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“Too loud and poor plots” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Esterel Caravaning

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Esterel Caravaning
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Avenue des Golfs, 83530 Agay, Saint-Raphael, France   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Agay
Wirral UK
Top Contributor
485 reviews 485 reviews
152 hotel reviews
Reviews in 255 cities Reviews in 255 cities
395 helpful votes 395 helpful votes
“Too loud and poor plots”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

Well it just goes to show how different we humans are. Most reviewers loved this place, but we disliked almost everything about it. We have been coming to France for over 20 years, mostly in our touring caravan and have visited most areas of the country.

We had not booked in advance, but did phone ahead a few days before to check availability. Reception was very busy when we arrived (and subsequently always seemed very busy), so we had to wait for ages to be dealt with. We were then given a map with plots circled that we could not use. So off we went in search of a plot. We found one that we liked, came back to reception, waited ages again and were then told that the plot we had chosen was booked. So off we went again. We did this 3 times before we managed to get a plot. At one stage, we were looking at a plot, when a family of other campers approached us and warned us not to take the plot as it would be very noisy. Strange we thought, but we took their advice and looked further away. How glad we were!!

The plots are generally large and some are very large indeed. Some have hot tubs and some have a shed with a washing machine and electric bbq. The problem is that the condition of the plots are poor. The plots are uneven, dusty and generally pooly mainained in comparison with other sites we've visited. They seem to have gone for the glamping image (glamour camping) but have forgotten about the basics.

We did not use what looked like a lovely pool complex. We walked to it and it was so heaving with kids and teenagers that we turned back. Sure enough, as predicted, the site was very noisy at night. We don't mind some evening entertainment, but it was poor quality, very, very loud and went on far too late. The loud music totally dominated the site until the early hours.

The washrooms are excellent and there is a well stocked shop. We visited in early September, but the site was still heaving. We stayed one night and moved on.

If you want glamping and noise until the early hours, then this site is for you. If you like a relaxing setting, then look elsewhere.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esterelcaravaning, Directeur général at Esterel Caravaning, responded to this review, January 18, 2013
Google Translation
Monsieur,

Désolé que votre séjour à Esterel Caravaning ne vous ait pas donné entière satisfaction.
Cette année, nous avons renouvelé entièrement l'équipe de la réception. Celle-ci a mis du temps à trouver ses repères ce qui a souvent engendré une attente auprès de la clinetèle. mais cette nouvelle équipe s'est toujours attachée à être souriante, agréable, serviable et dynamique. Afin de palier à ces problèmes d'enregistrements trop longs, nous allons mettre en place un système de "fast pass" via internet. Ainsi, à leur arrivée à Esterel Caravaning, nos clients seront déjà pré-enregistrés.

Concernant l'état des parcelles, il est vrai qu'en fin de saison, elles souffrent d'un manque de végétation. Les étés sont souvent très chauds sur la côte d'Azur et il est parfois difficile de garder les pelouses et la végétation au meilleur niveau sur les parcelles.

Notre camping est effectivement réputé pour ses loisirs et animations. Les parcelles situées près du patio sont plus sujettes aux bruits que les autres. En revanche, nos soirées spectacles prennent fin entre minuit et 1h du matin et nous sommes étonnés que vous ayez entendu de la musique jusqu'à l'aube...

Encore une fois, nous regrettons que vous n'ayez pas été satisfait de votre séjour à Esterel Caravaning mais nous prenons en compte vos remarques afin de nous améliorer.

Aurore LAROCHE
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314 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London, England
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012 via mobile

Arrived here on the off chance having read that it was a 5* campsite. We were travelling in our motorhome so were pretty self sufficient, however decided to book one of their better appointed pitch. We were offered a 'Palace de Luxe' pitch that came with a private bathroom, jacuzzi, dishwasher and washing machine for over €70 a night.

The pitch was in a bad state of repair. All of the landscaping was overgrown, the terrain not level and the fencing broken. The bathroom was small. The toilet wasn't clean, floor was dirty and no basics such a toilet rolls provided, which you would expect in a 5* pitch. We tried to use the Jacuzzi but on opening the lid it was obvious it hasn't been cleaned, the water was stagnant, was very smelly and there was debris in the water. We reported this to reception the following morning and they sent an engineer who turned it on and back off again and said it was fine. When complaining to reception a second time about this they told me that their maintenance person knew what he was doing and I shouldn't question him. The plot was wedge shaped and very small for the money.

The on site bar was full of loud Brits and was vastly overpriced. €3.20 for a 200ml soft drink is total daylight robbery. The shop was also very expensive - expect to pay 30% more than other supermarkets.

Positives - Sarah at reception was very helpful even offering to refund the night we didn't stay (we decided to leave early due to the poor facilities at the site). Shop / Bar staff were pleasant.

There are plenty of other sites in the area, some pretty much on the beach (see my other reviews, we went 4KMs down the road and stayed in a stunning location). Don't bother staying at Esterel - it's all marketing and no substance.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

Stayed at the beginning of September with Thomson Al Fresco. The mobile home was very clean and tidy and full of useful items for the kitchen. We did feel however that a few extra items would have been handy, such as washing up equipment.
Also we were slightly annoyed at having no air conditioning and that we were asked to pay for it. We were told it was free during high season but as we were there in September (2nd - 9th) it was no longer high season - despite this the mobile home was still stifling hot by day and very very uncomfortable at night.
The Thomson staff were very helpful and friendly. Most of the site staff were also friendly, the restaurant staff (very nice meal there) were excellent. Did however have a couple of run ins with the staff in the site shop - one girl in particular was very rude twice. The shop is rather overpriced as well.
We didn't use the pool as we were mainly out during the day time. If going to Saint Tropez, set off before 8am as the traffic there is horrendous.
Would highly recommend a trip to Cannes along the Corniche coast road, beautiful drive with the roof down on the car!
All in all we were happy with our stay at Esterel and the mobile home barring a few niggles. Pleasant rural location amongst the tree's and some much needed peace and quiet.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Al_Fresco_11, Al Fresco Holidays Customer Service Team at Esterel Caravaning, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thank you for your comments regarding your Al Fresco holiday, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your holiday and your mobile home. We do sometimes have offers when Air Conditioning is free but generally AC is a payable extra. Thank you for providing your feedback, we hope to see you again this summer.
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uk
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

We stayed for two weeks in August.

Positives: Snack bar is pretty good. We heard the restaurant was good but we never went. Location great with good beaches close by. Al Fresco mobile home was clean and adequate. Shop was expensive but well stocked and the cashier was great. Check in was easy and friendly.

Negatives: As mentioned the only two toilets for the bar/restaurant/entertainment area were communal unisex and disgusting with no soap. A total embarressment to the place. The bar waitresses were surly and rude at times. The pool area is not big enough for the camp site and unless you arrrive early don't waste your time, go to the beaches instead. The entertainment was awful and the resident singer is indeed terrible. It all starts too late, with the main acts not going on stage until after 11pm. 6 euro for using the washing machine is excessive, as is EUR 5.60 for a large beer.

All in all, we came away wondering why we paid to go to the campsite when we ended up not using the facilities due to the niggles. For information, we have kids 2 and 6.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newmarket, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012 via mobile

We stayed at this campsite for two weeks with Thomson Al Fresco in late July/early August. On arrival the check-in was quick and easy (note - we did travel on a Sunday - there were horrendous queues at reception on Saturdays to check in). We stayed in the largest available caravan a Vivaldi Riviera for our family with three children age 16, 14 and 10. On arrival it did seem somewhat small (we got used to this) but it was clean with a well equipped kitchen, three small bedrooms, air conditioning (an absolute must in 41 degree heat) bathroom with shower and a lovely decking area with a shaded pergola (which some caravans did not have). The pitch was quite small with a tiny area to park our 4x4 but again we managed! We were located at the bottom of "cardiac hill" which was not a problem for us - but beware there are some very steep hills on site if you have problems with mobility. It was a very peaceful part of the campsite away from the centre and we had a pleasant view from our decking area. The only downside was not many English although my children made friends with a Dutch group who spoke perfect English. Also, we had alot of flies in our area due to perhaps the ranch being very close so take a bug spray or swatter of some kind!

The campsite is wonderful for families. The pool area does get busy and we couldn't ever get there early enough to get a sun bed, but there was plenty of space to sit with a towel. Beware gentlemen - due to French laws you must wear unflattering Lycra type shorts in the pool causing much hilarity amongst my three boys and husband - but hey they just got on with it! There is table tennis available, tennis courts, horse riding and mini golf. There is a nightclub on site for older children which my 16 year old went to - they are strict about serving alcohol and the kids have wrist bands indicating their age. There were also security guards patrolling at night which was reassuring. There are kids clubs which are french based and didn't appeal to my children who usually spend their time with us on holidays. The takeaway restaurant was great value providing a wide choice of good food at reasonable cost. We went to the restaurant once and had a very reasonably priced meal. We did eat out in Agay a couple of nights at the wonderful "why not?" restaurant on the front. I would highly recommend this tiny restaurant which had extremely friendly service, generous portions of good food all reasonably priced. We did eat in a couple if nights as we took an electric plate with us to cook meats outside (barbecues are not allowed). Most evenings were spent in the lovely bar area (drinks are expensive) watching the hilarious and somewhat cheesy entertainment put on by the ever enthusiastic entertainment crew. The supermarket on site is quite expensive but well stocked. Dont bother to pay for WiFi - the connection is terrible and you will spend most of the time trying to log on.

The campsite is in a beautiful location nestled in the fabulous Esterel Mountains about 3 miles from the resort of Agay. There are a number of beautiful coves and beaches to explore in the area - they do tend to get busy - Agay had a number of restaurants and shops. We also travelled to St Raphael - a charming resort a few miles down the road, Frejus (the Roman amphitheatre is a disappointment covered with corregated iron and botched concrete and was unexpectedly closed) although the centre of the town is charming olde world France. Monaco is definitely worth a visit with the palace and aquarium although stressful to drive around and very expensive! Also recommened is Gorge De Verdon - France's grand canyon - spectacular with a crystal blue lake at the end of our journey! (an hour and a half drive).

We had a brilliant family holiday using this campsite as our base and would highly recommend booking with Tomson Al Fresco. We have already booked a return trip for next year and have requested the same caravan. Really looking forward to it!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Al_Fresco_11, Al Fresco Holidays Customer Service Team at Esterel Caravaning, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thank you for your comments regarding your holiday with us at Esterel, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your Al Fresco Holiday experience.
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

In favour, our pitch was a good size with a shed containing a dishwasher, fridge & 'plancha'. However, the 'plancha' was necessary due to a total BBQ ban which didn't seem to apply on other sites.
On the down side;
- Showers & toilets were below 5 star & not clean. 2 communal unisex toilets beneath the bar served the entire camp attending evening entertainment & had no hand soap for 5 days despite daily complaints.
- Bar staff & cashier in the supermarket were slow, unhelpful & impolite.
- The entertainment was dreadful. It didn't begin until 9pm. There was little or no effort to speak in any language other than French which made a one & a half hour game of bingo, quiz or 'talent' show very boring for non french speakers especially children. The resident singer, Greg, was quite simply the worst singer I have ever heard APPALLING!! Whoever devised the evening entertainment program clearly did not understand the benefit of visual acts in a multilingual environment. Even the magician did just 6 very poor tricks in an hour & more talking (in french) than Derren Brown. No Minidisco. Raunchy cabaret 3 nights out of 7 is not family orientated.
- Despite their publicity, there was nothing for under 3s to do, as the baby club was so expensive there was never anybody in it.
No, we won't be rushing back!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

We were so impressed by this site last year that we booked again this year and were not disappointed. The site exudes quality from your first greeting at reception, where the receptionists are slipping easily between French, English and German and you are dealt with promptly and with courtesy. We booked again with Thomson Al Fresco and got a mobile home with a fantastic view overlooking the surrounding hills. The experience was every bit as good as last year. The restaurant had improved - the meal we ate there was of a very high quality and the on-site grocer had expanded and had a wider range than the previous year (although as you would expect not the cheapest place to shop)

One of the nice things about this site is that the sporting facilities are all free, not the case with other sites that I've visited where you get charged for everything.

This is a well run, clean, high quality site and unless you get a pitch near the pool where all of the activity takes place, very quiet.

Criticisms:

The restaurant should take credit cards rather than insisting on cash - they point you at the on-site cash dispenser - saves them money but lands you with ATM charges.

Please do something about the tennis courts - its nice that there are two and they are easy to book, but the surface particularly on the low court is extremely poor

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Al_Fresco_11, Al Fresco Holidays Customer Service Team at Esterel Caravaning, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thank you for your comments on your holiday, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your Al Fresco Holiday and the Esterel campsite. We hope to see you again this summer, Kind Regards Al Fresco Holidays
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Additional Information about Esterel Caravaning

Address: Avenue des Golfs, 83530 Agay, Saint-Raphael, France
Location: France > Provence > French Riviera - Cote d'Azur > Saint-Raphael > Agay
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Agay
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Esterel Caravaning est un camping 5 étoiles dans le Var, sur la côte d'azur. Situé à Saint-Raphaël entre Cannes et Saint-Tropez et à seulement 3 km de la plage d'Agay, Esterel Caravaning est un lieu privilégié pour des vacances réussies. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Esterel Caravaning Hotel Agay

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