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“Getting the best from 'La Carabasse.'”

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Siblu Villages - La Carabasse
Ranked #5 of 27 Speciality Lodging in Vias
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 September 2011

Back again from yet another good holiday at 'La Carabasse.'After reading some of the reviews I could possibly give a few tips on getting the best there,as I know the area quite well after going for the last 4 years...1.Shopping;Turn right out of the main parc entrance follow the road over the canal for about half a mile into Vias Town and there's a supermarket that the locals use and everything is less than half the price than on site.If you turn left out of the parc entrance and go up the strip you'll be paying tourist prices,so avoid turning left at all costs...2.Alcohol;Go to the bar on site for happy hour,6;30 till 7;30,if you want more make sure you buy at the supermarket mentioned above and retire back to your mobile and enjoy your drinks there...3.Holiday Period;Avoid July & August if possible,you can't go anywhere quickly,much too busy on foot and by car,and the pool and entertainment area is impossible and extremely noisy.4.Mobile Homes;Save yourself a lot of money by booking directly with the owners.Ask where their mobile is situated on site,owners have the facility to produce a site map by e mail,if it's near the pool,avoid like the plague unless you like noise and people milling about all day.Even the farthest away mobiles on site are no more 5 to 10 minutes from the pool area,and you'll be gauranteed more privacy and less noise.5.Site Map;If a site map can't be produced,be very wary of booking.6.Cheap Deals;You'll get exactly what you've paid for,'Cheap.'I've seen what's on offer with these 'deals',I was caught out myself when I first went there.You can't and won't get the best mobiles on the best plots if you opt for 'cheap deals.'As I said on my previous post,'Although all the mobiles are on the same holiday parc that doesn't mean they're all of the same quality or sited on good plots.'You want either 2* or 5*,exactly the same as booking a hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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16  Thank Veritas70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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103 - 107 of 630 reviews

Reviewed 13 September 2011

We booked for La Carabasse after reading what I thought were good reviews on here. I am very conscientious when researching our holidays as its a big expense and you want to get it right. We booked 10 nights from 29th August to 8th September 2011. We paid for the 3 bed excellence with air con and terrace as we wanted to be comfortable for our stay. When we arrived (we flew into Montpellier and paid for a private transfer) it took ages to sort out the paperwork at the reception, though they were very polite. My husband went with the cases on the buggy with one of the staff and my daughter and her friend (both 13yrs) were given a map and diagram of where our accommodation was. Well, you guessed it, we got lost! and ended up asking for help. That was just the beginning of the nightmare. Our mobile home upon first impressions seemed ok, though I dont know how they are supposed to accommodate 8 people. We had a double and two 2xsingle bed rooms, we used one single room for storage. If you are above average size then you would be in trouble, there is barely enough room to move in the bedrooms and you can just about turn round in the toilet! the living area was a good size but i guess that is to accommodate a double bed settee, though when we lifted up the cushions to use the storage under the seating area we found it to be jam packed with stuff, old cushions, glasses, saucepans and other old junk. If we had needed to use that storage if there were more than 6 people there we would have been stuffed! The seats had been covered over with some old duvet covers or something? which was really annoying as they scrunched up all the time. The kitchen had a microwave combi oven which had no instructions or metal tray with it so was useless unless you only wanted to use the microwave function. There was no main oven only a gas hob. The cooking utensils were dire, no split spatula (for fried egg etc) no cheese grater, no mixing bowl etc..the crockery was a bit of a mish mash too. The washing up bowl didnt accommodate the plates, if you put a dinner plate in it was nigh impossible to get it back out again! The bin lid was foul also. We paid for bed linen but took our own towels as it was very expensive to hire them. Again, what a load of tosh, the duvet covers were too small for the duvets. The pillows were diabolical, they were the hollowfibre type and the insides of them were in clumps so as you can imagine,no comfort there. So thats the mobile home. The site itself was no better. The on site shop is not worth having. Very very expensive with little choice (1.79 euro for a 70g bag crisps), up the road toward the beach was a little supermarket with better choice and prices. The site is in a sorry state, the roads and paths in a bad way, if you are disabled or have buggys then you would be in trouble.The whole place felt run down and grubby. The pool area was ok, the slides were great when they were open which was random throughout the day. The one thing we found most disturbing was that they allow dogs on site (fair enough) but there was a dog toilet area there!! we didnt realise at first what it was until we saw some kid chucking his dog in there and closing the gate then the penny dropped! whats worse it that its right next door to the kids playground and its back will is the wall of the swimming pool area! incredible! The walk up to the beach was roughly 15 mins depending where you are on site, the pathways riddled with dog poo and again were in a state of disrepair (and watch out for cyclists). The parade of shops was pretty grim too, though there is a patisserie there where we got a lovely baguette and croissants every morning. The beach is nice and the sea was lovely and clear, you could see the fishes swimming by! The eateries were overpriced with not very nice food in our opinion. We mostly bought our groceries from the supermarket (not on site) and cooked what we could using the bbq supplied (which was also cheap and nasty). We had 3 spag bols during our stay as it was simple to cook given what utensils you have in the accommodation! Another important thing to mention if you decide to go there, take enough medicines with you to last as you cannot get even a paracetamol in any of the shops! I had terrible heartburn and we had to walk to Vias which took about 45 mins each way to buy some medicine which wasnt funny in that sort of heat. We went on market day too so had a look around that, another let down :( And the final straw.....we all had the odd sore throat throughout our 10 days and a couple of times I had felt my nose/throat were sore whilst in the mobile home with the air con on. I never thought a lot of it until I woke up one night and could hardly swallow then the penny dropped, it was the air con unit causing it. We stopped using it so much after that but it was too late, by the last day I had the onset of tonsillitis! We arrived home the next evening after a not very nice journey feeling unwell and I went straight to the doctors the following morning and he confirmed it was highly likely to have been the air con especially if it hadnt had its filters etc cleaned, which I doubt very much given the rest of the place. So thanks Siblu for a rotten holiday and a nasty dose of tonsillitis which I am on my second course of penicilin for as its proving difficult to shift. I am going to make a formal complaint to siblu and will come back and let you know what they say. If you want to go somewhere nice, go to Pra delle Torri in Italy, we went there twice, if only we had gone back again....

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
10  Thank Donna C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2011

My family & I have just returned from La Carabasse. Firstly the accomodation was for 8 people, we were a party of 7 & it was really cramped!. We had 1 toilet & 1 shower for 7 people & as you can imagine it took hours for us to get ready to go out in the evenings!!
We hired towels & bedding. The duvet covers don't fit the duvets.& the towels are not very nice either. These cost £140.00 to hire as well!!
The swimming pool - well I have never seen anything like it!! it was absolutely rammed with people, we had to sit on the floor as the sunbeds are very limited unless you pay for them. The slides at the pool & ice cream shop are only open at certain times aswell.
The lifeguards definately like the sound of their whistles as thats all you can hear and they blow them at the slightest little things.
The beach was the same!! we noticed at about 3.30pm all the French went to the beach & the pool. I can honestly say I have never been to such a packed Holiday resort in my life.
The cost of everything is double UK prices. (small bottle of coke £3/ tin of baked beans £1.55. It is really expensive!!! hence we ate in most nights.
We also found the French people extremely rude even though we did speak some of the language. My husband had a incident with a French lady at the Carabasse evening entertainment, he got up to go to the toilet with my son in one of the intervals & this lady appreared behind him and stacked his & my sons chair together & was about about to walk off with them. My husband was then given alot of verbal abuse as she was tugging the chairs out of my husbands hands. She did walk off when she realised we were not going to give them to her!! At this point I could have got on a plane & come home.
I would not personally recommend this site but saying that, its probably nice if you dont go in high season. The grounds are very nicely kept & clean.

Room Tip: Fun fair & night club can be heard until late near reception end/accomodation that sleeps 8 is o...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank sarah w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2011

Just had a great week at Domaine De Dugny in the Loire and now a week here after a one-night stay at La Pierre Plantee Chambre D'Hote in the Dordogne which was excellent.

Thankfully, we had done our homework about our holiday before we arrived like I am sure many sensible Trip Advisor people are doing and knew what to expect. For example, the booking of a departure check appointment the minute you arrive is not such a great hardship when you know about it and have been debating what time you'd prefer on the journey there. We were prepared and booked a 09:50 slot.

When touring around France, there are many different areas to visit and a very different style of holiday can be had in each of the areas. Staying at La Carabasse is NOT like spending a week touring the Chateaux of the Loire so if that is what you are after, go to the Loire, we did.
La Carabasse on the other hand is on the South Coast, like most South Coast sites, the site is pretty large and tries to include a large number of vans just like all the rest so don't expect a huge pitch. Also, because of the arrid climate, don't expect a lush green lawn on your pitch either. Ours was pretty dry and sandy with a couple of weeds breaking through. That said, the rest of the site and the hedges around our pitch were lush and very well maintained. With a superb pool complex, we didn't need to sunbathe outside our van so all was well there. Also, we didn't need to moan about hiring sunbeds because the days we chose to sunbathe, a short trek down the road took us onto the lovely clean beach so again, a bit of planning, knowing what to expect and we didn't have a problem.

The shop on-site was fine for what it should be, good value pastries for breakfast and baguettes at good prices but please remember, these facilities are put there as a service for customers and have to cover their costs. Being open and staffed for long hours each day and keeping the air conditioning running etc costs money and so, sadly, it is those people who don't even look at the prices on the goods that end up keeping the facility running for the rest of us who shop off-site (Large Hyper U nearby) and just make a morning visit for breakfast pastries.

We took a trip to S'ete one day and really struggled, there was almost nowhere available to park at all, there were long queues for the car parks and a lot of impatient people. In the end, we carried on out of the town and went to Beziers instead which slaked our shopping thirst.

The caravan was like our last one at Dugny and was excellent, an Excellence which had covered decking, air conditioning (Essential at the time we visited), two bathrooms and showers and well maintained.

Staff were very good and the entertainment was excellent.

As far as the noise goes, from a camp site point of view, there was no problem whatsoever. All the restaurants, bars & entertainment stopped exactly on midnight each night, it almost appeared to stop mid track it was that good. However, as you would expect, a large camp site full of loads of teenagers will continue to make a noise even after all the entertainment has stopped. This is natural, to be expected and not a lot you can do about it. Our caravan was close to the main track through the site and so each night we had a lot of people walking past chatting which although was inconvenient when trying to get to sleep was expected.

Summing up, the site was excellent, the staff great and not a lot they could do to improve. The minor irritations of noise etc (and that is all they were) would exist in any similar site and is out of the control of the staff, it is us guests that need to learn to keep the noise down and be a bit more considerate for others.

Would I go again? Yes, very much so but equally, don't need a Med Coast site every visit to France and will probably visit some other sites first before I return to any similar site on the coast.

The lesson for others, do as you are doing now, do your homework and research the sites and you'll not go far wrong. Even if you do make a bad choice once in a while, you'll be expecting what you end up with.

Room Tip: Appears that the larger/more expensive vans have better & larger pitches.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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8  Thank PeteSturgess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2011

Despite the quirkiness of some aspects of La Carabasse we found during our first visit in 2009, we had a great time and rebooked for this year and had great expectations that, unfortunately, just weren't met for many of the reasons mentioned in recent reviews.

We had a good caravan that was well-prepared, clean and tidy and any service query we had (gas, for example) was really well dealt with - if only a fairly standard inventory could include items such as decent glasses (rather than small juice glasses), a chopping board - pretty essential really with all the bread and tomatoes to be chopped and one rather than two reclining chairs along with pads for the table furniture - when your'e paying over £2600 for 12 nights (albeit with Tesco vouchers) surely this isn't too much to expect.

Our two girls were far less impressed with the Pirates Club and ended up going just twice which was a bit of a blow - this and many aspects of the whole site (including far more mime during the 'entertainment', for example) have become far more French and you can see a time when Siblu pull out of the UK, especially if falling UK visitor numbers make it essential to do so. As for the entertainment - well, there is some good UK talent but a seemingly expanded animation team is yet to produce any real French stars and the overall standard is prertty poor - certainly not worth waiting around form, especially when it's close to an hour late starting!

Maybe the additional costs are more important than before and we would certainly agree that extras such as sunbed hire, extortionate poolside icecreams (an icecream a day for our two girls would have set us back over 80 euros), bar (no joke at all!) and shop prices really take away from overall enjoyment of the site and, therefore, the holiday as a whole.

La Carabasse is looking pretty tired and the pool, although recently refurbished and improved, hopelessly overcrowded. The lifeguards were excellent, once again, and their continuous attentiveness and hard work makes time at the pool much easire - well done! Vias Plage is really shabby at best, particularly when you think of just how much money is coming into the area and isn't a patch on Valras Plage. The beaches are good, however, and well equipped.

And as for a couple of years time - would we return? No. Would we think of trying another Siblu site? Probably not - and this is a shame, but with the holiday costing far more than you would wish to paying for 12 nights in a caravan on the Med, there is far more available that will tick more boxes.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Service
4  Thank TastyAcademic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Siblu Villages - La Carabasse

Address: avenue de la Mediterranee, 34450 Vias, France
Region: France > Occitanie > Herault > Vias
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 27 Speciality Lodging in Vias
Price Range: €75 - €223 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Siblu Villages - La Carabasse 4*
Number of rooms: 806
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 
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Also Known As:
La Carabasse Hotel Vias
Siblu Villages - La Carabasse France/Vias

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