Not the best for location
9 september 2022 om 05:01:37
Le Monterey camp site is well maintained, organised and clean, predominately catering for the French domestic market of families with children aged 0-11-years who largely holiday as regulars on the camp, there are very few families of other nationalities including British. The camp site neighbours... a large Garden Centre and Olive / Cypress Farm, situated near a main road system on the outskirts of Frejus. There is no local transport links nearby, so a car is a complete necessity. Please be aware that the site is not very well sign posted from the road and some in built car sat navs may have difficulty taking you to the correct location if they have not been updated with the latest road developments. Several of the roads into the site are badly pot-holed, which does not bode well for the new fresh-faced visitor. The site its-self has a one-way system with a speed limit and a gated registration identification system to enable motor vehicles to come and go at any time of day or night. You need to register your car registration with the site prior to arrival. Staff on site are friendly and speak/understand English, however, if you speak French (as we do) – even just a little you will get a more welcomed reception and made to feel more at ease. Should you need assistance the staff are very quick to resolve the matter. All the main amenities are located next to the entrance of the site which is primarily near the pool area such as the reception, kids club and playground, convenience store, restaurant/bar and evening entertainment and on-site toilets. Throughout the site there are dedicated BBQ areas which all visitors can use. You will find these are well equipped with charcoal, buckets of sand, water hoses etc.
Accommodation is predominately privately owned which are holiday let on an Airbnb like basis via Siblu acting as the Agent. First impressions are so important, so we were taken back by the standard of the accommodation, which was a let-down. Although several of the cabins have similar layouts, many of the owners have personalised the inside and outside space of their cabins so the equipment and styling you get within each unit can be a bit hit and miss. Our cabin felt cramped, cluttered, and eclectic in style both inside and out with the addition of furniture, pictures and personal photographs and soft furnishings. The cabin floor also lacked cleanliness as did the external veranda which was a little shabby and very cluttered. As a visitor there is a feeling of invading another’s personal space which made us feel uncomfortable so in this respect lacked the inviting vib, functionality and relaxing atmosphere you would expect from a professionally ran holiday let. The beds within the accommodation needed to be dressed including the placement of mattress and pillow protectors, whilst you find accommodation for your luggage – which proved a little difficult due to a lack of storage/space. There is no equipment list, so you will need to hunt through the cupboards to find the basics such as a kettle, toaster, bin, etc. Some cabins have small worktop dishwashers, microwave, top-loading washing machine, vacuum cleaners, coffee machines etc as did ours but beware that they may not be manuals for all the appliances and you will need to buy in the dish-washing tablets, laundry detergent etc which for a week or two is probably not worth the expense, plus the larger ‘white’ goods do take up quite a lot of space in the cabin which is already highly restricted. Owners who offer their cabins up as holiday lets really do need to learn how to de-personalise and de-clutter the accommodation prior to holiday letting, whereas Siblu needs to take responsibility to ensure that all the accommodation they offer is presented to a standardised professional criterion both inside and out to ensure that all their clients receive the same level of accommodation standards in layout, styling, equipment, and cleanliness.
Check-in was easy, despite arriving early (2:30pm), we were presented with the keys straight way along with a site map, cabin number and wrist bands which allow you access to the site amenities. Upon arrival to your cabin, you are presented with a small welcome pack consisting of a bottle of local wine, a box containing sachets of washing up liquid, sponge, bin liner, toilet roll, a menu for the restaurant, laundry bags, cleaning list for departure and bags containing fresh bed linen / towels. But no information was given about opening times of the site shop, pool, restaurant and reception and entertainment timetable or anything about nearby amenities such as restaurants, bars and shops, these you needed to seek out for yourself.
Evening entertainment runs from 7pm to 11:30pm and is commonly given in French aiming at the very young but alters later into the evening for the older generations, don’t expect West End quality performances. Other forms of entertainment during the day are a kids club and poolside activities consisting of aqua aerobics and water games which everyone is welcome to partake in. Restaurant serves snack-based foods i.e., sandwiches with traditional English style chunky chips through the day, whilst the main menu is available from 7-10pm. The menu is limited to pizzas, salads, Steak (British), and chicken (EU) dishes whilst the children’s menu is limited further still to chicken nuggets, pizzas, and sandwiches, however, each evening they offer specials i.e., Rotary Chicken, Mussels and Fries, etc. Note there is limited vegetarian/veg choices, and much is not traditionally French plus the portions are huge but tasty! If you don’t wish to eat in the restaurant, they are happy to serve as a take-away. The on-site shop stocks the essentials but is very limited and expensive with opening times from 7:45am to 7pm, though you will get far better value for money and variety if you drive of site towards Frejus or Saint Raphael, where you will come across several independent outlets, take-aways, and small to medium supermarkets including Aldi and Lidl. The site does not operate a swimming trunks policy so boys/men can wear board shorts in the pool. The pools are open from 9am-7pm, very clean and well maintained with anti-slip surfacing and are always safe guarded throughout the day with up to 4-5 lifeguards on duty. No outdoor shoes can be worn within the pool grounds and only bottled water can be consumed near the pool side. There are many sunlounges and reclining chairs and a few fixed shaded areas, but these can be difficult to obtain after 2pm, which is when many of the families on site come to reside near the pool, so it’s best to hit the pool early morning. For additional shade from the heat of the sun you can rent a pool parasol from reception.
Verdict this campsite although well maintained, organised and reasonably clean, it can make you feel rather isolated in its location and dreary in its entertainment, as well as a little uninviting due to the standard of the accommodation. If you prefer to be around other English-speaking families then some will find it rather solitary, whereas teenagers are likely to find it boring as our 3 girls did. We only spent 1-week at the site using it primarily as a base, but found it hard to truly relax into, because you don’t have the freedom of exploring the local sights, traditional restaurants, beaches, and marinas on foot, you need to drive though most places are reachable within 10-15mins depending on where you wish to go, but then you need to take into consideration the parking which can be limited at certain times of the day and expensive until 7pm when parking becomes free.