de Saint Michel de Lanès
in the southern France sunlight, the Château de Saint Michel de
is a gem of 18th century French architecture. The perfectly
façade adorned with sculptures ~- the goddess Athena is among
women keeping watch over the entrance ~ welcomes guests with its warmth
The honey-colored family residence under a shiny new slate roof is the centerpiece of a leafy park and at the heart of the village of Saint-Michel-de-Lanès. The château's appeal is enhanced by its excellent location between Toulouse and Carcassonne ~ only minutes from the Canal du Midi and an hour's drive from either the Pyrénées or the Mediterranean beaches. Guests are welcomed by direct descendants of Comte Alexandre César de la Panouse, an ardent defender of the young American democracy who was decorated with the Order of Cincinnatus. Your host and hostess and their three sons have as their hearts' desire the perpetuation of this wonderful Franco-American friendship. They will introduce guests to the charms of the French countryside so enjoyed by Thomas Jefferson during his cruise on the Canal du Midi ~ the medieval villages, the vast Lake de Ganguise, quiet river banks and the wild, wind-swept hills ~ allowing them to experience a truly enchanting vacation.
The evolution of the château is noteworthy beginning as the home of the village lord in the middle ages. In 1796 it became the elegant home of Arnaud Ardenne, a ship owner born in Saint-Michel-de-Lanès and who fought for American independence. Under the reign of Henri IV, it was a 'maison de maître', finally becoming a château during the reign of Louis XVI. Catherine de Médici, the Comtesse du Lauragais, made a gift of the sculptures adorning the façade of the château. Bas reliefs decorate the château walls ~ fauns, gargoyles, garlands of flowers -- all accentuated by the bright Occitan sunlight.
Today, it is the peaceful home of the Viscount and Viscountess , Vincent and Alix de la Panouse, a young couple who has transformed the château into chambres d'hôtes worthy of the most particular guest. Fine paneling, marble fireplaces from Italy or from the Minervois, oak parquet floors, paintings and beautiful tapestries complement the interior spaces. Three spacious en suite guest rooms await you ~ one of which has a sitting room and is in the round tower. English gardens and well tended lawns under ancient cedars, secret paths and romantic ponds create an atmosphere of peace and relaxation for those who wander the grounds. Guests appreciate the spacious interconnecting rooms of the château with their gold leaf embossed ceilings; two salons are decorated in the manner of Marie Antoinette with careful Neogothic restoration. Reading materials are at the disposal of guests, and one of the family's sons plays Beethoven sonatas on the piano at nightfall. Share in conversation and an apéritif with your hosts as they provide advice for enjoyable activities in the region.
The village of Saint-Michel-de-Lanès, a few minutes' walk from the château, surprises visitors with its impressive houses and many lovely gardens lining its lanes, while the Château de Saint Michel de Lanès will capture your heart with its gentle and romantic aura.
**Book your reservations at this beautiful château at the top of this page.**
2 doubles - 1 twin: Beatrix de Die (twin) with en suite bathroom €
139 per night for 2; one double Chambre Comtesse de Catherine
en suite bathroom (bathtub, shower and WC) € 139 for 2 people;
one double Chambre Bertrand de Born € 129 for 2 people.
Small lunches served in your room on porcelain and silverware.
Dinner is not offered at the château but excellent restaurants are 100 meters walk in the village of Saint-Michel-de-Lanès or nearby in Mazères, Villefranche de Lauragais, Saint Félix, La Pomarède, Toulouse and Carcassonne.
Arrival: from 5 to 7 PM if possible; otherwise, please let owners know.
Deposit: Total due upon making reservation. Cancellation policy: postponement of the stay for up to one year from start date of canceled reservation.
French Etiquette lessons offered including table settings, dinner conversation, French cultural customs.
Dogs permitted if very calm, as there are cats on the premises.
Car park in village 50 meters from château. No parking on château grounds.
All Year except from December 25 through January 2.
From Paris, A 10 autoroute to Orléans, then the A 71 to Vierzon, then the A 20 just south of Montauban to the A 62 direction Toulouse. At Toulouse take the A 61 direction Castelnaudary, but exit at Villefranche de Lauragais Exit No 20 (30 kms southeast of Toulouse). After the "péage" turn right at the roundabout and right again at the T-junction, direction Gardouch, Nailloux, Auterive. After 1 kilometer, turn left after the bridge across the Canal du Midi (Gardouch lock) direction Mirepoix, Salles sur L'Hers, and St-Michel-de-Lanès (this is the D625). When you arrive at St-Michel-de-Lanès, make the first left turn, direction Barrage sur Ganguise. The château is first on the left after the bridge across the River Hers.
- Carcassonne Salvaza or Toulouse Blagnac
Car Rental Toulouse (click here)
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Chambre Barronne Aiceline
Suite Comtesse Catherine