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“friendly, but mixed gender showers/toilets, 20 minute drive from Carcassonne”
Review of Sidsmums

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Sidsmums
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level Contributor
160 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“friendly, but mixed gender showers/toilets, 20 minute drive from Carcassonne”
Reviewed 28 January 2011

The reviewers comments about friendly,clean etc are 100% accurate. We stayed in a chalet/hut. There is agreat distant view from kitchen window.Kitchen is adequate. Jan -owner- (British) is incredibly friendly & helpful. Supermarket / bakery 5 minutes walk, but open hours spasmodic. Jan warns people bus service unreliable.
All good except bathrooms !- you are requested to NOT use the inside bathroom before 9am to avoid waking inside guests, then outside bathroom in a hut are mixed gender with a flimsy curtain between shower booths. Very clean!, but im-modest.No hot water in basins - hot water in showers.
Just be cautious you are not 'stranded' in this place, there are NO sights in Preixan, waiting for transport unless you have a car. We did have a car, parking is easy, finding Carcassonne pay car parks is easy too.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Janellesteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pwareing, Owner at Sidsmums, responded to this review, 22 May 2012
As the new owners of Sidsmums Travellers Retreat, Hostel in Carcassonne we have installed new locking shower cubicles and supplied hot water to the laundry sink in the shower block. The Cabins are now NOT available in the cold winter months and all winter accommodation is in the inside Gite d'Etape (with a huge wood burning stove). The trip from Carcassonne to Preixan is under 10km and takes 10mins by car. There is a regular €1 bus apart from Sundays when most of France closes down. CONTACT US FOR A FREE LIFT IF YOU NEED ONE
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78 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 November 2010

Sidsmums is truely one of a kind. Since my first stay in June 2009 I have returned three times, which I think gives an indication of just how special the place is. Guests are made to feel at home from the moment they arrive, and have the freedom to relax alone or in good company. Hostels are great places for meeting fellow travellers and few places make it as easy to do this as Sidsmums. Jan, the owner, offers a welcome that is uniquely warm and friendly and encourages such a social atmosphere that it's easy to while away the evenings chatting and getting to know the other guests over meals and wine.

The location itself is stunning; a petit village surrounded by vineyards and only a stones-throw from the River Aude - a great spot for chilling out with some local vino and soaking up the sunshine. For those after a bit of culture, it's only a short drive/bus ride into Carcassonne - or a 45 minute bike ride for the more adventurous! Sidsmums is equipped with bikes and maps of the local area and Jan is a wealth of local knowledge and always on hand to point guests in the right direction (or even offer a lift if she can!) Carcassonne is a must-see, with the highlight of course being the castle. Packed with bars and restaurants inside, it looks gorgeous when lit up at night.

The village shop stocks everything you need for self-catering, plus the wine in the area is pretty good and there are opportunities for wine tasting in surrounding villages. Local buses can be relied upon to be infrequent but on time, so getting about is easy so long as you plan ahead.

The rooms are fairly basic but charming and the log-cabins in particular have an old-world vibe that is totally in-keeping with the surrounding historic village. The garden is where guests tend to spend most of their time while in the hostel, and it's easy to see why. The well kept terrace is a real sun trap, while tall trees offer shaded areas throughout the day. At night it's easy to be seduced into late nights by the candle-light and views straight up into a beautiful rural sky.

Jan has managed to create something quite special with Sidsmums and testament to that is the way guests return year on year. It definitely has all you could want in a traveller's retreat, and then some....

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank emsdot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2010

I had a lovely stay at Sidsmums. I was travelling alone so really wanted to just relax and soak in the rich cultural surrounding but also socialise when I wanted to. Sidsmums was the perfect place for that. I could read undisturbed for hours, go for a walk (armed with plenty of information on the best local places) or head into Carcassonne in the minibus. But what was really special was the atmosphere that felt like I was among friends. We shared meals, wine and had such a laugh, everyone was made to feel at ease by Jan's natural warmth and humour. Will make it back some day!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank SeeEBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 November 2010

Our family had a wonderful week at Sidsmums this summer. We were relying on buses to get around so a little planning was necessary. But the days we missed the bus were lovely lazy days walking down to the river with a picnic, swimming, reading and sketching. Their was lots of games for the kids to keep themselves busy inside and out. The little village store was also close enough for the kids to explore on their own. There was a great mix of travelers. We really enjoyed catching up with everyone in the evenings cooking meals (very well equipped kitchen!) and drinking wine. Definitely one of the highlights of our 6 weeks in France and Northern Spain.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ameen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 October 2010

I had an amazing stay at Sidsmums as both a guest and volunteer for a total of three weeks during June/July 2010.

It's based in a very scenic wine growing region, which is great to explore on bike. Although in the country it's by no means isolated: it's easy to get into Carcassonne and back again with a regular bus service, and if you fancy it, friendly locals will gladly give you a lift - no matter how bad your French is!

Carcassonne has plenty of character, a great selection of bars and restaurants and an fantastic traditional French market every Saturday.

The hostel itself has a chilled-out feel but is anything but boring. The guests were, without exception, friendly and interesting. We had many evenings sitting out in the garden drinking wine until the stars came out. The grounds are tranquil and, unlike any hostel I've stayed in before, really feels a part of the small village it's situated in.

All in all a highly recommended hostel if you are looking for a fun, but relaxed, break.

Alex

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank AA1234_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dundee, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 October 2010

Where do I start, Sidsmums is by far the best Hostel I have ever stayed in. In the last 2 years I have been 4 times & am looking forward to my next visit.
The owner Jan is lovely with nothing being too much trouble for her. She can always be found to give advice or suggestions on the best places to go.
At Sidsmum you can have exactly the holiday you want. There is always a great atmosphere around the place whether it is in the summer months where nights are spent sitting outside socialising with fellow guests or in the quieter months sitting inside playing board games or catching up on some reading. If you are however more of a loner there is plenty of space in the garden to find a quite spot to simply chill out on your own.
Sidsmums appeals to all ages. I have went on my own but also with a group of people in their early 20's and even this July I took my parents who are in their 60's both sets really enjoyed it.
Yes Carcassonne is a lovely City and really must be visited, there are also many lovely little villages around to walk or cycle to, while a Hire car puts the whole South of France, Northern Spain and Andorra on your door step. For me however its Sidsmums and Jan that really make this simply the best place to stay for your next holiday

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Hutchic8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alkmaar, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 September 2010

This is a hostel but not like the other hostels I have been to.
You immediately feel at home, when you arrive at the hostel.
I was greeted by the owner Janice, who is "Sids mum" (hence the name).
The hostel is based on the work by volunteers that - as I understood it - Janice handpicks from former guests, and she is really good at picking out the right volunteers to make the place feel even more "at home".
The hostel is located 10-15 km outside of Carcassonne, which means that most guests will end up staying in in the night playing games or just drinking red wine on the terrace.

Durring the day there is plenty of nature to explore including the nearby river, where swimming and suntanning is great!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank LER2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sidsmums

Property: Sidsmums
Address: 11 Chemin de la Croix d'Achille | Preixan, 11250 Carcassonne, France
Region: France > Occitanie > Aude > Carcassonne
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Carcassonne
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
SIDSMUMS is a small, family run backpackers situated in the quiet foothills of the Pyrenees and surrounded by the vineyards and forests of the Malapere region. This is a place to relax and recharge. Meet new friends and enjoy the quiet countryside, or use our home as a base to further explore Cathar country. 10 kms Carcassonne, la Cite, Salvaza international airport. ... more   less 
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