‘When it comes to Lagrange Holidays, be careful that they don’t send you to a camp that looks like a prison!!’
In England we paid for a holiday apartment in Port Camargue in the South of France. We looked at the pictures given in their brochure, please see below, and published on the website- (although now the pretty picture of the accommodation block has now been removed).
When we requested for further information on the access to the sea, the quietness of the location and the access to our rooms we received pretty muddled answers. At the time I thought it was down to mis-communication/intepretation because although the Lady on the other end of the phone spoke good English, she was French.
Unfortunately we now know that the staff were actually very good at not giving away too many home truths about the place.
When arriving at the Resitel, Port Camargue, owned by LaGrange, we were expecting a comfortable, quiet apartment near the sea. We thought we were getting a 3 star apartment but have subsequently been told that the things we thought were stars were actually dots. Apparently 3 dots means it is comfortable and I am sure it would rate as comfortable for prisoners. It certainly doers not mean 3 star accommodation though. More fool me for not realising that LAGRANGE had cunningly invented their own system of grading that looked remarkably like what everyone else uses but is certainly not up to the same standards. I wonder what a single dot accommodation would be like?
With a baby and a 3 year old we were expecting to drive up to the apartment and unload all our bags. However, on arrival, we were told to unload all our things onto a trolley, for which we had to pay, and wheel our belongings through 50 metres of corridors of uneven concrete slabs. At 7.30pm with 2 young children, there was little alternative.
We wheeled through the dingy corridor and came across our apartment. See photo below. You can notice straight away the bars on the window and the heavy nature of the door. (I am sure this wasn’t an old prison camp but I may be wrong!) Inside the apartment was OK. Basic and certainly not spacious but hey this is 3 dots not 3 stars.
Outside the front of the apartment was pretty scrubby and within 20 metres, were some OK looking tennis courts and just beyond those was a walkway boulevard that lead from one part of the town to another. We had been told there was a short path to the sea, what we hadn’t expected was to cross a busy pedestrian boulevard to get there. This boulevard was full of people night and day which was great if you wanted to watch the world go by from outside your apartment but not so good if you wanting to settle your children. We were soon to experience the usefulness of this ‘Path Way’ when at 10pm a drunk resident fell onto our front lawn, some 4 feet from the bedroom where my son was sleeping. The apartment that we had been put in was right next to the corridor, which conveniently lead to the path leading to all the bars and restaurants. This access was the most convenient for at least 50% of the residents.
So we were in a 1 star apartment at the end of a dingy corridor, next to the corridor, which lead to the `pedestrian boulevard’ not the 3 star apartment in quiet surrounds we had been expecting.
We got the basics from the car, put the kids to bed and made up our minds to leave early in the morning.
In the morning we had breakfast in the restaurant, and like the diner the night before it was a pretty low standard affaire. The staff were friendly but the food lousy. In fact the food was of such a poor quality that I couldn’t believe we were in France. Were we not in the Gastronomic capitol of the World, surely no French chef would produce this??
When we announced to the reception manager in the morning, that we were leaving she was most understanding saying that quite a few English people had complained because they thought they were coming to a 3 star premises and she agreed this, the Resitel, Port Camargue, certainly was not 3 stars. She didn’t mention anything about the 3 dots I had to wait for my return to England to find this out.
We moved to a local apartment that evening and for the rest of our holiday!
When we returned we took up our grievances with Lagrange. After much deliberation (5weeks) they decided they did not have a case to answer for misrepresentation.
That 3 dots were 3 dots and not 3 stars.
That they never promised quiet accommodation but said they would do their best (We now know their best isn’t very good is it!)
That we were told that their was a path and if we couldn’t understand that this meant a pedestrian boulevard then we obviously didn’t understand their broken English, spoken by the French assistants in Chiswick.
Well, there you go, if you do go on a Lagrange holiday and of course I personally wouldn’t recommend it, then get straight answers in writing before you go because at least then when it does turn out to be a let down they can’t give you the ‘Dots’ and ‘Path’ treatment.
Good Luck and happy Holidays.
Oh and do be careful Lagrange are all over Europe in Summer and Winter Ski resorts!
- Also Known As:
- Residence Resitel De Camargue Port