Set in 30 acres of its own land, this exceptionally private small estate exudes tranquility and is renowned as having probably the most breathtaking and panoramic views in the entire region. Although one of the closest properties to Carcassonne, we see unhampered 60 miles over the vines, the valleys and hills to the Pyrenees. No one who has stayed here leaves without a sense of regret (as more than 250 guests have confirmed time and again in our guest book) and the view across to the mountains is unforgettable.
Much work has taken place over the years to bring the house absolutely up to date such as the most innovative commercial ozone and UV water treatment system which has been installed for the solar heated swimming pool. There are few if any items that one would hope to find in a house of this quality that are not here. And as recents guests has said. "Staying at Gaubil ... is like being in a James Bond set!" and "If Carlsberg were going to do holiday homes, it would look something like this!".
The Architect for Les Hauts de Gaubil is our nearest neighbour who lives a mile away, and this house was originally built for his brother. The pool was a matter of particular importance to him as he loved diving and it is for this reason that the pool is almost 14 feet deep at the deep end.
Although modern in design as can be seen by the photographs, the house nestles gracefully into the countryside. From most directions it remains hidden by carefully planted Juniperus Chinensis along with a broad range of Oaks and Pines. The house is built on three levels and is really two conjoined properties. The ground floor in the main house is a wonderfully designed and huge open-plan area which leads through to the cuisine d'éte and on to the terrace. There is a cleverly designed walkway connecting the two kitchens directly which works through experience, especially well.
The house was always designed and created with families and parties in mind but despite this, it never feels remotely crowded. It is separated into two conjoined buildings sleeping 6 and 8 respectively so that everyone has their own space.
The huge walk-through patio windows in the living room lead out onto one of the terraces which looks over the pool and the tennis court and then further on over 60 miles to the Pyrenees. Beneath the terrace at the next level down and beside the pool is a very substantial and cooling Pagoda which has both room to get out of the sun and a table for 14. This is much used for long and relaxing lunches giving relief from the heat of the day and for dinners in the evening. The whole area around the pool, the garden front and rear and the tennis court light up at night time.
The south facing cuisine d'été is set in to the side of the hill which has a cooling effect taking away the heat of the day. There is a very large built in BBQ with a separate pizza/bread oven, a fridge, a separate dishwasher from the main kitchen and a sizable table which easily seats 14. This room lends itself to slow and relaxing lunches and dinners aided by subtle lighting. However because the lighting can be changed in colour and by moving the table out, it also turns into a disco!
The house has almost every facility new and old including new bathrooms, a very recently updated kitchen, Wifi, flat screen TVs and satellite TV (including BBC and Sky freesat), and for those more keen to make their own music, there is a grand piano in th sitting room.
There is a very substantial alarmed and solar heated swimming pool (16m by 6m and 4m deep at the deep end) with a new diving board; a quality hard tennis court with a great back wall for single players, table tennis along with a small gym which includes a top specification elliptical cross trainer and a range of weights etc.
Despite the absolute tranquility, no cars, planes or trains, the house is only 15/20 minutes from the centre of Carcassonne and the shops. The walled Cité is a few minutes beyond this. The beautiful town of Limoux, so famous for Blanquette is only 20/25 minutes away with a fantastic market on Fridays. Carcassonne market (which is not to be missed) takes place on Saturday mornings but ends at noon when a party atmosphere then develops in the main square.
The house has been let almost continuously throughout the summer months since 2001 and continues to delighted our guests as the very many testimonials confirm.
Many of our guests arrive with extensive plans to spend much of their time out and about exploring, but we have learnt over the years that most succumb to the tranquility and end up staying put! This said, there is so much to see in the region ranging from the Cathar Chateaux to canoeing and white water rafting on the River Aude. There is excellent trout fishing in many of the streams and rivers coming from the Pyrenees (license required). There is a challenging Adventure Parkland (Accrobranche) close to the walled City of Carcassonne and a lengthy and challenging aerial walkway 30 feet up in the trees with zippiness over the lake. There is in this same parkland, a beach with sailing, swimming and canoeing.
Despite being on top of a hill, there is excellent cycling from Gaubil heading toward Montreal.