Archive for the ‘Property Spotlight’ Category
Earlier this month the lovely Elodie and Camilla from the Pierre & Vacances UK team were lucky enough to spend a week in the South of France discovering the Pierre & Vacances residences along the Cote d’Azur. For one week they went from residence to residence meeting the resort managers, their teams and checking out the holiday apartments, pools and local areas. We know, it’s a tough job but someone had to do it!
Here Elodie shares some of their photos and tips for holidays to Nice, Cannes and St Tropez:
Premium Residence Port Prestige
Only 30 minutes from Nice airport, our first night was spent at the Premium Residence Port Prestige in Antibes.
The residence is a five minute walk to the Port with views of Fort Carre and 10 minutes walk to the beautiful beach of “ Plage de la Gravette”.
This was the view from the balcony of our apartment….
…and what an amazing roof with a Jacuzzi!
The first day of our tour started with a visit to some of the most beautiful self-catering residences in Cannes.
Cannes Mandelieu Holiday Village
Cannes Mandelieu is located just800 metres from the beach and close to the much celebrated Boulevard de la Croisette where the Cannes film festival is held.
Residence Cannes Beach
Cannes Beach is only five minutes from the beach, close to the centre of Cannes. The apartments are spread out over seven floors, and for those wanting to keep their bikini figures while on holiday there is a fitness room also available on-site.
Residence Cannes Villa Francia
Cannes Villa Francia residence has been recently renovated, and the infinity pool is pretty special.
After a long day of visiting the holiday apartments and residences (whilst also enjoying the 30°C sun!), we were off to the holiday village of Cap Esterel for two nights.
Cap Esterel Holiday Village
Cap Esterel feels like a little village, everything is on-site: mini supermarket, restaurants, shops, doctor, six swimming pools all over 200 hectares. Plus lots of activities for all ages available, such as tennis, a circus school, zumba lessons, horse riding, Nordic walking, paintball, diving…. to name a few!
The residence also has its own lake, with bookable activities like the Tree Top Adventure course with the interestingly named ‘devilish’ zipline.
Every week a program is released with all the different activities and events available at the holiday village, we were lucky to see a Provencal market where local farmers came to sell their products on the main street called “Place de la Bravade”. We met local olive producers, wine suppliers, farm produce and also local artists and designers selling jewelry, glass, scarves… Of course it was the food which captivated us the most:
The “Navette”, it’s a biscuit from Marseille, it can be plain or flavoured, generally with an orange or lemon taste.
We also enjoyed, the “Fougasse” which is a type of flat bread made with olives, cheese, anchovies… typically from Provence but with regional variations.
To finish our tasting tour, the Saucisson. They were really good – actually I tasted all of them but I controlled myself and only bought three!
But it wasn’t all work for us, during our stay in the Cap Esterel holiday village we took a little train to the beach to treat ourselves to some rest and a nice tan for our return to the UK!
Thursday was the day for viewing the St Tropez area and the residences in Les Issambres: Les Rivages, Les Calanques, Le Hameau and Les Issambres Holiday Village. Les Issambres is a really peaceful and a pretty part of the Cote d’Azur, perfect for a relaxing holiday away from the hustle and bustle of the main towns in the South of France but close enough to visit them for the day.
The resort manager, Murielle Oger, showed us various accommodation types, some of which have been upgraded in 2007 and to meet our Premium residence standard.
The holiday village sits on the hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean with fantastic views, although we had a short drive to the coast we were pleasantly surprised to find there is a Pierre & Vacances private beach where you can rent sunbeds.
Pierre & Vacances Les Restanques Holiday Village
Les Restanques Holiday Village is situated at only 8km from beautiful St Tropez bay.
The holiday village has two swimming pools, including a heated pool and a wave pool, and two restaurants on-site with a buffet or à la Carte menu. The accommodation varies from studio to a Bastide for eight people. So there really is something for everyone!
Pierre & Vacances Residence Parc des Grimaud
Residence Parc des Grimaud‘s nearby beach is walking distance away, only 400 metres via a private and secure path. As well as the 300 apartments being fully renovated in 2011, the residence has been awarded the “Green Key” in 2010.
The building “Marianne” is the only building in the Residence Parc des Grimaud to have self-catering apartments with air conditioning and separated toilets.
While there is lots to keep every age busy from dawn until dusk at our family friendly Holiday Villages in France, we also want families to take advantage of the real France through the beautiful and varied local areas around our self catering accommodation, which is why we’ve launched a new and exciting range of regional discovery excursions for the summer holidays.
Looking for activities to do in Provence? How about learning to make the region’s traditional lavendar soap. Or if you’re stuck for things to keep the kids busy in the Ardeche, why not try something educational and fun [and delicious!] like visiting a dairy to learn how to make goats cheese. Or if you’re after something a little different to try in the south of France, join beekeepers to make some delicious honey you can take home.
And these French discovery days are only the start of a huge revamp for our popular Holiday Villages in France and Spain – we also have refurbished apartments, more free activities for all the family and new a la carte services for this year’s summer sun.
Kids club holidays
No child is the same, so we’ve also revamped our kid’s clubs to give children of all ages the chance to fill their holidays with activities that match their own interests – whether it’s adventurous activities, scientific discovery, inspiring those with artistic flairs, something sporty, or just good fun to make new friends.
Extra à la carte services
There will be more à la carte services on offer, including a breakfast and bakery delivery service, party orders [such as fondue or BBQ] and excellent value half or full board meal cards.
Holiday activities for all the family
Families will also be able to enjoy more free activities with sports tournaments, fitness courses from Les Mills, concerts and shows, and family games in the evenings to keep the kids busy all holiday. As well as the option to try activities such as horse riding, sailing, canoeing, circus tricks and surfing.
We have 13 Holiday Villages across France and Spain, from Normandy, Brittany, and the Atlantic Coast, to the South of France, Provence, Ardèche and the Costa del Sol. The family friendly villages are located in prime locations near beautiful sandy beaches, golf courses or nature reserves and [as well as the delicious dining facilities on site] near restaurants, shops and picturesque French towns and ports just a short distance away.
For example, our newly re-vamped Belle Dune Holiday Village in north Picardy has houses and apartments built in the authentic 20th century style of the Picardy region, all arranged around a large lake. Belle Dune has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, pedalos, sailing, a petting farm, children’s clubs and a nearby beach is accessible by foot or on a miniature train – we know which one this kids will prefer!
New for this year at Belle Dune is a VIP accommodation range, regional activities and themed kid’s clubs, with prices starting at £65 per child per week. You can search and book your family holiday to France online, or call 0870 0267 145.
Last month Pierre & Vacances customer Andy Parker visited Picardy for a weekend get-away. Check out his review of our Premium Résidence de la Plage, and the things to do in Le Crotoy and the surrounding area:
Le Crotoy is a pretty special place. A small town on the bay of the Somme, where Jules Verne wrote the majority of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea whilst staying in the town, just a short drive from Abbeville. Being a fishing town there are several restaurants all serving fresh catches and we managed to visit the morning market to see what was available straight off the boat that morning.
Only visiting for a weekend trip we decided to eat out both evenings, but had we stayed longer we would have been more than accommodated to cook my own local foods with the fish markets setting up when the trawlers come back in, an amazing butchers, grocers and patisserie all within walking distance of the apartment.
We stayed in a two bedroom apartment which could quite comfortably have slept up to six people because the sofas were also beds. The living space was ideal, the kitchen was fully kitted and exceptionally clean with the espresso machine and complimentary capsules a nice touch.
There were two bathrooms, one with a bath/shower and the downstairs a spacious shower, both were perfect after a long day walking along the coast line watching the wind and kite surfers.
The view from both the master bedroom and the living room/sun terrace were stunning, spanning all the way across the bay and up the coast line.
Being a cold November, we didn’t get an opportunity to dip into the outdoor pool but its location, facing over the waterfront, seemed ideal.
We took a trip to Abbeville which was no more than 20 minutes by car. The town has a wonderful high street with a strong mixture of high street brands and independent retailers (particularly the chocolatiers). The church in the centre of town has been restored several times throughout its history and information was available in English which helped with our lack of reading French!
There are several landmarks dotted around the town which we uncovered from exploring side streets which reflect how much devastation the town saw throughout 1914-1945.
Our final trip was to a discrete cemetery for those who served in the Great War in the village of Lebucquiere. Although we’ve never been to some of the larger memorials and cemeteries which are considerably closer to Crotoy, this one held personal interest to me.
It was a drive of several hours and we decided to utilise the toll roads. They really do put UK road services to shame! Yes you do have to pay (maximum journey was from Lebucquiere to Calais at 9 Euros) but they’re fast, direct and pretty empty at peak times.
My top tip - I had no problems with driving on the other side of the road, but remember to check your headlights before leaving to see if you should purchase headlight reverse stickers which make sure you’re not blinding on-coming traffic!
Visit Le Crotoy for yourself! Andy stayed at the self catering Pierre & Vacances Premium Résidence de la Plage in Le Crotoy, Picardy. Pierre & Vacances also has a wide range of self catering apartments around North Picardy, perfect for mountain-biking, hiking and horse-riding, as well as visiting the the Somme Bay and Compiègne forest for sports and bird watching.
Introducing…Pierre & Vacances Calarossa Holiday Resort
New to Pierre & Vacances customers this summer, the Pierre & Vacances Calarossa Holiday Resort in Sardinia – the perfect spot for an affordable family holiday to Italy with the kids this summer.
Situated just 5km from the ancient rugged harbour of Isola Rossa, Calarossa Holiday Resort- a self catering resort in kid friendly Sardinia – is nestled within 110 hectares of spectacular scenery with panoramic sea views. With a full array of facilities and activities for kids of all ages, Calarossa is set to be one of our most popular family resorts.
Leisure activities include three swimming pools, a flood-lit tennis court, bowls pitch, volleyball court and a beach, popular with canoeists and scuba divers alike, just 500 meters form the resort. The coastline is littered with beaches and coves, perfect for those with a snorkel.
The property itself consists of 315 fully equipped self catering apartments with the choice of either a balcony or a patio, an onside restaurant with sea views, a solarium, a bar and an amphitheater. Alongside the great array of local eateries and cultural attractions, Calarossa Holiday Resort is a great spot from which to explore Sardinia.
Pierre & Vacances are delighted to offer prices for a one-week break at Calarossa starting at €571,20 for a studio apartment sleeping four in August 2010.
We recently caught up with the manager of Calarossa Holiday Resort, Alessandro Antinori, who gave us the full insight into this great property.
What advice would you give to someone visiting Calarossa?
Make sure you eat dinner outside to witness one of our glorious sunsets!
Best local restaurant for couples, families, and friends?
I would say stick to the resort, the one in the residence!
Best beach for couples, families’ friends?
La Marineda for families and for those who want to surf. Cala Tinnari for couples who are looking for somewhere quieter.
1 hour by car to go to Alghero.
Whats the best thing about Calarossa for our UK customers?
“The great thing about Calarossa is that yes, you are in Italy, but you also are not. You’re on an island, far from everything, it’s a different place, it has its own identity, its own local customs, food, and has a great community feel for families.
Calarossa is the true meaning of nature and sea, separated for the routine of daily life. With clear waters and an array of multi-coloured rocks, swimming in the sea feels like being in your own natural pool. Add to that some of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever see and you get the full picture of beautiful Calarossa.
There’s so much to explore. Taking a walk along the white sandy beaches, you’ll come across the Spanish courts of Castelsardo, Santa Teresa and Alghero all settled beneath acres of palms, almond and olive trees. Surrounded by pine forests and open fields, wildlife and dazzling light, the days in Sardinia feel longer than in any other place.
Food lovers will love Sardinia. Some of Italy’s best wines, cheeses, olives, almonds, ricotta, orange cakes and Sardinia’s specialty, thin flavoured cracking carasau bread, are all plentiful in their availability in and around Calarossa Holiday Village.