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“First class facilities”

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Le Bois de Valmarie
Certificate of Excellence
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“First class facilities”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2013

We've just come back from 12 days at the BdV campsite in Argeles - our first experience of this type of holiday with our daughters, aged 5, 5 and 2.
Getting there - we flew from Glasgow to Barcelona with Jet2 (22kg bag allowance and best legroom of any airline) and hired a car with Sixt (no mini bus to your car - you're in the car within 15 mins of collecting your bags - godsend with three little ones) - take care with which rental company you use - some don't let you take the car out of Spain without charging a fortune.

The accommodaton - it is true that whilst most mobiles are well appointed, clean and a decent size, the location is critical - we were with Keycamp and got lucky with a van at the top of the hill next to the pool and not overlooked - ceratinly worth requesting a quiet location if you can beforehand. Some vans had less space around them and were quite shady, but none could be described as cramped - careful planting and screening helping a lot. Our two bed, one showerroom van was idea for the five of us - any more than family of five would become a bit cramped. Beds were comfy, linen was clean and kitchen and bathroom well equipped - aircon in the living room a bonus if the weather turns too hot. Gas barbeque was great too.

The site facilities - the pools are awesome for kids our age and up to 11 or 12 - despite some mixed weather, we couldn't drag them out.due to the fact the water is heated to 26 degrees - plenty of space to relax around the pool on loungers or the artificial turf (note no loungers at sister sites Hippocampe or Sirene). The whole site is kept absolutely spotless by the friendly staff and the atmosphere around the site is relaxed and friendly - our kids made lots of friends. The on site supermarket is fine for the basics, but a little bit pricey - the fresh baked bread and pastries are irressistible and good value though. Try the hypermarche on the north side of argeles if you are on a budget (need a car though) - there's also a cool epicerie in Le Racou, around 200 metres from the site for hams, cheese and fruit and veg. The site restaurant deserves special mention for the superb food - fish, chicken, tex mex, steaks, pizzas and a good range of kids meals (pizza, spag bol, etc) at reasonable prices. Drinks are cheap if you like wine (7 Euro for a litre carafe) and roughly normal Med prices for beer (5 Euro/pt) and spirits (5 Euro). The kids playparks are also good fun and well shaded if you want a break from the sun.

Entertainment - We arrived on 21 June when the campsite was still quite quiet and the evening shows weren't every night - the kids evening disco and fun clubs are on six days week and run by the frighteningly enthusiastic site animation team - our kids loved it, even though the songs are in a variety of languages - all part of the fun!! By the beginning of July, the site was very busy and there were some great evening shows - the magician was really good, with plenty of kids and adult participation. Jackaoke was hilarious and got all the kids and adults up dancing and singing.

The resort - Argeles is split into three distinct areas - Le Racou and port, Argeles plage and Argeles town - there's not much to report in the town - the beaches in Argeles are wide and very clean - the sand is coarse, but not so bad that you need to wear shoes and the sea clean and warm - the sea bed shelves quite steeply, and there is always a wind, so beware with little ones. Behind the beach is a long promenade with shops, restaurants and bouncy castle parks (around 3 euro per child per visit which can be as long as you like). There is a decent amusement park on the beach for under 10s. Can be hike to a public toilet. Parking can be a challenge when its busy, so worth making use of the yellow train bus in July and Aug!! Le Racou beach is only 2 mins from the campsite entrance and is great with little cafes behind - even when its busy,theres plenty of space for everyone.

Further afield - Collioure is a beautiful town just 10 mins up the coast - parking is impossible on market days though unless you get there early. The town's beach is set in a sheltered bay which is good when its windy and you can hire pedalos with chutes - the sand here is much softer than at Argeles and you can hire sunloungers and parasols (none in Argeles). We took a trip to the African safari park at Sigean - it is a good day out with lions, giraffes, elephants, crocs and monkeys but eye wateringly expensive (29Euro/adult, 22Euro/child, no family tickets) - take your own packed lunch

Worth mentioning that if you expect day after day of hot sunshine, you might be disappointed - the foothills of the Pyrenees generate a wind which can be incessant and quit strong, which is fine if you like to keep cool, but not so good for relaxing evenings on the patio for mum and dad after kids are sleeping!
All in all, we'd definitely go back

Room Tip: Ask for a caravan in a cul de sac or as high up the site as possible
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank TheVints
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
46 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2013

We went as a family of four to camping Le Bois de Valmarie, with Canvas for two weeks, in a three bed select mobile. The reception opens at 4 to 8 o’clock so we arrived just on time. The couriers (Phil & Susan) were very helpful and told us all about Argeles and Racou. There were lots of supermarkets (Supermarket onsite is very expensive) and a market on Saturday in Argeles with lovely restaurants in Argeles Ville and Le Racou.

The campsite wasn’t too big with only around 180 mobiles, but the pool had six slides and three heated pools (close to the baby/toddler pool is noisy and very busy) and a pool/snack bar (very expensive!) There was a bloc saniter with showers, toilets and an open-air pond with very large goldfish which was very convenient. There was a car wash centre (which can be busy) and a recycling centre close to the receptions. Beside the reception there was a restaurant/bar which had shows and singers regularly.

There was table tennis and two small playgrounds beside the kids camp tent which had mini discos, dinner parties and kids activities. Our mobile was basic but we had everything we needed, with one bathroom and three bedrooms and had loads of storage space. The kitchen was basic with pots and pans and lots of other kitchen utensils (bread knife is crap! Use scissors to cut bread).The table was big, but the fridge was small. The barbeque was gas which was very good and had a de-greaser and scrubber.

I would recommend Camping Le Bois de Valmarie for young children (toddlers & under 5’s) it is toddler city! It can be noisy with babies crying at 6:00-7:30. I thoroughly enjoyed Le Bois de Valmarie and would go back here 

Room Tip: Try to get a private mobile
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank travellingkids1315
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paisley, Scotland
Level Contributor
56 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2013

This is a lovely, peaceful campsite with lots of trees. Most of the other campers seemed to be English, Dutch, or German. (I did hear one or two people speaking French but you could be forgiven for forgetting what country you were in!) The pools - the main attraction - are small but very clean and well looked-after by a very professional young lifeguard (he said he'd been doing it for 9 years, so not just a summer job). Great for children and beautifully landscaped. Not for serious swimming, but you don't really expect that. Fake grass around the pool so no ants! The staff everywhere on the campsite were polite and friendly. The mobile home was fine but the only negative thing was its location: right next to the campsite's road. We were with a 3-yr old so that is definitely not ideal, and there was nowhere to sit outside and have privacy, as the only place we could put the table and chairs was also next to the road. Other mobile homes had different arrangements, some have decks. We might go back if we could choose the location, otherwise not. It must be possible if you rent from a private owner, but we used Keycamp. I don't know if the other holiday companies let you choose your spot?

We were impressed with the restaurant, and the shop on the campsite has the best fresh bread and croissants, etc, every morning! The location near the village and beach of Racou is perfect for those who don't want the noisy and busy (thinking "tacky") "Blackpool-style" beach holiday that you would get if you stayed in Argeles itself. Next time we'll stay in Racou, it's charming and quiet, The beach's only drawback is the coarseness of the sand, it's like tiny pebbles, but then this is the Cote Vermeille.

As we went without a car, a plus point was the wee "train-bus" (le TAM) which takes you into Argeles: it's free in May! However, at that time of year it only runs four times a day, so you need to plan carefully. There is also the local bus, only 1 euro to go anywhere, even to Perpignan. (Be careful getting it from Collioure or - in the other direction - from Perpignan, as they do not all stop at Valmarie. Always ask!) As for getting there from the UK, as we're in Scotland we flew into Carcassonne (direct from Prestwick) but the only flight is on a Sunday and it is NOT easy to get public transport to Argeles if you miss the direct train. Be aware, also, that the buses do not run on public holidays, possibly not on Sundays either, I can't remember. There are taxis from Argeles train station to Valmarie (too far to walk) but there are not many of them, book ahead if you can. As there were five of us plus baggage we needed 2 cars and paid 20 euros total each way.

Our return flight was too early for us to get back to Carcassonne by public transport, so we left a day earlier than we would have liked, and spent the night in Carcassonne. It may well have worked out cheaper to hire a car but it would have needed to be a big one...

Room Tip: Rent from a private owner so that you know where your caravan is. Not sure if there is any other way...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank nang123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
drogheda
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2013

Just back from 2 weeks in bois de valmarie. firstly let me commend the lifestyle staff, they were excellent and very friendly and helpful. however my caravan was situated at the bottom of the forest away from the pool and totally covered by trees and in the shade all day long. I had to go onto my neighbours deck to catch some sun which there was very little of. The caravan itself was fine, a 2 bed with 3 kids is tight but very clean and well equiped. Make sure if you like the sun you ask for a caravan in the sun and not the shade. We arrived on may 16th, not everything was open and the site was very quiet. The main problem was the weather which i know we can do nothing about but it was very bad, we couldn't sit on the deck for breakfast because it was too cold, we used to leave the heater on each night going out as it was so cold. I actually could not believe that since coming home to Ireland the m]weather is much better at home 23". France is also very expensive and when eating out it is very difficult to get good food for children as everything comes with chips. I also found the lack of english menus when eating out a little annoying but if you make some effort to speak french the waiter will help you thats if he has any english. We also had a lot of trouble with our hire car ( a nissan qashquai 2 ) from hertz, there was a button on the stering column which you had to turn to lock the car down. If not turned the battery would run down, this was not explanied by the hertz rep at perpignan airport. Lastly the town of Argeles beside Racou is a little dissapointing, its a small town and a little tackie. We spent most of our time 10mins to the south in a place called Collieure, not sure on the spelling but it was lovley, with narrow streets, castles, nice bars and eateries etc. To sum up caravan was fine location beside Argeles port was fine if your in the sun, pool on site was very good and kids enjoyed it but DONT GO TO FRANCE IN MAY. YOU WILL NOT GET THE WEATHER, A LOT OF THINGS ARE CLOSED UNTIL EASRLY JUNE AND IF YOU GOING TO A CARAVAN GET A 3 BED AND MAKE SURE ITS IN THE SUN. Sorry if this seems very negative but my overall holiday and experience of Argeles and bois de valmarie was very dissapointing

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank alanDrogheda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bielsko-Biala, Poland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2013

(+) Very well organized, comfortables mobile homes, beautyfull and heated swimming pools with slides - kids love them! Two kinder playground in the wood. Nice staff. Animation for childerns. Bakery's shop - fresh baguettes all day! Amazing place and environment! Very clean and very quiet!
(-) Not 100 m to go to the beach.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Sabi_w4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hertfordshire
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2013

We booked this campsite after reading trip adviser reviews and were not disappointed. We booked directly with the campsite as that worked out cheaper than a tour operator.
We had a 3 bed mobile home near the top of the campsite close to the swimming pool. It was very clean and well stocked and had a surprisingly large amount of storage.
We had a wooden terrace with a sea view and if you looked out of the windows on the otherside you could see the mountains. The only downside was that we had virtually no sun on our terrace. There were two other caravans close by whose terraces were better positioned for a bit of sunshine. But the views were lovely.
The swimming pool was nice and clean and although busy as the campsite was full we could always find a space to sit and usually a sun lounger. Again lovely views of both sea and mountain.
We didn't eat in the restraurant but did have takeway pizzas which were good.
The reception staff were all very helpful and the small site shop was useful ( and friendly) although as we had a car we stocked up from the larger supermarkets and just used the shop for bread and the odd thing we had forgotten!
My only criticism of the campsite was that other than the pool there was no space to run around. There was a small play area with a couple of outdoor table tennis tables but no grass area for my boys to kick a ball around / throw a frisbee / cricket etc. The closest beach was stony and when the wind got up and blew the stones around it really hurt so that wasn't much good for ball sports either. It is for this reason, I have only marked the campsite as a 4. Everything else was really good.
We did visit the sister campsite La Sirene to play cazy golf and tennis but you need a car to do this. La Sirene seemed very busy compared to La Bois Valmarie so we made the right choice to stay there rather than La Sirene.

We made several trips to the surrounding area. The village of Collioure is lovely and the children enjoyed exploring the fort and port area. We drove up into the mountains and did an amazing walk up a gorge ( Gorges de la Fou) which I would highly recommend. We went to Carsaccone one day which is a must see but make sure you get there by 10am. By 12pm it is very busy and you will end up parking a long way away.
We also drove to Spain to the Dali museum. We drove the coast road all the way there which had amazing views. However, we arrived later than planned and had to queue for 40 minutes to get into the museum. So in hindsight, we would have taken the fast ermotorway route there and the coast route home.

I would recommend both the area and campsite but the campsite is lacking a green space to run around.

Room Tip: Some mobile homes had space to park your car next to them but some did not. Ask about this when you...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank Sue2Herts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2012

We have been visiting Le Racou for years for it's great beach.
We tried Bois de Valmarie for the first time this year and found this site fabulous.
It has a great pool;, the site is clean and well kept. The restaurant and bar was good also.
The people that run the bar and the shop are Dutch, they are friendly and helpful.
The reception staff are helpful and friendly also, and they speak English,(which is useful as my French is quite appalling.) The site is in a great location for the beach and the bars and restaurants along Le Racou, and just a short stroll to Port Argeles with many restaurants and shops to while away the time.
Le Racou is the sister site to La Sirene, a few miles away and you can use the facilities there if you wish.
If you enjoy this kind of holiday, I think you will enjoy it, we have booked for next year already.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank MartinoC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Le Bois de Valmarie

Property: Le Bois de Valmarie
Address: Le Racou, 66702, Argeles-sur-Mer, France
Region: France > Occitanie > Pyrenees-Orientales > Argeles-sur-Mer
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 53 Speciality Lodging in Argeles-sur-Mer
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Also Known As:
Le Bois De Valmarie Hotel Argeles-Sur-Mer

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