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“Great Hospitality and Great People”

Camping Le Ch'ti Franoi
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Camping Le Ch'ti Franoi
Ranked #240 of 292 Speciality Lodging in Ardeche
Yateley, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Hospitality and Great People”
Reviewed 30 July 2012

We have been to the campsite in the Ardeche on several occassions and have always had a great time. Audrey and Steve always give us our favourite spot on the campsite which overlooks the swimming pool. There hospitality is next to perfect and nothing is too much trouble. If you want a lovely holiday with peace and quiet and lovely sunshine with nice wine and friendly people this is for you. We will be booking to see them again next year for a week in the season and know that we can guarantee a great holiday.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Jean W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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24 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
London
1 review
Reviewed 22 April 2012

When booking my family holiday in the Ardeche we found a beautiful relaxing campsite, namely Camping Le Ch'ti Franoi. The campsite is run by an English couple who were extremely friendly and nothing was too much to ask. The mobile home we stayed in was perfect.It was spotlessly clean and overlooking the most beautiful vineyards. We were able to order breakfast each evening and the children were able to collect the breakfast from the shop the following morning, which enabled a relaxing start to the day.

The swimming pools were fabulous the water on both the pools were totally clear and daily recorded temperatures were stipulated on the outside gate of the pool. The swimming pools were even open for night swim once a week.

If you are thinking of a going on a relaxing family holiday this is certainly the place for you and your family. We will certainly book again and again without hesitation.

Room Tip: Ask for mobile home number 25 overlooking the vineyards - simply perfect :)
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ross t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2011

When I booked our 450 euro per week mobile home, for the two of us adults and two kids for a fortnight, I thought I’d done reasonably well. Alarm bells should perhaps have sounded when the proprietors immediately wrote back asking us if we wanted to upgrade, for over 100 euros per week more, so we weren’t “disappointed when you arrive”.

Not the most promising response from a holiday outfit to a booking but I put it down to the fact that the campsite, of around 50 units and based in the sunny Ardeche region of France, is run by a single English couple with a bit of help from two part time British students. The main role the students play, incidentally, is to translate for the owners who, despite being here for 7 years, do not speak any French – a point which is not lost on the French campers.

I replied asking what was so wrong with the unit we’d booked – did it not have all mod cons and was clean? Yes, they said, just a little old. Don’t worry about it.

Audrey and Steve are nice enough people but the description below tells you, I think, that they have taken on more than they can handle, and the end result is that everyone, I suspect including them, feels a little bit short changed.

A week before we departed for France an email pinged into my inbox; it was Audrey & Steve, advising us very apologetically that our mobile home had basically been trashed by some kids. They hoped, they said, this didn’t spoil our enjoyment – but there was no offer of a refund. When we arrived there were two windows with giant cracks across them and one window, in the toilet, with a small hole knocked through it that had obviously been a victim of the same kids. One way to ventilate a WC I suppose.

We had to ask Steve to put some tape across the main bedroom window crack – he wasn’t best pleased, grumbling that he didn’t think it had been necessary. These pesky London types, eh.

Other slightly less than salubrious features of our new boudoir included a drawer handle that had been ripped off so you couldn’t get to the cutlery without some origami style dexterity and the bottom of the shower which was taped together. That was the least of your worries since it was either boiling hot or colder than a mountain spring. Imagine the joy when the kids used it.

Lastly, we noticed that the beds had no linen on them. This is not advertised on their website and we certainly hadn’t been advised of it. “No problem” said Audrey, “I can get you some, no problem” and back she came with some sheets, which was nice especially after the long journey we’d had to get there.

So hey ho, we thought, we’re British and we don’t moan. Especially not about the weather which since I was last in the Ardeche 15 years ago has changed markedly according to the French campers I spoke to. No longer the guaranteed scorching sun, half of our first week was colder and wetter than old London town. Not much the owners can do about that, of course, but they don’t go out of their way to tell you what to do when it rains either. Mainly because they don’t seem to know the area very well themselves – they hadn’t heard of some amazing underground caves called Aven D’Orgnac which is a UNESCO world heritage site and a place where you can see cave formations which have grown over millennia and which are truly spectacular. It’s less than an hour’s drive from the site.

No, it wasn’t any of that which started to hang heavy in the air – that was more than accomplished by the periodic heavy smell of sewage hanging over the mobile homes which, judging by the pipes, clearly empty their toilets into a septic tank under a piece of overgrown land backing on to the site. The use of a septic tank, or fosse as they are called in France, is perfectly normal for this area – but emptying them so they don’t stink is also somewhat normal in hot countries. A fact which you reflect on over your morning croissants and coffee, as a pungent Odour de Toilette fragrances the air around you.

The main marketing point for Camping Le’Chti, which they place centre-stage on their website and logo, is the swimming pool. Not unreasonably since it’s a nice pool and centre piece of the site. The pool, however, is unmanned. What this meant for our stay was that our small kids had to regularly leave the pool, along with numerous others, as the large chav contingent dive-bombed and threw each other in. I know we raised this with the owners twice and I saw others do so too – but response there came none. In fairness, I don’t know the French for “you might land on children’s heads” either, but then I don’t work there.

When Les Chavistas started converting parasol poles for baseball bats to propel tennis balls across the swimming pool area as a whole, it seemed like a good time to seek entertainment elsewhere.

Audrey and Steve have some harsh words in their guidebook for would-be offenders. They even use the word “offenders” in there to refer to campers who don’t clear up after themselves before leaving who, they warn, will lose their 50 euro deposit. The place must be swept, mopped and tidied so you leave it as you found it. In our case I assume this didn’t mean we were being asked to smash the place up again.

And I also don’t mind the need to clean – this is camping, after all. No, what rankled more than anything was when I came to settle the tab that we had run for odds and ends , drinks at the bar and ice creams for the kids. And lo, there was a 40 euro charge for …. Bed linen! All of a sudden Audrey’s helpful offer at the beginning, which helped us overlook what I think in any reasonable person’s mind was a fairly disappointing start, appeared in a new light altogether.

And then came the denouement – inspired by the dire warnings of consequencs for “offenders” who didn’t clear up we spent the last day of our holiday mopping, sweeping, wiping and tidying away. Audrey duly came and inspected the place, said it looked fine, and off we went. I think you know what is coming … yes, in pinged another little email from Audrey and Steve. They were taking our 50 Euro deposit, they said, because it hadn’t been tidy enough. And they’d found two chipped glasses.

I honestly don’t know if we chipped two glasses –I didn’t see any but I cant say for sure. But 50 Euros seems a little steep for two cheap glasses (we’re talking Aldi here not cut crystal) and in any case contrast that with the complete non-offer of any compensation for our having smashed windows, and a smelly backyard.

The owners are not bad people, and they do work hard to keep the site running with late nights and early starts pretty much every day for three months in high season, but the point is that they don’t seem to be on top of everything (smells, poolside activities) or averse to a little bit of Ryanair-style money pinching (hidden charges). Which is a shame because the site could be so much better with just a little more attention. The no frills experience is fine if that’s what you were expecting and you get what you actually paid for – but I’m not sure broken windows and poo smells was what we had in mind.

So good luck to them, but bewarned if you’re thinking about booking up – especially if you wouldn’t fly Ryanair out of choice. There are plenty of alternatives in the Ardeche, and we wont be going back to Le’Chti. As you might have guessed.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank LondonRunner186338
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Camping Le Ch'ti Franoi

Property: Camping Le Ch'ti Franoi
Address: Route de Planzolles | Cedat, Route de Planzolles, 07230, France
Region: France > Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes > Ardeche
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #240 of 292 Speciality Lodging in Ardeche

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