Four of us have just come back from La Carabasse (August 2011). It was our first trip to the Langedoc although we have stayed at a Siblu site near Paris previously. It was the pleasant experience we had there (and a couple of grand of Tesco vouchers) that persuaded us to book this holiday.
The site was much busier and crowded than our previous experience with this company. First impressions weren't good. When I'm checking in after travelling all day with two kids (flew to Toulouse and hired a car from the airport), I don't expect to be asked what time I'm intending to check out. Nor did I give them an estimate with 11 days of stay ahead and eventually booked my "leaving appointment" about 48 hours before we actually were due to check out.
Our initial impression was that the site just felt grubby around the edges although it's hard define quite why. One major bone of contention for me is the dog fouling area next to a kid's playground and alongside the swimming pool that wasn't cleaned for nearly a week. OK, it's the responsibility of the owners to clear up after their dogs but as many clearly weren't doing so, Siblu should been more pro-active in that area. You could smell the stench as you walked past it but thankfully we were in accommodation a little further away.
Some of the prices are extortionant, both at the site and in some of the supermarkets in Vias Plage. Four very average pizzas and a few drinks set us back 50 euro on the night we arrived at the main restaurant (Atoll). We learnt quickly and found if we were going to buy fast food the takeaway restaurant at the pool was cheaper, relatively, and had a better range of food. The onsite shop is unsuprisingly expensive but one or two purchase took our breath away. Nearly 5 euro for a small box of oven chips (and I mean small) although I didn't twig until we'd been through the check out.
It becomes much more economical if you have transport to go to the supermarkets in Bezier or Agde, although the traffic can be a nightmare. It took me two hours on the Saturday to get back the 5 miles I'd ventured from the park so beware.
The bar prices will make you wince. 6 Euro for an optic measured spirit. Nearly 5 Euro for a pint. The trick as far as possible is to take advantage of happy hour which runs from 7pm to 8pm at the poolside bar where most of the entertainment takes place later in the evening. Buy in advance (a 1 litre carafe of wine comes in at 5 Euro which isn't bad), and many other drinks are half price. Although expect a lecture, as I received, when I queued for 10 minutes and missed the 8pm cut off by seconds and protested when they tried to charge me the full price. "I can't be doing this again", said the barman in his Irish brogue before finally agreeing to honour happy hours prices!
So lots of moans. But, equally, I need to mention the positives.
The sense of grubbiness dissipated after a day or two. Maybe we just got use to the environment. Certainly, the site is well maintained from a landscaping perspective.
The pool, I think, is brilliant. Initially I thought the lifeguards were a little over-the-top with their reaction to minor misdemeanors but when you see how busy the pool area gets as the day wears on you understand why they have to be so controlling. Security also keeps a close control should any behaviour become inappropriate.
Back to the fleecing though. Why Siblu think it's OK to charge 2.50 Euro for sunbeds when the initial "free" allocation has been taken up I really don't understand. That's very poor.
The entertainment at the pool was some of the best I've seen. The "We Will Rock You" stage show was simply superb, and the Michael Jackson Hits show not far behind, although again they let themselves down by advertising a start time which in the event becomes half an hour or more later. When you've got small children as we have and you plan an evening around the scheduled times that can become very difficult. Nonetheless, I really thought the entertainment staff tried very hard and there are some talented individuals amongst them.
All in all, something of a curate's egg; some good and some bad. But it could have been so much better if only we hadn't left with the feeling that Siblu hadn't tried to milk us for every last penny.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A lively family holiday parc with a giant pool, 4-lane water slide and lifeguards, three free children's clubs and packed with sports activities. The Mediterranean sea and beaches plus the resort of Vias Plage are close by. La Carabasse has tennis courts, multi-sports pitches with football coaching, a restaurant, takeaway, two bars and an outside stage for evening entertainment. Spacious, modern holiday homes, some with terraces, provide the accommodation. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Ebookers, Hotels.com, 5viajes2012 S.L. and Agoda so you can book your Siblu Villages - La Carabasse reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- La Carabasse Hotel Vias
- Siblu Villages - La Carabasse France/Vias