service, room-service meal delivery and a kids clubhouse (open to guests in high summer only) with supervision in summer. That's not to mention the stunning communal infinity pool, boules pitches, beach volleyball court and glorious 10-acres of grounds, which guests are encouraged to roam using the bikes and picnic service provided. Junior guests aged 4 and over love the outdoorsy approach of the summer holiday kids activities that are based in the kids 'HQ' but mainly involve exploring the grounds and have been designed by co-owner Anita O'Hanlon, a trained child pschologist, to be a refreshing alternative to the 'sit and bead or draw' approach of some kids clubs.
Although the accommodation is self-catering, great food and drink is high on the agenda at Les Carrasses, not least because Languedoc native, chef and former producer for TV's Food Network, Anne DeRavel is at the healm in the kitchen. Her enthusiasm for the region, which has recently been gathering quite a reputation for some of France's best wines, is obvious in the menus of the funky bistro, as well as the in-room dining with delicious plats du jour, pizzas, BBQ and picnic packs, all based on fresh, seasonal produce from local artisan suppliers.
Being so close to the airport, itself only a shot hop from the UK, Les Carrasses is perfect for an indulgent weekend break, but its stylish and well-equipped accommodation will have most guests hankering to stay much longer and, with so many places to explore in the region, whether the sights and sounds of Carcassonne, Montpellier and Marseille, or the beautiful coastline, two weeks is easily filled. Every suite, apartment and villa at Château Les Carrasses is spacious and luxurious, making the most of the impressive dimensions and original features of the 19th century buildings. Each property is individually interior designed, though all share a chic French take on tradition-meets-modernity. Beds are large and comfortable and bathrooms have large tubs and/or showers, comfortable bathrobes and Fragonard toiletries. Living areas offer wi-fi, flat screen TV/DVD, and iPod, fully charged with carefully selected playlists. Every property has a fully-equipped kitchen, and all are air-conditioned and heated. Washing machines ae provided in all apartments except the chateau suites and attic apartments. Most of the properties have sunny private gardens or terraces with BBQ, outdoor dining areas and sun loungers. Many also enjoy private heated pools.
Accommodation Overview - Le Grand Salon:
Booking requests from this page will secure the stunning and spacious (128m square) 2-bedroom Le Grand Salon, the most impressive of the Chateau's suites. Those looking for less space, a private outside terrace, or a private pool should see our listing for the other accommodation here
Originally the Château's two main reception rooms, Le Grand Salon is a magnificent luxury apartment with splendid views from huge picture windows over the pool terrace to the Vineyards beyond. The ground-level, single-storey, apartment has a huge kitchen/salon with a host of period features and gorgeous bespoke furniture. The master bedroom is also vast, complete with free-standing bath and a separate shower room. Luxurious accommodation for a family of four of two couples with a baby/child.