Chateau Les Carrasses

Quarante, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Book from GBP Book from £150 per night

Chateau Les Carrasses

Quarante, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Picture-perfect chateau with stunning food and self-catering villas for 2-8, set amid vineyards near the Canal du Midi; ideal for families

Picture-perfect chateau with stunning food and self-catering villas for 2-8, set amid vineyards near the Canal du Midi; ideal for families

Our jaws dropped as we swept up the tree-lined drive, through vineyards bursting with colour, to Château Les Carrasses – a 19th-century castle straight out of a fairytale. And this hideaway comes with a magical tale, too. It was built in 1886, at the height of Languedoc's wine boom, on the foundations of a pilgrimage rest stop. Over a century later it fell into ruin and lay abandoned for many years, before being rescued and completely transformed by Irish owners Karl and Anita.

Now, 30 self-catering suites and villas sit within the chateau’s original structure: bathrooms nestle in turrets, 3-bedroom villas occupy the former wine cellars, and the gardener’s cottage is a romantic retreat. Each has private outdoor space and is tastefully decorated with French antiques. There's also a heated infinity pool, a Mediterranean-style restaurant, and wonderfully warm staff full of local knowledge. Spend your days playing pétanque under pine trees and visiting Languedoc’s picturesque villages and markets, or drive 30 minutes to glorious sandy beaches. On top of being beautiful, this is one of the warmest regions in France, with over 300 days of sunshine a year.

Highs

    • The idyllic rural setting – 150 acres of vineyards, meadow and woodland, and the Pyrenees mountains as a backdrop
    • A relaxed ambiance but luxurious feel
    • Heaven for families with various sizes of accommodation (some have private pools) plus tennis courts, a mini-farm and a kids club in July and August
    • Bikes to borrow; pack a picnic and cycle along the famous Canal du Midi
    • Mealtime flexibility: you can self cater, eat à la carte in the excellent restaurant, grab takeaway pizzas or get meals delivered

Lows

  • Other than for the studio apartments, 7-night minimum stay preferred in peak season (July and August); shorter stays may be considered at the hotel’s discretion
  • Don't expect full hotel facilities such as a spa; this is a self-catering property with perks
  • You'll need a car to get here and explore the region
  • Some private gardens are overlooked
  • Popular in peak times so book ahead; if booked up try their sister properties Villas St Pierre de Serjac and Chateau Capitoul
World Favourite Family Hideaway

    Best rooms for families

    Various 1- to 3-bedroom villas, which can sleep a maximum of 8 people, all with well-equipped kitchens. A number have private pools and all (except the Suites du Chateau) have enclosed, private gardens.

    Parents should know...

    Steep steps in some properties; all private pools are alarmed but unfenced; terraces/gardens enclosed
  • Baby cots
  • High chairs
  • Stair gates
  • Potties
  • Baby baths
  • Baby monitors
  • Bottle warming

Some equipment may need to be requested in advance

On request

There’s a kids club during Easter week, spring half-term and the summer holidays for children aged 4-12, with a range of activities including pétanque, arts and crafts, acting and singing, visits to the mini-farm and pony rides

The brasserie has a kids menu. Private kitchens in the villas mean you can prepare meals and snacks throughout the day; note that the nearest supermarkets are a 10-minute drive away

  • Heated infinity pool
  • Tennis court
  • Bikes to borrow for the whole family
  • Feed the animals in the mini-farm (goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, rabbits, donkey and pony)
  • Volleyball court
  • Petanque
  • DVDs, books and toys
  • Safari park
  • Horse riding
  • Waterpark
  • Aquarium
  • Zoo
  • Fairground

Great for...

Family
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Chateau
  • 30 suites & villas for 2-8
  • Self catering, restaurant on-site
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Babysitting
  • Creche / Kids Club
  • Car essential
  • Parking
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Tennis Court
  • Bicycles Available
  • Electric car charger
Room:

Rooms

There are 30 self-catering suites and villas spread across the grounds, hidden between lavender, honeysuckle and jasmine, and amongst fountains. Suites occupy the main chateau and feel more romantic. They also benefit from traditional hotel servicing and incredible views across the vineyards. For honeymooners, we’d suggest the cosy and secluded gardener’s cottage (La Maison du Jardinier), hidden at the edge of the property, with its own pool and beautiful sunsets.

Within the former wine cellars, blacksmith’s quarters and stables, you find a mix of 2- and 3-bedroom villas. Some have a private pool or Jacuzzi; all have gardens or terraces. Our favourites were the atmospheric villas in the old wine cave with incredible views towards the mountains and mezzanines perched atop wooden beams (Les Maisons de la Cave). We stayed in La Maison des Vendangeurs – we found it light, bright, well-equipped and very spacious with plenty of outdoor space to relax and eat together as a family. Well-soundproofed doors and walls coupled with blackout shutters meant good night's sleep for everybody.

Décor is chic throughout, blending modern comforts with original features and bespoke local handicrafts. Expect vintage prints of mushroom varieties, ancient wooden chests and gilded mirrors.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Bluetooth sound system
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe box
  • TV
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

All suites and villas have state-of-the-art kitchens, equipped with every gadget you need to create a feast. Mouth-wateringly fresh produce is available at the local markets.

The Mediterranean-style restaurant and terrace is a relaxed place for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the morning, a long table heaves under a spread of fresh pastries, cheeses and meats – we couldn’t stop eating succulent figs from the estate. Lunch was a delight, too: pea soup topped with burrata, followed by grilled sea bass. For dinner, choose à la carte dishes such as pan-fried scallops with chestnut velouté or try the chef's tasting menu. We washed everything down with a bottle of the chateau’s Syrah. Perfection.

If you prefer to dine in the privacy of your accommodation, all meals can be ordered to take away. In summer, there's a pizza delivery service and barbecue packs are available. For a change of scene, there are wonderful restaurants in the surrounding villages, including Capestang, which is 5 minutes by car or 15 minutes by bike through the vineyards.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee maker
  • Full kitchen
  • Kids' meals
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Welcome hamper
Eating:
Activity: Beziers

Activities

  • Laze by the infinity pool with a book and soak up the views
  • Work up a sweat: the chateau has a pétanque court, a clay tennis court and a beach volleyball pitch
  • Enjoy a wine-tasting afternoon. There are hundreds of vineyards close by; try St Chinian, Faugeres or the Minervois
  • Borrow bikes and explore the chateau’s 10 acres of vineyard, meadow and woodland
  • Take a trip along the picturesque Canal du Midi - either by barge or kayak
  • Explore the Languedoc region: we’d recommend trips to hilltop Minerve, colourful Sète and seaside Gruissan
  • The gold-sand beaches at Serignan and Portiragnes are a 25-minute drive

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Boat trips
    • Cycling
    • Historical sites
    • Kayaking
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Walking
    • Wine tasting

Best Time to go

Both early summer (May and June) and early autumn (September) are beautiful – the weather is warm and the area not too crowded. Wine connoisseurs, take note; September sees the region’s grape harvest so is a great time for winery tours. We visited in October and found complete peace, but temperatures were cool and we had a few downpours. If possible, avoid July and August as prices rise and restaurants are often fully booked.

Our Top Tips

  • Take a book and a glass of wine to the orangerie. It’s a magical hideout full of plants, books and sofas.
  • Make a trip to the coast: we had the most blissful day at Gruissan taking long windy walks along the beach and feasting on our French picnic while overlooking the lagoon.
  • Kid Friendly:

    Location

    The Château Les Carrasses estate lies between the villages of Quarante, Capestang and Puisserguier in the Languedoc region in southwest France. It’s 30 minutes from both Béziers and Narbonne.

    By Air:
    The largest and best-served airports in the region are Perpignan (85km), Montpellier (95km) and Toulouse (165km), but nearby Béziers (33km) also has an airport. You'll definitely need to hire a car to get here as there's no public transport to the hamlet.

    By Train:
    If you'd prefer to travel overland from the UK, there are good services to Montpellier. If you're coming from London and your train is not direct, change in Lille (a platform change) rather than Paris (a station change).

    Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

    More on getting to France and getting around

    Airports:

    • Béziers Cap d'Agde Airport 33.0 km BZR
    • Montpellier-Méditerranée Airport 95.0 km MPL

    Other:

    • Beach 30.0 km
    • Shops 3.5 km
    • Restaurant 3.5 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 11 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    10/10
    Room
    8/10
    Food
    10/10
    Service
    9/10
    Value
    9/10
    Overall

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