Al Fresco Holiday

Claire Coleman on 04 September 2018

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Every year I am always my worst client, trying to find the perfect holiday for my family, I always want 5* for 3* prices! We normally have a camping holiday in stunning Cornwall with friends, and then an all-inclusive holiday somewhere in the Med. Last year our camping trip was a bit of a washout thanks to the unpredictable British summer, so this year we decided to try something completely different and opted for a mobile home in the South of France.

After a few weeks of deliberating where to go, we all eventually opted for the Les Mediterranees Charlemagne, in Marseillan Plage, and chose the Rossini two bed as our home for the week. Initially we decided we would self-drive, but after looking into this further we decided that a 12-hour drive over two days wasn't so appealing, so we managed to find bargain flights with EasyJet into Montpellier and hired a car from the airport. This meant total journey time was reduced to just 2.5 hours.

Upon arrival at the Charlemagne we had to check in at the main reception, where we were issued with our wristbands and security gate codes for the duration. From here we had to proceed to the Al Fresco check in where we were met by an English couple who showed us to our mobile homes. We were pleased to see that we had been issued homes opposite each other, which meant the kids were happy. Our home was extremely clean and spacious and offered us everything we needed for a week’s self-catering. We paid a little extra to have the linen and towel packs included as this meant we didn't have to bring our own.

Al Fresco have a selection of mobile homes towards the back of the resort which was lovely as it was very quiet. The resort itself if made up of three sites: Charlemagne, Nouvelle Floride and Beach Gardens. You can access all three resorts which gives you a bit of variety during your stay. All have their own pools and waterslides and both the Beach Gardens & Nouvelle Floride have direct beach access. All pool areas were spotlessly clean, and the nice thing was the pools didn't open until 10am, the water slides at 11am so there wasn't the need to rush to reserve a sunbed, something that does annoy me in other Med resorts! Despite us travelling in August there were always plenty of sunbeds available for the eight of us.

Lifeguards were on hand the entire time and it’s worth noting that boys/men are required to wear lycra swim shorts. During the day there is a bit of entertainment for the kids in the form of the animation team around the pool dancing with the kids, or aqua aerobics. This only lasted about half an hour a day so wasn't annoying at all. The beach is beautiful with crystal clear water and sand that stretches for miles. Unlike the Med beaches there are no sunbeds available to hire, so it may be worth investing in some cheap beach mats as we did find the sand got everywhere!

The resort of Marseillan Plage is very lively, however I should stress not with bars and clubs, so it’s very nice for families. There is an abundance of restaurants catering for all tastes. We ate out every night and on average we were paying between €60-70 per family which included drinks and wine. We found different restaurants every night so there's something for everyone. There are also many shops in the resort selling everything from souvenirs to local produce. The resort was exceptionally clean and literally a 10-minute walk from the Charlemagne bought you right into the heart of everything. There are supermarkets onsite that cater for all your requirements and weren't too expensive. However, there is a wider choice at the Hyper U about 10 minutes’ drive away.

Within the site there was a patisserie so most mornings breakfast consisted of freshly baked croissants and baguettes. The nice thing about this resort is you don't need a car to get around. The neighbouring towns of Agde and Cap D'Adge can be reached by train or taxi so the whole area is quite accessible. I would recommend anyone opting to fly that you take a cab from the airport to the site as prices are approx. €100 return so very reasonable. If we returned, we would consider this. The other option you could consider is the train from London down to Marseillan Plage. Unfortunately, our flight home was cancelled due to adverse weather at Montpellier airport so the only way we could get back was the train. Despite us all being somewhat sleep deprived due to the delay, the journey was actually really easy, and I have to say I would definitely consider this an option. We went up to Lille on the TGV and then the Eurostar back to St Pancras, despite it being a 10-hour journey, it’s definitely the easier option to driving.

We all thoroughly enjoyed our stay here, so much so we are already looking at booking for next year to another one of their resorts. Our holiday cost approx. £1600 for a week and included flights, car hire and mobile home for two adults and two children staying on a 5* site. I was worried that after having all-inclusive holidays for the past few years that everything would seem quite pricey, but we were pleasantly surprised and we all enjoyed going out to eat every evening. I would highly recommend this resort to families with children of all ages as it really was excellent value for money, adding to the fact we had wall to wall sunshine for the 7 days with temperatures averaging 32 degrees. This area surpassed my expectations and I will be recommending this to future clients.

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