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The best hotel in Carcassonne was originally a palace for the ruling bishops before it was turned into a hotel in 1909. This is where you can escape the crowds, safe behind an enclosed courtyard in the old city. The best bedrooms are straight out of a fairy tale book with paneled walls, wooden or tiled floors; some have friezes running around the top of the walls while others have fireplaces or a four-poster bed. Many rooms look out onto the ramparts or the garden. If you can, book no. 308 with its panoramic view of the city. Drink very expensive and exclusive brandy and cognac in the library bar. The hotel is renowned for its restaurant, La Barbacane. Take your breakfast on the terrace looking down at the city below you.