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Anyone stayed on a Thomson Alfresco site?

(26 Posts)
tiredemma Mon 11-Aug-08 20:10:55

I know Nutty is going to one on mainland spain in sept, but has anyone already stayed on one of these sites.

We are particulary interested in Italy.

ChippyMinton Tue 12-Aug-08 11:16:32

Had one of their mobiles last year on a site in Brittany - they tend to use the same sites as the other main operators (canvas etc). Couldn't fault the mobile or the reps. Personally I look at the sites themselves - facilities, swimming pool etc., and would go with whoever is cheapest.

tiredemma Tue 12-Aug-08 11:18:00

so is it best to look at the sites and then do comparisons between Canvas, keycamp, thomsons etc?

Undecided between italy and france so intend to do some more research

ChippyMinton Tue 12-Aug-08 11:21:21

That's what i do. Make a list of what we want eg:
kids club for the appropriate ages
heated swimming pool with water slides and sunloungers
walking distance to supermarket and beach etc etc
mobile of appropriate size
then have a search around.
Have you stayed in a mobile before?

ChippyMinton Tue 12-Aug-08 11:22:56

Many sites rent mobiles direct, and there are loads of other companies - Ian Mearns, Matthews, Canvas Life, eurocamp.

tiredemma Tue 12-Aug-08 11:23:32

No, but really like the look of it. We normally camp in the UK but due to the weather being constantly dire we fancy going overseas.

The mobile homes look nice- what did you think? Which site would you recommend?

ChippyMinton Tue 12-Aug-08 11:27:16

Loads of mumsnetters do it! To me it's the ideal holiday with small children (well obviously a private villa with staff would be better but not on my budget!)
We're just back from the Vendee region in France, which is reasonably reliable weather in exchange for a shortish drive. Friends have been to the Italian lakes, and Florence. Do you want to fly or drive?

Notyummy Tue 12-Aug-08 11:28:03

tiredemma we have just booked with thompson alfresco for Campsite Piannacce (sp), however haven't been to any of the other ones so I'm afraid I'm not much help! I looked at:

Eurocamp
Siblu
Canvas
Select (v cheap!)

...and Thompson. Unfortunately not all the operators had any accommodation we were interested in on any dates we could go, so that narrowed the field somewhat. After that filter, I just chose by campsite and we plumped for the one we did because it was walking distance from a pretty town, which was a big plus point for us. First time we have booked this type of holiday, so if we like it I can see us doing it 2/3 times a year as it is considerable cheaper than the other things we have done.

Only other tip is that the Thompson girl on the phone was v helpful when I booked and said that the 'Puccini' mobile is more than big enough if there are just 2 adults and 1 or 2 small kids. I hope she is right !

tiredemma Tue 12-Aug-08 11:29:07

if we go to france then we will probably drive, if we go to italy (lake garda) then we will fly.

would I be able to get 10 days for under 2k in late august do you think?

tiredemma Tue 12-Aug-08 11:30:03

notyummy- is that in france? I quite like the idea of being somewhere close to a town/village

ChippyMinton Tue 12-Aug-08 11:33:19

www.questenfrance.com/ this company had mobiles on the site we stayed on which looked really nice, and their prices are excellent.
The easiest way would be to get on the phone and see who has availability.

tiredemma Tue 12-Aug-08 11:34:59

ta. will have a good much today.

Notyummy Tue 12-Aug-08 11:35:39

No its in Italy. We've already been to France this year and fancied a change, plus I just fancied some of the historical stuff in the Tuscany area.

ChippyMinton Tue 12-Aug-08 11:37:49

we stayed at camping acapulco in st jean de monts. i would recommend it because the swimming pool was warm, the beach is sandy and the local towns are good for eating out.

How old/how many DC have you got? If you don't need the kids clubs you have a wider choice of operators.

tiredemma Tue 12-Aug-08 11:41:10

I stayed at Acapulco as a teenager with my friend and her family!
Its at St Jean De monts isnt it?

Ds1 will be 8 and Ds2 will be 6, unfortunatly they like kids clubs ao would ideally look for a site with one of those on.

thanks for all the info- its really helpful!

ChippyMinton Tue 12-Aug-08 11:48:36

Go back! We went with Canvas Life and their kids courier until the end of August is a lovely student called Nicola!

Leslaki Tue 12-Aug-08 12:19:58

Can r4ecommend Acapulco too!!! Save up your tesco vouchers and book with canvas life. I'm off to Italy with them this year and all paid for by Tesco. Staying in a 2 bed mobile. Am looking at their Lake Garda site for next year - Camping Butterfly in Peschiera. Am flying and public trasporting it this year! EEK!!!!! Usually drive to France! And yeah you'll def get a holiday under £2k

rolymoma Tue 12-Aug-08 12:42:25

i stayed with al fresco in may at norceni girasole in tuscany. it was one of the vivaldi caravans which is a bit more expensive. was really good. reps on site were excellent - helpful but not intrusive. the place was fab for children and there was a decked area complete with stairgate on the caravan so toddler could happily play. some of the other caravans on site (euro camp, canvas etc) looked a bit cramped and grotty in comparison.

ChippyMinton Tue 12-Aug-08 12:46:02

re the kids clubs:
the bigger operators run their own kids clubs with British staff on many sites, but not all sites. also the age range varies for each club. Then there are the sites' own kids clubs (again not all sites have them) which tend to be more international.

Notyummy Tue 12-Aug-08 13:05:13

rolymoma

what was the weather like in May? Was the site itself ok and not too noisy? This was one of the ones we looked at, and I was unsure because it looked quite big. Is it in a nice area?

<sorry for the questions!>

tiredemma Tue 12-Aug-08 13:08:20

Thank you all so much for this helpful info. I am having a good look around the net.

My only problem now is that I really cannot decide between France and Italy hmm

ChippyMinton Tue 12-Aug-08 13:43:37

Have you looked for flights yet? That could be the decider - ferry to France much cheaper.

rolymoma Tue 12-Aug-08 14:41:48

the weather was very changeable - it's a bit like going to the lake district! some days were 35oC and others it hammered down morning til night. id say about half and half. however, the people we went with had been to the same place the year before and the weather had been worse ...
the site is quite a big one but i didnt find it noisy at all. never woken by any outside noise and i was in bed by about 10 each night blush
there is a top and bottom village and a couple of restaurants in each so you can alternate it a bit. in fact i think it might be a little suffocating in one of the smaller sites for 2 weeks. also, another friend went to another smaller site (cant remember the name but was close to a beach i think - still in tuscany) and they confessed to being quite bored by the end of it.
will you have a car? if so, there is loads to do for day trips. we went to Greve a couple of times which is only about 17km away and is quite pretty. also, arezzo is really lovely (some nice shops too, including a sephora if you're into make up) and has an impressive catherdral. florence is about 25 mins by train and we went there late afternoon and saw the sunset. san giminiano is also quite close and, again, nice for a day out

rolymoma Tue 12-Aug-08 14:44:12

sorry - you also asked about the surrounding area. the little town the site is in is quite nice acutally. there's a bit co-op for shopping and a town square with a few shops to poke about in for half a day. the views from the site, being quite high up, are absolutely gorgeous - rolling tuscan hills and valleys.

Notyummy Wed 13-Aug-08 08:58:05

Thanks rolymoma.

oooh, can't wait for our Italian trip on 1st Sep! grin

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