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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 only suitable for 6
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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.
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
Reviewed 17 August 2011

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.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
4  Thank Paul_Woodley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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