October 18, 2004
Le Montmorency is run by a welcoming young couple and their two extremely mellow dogs, a yellow Lab and a Husky, usually found snoozing somewhere in the reception area. The small, cozy reception area always seems to have a few guests passing through or partaking of the free Internet service. There are 35 rooms total, 15 in the main building and 20 more in an annex across the street. My room was in the annex, which has its own comfy if rather airless and stuffy lounge area complete with soda machine. Despite being located adjacent to the main gate to La Cité, the hotel was very quiet.
My room in the annex, costing €69 per night, would have been close quarters for a couple – I practically had to turn sidewise to walk around the bed, and there was only room to lay out one suitcase – but it was fine for a single person. The room was outfitted in that intense orange color so popular in southern France – the same eye-popping shade as those old VW Bugs used to be. The room had a comfy bed, a rather stylish desk, wonderful air conditioning, a safe, and a TV with an English-language station. The white-tiled bathroom was, ironically, quite spacious, with a very roomy shower, a well lit vanity area, and a broad tiled shelf where you can lay out your toiletries.
A standard continental breakfast of rolls, croissants, and hot beverage (tea, coffee, or chocolate) is served in the bar, which is far more appealing than it sounds since the bar features lovely walnut furniture and glass doors looking out over the hotel’s attractive terrace and heated pool and up to the city walls across the street. If you’re traveling alone, as I was, you’ll likely end up at a table with a few other travelers – I met a very pleasant older Danish couple who were on a hiking vacation.
If you crave a room in La Cité, your options are limited. If money is no object, stay at the classy, marvelously located Hotel de la Cité, with rooms beginning in excess of €200 per night. More reasonable is the Hotel Le Donjon Les Remparts, with rooms starting around €100 per night. Alternatively, there is the trés affordable and highly regarded Youth Hostel. But whatever your choice, book early, because all tend to fill up in the summer.
From journal The Medieval Walls of Carcassonne