Photos courtesy of Château de Belcastel
Tel: ++33 (0) 65 64 42 16
1 tower suite
Suite: 165–220 euros
Rates include breakfast
2-night stay required on weekends in high season
Open: beginning April until end of October
Belcastel is about 150 km northeast of Toulouse. From N88 continue on D911, right on D997, and right again on D285. The castle is in the middle of the village. The nearest train station is at Rodez; however, you really need a car to get around the region.
On site: swimming pool (in high season); castle tour
Nearby: hiking; mountain biking; canoeing; kayaking; rock climbing; Romanesque village of Conques; bastide villages of Rouergue
The Château de Belcastel is a special place. You have to imagine being the only overnight guests in a tower suite that overlooks one of the most idyllic and charming villages deep in the French countryside.
The castle belongs to an American couple, Heidi Leigh and Nicholas Leone, who have brought their expertise from their New York fine art gallery to this medieval architectural gem. Many of the restored rooms of the castle host revolving art exhibitions that are well worth a visit.
Everything you could want in a romantic hideaway is here: a drawbridge crossing over a moat, a private patio, and a 10th-century stairway that leads up the ancient tower to your suite.
On the first level you’ll find your living area, with a welcoming bottle of local wine, a leather sofa, small refrigerator, DVD player, and a wood-beamed ceiling overhead. On this level, too, is the bathroom, which comes equipped with a shower and a small tub.
Up a curved stairway to the second level is your bedroom highlighted by a queen-sized bed and antique furnishings. From the stained-glass windows are views across the Aveyron countryside, the village of Belcastel, and the drawbridge and moat.
As a guest of the castle, you’ll have free access to the rest of the property, the picnic grounds, and the seasonal swimming pool.
The village of Belcastel has four well regarded restaurants within walking distance of the castle, including one with a Michelin rating.
Armory collection and fine art gallery on site