Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Le Trésor

Rates per night from$129.20

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR113.64), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Boutique bed and breakfast

Setting

Rural Pyrenean foothills

Named for the treasure once rumored to be buried somewhere in this vintage Aude countryside maison de maître near Mirepoix, hotel Le Trésor could be turned upside down and reveal nothing but airy rooms, crisp linens and rustic furnishings. But the real gem of this little boutique property might be the tree-shaded terrace garden in one of France’s most unspoilt wine regions.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A glass of sparkling Blanquette de Limoux wine for each guest

Facilities

Photos Le Trésor facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Four, including one suite.

Check–Out

11am, but guests can linger longer in the house itself if they wish. Check-in is 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $129.20 (€114), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates for all rooms (except for self-catered cottage La Petite Maison) include Continental breakfast. You can rent the whole house on a self-catering basis.

Also

Le Trésor is an ideal base for weekend hen parties, and runs a variety of activity programmes, from the strenuous to the soporific, including husky-sledding, skiing, and rafting.

Hotel closed

January–March (but you can book the whole house during this period).

At the hotel

Library, free WiFi in the central area (rooms 1–3), laundry (€10 a wash). In rooms: Egyptian cotton linens, Ren bath products. A TV can be added to rooms on request.

Our favourite rooms

Room 1, the two-bedroom suite, is the hotel’s largest, with a generous main bedroom and two day-beds; it’s also the only one with a freestanding roll-top bath. The two-bedroom Petite Maison is suitable for small families.

Packing tips

Bring your skiing gear if you’re visiting in winter – the slopes of the Pyrenees are just half an hour away.

Children

This serene stay is best suited to couples; up to two little Smiths can stay in the Petite Maison cottage.

Eco‐friendly

Food is locally sourced and largely organic. Everything that can be is recycled and the hotel composts plant matter where possible.

Food and Drink

Photos Le Trésor food and drink

Top Table

Breakfast alfresco at one of the bistro tables in Le Trésor’s lush and leafy terraced gardens.

Dress Code

Loose and leisurely.

Hotel restaurant

Breakfast is particularly special, with fresh fruits, yoghurts, muesli and warm, fluffy croissants from the village boulangerie. Three evenings a week, Jules the owner prepares delightful three-course dinners; this depends on how many guests are dining so a day's notice is advised. Dishes are usually Mediterranean in style, with a little British influence; the menu changes frequetly, but previous meals have included smoked trout with mustard dressing, home-made pea and mint soup and wild mushroom risotto with parmesan crisps. At guests' behest, grazing boards piled with local delicacies can be rustled up in the evenings, and in summer the owners will happily lend their Lotus grill to guests – with a supply of meat, two salads, potatoes and a dessert – for a barbecue.

Hotel bar

The honesty bar in the lounge is packed with local vintages, soft drinks and spirits. There’s plenty of books and magazines to leaf through, and a pool table on hand too.

Last orders

Breakfast runs from 9.30am to 10.30am, and dinner from around 7.30pm to 8.30pm; however, both times are flexible and the owners will try to accommodate late and early diners.

Location

Photos Le Trésor location
Address
Le Trésor
20 Place de l'Eglise
Sonnac-sur-l'Hers
11230
France

Planes

The closest airport is Carcassonne, 50 minutes from the hotel; Toulouse is an hour and 15 minutes away.

Trains

The closest train stations are Limoux (25 minutes) and Carcassonne (50 minutes). For information on trains in France, SNCF (www.sncf.com) has times and ticket prices.

Automobiles

The hotel is in the village of Sonnac-sur-l’Hers. From Montpellier or Toulouse, take the A61 (from Montpellier, you’ll start on the A9), exiting at Bram onto the D4. At Pruille, take the D119 4km to Fanjeaux, where you will need to take the Chemin du Moulin, continuing south for almost 30km before you reach the D16 (head east), which will take you to Sonnac-sur-l’Hers after 1.5km. There’s free parking.

Worth getting out of bed for

The mediaeval city of Carcassonne is about 50 minutes away and a day exploring its fortified walls and pointed towers can be eye-opening. Also mediaeval, but much smaller in scale, the beautiful village of Camon is just 10 minutes from Sonnac-sur-l-Hers, and its Celtic neighbour, Mirepoix, is well worth an afternoon wander. An English couple own the vineyard at Domaine Begude, which produces some fine whites and rosés. Tastings can be arranged. The owners can help you arrange white water rafting, canoeing, canyoning – even sky-diving– in the nearby area, and there are two freshwater lakes less than 10 minutes' walk away that are great wild-swimming spots.

Local restaurants

Sonnac-sur-l'Hers is a tiny place, so gourmets are best taking the trip to Limoux, Mirepoix, or Carcassonne for restaurant dining. 12th-century Mirepoix is laden with birstros serving local specialities such as duck confit and cassoulet, and the Relais Royale hotel on rue Maréchasl Clauzel offers particularly scrumptious French inventions. In Limoux, you can sample the world's first sparkling wine, Blanquette de Limoux at the Hotel de Moderne et Pigeon on place du Général Leclerc, which also does divine south-eastern French cuisine in what was once a Carmelite monastery. Michelin-starred Le Parc Franck Putelat in Carcassone is an ever-reliable lunch spot. At Domaine Gayda, near Limoux, you can hire your own hut and have a barbecue for you in the middle of a vineyard.

Reviews

Photos Le Trésor reviews
Jake Knowles

Anonymous review

By Jake Knowles, Intrepid advertiser

The roads are deserted: no evidence of a soul – not a single car or face behind twitching shutter. We’re ambling through parasol tree-lined roads, precarious winding mountain bends and deafeningly silent hamlets toward Le Trésor in Sonnac-sur-l’Hers, Languedoc-Roussillon. The sun beats through the roof and, for a few moments, we are Alain Delon and Brigitte Bardot, the song is ‘On Days Like These’ and the car a convertible Mercedes Pagoda.

Sonnac-sur-l’Hers is a spellbinding village with just 128 residents. Hidden from the prying eyes of passing cars is a bijou church square. As we cross this charming stone timewarp to the hotel, a green-shuttered maître de maison spanning a row of houses that comprises one side of the thoroughfare, an old man who is possibly the last living member of the Resistance stares out at us from behind an antique doorframe.  

Classic, enormous and very smart, Le Trésor is a luxury boutique B&B that’s imbued with traditional French character: all white walls, polished dark wood and faithful antique pieces. A tall, cheery thirtysomething Englishman strides round the corner and shakes my hand. ‘Hullo I’m Will,’ he says. ‘My wife Tilly is in the kitchen feeding our son.’ The pair moved from London to pursue the Gallic dream in 2005 and their Year in Provence became a lifetime.

Will shows us up to our suite – the largest of Le Trésor’s four guest dwellings – where the living room alone is bigger than our London apartment. ‘The ceilings are so high that they probably have to change the light bulbs from the floor above!’ Mrs Smith remarks. We walk past the living room with its ethereal Florence Broadhurst-style floral prints and original marble fireplace, into the second bedroom-cum-dressing room with its old-school desk overlooking the square and through a third set of double doors to the largest space of all – the master bedroom, where the light casts a halo onto the room’s centrepiece: a giant freestanding bath in all its glory. Mrs Smith squeals and runs around the walk-in-wardrobe giggling, clearly trying to figure out where to put all two pairs of shoes. It’s a crisp, clean vision of rustic elegance with views extending over the village to the hills.

After a well-deserved siesta (when in the South of France, eh), Will shows us the dining room and the comely honesty bar. You just have to remember to jot down how many bottles of native Languedoc Rose you have consumed. Easier said than done…

We are offered dinner in the garden. Manicured and experimental with a fresh herb garden and a young vine weaving through the fairy lights, overgrown trees shadow the sun loungers and a hammock swings under ancient branches shielding the mountain horizon. Everything feels magically old. A lone table is set in this private nirvana for a mesmeric four-course organic dinner courtesy of domestic goddess Tilly, rich with the heady flavours of L’Occitan and infused with herbs from Le Trésor’s garden.

Mountain walks in the surrounding Pyrenees lie just half an hour’s drive away (during winter you can ski right into the square) and each July the Tour de France whistles by the house. The next morning’s breakfast is pitch perfect. We feast on valley-fresh figs and sliced peaches, yoghurt, honey, pressed apple juice, baskets of croissants and granite-strong black coffee. If that doesn’t wake you up, the chiming of the church bells should.

We drive to Chalabre, a picturesque village with a castle and obligatory Provençals in blue, who drink pastis and carry long baguettes. It holds a dolls’ house-like market whose mainstay seems to be the local tablecloth. Round another precarious bend we see the stretching blue calm of Lake Montbel. Locals sun themselves and children splash in the waters. We sit at a café to shield ourselves from the blistering sun, and realise that if we were cleverer, or indeed even more romantic, we would have purchased a picnic at the village and one of those blessed tablecloths, and spent the afternoon lolling by the lake.

Instead we head for nearby Mirepoix. Driving has never been more glorious: the only other vehicle a huge combine harvester that refuses to notice us, sending us swerving into the sunflower field. Thankfully, staring into the faces of a thousand ochre blooms reaching for the scorching sun is a fun detour.

Arriving at Mirepoix, we turn the corner into the square and can’t believe our eyes. All the buildings, wooden and mediaeval; rows of stalls selling marionettes colour the paths and the place is heaving with sunblushed hippies smoking roll-ups. We have, as Mrs Smith proclaims, ‘the best moules-frites ever’ as we watch this enchanting world go by.

That night, Mrs Smith sleepily announces that the bed is too small and in a room this size it should be much bigger. It should, in fact, be large enough for 10 people. Sweet dreams ensue.

And then, all too soon, the morning sun peeks through the aged shutters and we realise it is time to leave for the fairytale castle town of nearby Carcassonne. The breakfast slows us down and we revel in the Sunday morning stillness.

Will and Tilly join us to say goodbye and it seems as if we have been here for a week. Before we set off, Mrs Smith asks, ‘Why Le Trésor?’ There is a local myth, Will says, of a treasure hidden during World War II somewhere in the house. Indeed, much like this entrepreneurial pair, we feel that in finding Le Trésor we have struck gold.

This review refers to the hotel's former owners, Will and Tilly.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Le Trésor’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Thank you Mr & Mrs Smith for leading us to this absolute gem! We had THE BEST time at Le Trésor. It is a beautifully decorated haven of calm. John and Jules are fantastic hosts, amazingly warm and welcoming and full of great ideas for places to visit. Brilliant breakfasts and their sharing platters are a real treat. We loved our visit and have already recommended it. Would love to revisit sometime.

Don’t expect

Nightlife.

Rating

Stayed on 30 Sep 2018

We loved

Everything about it… the beautiful bedroom, the tasteful decor, delicious food and friendly hosts. Great location to just be.

Don’t expect

Wild nightlife!

Rating

Stayed on 11 Aug 2018

We loved

This place is just amazing, the decor was first class: French rustic mixed with top quality bedding, bed, bathrooms and products. The evening grazing board for 30 Euro was simple but delicious and enough for two. Jules and John were very welcoming and have obviously worked hard to get this place to where it is. You can serve yourself drinks from the Honesty Bar which is a great idea with good quality wines. Breakfast out front was simple but fresh and delicious. Definitely have a swim in the local river if you can. Well done to you both and thanks for a memorable stay. 

Don’t expect

I'm struggling to add a negative here.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Jun 2018

We loved

Le Tresor is just perfect. It's a gorgeous country house beautifully renovated and now run by the delightful Jules and John, who are the loveliest and most attentive of hosts. We had just two nights there and only wished we could have stayed longer. Sitting in their sunny garden with a book and a glass of wine from the honesty bar the stresses and strains of 'real' life just melted away. Breakfast is served (when weather allows obviously) at small tables set just outside the front door overlooking the pretty old village square. A lovely way to start the day. One evening we went out to a restaurant in the gorgeous nearby town of Mirepoix which J&J recommended (and was very good) but on the other we had their platter of meats, cheeses, bread and salad in the garden and that was delicious and such a nice way to pass an evening without having to get the car out. Our room was gorgeous too – I imagine they would all be as everything in the house is just lovely. And to give you an idea of how kind and solicitous our hosts were, Jules heard my wife coughing and so kindly prepared some hot water with cloves, lemon and honey for her at bedtime. Thank you Jules and John. Le Tresor is just lovely and you are the perfect hosts. We had a lovely meal at L'Autre Jardin in Mirepoix. Mirepoix is a gorgeous little town to wander around anyway with lots of eateries. Jules and John will happily give you their recommendations.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Jun 2018

We loved

The history, style and decor of the house and the friendliness of the owners; the lovely setting within tiny village square; hiring bikes and cycling to the nearby medieval village. Mirepoix is a lovely medieval town about 15 mins away with stunning architecture and great places to eat. We tried Le Commerce and Le Saint Maurice – both excellent. Hire bikes from Le Tresor and cycle along the disused railway – which is now perfect for walking and cycling – past fields of corn and sunflowers. Lots more to explore than we had time for.

Don’t expect

Nightlife – this is somewhere to really escape.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Aug 2017

We loved

Our room (room 5) was spacious and beautifully decorated, the garden was lovely (it even had glow-worms at night!) and the location was perfect for discovering this part of France (you'll need a car). We had a grazing board on our first night which was delicious, and loved the restaurants recommended by Jules and John (Le Tresor's owners) – L'Autre Jardin in Mirepoix and Domaine Gayda in Brugairolles. Speaking of Jules and John, they were so friendly and helpful! Would thoroughly recommend Le Tresor – it is indeed a treasure!

Don’t expect

To want to leave.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Jul 2017

We loved

Beautiful interiors, incredible hosts and delicious food. Wine tasting and lunch at Gayda is definitely worth the visit!

Don’t expect

To be able to do much without a car, this area is quite remote.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Jul 2017

We loved

The excellent customer service and attention to detail; the honesty bar; the delicious breakfasts with home baking; the tasteful and uncluttered decor; and the garden with relaxing seats. Lunch or dinner at Domaine Gayda vineyard. Visit Abbaye de Fontfroid.

Rating

Stayed on 30 May 2017

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