We came to this site for 4 nights on the way back from The Dordogne region on the recommendation of friends.
We have however very mixed views on the site having spent two weeks at St Avit Loisirs and previously at many castels and yelloh! Sites.
The pitches are large but not well kept, ours was muddy, uneven and covered in ants nests. It was also sold as fully serviced which they aren't as the tap is shared with your neighbour. Ok in our case as we had a tent next door and the people there we happy to disconnect and reconnect our hose when they wanted water. When we queried with the site they had no solution and told us not to worry about next door and connect to it. We looked at the pitches around us and they were little if no better than ours.
The site isn't large not like our previous site which we didn't mind at all and the lack of evening 'entertainment' also suited us.
Pool - odd layout as it's been expanded over the years however our main concern was it didn't look very clean. Lots of 'bits' on the bottom of the pools which I've not experienced elsewhere before even during peak. We also felt the pool area was spoiled by the use of a shabby plastic cover over the main pool which looks ugly and has the effect of splitting the pool area in 2. This makes it hard to relax and watch you children. The slides were good and enjoyed by all.
Bar - nice and well positioned for keeping an eye on little ones playing outside. Staff were at best neutral and some were just rude. Happy to carry on chatting to each other whilst customers stand waiting to be served. Free wifi for 30 mins is good and works fine.
Takeaway - nice pizzas, burgers were microwaved. Long queues and understaffed. We waited 40 minutes for 2 pizzas. Nice when the arrived though.
Shop - comprehensive but expensive. 30% more than the site shop at St Avit. Long queues in the morning for milk croissants as they insist on serving them to you, which we be ok IF done with a smile but it looked more like a chore.
Reception - good and very friendly staff here. Happy to help when we asked and sorted the electric quickly when it failed due to the rain.
Area - great location. Chambord is lovely and cycling is perfect for children as it's very flat. There are numerous cycle routes and you can obtain a leaflet with map from the campsite tourist office.
Kids club - didn't use it.
In summary we wouldn't return here again, the feeling of the people next to and opposite us too, both of whom had been before. I think Les Alicourts is far superior and not too far away. The general feel here is the site is ageing.
Just got back from 8 nights here - should have been 9 nights but we left early. Our pitch was poor from the start - too small for our tent and v uneven. We were told that it was the only pitch available for our entire stay so no chance of moving. It rained heavily the first night and that was when the real problems started; basically our pitch became a swamp/lake and for the rest of the stay there were massive pools of water around and under the tent. The site needs to sort out its drainage problems. Yes we had a lot of rain but surely it's not the first time this has happened. Eventually we discovered that a drain over the road from us was blocked with what looked like months of debris and the water was being diverted onto our pitch! What disappointed us the most was the attitude of the site staff to our situation. Not once did someone come to see if we were ok or offer to help us out, and it was only after we asked them that someone bothered to come to see the pitch, and then they did nothing to prevent the following days rain flooding the pitch again. Not once did we have an apology for the state of the pitch. V v poor customer service. We shall not be returning to the sight and would advise others to think twice before visiting, particularly if you have a tent; we were certainly not the only ones in this situation.
We've just returned from 2 weeks at le marais. It's a very pretty, well kept site, level grassy pitches. All of the amenities are located around the chateau so its very relaxing to be able to sit in the bar and look across to the pool, the chateau and the lovely gardens and lawns. The toilets, showers and washing up areas were kept clean and had hot water, soap, loo roll. I didn't have to queue at all. I think the site is really geared towards primary school aged children and there wasn't really anything geared towards our 2 teenagers (they did really like it there though!. A 5min walk away is the loire which is absolutely beautiful and just across the river is the town of mer. Both mer and the village of miides sur loire are pretty low key but blois 20km away is beautiful and well worth visiting. The area is great for cycling and we didn't take the motorhome off the pitch for the whole 2weeks, we walked or cycled. A lovely site and fantastic location, recommended! 1 last thing, some of the site staff need to go on customer services course and be happier and more obliging and long queues in the shop early morning.
This is a good site, but think carefully whether it is for you.
It is well located for Chambord, Cheverny, Blois and Amboise, and being flat and at the edge of the Chambord forest park, is great for cycling, but the area is far less picturesque than downstream of the Loire.
On site, the facilities are comprehensive and very good, and the pool area would put many leisure centres to shame. The signage indicating them to be unsupervised appears to be taken as an instruction by some, however, with inevitable and clearly painful consequences. And that is also true of the site roads, which are also great for cycling/scooting around on, regardless of your sense of balance, safety etc!
The shop is good, but you pay a reasonable mark-up for the convenience. Supermarkets are not too distant however.
Tent pitches are a pretty good size, and all shaded to a greater or lesser extent. Our standard pitch took an Indian Lake, tarp, car and still left room for a seating area. They are well used, however, and ground conditions on ours was poor.
The site has many key camp type chalets, and often has more of a resort atmosphere than campsite. The poolside sunloungers are often all bagged by towels first thing which is just sad (and no national stereotypes - this site is overwhelmingly English, to it's detriment, as it feels a bit detached ). This is a very busy site, and it can all get a bit rammed.
The number of WC blocks means you are never far from one, and we never had to queue ( clean and plentiful hot water, too). This also means more pitches next door to them, though (and to the well appointed kiddy play areas). Some are really just poorly situated, and maybe just for overnighters, although our pitch was in a really quite nice spot.
This site clearly suits some families absolutely perfectly, where I have no doubt holiday nirvana can be achieved. A little less so for us, but this seemed to be the best site in the area we wanted to be in, and I still think that's the case. On the final analysis we felt it just lacks a bit of charm, which is unusual for the Loire region which has it in spades.
Very good campsite for families. Family of five with three kids aged 13, 8 and 6. The campsite is probably 70% English 20% Dutch and 10% French. There is a lot of EuroCamp and KeyCamp plots on site. The site has approx. 200 plots but is well spaces out with high hedged plots and a large open space for playing etc so is doesn't feel that big. Here is our summary of the site and surrounding area.
Check In/Customer Service:
Very professional and quick, English speaking team had us on or pitch within 15mins of arriving. Tripped electric problem sorted within 15mins of it being reported, very efficient team.
Very efficient with English speaking team. Well stocked with leaflets for things to do in the area.
Excellent, you could have fitted two of out six man tents on the plot plus the car and trailer and still had room for more. No issues with rules on where to pitch the tent or which way the caravans had to be placed. We had electricity (needed a French to UK adaptor) and water one meter from the boundary. Our plot was very close to the playground which was perfect for us, but some of the others were a bit further away, and we noticed some of the others were a bit cramped in with lots of KeyCamp and EuroCamp chalets. The Plot was surrounded by mature trees giving some shade during the day.
Excellent heated pool with two slides double bump slide and 'lazy river' plus two pools. But you needed to get there early to get a lounger. The kids loved it
Well equipped kids playground and table tennis table. Kids loved it
Excellent Clean and well maintained washing facilities. Mixed sex showers with proper taps with very good water pressure, not the cheap push for 5 seconds buttons. Water temperature a bit erratic, but not a problem for us as it was so hot!
Bar prices, 10Euros for pint of beer, glass of wine and a coke, takeaway pizza 9euros, restaurant 21euros a head. Didn't use restaurant, and pizza, although hand made was expensive for what you got.
Well stocked but expensive, closest Super you is a 10min drive away.
The surrounding local area:
Not a site to visit if you like to walk into the local market town for a coffee and a lunch and wander around the local market. Surrounding villages very small with small, expensive, shops. Closest town (Blois) with market is a 15/20min drive away but well worth a look.
The Chateau is very impressive, but again we travelled by car (parking 4euros)as the actual Chateau is about a 10min drive, although the grounds are about 500meters away.
There is a vineyard about 5min bike ride away that's well worth a visit, with wine tasting and very reasonable, 6euros a bottle, local wine for sale. As well as cheeses made on the Farm
Further a Field:
ZooPark Beauval is about an hours drive away but is excellent with pandas, bears, koala and loads of other animals.
The main towns are Tours and Orleans, both about 45min away. We didn't visit these.
Chocolate Factory about 15min away, with a tour of how the chocolate is made, with English subtitles.
This is the first time I have a written a review but have used this website on many occasions to choose a campsite, including Le Chateaux Des Marais. Having just returned from a 13 night stay at the site I felt duty bound to give our opinion.
We are a family of 4 with 2 boys, 13 and 10 and have camped in France on many occasions. This campsite was the most expensive we have stayed on and unfortunately, we do not feel it justified the extra expense.
First the positives. The campsite is an excellent base for exploring the Loire. We took bikes and enjoyed cycling on the many cycle paths, particularly in and around Chambord. There is a SuperU 10mins away at Mer with a Petrol station (much cheaper than the local garage). The site has a very well stocked shop but this is understandably more expensive than the supermarket. The boys loved the pool complex and made plenty of friends on site. Our pitch was very big and relatively flat ; it included a fridge, table, chairs, parasol and sun loungers, water and eletricity. The site is very pretty and on the whole campers adhered to the nightly curfew. The staff are friendly and although they speak very good English were very accepting of my attempts at French. Free WIFI at the bar was very popular and the pizzas from the take away were good.
Onto the negatives, we found the overall cleanliness of the site to be below what we have experienced previously. There was litter on our pitch and the fridge was dirty. Our nearest sanitary block only had 3 toilets for ladies which led to queues morning and night. They were frequently without paper and although soap was provided, this was not always replenished. There were 10 showers, all mixed sex, but as they contained the wash basins there were often queues at busy times. These became very dirty; unlike previous sites we have stayed at there were no mops or squeegees to clean the shower after use. The showers were not on a timer, however, they were rarely hot and occasionally freezing! Although the site advertises football, a must for our boys, there was no dedicated area for the sport; the sports pitch had a tennis net no goals and was too busy for 2 big lads to chase a football round. The site had a Tourist Office which was OK, however, the weather forecast was only updated weekly and check the size of the published markets before you go. We went to Coer-Cheverny and Chambord and there were only 3 stalls at each. Not worth the effort. Additionally the English tour of the local vineyard is on Tuesday and Wednesday not Thursday as we were told.
That said, we did have a good holiday. We do not normally visit the same site twice and would not be breaking this habit to return to Le Chateau de Marais. If you are after a site close to the attractions of the Loire Valley that caters for a majority British clientèle then give it a try.
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