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La Carabasse - difference between booking direct and through Siblu

(17 Posts)
Milliways Sun 17-Feb-13 22:10:05

We have stayed at La Carabasse 3 times as it is so handy for walking everywhere. In fact, we now only choose sites where the beach is walkable so we don't feel we have to stay all day, and the sand stays out the car!

Thomson Alfresco have a great 3 bed van and sites in Italy (but we have only stayed with them in France & Spain).

Portofino Sun 17-Feb-13 13:12:32

Actually if you want some peace and quiet, and goods Kids clubs - Lac des Reves is very nice too. Small and relatively quiet. The kids club was better than at La Carabasse in my opinion. You need a car, but the beach is 10 minutes away. Palavas/Carnon are nice places to visit in the evening. Mini golf on the seafront and another big fun fair. We did the Park and ride and went into Montpellier and drove to the Dinosaur park near Setes.

Portofino Sun 17-Feb-13 12:51:26

So - after that tome......we had great holidays at both. La Carabasse has the edge for me, as the accommodation was nicer and we could go out in the evenings/walk to the beach. BUT Albatross had much nicer facilities and you didn't actually NEED to go anywhere iyswim - and the kids activities were much better.

So if you want to go and sunbathe and swim and be lazy and self cater a bit more, Albatross. If you want to spend more time going off site, eating out, beach then Carabasse.

Portofino Sun 17-Feb-13 12:45:45

La Carabasse:

10 hour drive from Brussels. We had an Excellence mobile which was lovely and even had a washing machine. Wifi available - but you have to pay. Lovely terrace and nice garden area. They are spread out a lot more in little cul-de-sacs. Pools are very nice and there are water slides which open a few times a day. No inflatables allowed and dd was not even allowed to use her snorkel in the pool. The upside is the life guards are really on the ball - so felt quite secure. The free plastic sunbeds go very quickly and we paid most days for a flexible one - 2 euros a pop I think.

Big terrace by the pool with a stage, takeaway and bar. Plenty of choice of stuff for lunch. The wine was disappointing! They have live music a couple of times a week but otherwise the entertainment is put on by the animation team - the ones that run the kids club - we thought it was a bit cheesy. They do a talent show for the kids one evening a week. There is another restaurant (Italian) and bar near the entrance to the site where they showed live football and had karaoke evenings. The wine was better there. Nice terrace. There is a market one evening a week which was quite nice. The site is nicely laid out, shady and not nearly so bsuy as Park Albatross. The shop is tiny and expensive.

Kids Club - dd went a couple of times but preferred hanging out by the pool - she made friends there. It was indoors most of the time. The older ones seem to have more going on.

The upside is the location. 10 minutes walk to a nice sandy beach. Supermarkets, shops and restaurants all on the doorstep. If we went out in the evening we always went into town -never to the entertainment area. 5 minutes up the road is a huge crazy golf place with a bar, and next to that Luna Park - which opens in the evening and is fab - rides for all ages. There are lots of places to visit nearby too - Adge and Cap d/Agde both worth a visit. Beziers is lovely. You can hire bikes and cycle along the canal. The old town of Vias was quite nice too - has an evening market once a week and some nice restaurants.

Portofino Sun 17-Feb-13 12:23:29

Um - interesting question!

Park Albatros: pools - wonderful, lots of them, but not very deep. Big bumps in the middle for sliding down. Inflatables are allowed - I spent many a happy hour bobbing round on a lilo.

Public areas are fab. Lovely cafe bar/takeaway in the pool area. Large supermarket. Central plaza with bar, ice cream parlour, restaurant, pizzeria, takeaway, laundrette, games rooms etc. The main square in under the pine trees was wonderful in the evenings, table service for drinks/icecreams. Kids disco early on then live music most evenings. Really nice atmosphere. Plus the playground is next door so kids can play whilst you sit with a drink. There is a hairdresser and beautician onsite too.

Kids club - next to the playground. We went with Canvas and dd really loved the club. Plus they did one in the evening a couple of times a week meaning we could have dinner on our own.

Mobile home was fine - but it is a BIG site and the mobiles are packed together quite closely. Aircon and a deck is a necessity otherwise you end up with a table and chairs in the dust. There is a little train that rides round otherwise it can be a bit of a walk depending on where your mobile is located. We went in early July and it was HOT.

The downside for me was that it is in the middle of nowhere and there is nothing much of any note nearby. The beach nearby is not very nice - there are better ones a short drive away but parking was tricky - and you have to pay. The nearby town had nothing much going on. They do excursions to Etna and San Gimignano etc but pricey and quite a hike - due to the heat, we couldn.t be bothered. Plenty going on the site all day though - we were there 10 days and didn't get bored.

sydenhamhiller Sat 16-Feb-13 22:30:16

<OP - sorry to hi-jack...>
Portofino, we're considering Park Albatross, and see you've given it good reviews in a couple places. Hope you don't mind me asking: would you recommend La Carabasse over Park Albatross? We will be going with 9, 7 and 1 year old, so quite like the idea of the kids' clubs to try and catch up on a year's worth of sleep...

Sorry again OP - I'm just having same agonies of decisions as you smile

Portofino Thu 15-Mar-12 19:23:51

Out of the 3 I would say Carabasse - definitely. Plenty going on and easy to get about without driving. The big ones could almost go offf to do Karaoke by themselves. I certainly sent dh and dd off to play crazy golf (across the road) whilst I drank wine in peace. Lunapark is fab - all yours would find something to entertain them. The water slides are great.....dd was 7 last year (and a competent swimmer) so off she went....We set up camp next to the 0.5 m pool and I just kept an eye out.

The kids clubs for the bigger ones had things like inflatable table football and inflatable wrestling. The older kids seemed to hang out together in the afternoons.

BeattieBow Thu 15-Mar-12 13:52:18

well that's the only site that has a 3 bed mobile home thats available in Italy - many don't have 3 bed ones at all. So that narrows down my choice somewhat! now I'm holding holidays at Parc Albatross, La Pachacaid and La Carabasse!

Worried that Parc Albatross is too big, La Pachacaid is too hilly and expensive and I like la Carabasse, but children more enthusiastic about la Pachacaid. Best van available in Parc Albatross but it's turning out more expensive than france. You're right about it being more expensive than last year!

Portofino Thu 15-Mar-12 11:21:15

We went to Park Albatros with Canvas a couple of years ago. That was good fun. It's massive with lots going on all the time. Dd loved the Kid's club there and did "water -walking" (big plastic ball on the pool) They have a teen disco area. They did evening clubs a couple of times a week, too, meaning dh and I could go and have a drink/pizza by ourselves - which was a bonus.

I have also been to Union Lido - another nice site, right on enormous sandy beach. Portofelice comes highly recommended on here - we might do that next year.

BeattieBow Thu 15-Mar-12 10:41:36

thanks Portofino - I'm going to start a new thread I think, but I can see that you've been to lots of Italian campsites. (I prefer Italy) - which do you think are good for older children? I have 4 older children aged 7,9,11 and 13?

Portofino Wed 14-Mar-12 22:42:36

Suncream - and sunsuits for little babies - i have never seen a problem. Many insisted on speedo type trunks - or at least fitted trunks for boys/men. big baggy swimshorts are generally a no-no.

Have you looked at Canvas/Keycamp? Prices are all much of a muchness. Not sure if it is the exchange rate but i thought all the mobile homes looked pricey this year so we are going for a gite complex, shared pool, hope for similar aged kids.....

BeattieBow Wed 14-Mar-12 22:20:53

Thanks Portofino, I feel a bit reluctant to go with La Carabasse Holidays because I don't know what I'll get, what support there is. also good point about costs.

I do have older children, so looking for a swimming pool that they won't get bored by. I will have a newborn baby (hopefully) so want them to be able to keep themselves occupied while I spend time in the shade feeling whale-like.

Is it right that the French parcs have restrictions on suncream/sunsuits in the pools?

Portofino Wed 14-Mar-12 17:59:18

I just looked at Carabasse Holidays - it seems they are a private company renting owner-owned mobiles - I know if you own a van you can pay Siblu to let it for you, or do it guess - this an alternative, and would probably be fine.

BUT - to get into the Pool/use the kids clubs, you need a "pass" - it is not clear from the website whether that is included in the price ....I am veering towards NOT - in which case you might get a hefty charge per person on top of the holiday price....I would check, and proceed on that basis.....

Portofino Wed 14-Mar-12 17:54:40

Yes - we went last year. It was great - everything within walking distance ...the beach, shops, restaurants, massive fun fair, crazy golf etc. The pool complex is good - though dd wasn't mad on the Pirate club - as it was mostly indoors hmm I would go back - though it is better for older kids/teenagers than little ones in mho.....Dd was 7 last year and was happy to make friends in the pool/play on the waterslides all day. The site is well laid out and all the mobiles have a little garden area. There are no toilet blocks anymore wink If you are near the pool, you would probably get noise from the evening entertainment, if that sort of thing bothers you.

La Pachacaid - I think I remember looking at that one before.....near St Tropez? La Praires de la mer (Port Grimaud), or Kontiki (St Tropez) are good. The first is right on the beach and walking distance to town - and is busy. The 2nd is expensive on Pampelonne Beach and a bit more upmarket.

BeattieBow Wed 14-Mar-12 17:22:01

I suppose that must be it Portofino, although the website is called Carabasse holidays, and it doesn't make it clear that it is a private owner so it is misleading.

Have you been there? We are now thinking of La Pachacaid instead.

Portofino Wed 14-Mar-12 09:01:27

Siblu own the campsite so I can't see where you would get a cheaper quote direct - do you mean you have a quote from a mobile home owner at La Carabasse?

BeattieBow Tue 13-Mar-12 13:37:55

Hi I'm looking for advice on booking a holiday at La Carabasse. I've got a quote from Siblu and a quote from the campsite itself which would save me around £1500. Does anyone who has been there know what would be the difference between the 2? If I went for the cheaper option am I likely to be in a scuzzy old van, by the toilet block? (We are looking at the 3 bedroom options)


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