We've stayed at La Châtaigneraie three times, and each time we felt like we were being welcomed home. The hosts are fantastic, the rooms are great, the views are amazing, and the grounds are lovely. Nice big pool and terrace, and benches, chairs, and tables around the grounds for a nice glass of wine as the sun sets. It's just a bit outside of Ceret, but on a lovely road high above the town. It's within walking distance of the city centre, but it's easy just to drive the 3 or 4 minutes into town, since it's uphill on the way back.
The mas is slowly being renovated and rejuvenated and is on the way to being turned into a yoga retreat, although the bedrooms are let for ordinary travellers as well. But, the mas is not only about yoga. There are llamas for trekking and walks in the area to be sampled. The mas being situated at 400 metres above Ceret there are tracks in every direction. You can ask Marian or Bill to take you into Spain if you want, it's not far (relatively).
The bedrooms are at a reasonable price and well laid out. The house is eco-friendly with hot water and heating provided by the solar panels in the garden. The llamas and goats in the fields just in front of the house make for a very bucolic setting.
Terrific laid back atmosphere and the views from the gardens are just superb. Nearly forgot....there's a swimming pool as well.
After our cheap and cheerful lunch at El Talle we went for a further walk around the town and some time later returned to the cafe and turned immediately right.
There at the back, all part of the same building, which we subsequently learned was the former home of the Archbishop Soubiran was the Hotel Vital and Restaurant El Bisbe.
It appeared to be closed but the doors were open and I went into the porch and hallway. I realised immediately that this was the back of the cafe El Talle and the cloakroom area I had visited.
Decorated and furnished in traditional Catalan style with colourful fabrics and furnishings it made an immediate appeal.
Although obviously open for business - menus were displayed along with room rates on the outside wall together with a 2* Hotel rating - there appeared to be nobody about.
Subsequent enquiries revealed that the Catalan artist Marc Fourquet had owned and run
it as a B&B with restaurant; other sources suggested it was now owned and run by English people.
A NY Tmes travel article spoke highly of it.
Certainly worth folloing up if your taste is for something different.
Place Soutine 4,
66400 Ceret, France
Phone: +33 (0)468 870085
We didn't stay here. We were over on the coast at Canet Plage. We were making a day trip to Ceret to see an art exhibit and walked past this lovely house. Later we discovered it is a highly regarded restaurant. They also have rooms that are quite reasonable and the location is an absolute dream. It is on Square Picasso in Ceret in the lovely Pyrenees Mountains of southwest France.
There is also a brasserie that is a bit less expensive.
The charm, peace and delightful location are major selling points. If you wanted to get away from it all and just relax, perhaps walk in the mountains, visit a few cafes, enjoy the local area, this would be a lovely place for a week of peace and quiet.
The hotel prices ranged from 62 to 140 euros per room (not per person). It's hard to note that on the VT Hotel pages since the default is per person.
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