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“Basic - but we found it perfect”
Review of Port Minervois

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Port Minervois
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Homps
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 June 2014

This is not the place to go if you want 5-star service and all mod cons. You'll need to pay extra for sheets and towels, and clean the place yourself when you leave unless you want to shell out another 50 euros. But if you like cracking a bottle of rose and sitting under the jasmine, looking out over the lake and enjoying some peace and quiet - you're in the right place.

We rented a one-bedroomed villa at the second of the two complexes - so closer to the lake. Son slept in the bedroom, we used the pullout bed in the living area which made a surprisingly comfortable double. Again, probably wouldn't suit those used to luxury - but we were more than happy.

Nice little pool which was nearly always deserted - and plenty for families to do - petanque - slides, basketball, minigolf and tennis.

One note - looks like some of the villas are owned by French families who cast a few disapproving glances at kids playing - it seems they look down on les anglais who just come for a week.

But all in all - a lovely quiet spot for a half term break - and a total bargain! I imagine it's much pricier in high season. We'll be back.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank Hemulen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 15 of 99 reviews

Reviewed 14 August 2013

The place is very quiet and even in August with a lot of people, still quiet enough.
We really enjoyed the lake and the location was very good.
A lot of nice places to visit. Very near to the canal midi.

The villa was clean. Everything we needed was present.
Reception good and friendly.
We were happy about our stay.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank veerleVP213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2012

Port Minervois is a quiet and pleasant holiday resort, which seems like a small private village made of nice villas for 4 to 10 persons, built in the colourful Provencal style, and that you can rent for a week; or just for a few nights, which makes it very convenient.

It is ideally located in the small village of Homps, at a really short walking distance of the famous Midi Canal, and to a small lake, where it's very pleasant to go for a walk, a pic-nique, or a tour by boat. In a quiet countryside area, Homps is still only roughly 30 min away from Carcassonne and its middle age castle, but also from Narbonne and the Mediterranean Sea.

The Port Minervois residence by itself, is a also a great and safe place where to stay. I've personally rented a house for 6 persons, and appreciated to find all the necessary there, be it to cook, enjoy a meal on the large terrasse, or simply have some rest. The villas are comfortable, simply but nicely decorated, clear, modern, and of easy access. The only smal negative point, is that the villas are touching each other, and that your garden may not be that well separated from the one of your neighbour, which is not ideal if you want some intimacy.

Apart from that, the village is organized a bit on the model of a good camping, and as such offers many services: a small grocery, a bar snack, play grounds for young children, teenagers and adults. It also offers a nice but maybe slightly tiny swimming-pool, a fitness center, a hammam and a jaccuzzi. So, basically all what you need to spend a few relaxing days in this nice area of the South of France!

One might just regret that everything there has a price, even renting a barbecue, or enjoying some time in the hammam or the jaccuzzi. However, for what it offers, prices are still relatively affordable.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank globetrotauvergnat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2012

Ours was a last minute booking (should have been going to Cornwall - but the weather forecast put us off so we headed south for the sun!).
Our arrival at reception for Port Minervois - Les Hauts du Lac was as everyone else has described, somewhat overwhelming in the amount of rules, regulations, financial demands, bits of paper, requests for appointments etc.
We had flown to Montpellier and hired a car so the lack of ANYTHING AT ALL (not even a toilet roll!!!) in the villa was a bit of a shock. Equally there was nothing open in Homps itself until we tracked down the amazing garage which sells everything you could want and more (and their butcher is wonderful). The villa itself was fine, we were lucky in having a built arch over the patio so shade wasn’t an issue. Like others we went to Carcassonne, Guissan, and the Milau Bridge etc. Grass strimming and mowing were down politely but of course rather noisily.
The site was quite quiet when we were there, but as others have commented the pool isnt really big enough, and even when only a handful of guests are there the number of sun loungers is not adequate.
The nearby Lake was lovely - and very pleasant to swim in but take swimming shoes! We had a very good meal at the cafe/restaurant by the lakeside too.
We would have liked to track down a local riding school but receptionist’s didn’t know of one - yet we kept seeing trips galloping past.
We too resented the way we were treated, but the sun shone, the wine flowed, and the company was great. I wouldn’t want to go there in season, nor with small children for more than a few days.
Such a shame as they could do so much better.
Given that most of the villas are privately owned and leased back, I would have thought that owners would be concerned at the relatively poor reviews and comments here - given that all have the same grumbles. (irrespective of nationality)

Room Tip: Make sure you get a villa with a brick arch to provide shade over the patio area (not one where opti...
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Sally-Ann56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2012

Last year we went to Port Minervois. It was a family holiday. Negative: The reception and the personnel were not professional or nice. We were under the impression that we were not very welcome (but our money was). So both the first impression and last impression was bad. However the rest of our 2 week holiday was great. The house we had faced the lake so we had a nice view (ask for it when you reserve it's not more expensive). The house was spacious and well equipped, compared to other holiday rentals that we have had elsewhere in France. The holiday village itself had some activities to offer but we don't really like to do the "Club" so for us this was not of interest. The region has loads places to visit and activities to do. The windsurfing was great on the lake and we also went to the Mediterranean Sea, only 30 min. away to the Narbonne plage were the windsurfing was even better. The local markets were very nice and on the whole not too touristy. In the evening we could enjoy the sun set and a drink as there were no mosquitoes! Overall a great family holiday, we will most probably go there again.

Room Tip: the houses with a view of the lake are much nicer than the others.
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank giz-WO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2011

Port Minervois - Les Hauts du Lac
These are twin ‘gated’ sets of holiday accommodation situated just outside Homps on the Canal du Midi seems quite large – over 200 apartments . Lets deal with the criticisms first. My experience is that a deposit and the expectation to clean is quite normal – at least it was in Sicily last year! The deposit was not actually debited from the account – there just in case something was broken. Yes there is a 4 page checklist but at least it helps you find out where everything is. There was a queue at reception, but we arrived just as lots of others did. We booked our leaving inspection 3 days before we left – it was very perfunctory. Clean yourself and save between 50 – 60 Euro. If you are not there for inspection you will be charged – a bit excessive.
There are some wonderful sights on the way down. The Millau Viaduct and the Central Massif provides many wow moments. As you come down the Massif Central you know you are getting South as it’s not long before there are field of vines to look at.
We broke our journey from Eurotunnel at Vierzon, well placed for autoroutes and just about half way. We stayed at Arche Hotel. See separate review.
The grounds are very well kept. We had J5, a 2 bed apartment. Just inside the front door on the right was the double bedroom. It was a good size. The bed was firm, which is what we liked. The wardrobe had cleaning stuff and iron and ironing board!
Beyond the bedroom was a loo and then a bathroom.
The kitchen diner is a good size with patio windows leading to tiled patio and grassed area. Upstairs was a twin bedroom and shower room with sink and loo. Both shower room and bathroom had electric fan towel driers!
There is a TV, but only English channel was CNN. This is where iPod with audiobooks (try podiobooks.com on iStore to get free downloads) and laptop with films came in useful in the evening. One description said there was free wifi. My laptop couldn’t find it.
The kitchen has electric hob, and microwave, but no oven. There was a dishwasher. The fridge freezer was good sized.
The view was not great – impeded by other units, but could see hills and mountains.
The apartments are built so the patio gets the sun from dawn to dusk. Great, but there is no shade at all, even round the pools in each complex. No apartments have sun loungers but they can be rented at 5 Euro a day – 140 Euro for the fortnight for us both!!
To get to Homps follow the path round the front of the main reception.
There are several restaurants in Homps. We ate at La Peniche – again see separate review.
The canal is lovely to walk along really peaceful and shaded by Plain Trees. The walk to the next village, La Redoute, takes about an hour and half. Walking in the other direction for about 20 minutes there is a double lock and a restaurant. Good fun watching the barges sipping glass of wine!
The closest, small, supermarket and petrol station is on D610 right by Homps. A larger one is at La Redoute.
There are plenty of places to taste and buy local wine. Stay on the road through La Redoute for about 5 minutes there is a Spar on the right, where you can get 5 litre boxes of local wine for just over 9 Euro, very tasty!
You are in Cathar Country, surely the main reason to come. Minerve is a pretty castle and town, lots of small shops to wander round. There are many wonderful castles, most perched on high outcrops, head for heights required. The country side around Quebus etc is spectacular.
Lagrasse is a beautiful medieval town
The jewel is Carcassonne. Stunning. Allow a day to do castle and lower town. Yes, it is touristy, but with good reason
Get in the mood by reading Kate Mosse’s books Labyrinth and Sepulchre
Enjoy, we did.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank AndrewStevenson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2011

My partner and I get away 3 or 4 times a year, for my birthday week he booked us into Port Minervois as it it close to several places of interest we have planned to visit for a few years. After an eight and a half hour drive we arrived full of hope. This hope was soon dashed.

You have to book in between 5 and 7pm, if you don't then you are responsible for finding alternative accommodation. We cued for an hour to check in. At check they wanted a three hundred Euro against damages (never seen that one before), we were presented with an inventory and told we had to check every item (down to a floor cloth) and return the list immediately, otherwise we could be charged for missing items when we departed. We also had to sign for the condition of the apartment noting everything that damaged or scuff marks on the wall, (remember that 8.5 hour drive). It was explained that on the Wednesday or Thursday we had to book an exit appointment so they could check we had not broken or stolen anything. Eventually we got into the apartment, which was clean, basic and of a good size. The bed was a brick and the pillows inadequate. Did I mention it cost 16 euros to hire a pair of sheets. It was very humid during our stay, there was no air con, sleep? What's sleep. There was no anti slip in the bath so take good care when taking a shower. The garden beyond the patio was overgrown, it was tidied up on the Thursday (we left early Saturday). There was no toilet roll supplied, no dishcloths, we had to go out and buy them (we brought them home with us too)!

My partner wanted to leave early, we were told this would incur a 45 euro charge for cleaning, we said we would clean before we left, but no still a charge. Given the size of the apartment how it would cost 45 euros to clean it is beyond me. Past apartments we have stayed in have been cleaned 6 days a week, beds made, bedding provided and have costed us less in equally beautiful areas. The entertainment? A karaoke singer, frankly I've heard better sounds from a strangled cats, she mangled her way through around 3 hours and no we didn't attend, this is what we could hear from the apartment!

We had an overnight stay in Carcassonne for my birthday, this was extended to two nights as we both needed to sleep due to crankiness setting in. Back to Homps on the Friday to clean the appartment, growling quite a lot. Saturday morning 8:15 The 'I will come and inspect the apartment" translated into a cleaner coming in to check. I dropped the dirty but folded (they insisted it was folded) laundry, sheets, not the pillow cases or the bed cover back outside reception, there was no way they could check who had or had not returned the bedding unless it was via security camera. We will not be going back!

Homps is a delightful fading French village the Canal du Midi runs through it. There are several restaurants but the menus are a little limited, not a good place for a vegetarian wanting a meal out unless it was pizza. We found a lovely restaurant near the complex, La Taverne des Farfadets, simple but tasty food, and they are applying for a music license! It is ideally placed for visiting Carcassonne, Minerve, Narbonne and Rennes le Chateau.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else! If you do go here try to pick something on the perimeter unles you like the sound...
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank SarahGadd62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Port Minervois

Address: Route du lac, 11200 Homps, France
Phone Number:
Region: France > Occitanie > Aude > Homps
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Homps
Price Range: £29 - £72 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Port Minervois 3*
Number of rooms: 159
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This resort is situated along the Canal du Midi, which has been classified by Unesco as a Word Heritage site, and is next to Homps; a magnificent small typical Languedoc village. The Jouarres Lake is a paradise for water sports or a tranquil place to relax. Here you'll find everything that makes it possible to enjoy a high quality holiday in a rare and authentic place. The residence proposes 2, 3, 4, 5 room villas as well as villas with a private swimming pool. Reception (free Wifi, limited access), 2 swimming pools of approximately 150m² (open from the end of March until the end of October), laundry, fitness room, hammam, whirlpool, 2 tennis courts, beach-volley, mini-golf, games room, table tennis, play area for children, sports ground, "petanque" area, bar and minimarket (opening hours may vary during the season). This place is ideally located to visit this unique land, the Minervois, the Cathar country, its cellars and wine domains. ... more   less 
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