Wow, what a view as you enter the campsite! Only in France ( with their love of big campsites) would they allow a campsite nestled betwen the rich and famous spots of the wonderful Pampelonne beach, picturesque Ramatuelle and St Tropez itself. Despite the large size f the site, it actually fits in quite unobtruslvely in the middle of vineyard and shaded by pine trees. Some may find it a little isolated, being a long hike, tiring bike ride or short car journey to the above said locations, but personally I felt I'd found my own little piece of heaven, especialy sitting on the decking of our chalet, glass of local Rose in hand, and with tantalizing glimpses of the impossibly blue sea though the trees ( ours was not a sea view chalet, but if you aimed your deck chair just so then you could definateley see the sea which was an unexpected bonus.
The chalet itself ( a riveria club or something like that) was compact but well designed, well appointed and very comfortable in a homebase sort of way. I had a good snoop around the site, and some of the chalets were certainly quite sociable in terms of being close to your neighbours, but the site as a whole was very well designed so it never felt built up or overcrowded. The hills are pretty extreme though, and you definately felt you got a good workout several times a day. I'd say the further side of the campsite ( above the restaurant area) is slightly less hilly and more picturesque, but you won't usually get a sea view on this side.
I liked the restuarant, and the pools were fun, but the pool area rather vast so difficult to watch young children. To me, going to the pool felt like going on a trip to an exotic leisure centre, and didn't feel like the sort of place to really relax. I also got told off by a life guard for moving a sun lounger ( to try and find a shady spot); apparently this is not allowed as there are so many chairs for each area. I suppose with a site this size you are never going to get small and intimate.
Also, if coming in peak season when the entertainment is on ( July and August), it's helpful to be able to embrace the whole campsite mentality of joining in silly games ( the flip flop tossing contest was particualry fun as was the donkey derby!) Overall, the atmopshere was more Centre Parcs, but with a bit of Butlins thrown in. You can avoid this side of things if you try, but the nighttime entertainment is hard to avoid altogether as the geography of the campsite is such that it acts as one big ampitheatre, with the noise travelling up the hill to the chalets and tents. It wasn't too obtrusive, but just don't go expecting complete tranquilty. Actually we watched the entetainment on a couple of evenings, and it was pretty good fun and the team were enthusiastic and mildly talented.
As everyone has pointed out, it would be great to have a small shop on site. The local spa had just about everything imaginable in stock, but was too far to walk in the heat.
Ohh, and the wrist bands. Yes, I know they are probably necessary on a site like this, but when you venture out of camp you do feel like you've been tagged, and I'm sure they attracted a few stares when we treated ourselves to lunch at club 55. But then we probably would have stood out a mile anyway as we were hardly the epitome of St tropez glammer! But that brings me back to the beauty of this place; that you can holiday in semi-luxury alongside the jetset ( who choose this amazing location for a very good reason), but for a fraction of the cost. Overall, I love Les Tournels!
- Also Known As:
- Camping Les Tournels Hotel Ramatuelle