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“Superb high quality site”
Review of Esterel Caravaning

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Esterel Caravaning
Ranked #1 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Agay
Reviewed August 20, 2011

We visited as a family with teenage kids in August 2011 with Thomson Al Fresco. Having spent the previous week at La Baume, this camp was such a contrast. A lot smaller than La Baume and infinitely higher quality. The camp is built on a hillside, which means that most of the pitches have superb views across the hills and out to sea. The Thomson service was very good and the accommodation very high quality. The site was clean, well spaced out and generally quiet. The pools were good. The site has two tennis courts and amazingly one squash court. The tennis courts were a bit dodgy but otherwise the sports facilities were good. Being built on the side of a hill does mean some walks are a bit hard work and I wouldn't bother hiring a bike here - you will either be climbing hills in the lowest gear or wearing the brakes out coming down hills.

Another interesting feature of this site is that it has wild boar!! If you wait until dusk and are overlooking the hills as we were you can see families of wild boar roaming.

Highly recommend this site - I would definitely go back again.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank nergelag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Al_Fresco_11, Al Fresco Customer Service at Esterel Caravaning, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2011

Thank you for your reply. I am glad you enjoyed your holiday with Al Fresco. Your comments are much appreciated and we hope to see your custom again.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 14, 2011

I was feeling very wary about going to this site after reading some poor reviews on trip advisor. However, in my opinion I would like to say that these poor reviews are very unfair. Yes the site is hilly in places but thats what you get when you book a holiday on a site that nestled in the Esterel mountains! We stayed at the site with Eurocamp and our mobile home was perfect, well appointed with privacy from other mobile homes thanks to the well placed hedges at the side of every van. This made it feel as though you weren't overlooked or on top of each other. Its so nice to be at a caravan site so different than those in the UK where all you get is row after row after row of caravans on a flat site.

We found the staff on site very helpful too and the couple of things that we had to talk to them about were sorted out very quickly with no questions asked by them.

The pools are good for all ages, sunbeds are available but these are a bit limited in number so get up early by 9am to get one. That'll give you more time in the glorious sunshine as well!

The food shop is well stocked and we had lovely fresh baked croissants and bread from there which was priced reasonably. The nearest hypermarket is ELeClerc which is only a 5 min drive away and petrol there is the cheapest we found in the area!

Beer is a little expensive but there are two happy hours every day where beer is half price bringing it down to english pub prices so we made the most of this when we wanted a beer.

The only thing I would say is that from this year they have passed a regulation in France that all males (including children) have to wear swimming trunks in any swimming pool. We did not know this before travelling and it meant we had to purchase trunks for two of our party whilst away. The shop on site does sell these but I feel this 'regulation' should have been better publicised to us before we went on holiday.
We also expereinced wild boars once but we found them timid and as soon as humans approached they run away. I only saw people getting quite excited when they saw them and taking photos, no one was scared and they do only come out late at night.

Overall we had a brilliant stay at this site and would definately return. A great base for a family holiday and exploring the region.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank DTinPoole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2011

Agree with the obvious comments of "one time visitors". The pitches are not large, but campsites in the Esterel do not have big or flat pitches. If you want that, I'd suggest you go to Holland for your holidays. Pitches can be difficult to get into, then again, I wonder every year where some people got there driving licence...
Been there now for many years. Absolute quietness, safety and friendly social environment are fantastic. Sure, I know several people, even returning customers, who have the occasional run-in with security or staff and keep complaining about every detail. Then again, they're generally those who shouldn't be camping. This is a social place where you need to learn to live alongside others. Not a villa where you spend holiday with your own little self.
The site is perfect for families with children: the new baby area with splashpool now caters for young families, kids have all kinds of entertainment and sports (mini-golf, tennis, etc are all free) and teens do not need to venture off-site at night (bar, disco). Prices are actually low compared to the rest of the Riviera.
Downsides: Sanitary equipment is old and badly maintained, cars are allowed to drive very fast (with personnel setting the bad example by driving fast themselves) and the site could do with a long-term vision from management vs. the focus short-term cash revenue (e.g. invest in new toilet blocks?)
As for the people who complain on why no BBQ's, it's clear you've never been close to a forest fire in the South of France.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Kwispel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2011

The Site itself is really nice, very picturesque surroundings set in the Esterel Mountains.

Facilities on the site are really good to, although we never really had much time to fully take advantage from them as there was to much we wanted to see in the area in the time that we were there.

Bar was nice, drinks prices reasonable and to be expected for the area, we never ate in the restaurant but used the takeaway a couple of times and have to say that was really good value for money with good size portions. Shop was well stocked with all the things you could possibly need but expensive when compared to the the local L'eclerc which was only a few minutes drive from the site but handy if caught short with anything.

Overall the staff were friendly and welcoming, always approachable and they speak good English. Should I say the daytime staff anyway... The evening/night time shift was manned by one person who didnt really want to know us as he was to busy talking on his phone! He seemed to have less patience than the normal day staff when we approached with a problem after we couldnt reach our key camp representative, very little patience for the English and came accross as being quite rude which is a shame when everyone else was so friendly and accomodating.

Only real thing that put us off was the heavy presence of Security especially in the evenings. there is a club on site as well as a bar so i can appreciate the need for Security people to be there but it has to be said the people who were on during our stay were very intimidating and had attitude problems, maybe it was the fact that they were in a uniform! It Gave the overall feeling of being in some UK nightclub at the end of the night, really didnt see the need for such attitude and such heavy handed and intimidating security, its a holiday site after all. The way they follow people and look them up and down really isnt on. They passed a couple of remarks to my Girlfriend in french so she did not understand what they were saying when driving passed in the buggy one evening, then laughing to each other.

Also we noted that they liked to express particular interest in the young girls that frequented the nightclub, one particular security guard trying it on with a different girl every night. We saw one guard in particular kissing different girls who could have have been barely 18! They are there to do a job not flirt with the customers; they drive around the site at night and whistle at girls, which we thought was highly inappropriate behaviour. We felt that we were being watched at night time and we are in our 30's, not a nice feeling to have when on holiday. Not sure if these jobworths actually work for the site itself or are brought in through an agency but really is no need for such behaviour.

One final thing to note is the presence of Wild Boars on site at night time. I know its been said before on here about their presence, to be fair the boars arent as bad as people make out as they run away as soon as they hear humans approaching. We were warned about the boars on our arrival but only briefly to tell us not to encourage them by leaving food out for them and told not to put food in our bins.

On our first night we had ventured down to the bar only to return to our caravan to find that we had been raided by the boars who had knocked over our bin and also the bins of our neighbours in search of food. We thought nothing of it, put our bin back in its original place and went to bed. next morning I awoke to find scratches running along the bottom of my car accross both front and back doors of the drivers side. I take great prode in my car so was gutted to see the visible damage that had been caused in the daylight. The same scratches appeared on the lid of our bin so they had obviously been caused by a Wild Boar when routing around our bin!

The sratches on my car go down to bare metal and Im now going to have to pay to have the side of my car resprayed, which infuriates me greatly! there was no warning given about the boars causing damage to vehicles only warnings given not to leave food out for them which we certainly didnt do, as to whether previous customers had before our arrival we dont know as we didnt check, one would assume all rubbish would be emptied before our arrival!

Damage to my car has been estimated at between 2 - 300 pounds, making our already expensive stay an even more expensive stay! When asked about this on site we were told that we park our car at our own risk and that they cannot be held responsible for anything happening to it! :( Had we be warned before about this sort of thing happening then maybe id have taken more care and given more thought as to where to park my car, certainly not next to the bin!!!

Warnings should be given, take your car on site with caution!

Just one other thing to note is that the site is built on the side of a mountain, many of the roads on the site that lead to the different tiers and pitches are steep inclines, we are still young and fit but even we found it tiring to walk up and down the roads on site! Definately not suitable for older people or people with disabilities in my opinion!

Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
5  Thank weekendbreaker73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2011

We stayed for a week at the beginning of July. The site is in a lovely location in the Esterel mountains.
We only used the pool area once on our visit but it was clean and well kept.
The site shop stocks most things, obviously more expensive than a large supermarket.
There is a large supermarket L'ecleric, about a 10min drive away in St Raphael.
The bar area is lovely and overlooks the pool.
The mobiles are set out in the hillside so its not really a suitable area for anyone with walking difficulties.
There are lots of tracks into the mountains, its ideal for cycling/walking/running.
Our mobile was in a nice private location toward the bottom of the site near 'the ranch'
where the horses are kept.
I cant comment on the entertainment facilities for children as we went without kids, but it did look as though there was plenty to keep children occupied.
Agay is the nearest town, about 3miles, it has a lovely beach and a few small shops and cafes.
The drive between Agay and Cannes is spectacular with lots of view points to stop off at the admire the views.
We visited Frejus (old town) which is lovely but we weren't too impressed with the port/beach front area as it is very busy and not very attractive.
Grasse is definately worth a trip, its about an hours drive inland, well worth the effort as the old town is fantastic, lots of old narrow streets and its famous for it perfumeries.
All in all a lovely part of the world to visit and the site is suitably located for exploring the area.

Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
1  Thank cullycumbria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2011

We stayed for 3 weeks at Esterel in a Thomson Al-Fresco caravan and we loved it. This is our 3rd year here and I know that can seen to be sad,, but our boys loved this place and wanted to come back. It is a very safe and secure place for children and we even relaxed into our boys doing the daily morning bread run to the on site shop on their own.

We enjoyed the pool area and spent most days there, you know what kids are like sunshine and water equals happiness. The pool can get busy as the season progresses, but it all adds to the fun- spotting the early birds with the towels down on the sunbeds!

The site offers a small shop for daily things like bread. milk etc, a relaxed bar area and puts on family entertainment during the day and at night. Dont expect West End show standards, its a caravan holiday after all; more "Birdy Song" / Timmy Mallet level of cheesiness. For meals there are 2 options, other than cooking yourself,,a restuarant and a take-away. The food in the restuarant was ok but the service was poor. The take away run by Jimmy was brilliant for us. He does daily specials and they are fantastic value for money and delicius.

The beaches and attractions in this part of France give you plenty of options to do things away from the site. Train trips to Monaco, boat rides to St Tropez, days out at the aquapark , evening markest in St Raphael/ Frejus are some of the things on offer.

The caravan site is not enormous and provides a mix of fixed caravans and sites for tourers. .It has been around for 35 years , so must be doing something right. One thing we did notice in our 3 holidyas there , the number of families who come back year after year.We met up with Soottish, Irish, English and Dutch families from previous years, which adds to the freinlienss and relaxed nature of the holiday. I can see the huge attraction whilst oour children are in the 3 to 12 age range. I would thnik again if our boys where teenagers and were coming here for the first time, there is less on offer for that age group.

If you are lloking for a family caravan holiday , with all its relaxed atmosphere that entails , you would be hard pushed to better this one.

Room Tip: A realxed holiday for all the family
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank DerrickGlasgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Al_Fresco_11, Al Fresco Customer Service at Esterel Caravaning, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2011

Thank you for your reply. I am glad you enjoyed your holiday with Al Fresco. Your comments are much appreciated and we hope to see your custom again.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2011

Stayed here for four nights with our three children. the caravan itself filthy,the cutlery and plates were definitely not washed in a long time.there wasn't even one roll of toilet paper,a bar of soap or a drop of washing liquid.the shower would scald us and then have us freezing within ten seconds.we were charged a lot of money for linen,at this warm time of the year sheets and blankets and towels should be available without having to rent full duvets aswell, about 25euro per double bed.It was as far away from the site centre as you could get.
We were booked with keycamps holidays and seem to have been put in the worst part of the site, no landscaping,surrounded by a broken rusty fence,and the ground and decking and inside floor and kitchen counter tops were covered in ants that appeared to be coming from under the caravan. We woke up one night to find a wild pig from the National Park beside us going through the rubbish bin with her four piglets. two days later the same pig apparently bit a dog,(it might have had something to do with staff members and teenage customers using parasols to poke it) and the pig was apparently shot by staff within hours,instead of getting of their rear ends and fixing the hole in the fence.Staff in reception refused to comment when questioned.
the snack bar served up utter tripe that i wouldnt give a dog ,that cost a fortune(for whatr it was) and was not fit for human consumption.
the bar charged €5.40 for a 500ml warm beer and the entertainment was below average.But we couldnt go there for more than one pint, as our caravan was impossible to reach by foot with a pregnant wife and three kids, the layout and design of the site is ridiulous.
the shop is ok,has u.k. papers at a premium as expected and the shelves are stocked ok.
the kids club,wasnt open,nor were any of the "pamper"facilities.there is no mobile phone reception...we were told that if we needed help we were to run up to reception as if it were 30 yards away instead of the epic journey that it in fact was.internet €3 per hour.
the kids also got a really bad rash from the chlorine in the water of the pool.
anyone who leaves a good review of this place is either deranged or lying. my advice, put and extra few quid to your accomodation and get some comfort.
and its a long long way from agay, so if you havent got a car definitely forget it.
in saying all that , dont let it put you off the area, it is a beautiful part of the world with many fine restaurants.

Room Tip: stay elsewhere!
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank stephenmaher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Esterel Caravaning

Address: avenue des Golfs, 83530 Agay, Saint-Raphael, France
Location: France > Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur > French Riviera - Cote d'Azur > Saint-Raphael > Agay
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Agay
Price Range: $25 - $61 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Esterel Caravaning 5*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Esterel Caravaning is a 5-star campsite on the French Riviera. Located in Saint-Raphael, between Cannes and Saint-Tropez and only 3 km from the beach of Agay, Esterel Caravanning is a privileged place for greatest holidays. New in 2016: Water park with slides and pentagliss to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the campsite ! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Esterel Caravaning Hotel Agay

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