Château de Gudanes, France

Château de Gudanes, France

This article appears in Vol
22: The Design Issue

signing up to one of the inspiring
at Château de Gudanes, located at the foot of the
, you’ll not only sleep in a fairy-tale castle,
you’ll also help to rewrite the story of this magical place by
lending a hand in its ongoing restoration.

First built as a fortress in the 13th century, the château
became a fully functioning castle in the 18th century, when it was
nicknamed “the king of the Pyrenees”. After many decades in a
derelict state, an Australian family came to its rescue five years
ago. When Karina and Craig Waters from
stumbled upon Château de Gudanes it was love at first

The continuing Château de Gudanes story is a family affair with
a modern twist of collaborative consumption. It is a labour of love
in every sense.


The Château comprises of 93 rooms – restored one at a time by
owners Karina and Craig Waters. Tiles from the 18th century have
been sourced for the bathrooms, underfloor heating has been
installed in some parts of the building and the castle now counts
nine refurbished bedrooms as well as two kitchens. When night
falls, guests must find their way by candlelight.


Petit-déjeuner is taken at your leisure.

How about lunch and dinner?

Guests help out in the kitchens, working alongside the chefs and
using local ingredients to craft communal banquets and countryside

Is there a bar?

The house boasts a well stocked bar of house wine, house spirits
, house beer and non-alcoholic beverages. Regional wine tastings
and lunch time aperitifs are common place here.

Within a short distance you’ll find?

Visit the medieval walled city of Carcassonne and promenade the
ancient stone-paved thoroughfares. Explore the picturesque village
of Albi or Mirepoix and on Sunday morning stroll to the market in
the nearby village of Les Cabannes.

Things you should know…

A stay at the château is only possible when you book one of its
workshops, which host up to 16 participants for three, five or
seven-day retreats. Themes range from flea market hunting to a
patisserie course aptly named Château-Gâteau. One local lady gives
yoga classes, while another organises horseback riding. Workshops start
from £1,550