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“Wedding at Mille Etoiles”

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Camping Mille Etoiles
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 8, 2009

We had our recent wedding at Mille Etoiles and it was fantastic. We decided we wanted a relaxed and informal outdoors occasion lasting for several days.

The atmosphere and setting was very romantic, especially at night with the forest all lit up. All our guests stayed in the yurts, and found them really comfortable and soothing! The surrounding area is really picturesque with lots of charming medieval towns and beautiful French countryside - we went on a canoe trip down the Ardeche on Friday and had our wedding in the local Catholic Church (in Vallon) on the Saturday!

The site is now set up very well for hosting events, with a lovely covered terrace area (underneath a beautiful wood/sail awning) where we had all our meals and a special wedding dinner. Mille Etoiles also has an incredible and unique "Grand Yurt" (a huge double-storey canvas structure), which was a real focal point later in the evening - we used it for dancing and partying after dinner, and it was great being able to move around the forest, with each area having a special and different atmosphere.

We had to put a lot of work into organising things from England and were incredibly lucky to have family and friends that offered endless enthusiasm and support for us. Luds and Ruth (the owners) were also very helpful with recommendations and advice, and great at organising things locally (everything from PA system, tables/chairs to African drummers for the Grand Yurt!) The other staff were very friendly and sociable, mixing with guests but also working very hard to ensure that everything ran smoothly.

For a completely different wedding in a beautiful, rustic setting with a truly special atmosphere; we think Mille Etoiles would be hard to top!

  • Stayed: September 2009
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Thank ptv99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 - 42 of 137 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2009

I approached my trip to Mille Etoiles with some trepidation. The last camping I’d done was earwigs and rain sodden ground sheets with the Girl Guides and I had made it quite clear to my ‘camping’ husband and ‘up for anything’ daughters (8 & 11), that I was not going to rough it for one of the precious weeks of my summer holiday. I need not have worried. We arrived at camp after a long drive through some quite spectacular scenery to a small haven of tranquillity.

Our yurt ‘ Manoir’ (one of about 10) was nestled in its own area of the oak forest, far enough from our next door neighbours not to hear each other, but only a short distance from the communal area and shower block (which was clean, modern with powerful hot showers). It was tastefully decorated with rugs, cushions and throws. We had our own hammocks and table/chairs for lunches for when we couldn’t drag ourselves away from the camp for lunch. We had a very comfy bed with blankets and were perfectly warm (even on the night we left the roof of the yurt open to the stars). One daughter had a proper bed, another a camp bed, but both were comfortable for the week. (we took their sleeping bags having read about concerns that they would be cold, but these were generally unnecessary with the lovely weather we had in August). The yurt was roomy enough for us for a week and as the darkness falls it’s clear where the site gets its name. A beautiful clear sky with no ambient light, and thousands of stars.

The rest of the site was clean and secure. Both girls soon made friends with the other children on site and happily played in the play area (pirate ship/swings etc) or with the owners’ placid dogs. There was no need for kids clubs or swimming pools – but don’t get stressed if the kids come back grubby and dusty. It’s child’s play as it used to be, before Nintendo was invented. You can relax with your glass of wine in the communal area (with a new canvas roof to protect from the elements if necessary) and just relax. No stress or mobile phones, just chilling. The decision to cater for campers 5 nights out of 7 took even more stress away. The food was fresh, plentiful and tasty. Breakfast, simple and more than adequate. We had a BBQ for one night when food wasn’t provided, and there is a small camping kitchen available (there are also plenty of restaurants within close driving distance if you want to venture out).

The site is in a truly wonderful setting at the top of the Ardeche Gorge. Admittedly the 30-minute walk down (and back up) is a bit challenging at times but really worth the effort – lovely sunbathing, swimming etc in stunning scenery. It is also close enough to visit other attractions of the area – canoeing on the river, the small village of Labastide de Virac (with lovely chateau) and beautiful Barjac. If you want more ‘action’ head for Vallon Pont D’Arc – but we certainly didn’t.

I think this is really camping for softies. You are not in a hotel, do not have TV, internet access or a flash pool with flumes. If that’s what you need don’t come. This is a chance to relax with nature and to get away from the stress of home – but with clean, comfy beds, hot showers, and someone cooking for you. It was great!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank Laurier3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2009

My boyfriend and I stayed at Canvas Chic for a week in September 2008.

The site is nestled in the forest, found down a windy road. You kinda don't really know what to expect, then you find it! And what a find...

We were offered a beer on arrival before being shown to our yurt (we had booked one of the couples tents set apart from the family tents, and a little more private). The yurt was perfect, yes no electricity, but what do you expect, its camping baby!

At night we lit the yurt with candles (and a solar powered torch - all supplied), which I think added to the experience.

The yurt was wonderfully furnished, comfy bed, cost blankets, seating. And the outside had everything we needed to not need to move all day - hammocks and table and chairs and a kit box of glasses, bottle opener etc.

The site is perched on top of the most amazing gorge which is what makes the site location so perfect.

Its a bit of a trek down there but so worth the walk. Its magical.

We catered for ourselves a few nights (BBQ for all to use, and enough restaurants locally). Other times food was laid on - the most amazing fish curry one night and a nice touch of a mango lassi type drink after, mmm yum.

Breakfast was great, good coffee, juices, fruit, crossaint etc. (If breakfast for the kids gets boring, buy some coca pops!).

I love it there and would/have recommend it to all of my friends - with or without kids.

I forgot, one last thing - I have never experienced camping toilets and showers like these - what a nice suprise. Yes, a few bugs here and there, but fab overall, always had hot water, never a queue, always clean. And nice soap.

Go there, it rocks.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank steelolondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2009

Booked this place as a romantic getaway with my boyfriend however when we arrived the site had been battered by a storm and looked awful! Granted the storm is not the occupiers fault however our tent was just awful, the website makes out the tents to be luxury camping, however i would suggest that this place is no where near luxury. It felt worse than sleeping in our own tent! Itchy blankets, rain beaten, sagging material and no hammock despite being promised one on booking. The meal provided was ok but there was no choice on offer. I would say save your money. If you are looking for an organic camping experience - try and create it yourself rather than paying the rediculous prices of
Mille Etoiles!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank blondiefoxy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2008

The sad thing about this place is that it could so easily be great. The location is superb, the concept is fantastic and I think the couple who run it really want to do their best. Unfortunately they let themselves down very badly by skimping horribly on the important basic details. We were there with our three children, They each had a simple canvas camp bed and a single thin quilt. They were freezing every night. We asked for blankets but were given only a couple of small thin fleecy sheets which made almost no difference. Other families there put their children to bed fully clothed to keep them warm. Crockery and cutlery for 5 of us consisted of 4 small plastic side plates and 4 sets of knifes and forks. No dinner plates. No cups or mugs. No glasses. No sharp knife or chopping board. We had no table and chairs, despite being told we were not authorised to use the communal kitchen. The staff made it appear as if every request was too much trouble.
Despite all this, we had a great time. The place is completely safe, all the other campers are the sort of people you dream of meeting on holiday. The river is fantastic for swimming in. If you bring your own bedding, towels, crockery and cutlery, and if you manage to book one of the better yurts with access to the communal kitchen, then you will have a great time.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank Monstermate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2008

We decided to book a long weekend at the last minute as the weather forecast looked a little risky for "proper camping". Luckily, they had availability & we packed our bags & 2 young boys & some food in the car & drove through some amazing scenery before arriving at camp. We were welcomed by Ruth the owner & her sister & 2 large dogs that the boys were glued to for 3 days. The yurts were lovely.. comfortable beds & candles at night. Other "campers" were very friendly, (a mixture of families & couples)..especially when we all took refuge in the communal bar whilst the thunderstorm passed us by at dinner time on our first night,having just got the BBQ cooked in time.
Not sure if I can go back to "proper" camping now, I've been spoiled!
If some of the previous campers could only find fault with the lack of towels available (see other reviews) then they really didn't get it at all!

Stayed: September 2008
Thank kandnGeneva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2008

Stayed here in August 2008, after reading all the good reports in newspapers and on here.

Unfortunately we didn't feel that Canvas Chic lived up to either our expectations or the reports listed on their website.

It certainly is not "luxury" camping as we had to manage with two towels between five of us for the first 24 hours and then we were only given, sorry we had to go and ask for more towels but were only given another two (we were supposed to have been told to bring some for the kids... which we had not).

The kitchen facilities are billed as having everything and that you don't need to bring anything at all.
We had four tea plates again between five of us (not dinner sized plates), three cups and a mish mash of cutlery.
There was no light in our kitchen tent (despite us bringing it to the attention of the owners) and there was no hot water at all to wash up your dinner/tea plates in, just cold.

The breakfast was adequate but basic (croissants, bread - jam etc, muesli, melon - the same each day) and got boring for the kids as there were no alternative cereal offered.

When you are paying around £900 per week( by the time you have added on the additional supplement for kids) for this pleasure, it certainly does not feel "luxury", and actually we left earlier than we had planned.

The actual concept they have is about 85% of the way there, but when they are billing this in the way they have on their website, and charge £900 a week, you do start to feel a bit cheated and expect a bit more.... fresh air is not a commodity or a luxury and as far as I am aware is free!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank Allybob3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Camping Mille Etoiles

Address: Mas de Serret | Réserve Naturelle des Gorges de l'Ardèche, 07150 Labastide-de-Virac, France
Location: France > Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes > Ardeche > Labastide-de-Virac
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Labastide-de-Virac
Price Range: $20 - $90 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Camping Mille Etoiles 2*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mille Etoiles provides accommodation in twelve Mongolian-style natural-canvas yurt dwellings with oak and ash frameworks.These yurts draw on the traditional Kirghiz portable dwellings used in Central Asian steppes.Eight of our yurts have double-bed accommodation for two adults, plus two children in single beds.If you have three children please contact us and we’ll fit in a third bed. Three other yurts are more remotely located in the woods, making ideal romantic getaways.Comfortable bed linen—, blankets and bedspreads—is provided, and changed every week. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Camping Mille Etoiles Hotel Labastide-De-Virac
Camping Mille Etoiles France/Labastide-De-Virac, Ardeche

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