“London meets Languedoc at this hip hideaway in the hills south of Carcassonne”
The house's original features - an elegant bannistered staircase, pannelling and marble fireplaces - are pepped up with a racy cocktail of contemporary prints and fabrics, jazzy chandeliers, angular lamps and whirly art. But if the decorative attitude is edgy, that of your hosts Jules and John (who took over in 2015) is engagingly laid-back. You're encouraged to treat Le Trésor as you would your own home. Grab a glass of rouge from the honesty bar, slip on some music and slump into one of the battered armchairs: this is boutique B&B where R&R comes guaranteed.
- It is exceptionally good value
- You couldn't hope to meet more friendly, more helpful hosts
- Excellent dinners on request, using locally sourced produce
- Sonnac is well off the tourist trail, yet an easy drive from some of Languedoc's prettiest villages and only an hour from Carcassonne
- Petite Maison, next door, is a self-catering cottage ideal for families with young kids or a group (sleeps 2-4)
- Set-menu dinners are only available 3 nights per week and local restaurants are a drive away
- There's little to see or do in this workaday little village - and no shops - but that's half the attraction, and the surrounding hills are beautiful, with views of distant Pyrenees
- Expect to hear passing traffic as well as the comings and goings of the other guests
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Guesthouse
- 5 rooms, 1 cottage for 2-4
- Breakfast (+ dinner on request)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Concierge Service
- Bicycles Available
Le Trésor has 5 rooms ranged along the building's first floor. All are high-ceilinged with an airy, expansive feel, which provides a perfect canvas for jazzy headboards and Farrow & Ball walls. A mix of contemporary prints and oil paintings enlivens the spaces, while eye-catching chandeliers, angular lamps and Jo Malone candles lighting side of things just right. There are antique trunks and old armchairs plundered from the local brocantes. Planked floors, cornicing and marble fireplaces remind you that you're staying in a genuine maison bourgeoise.
Our leader-of-the-pack would be Room 1, a massive suite that has an emperor-size bed, a free-standing roll-top bathtub and a spare bedroom/dressing room. Room 5 is also stunning - a romantic bolthole with a large freestanding bath, 'Italian' shower, and stylish living area.
In the remaining rooms, showers take the place of baths. We stayed in calm and comfortable Room 4, the largest, and were charmed by the feature marble fireplace. Whitewashed Room 3 can be made up as a twin or double, and smaller Room 2 has a lovely antique armchair beside shuttered windows overlooking the square.
All rooms have really comfy mattresses and crisp Egyptian cotton bedding, and in your bath or shower room you're treated to a generous range of L'Occitane products.
Next door, self-catering 2-bedroom Petite Maison opens onto a flagstoned sitting room with kitchen corner, comfortable sofas and a wood burner. French doors open onto a private, south-facing garden with iron furniture and sun loungers. Upstairs the main bedroom has views to the hills, and an ensuite with twin basins, bathtub and separate shower; the second bedroom has a small ensuite shower.
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- Honesty bar
It's always nice to come across a place with a genuine commitment to buying local and organic produce. Get your Languedoc day going with an excellent breakfast, served in the high-ceilinged dining room which looks out to the Place de l'Eglise, or out in the garden when the weather is right. Delicious local apple juice as well as mille fleurs honey comes from the village whilst your bread, pains aux chocolat and croissants are brought oven-fresh from the local boulangerie. Expect a fresh fruit salad or a smoothie, creamy yoghurt, homemade jams and Nespresso coffee.
Set 3-course dinners are normally available 3 nights a week, depending on how many guests are interested. On our first visit, the hosts prepared us a scrummy supper in the fairy-lit dining room: an entrée of chicory, roquefort and pear salad, followed by magret de canard served with creamy mashed potatoes and roasted root veg, then a dessert of lemon posset. On our second visit, we ate in the garden - equally magical, with a sweet potato and feta tart; poisson with parmesan and buttered courgettes followed by a chocolate and almond cake with blueberries and crème fraîche.
Grazing boards and summer barbecues are also commonplace, but on evenings when dinners aren't being served, you'll only need to jump in the car. The nearest place to eat is 3km away in Chalabre, where you can choose between a simple pizzeria or the rather more staid Hôtel de France. If you're happy to drive a little further, Mirepoix has masses of restaurants, including the excellent L'autre Jardin.
If you're staying in Petite Maison, you can self-cater or eat in the guesthouse on request. Bear in mind there are no shops in the village so it's best to stock up on the way here, but you'll receive a welcome hamper with a selection of local produce (for bookings of 1 week+ only). The kitchen is small but has a double hob, oven, kettle and fridge, plus loads of crockery. In the summer, fire up the barbecue; help yourself to fresh herbs from the garden to complement salads.
- Coffee / tea making
- Dinner by arrangement
- Organic produce
- Vegetarian menu
- Follow way-marked footpaths out from the village or head off for a day's hiking or skiing in the Pyrenees
- Get on your bike: this region is very popular for cycling, with the Tour du France passing right through the village. The hotel can organise bike hire in advance of your stay
- Spend a day in Carcassonne making sure to get going early in summer if you want to beat the crowds. The medieval walled Cité is a Unesco World Heritage Site, as is the stunning Canal du Midi, which used to link the Mediterranean and Atlantic
- Shop for a picnic in Mirepoix, then head up into Cathar country to visit some of France’s most beautiful bastide towns and ruins of spectacular fortresses
- Swim in the lakes at Puivert or Montbel; both are ideal for families with younger children. There's also wild river swimming across the lane from Le Tresor (Jules will provide swimming towels)
- There are two 18-hole golf courses within an hour's drive, or the hotel can arrange horse riding, kayaking and fishing expeditions. You can waterski, windsurf and sail at Montbel
- Wander the backstreets of Camon, one of the region's prettiest villages. It's just a 10-minute drive from Le Trésor
- Follow a spectacular gorge down to the Mediterranean and discover the rare beauty of Collioures ; ideal for a day trip
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Shopping / markets
All ages are welcome in the Petite Maison, and the garden and village square are both child-friendly. There are plenty of places to go nearby with young children, and even the Med is under 2 hours drive away.
Family friendly accommodation:
Petite Maison is ideal for families with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen and plenty of privacy (though longer stays are preferred).
Babysitting available by arrangement
- A travel cot for use in Petite Maison only
- A high chair
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids Activities on site:
Kids Activities nearby:
- Swimming spots in rivers and lakes (2 shallow lakes within 10 minutes' drive)
- Bamboo park
- Bison farm
- Airport: 1 hour (Carcassonne)
- Shop: 5 minutes' drive
- Hospital: 20 minutes