Country Kids

Brenas, Languedoc, France Book from

BEST FAMILY INNOVATION BEST FAMILY INNOVATION
A converted farm redefining luxury with 7 apartments (for 4-12), outstanding childcare and endless activities (self-catering or all-inclusive)
Find paradise in the hills, in 30 acres of family bliss and Langdocian views. Thoughtful service here goes beyond the call of duty: food baskets on arrival, gourmet teas on the house, and Friday morning lie-ins for grown-ups. While the kids go to kids' club, climb trees, bounce on trampolines, go on treasure hunts, hide in the woods, head off on tractor rides, feed the hens and make new friends, you barely lift a finger. Twice a week you’re unleashed on the local restaurants while blissed-out little ones are cared for by babysitters as they sleep. In the day you can enjoy massages, canoeing, riding, climbing, yoga and more.

There’s a little shop with a bakery and delicious home-cooked meals, cocktails of an evening, and a choice between self-catering or all-inclusive seasons. With only a sprinkling of apartments (each one spacious, luxurious and stuffed with toys), you can be as sociable or as romantic as you like. Tour the tree-lined Canal du Midi, swim in the Lac du Salagou, shop in perfect little Pezenas. Come home to a lap in the pool, a massage in the spa, and a snooze under the chestnut trees.

Highs

  • Intimate house-party feel and award-winning childcare - unlimited crèche (ages 3 months+), adventurous kids' club for 6-12s (seasonal) and twice-weekly babysitting
  • Take it from us, the parent pampering is particularly brilliant: tennis lessons, wine-tastings, a spa, dedicated adult time and daily housekeeping
  • Flexible dining options. Summer guests get all meals and drinks included, while those visiting in Mid / Low season self-cater using the well-equipped kitchens and the handy on-site shop
  • A petting farm where kids can feed rabbits, donkeys, goats, horses and hens - the joy on their faces was a picture!
  • Three perfect pools (adult, family and toddler) with gorgeous views

Lows

  • The inclusions during Mid and Low season are very different to those in summer - check Rates carefully for details
  • Summer (June-mid-September) is pricey, but include all meals and drinks (including alcohol), 2 fun barbecues, extra supervised activities, 2 off-site activities, 1 spa treatment per adult and more
  • Saturday to Saturday only, with a 7-night minimum stay
  • It’s seriously popular - you may need to book over a year in advance
  • Air-conditioning provisions vary between the apartments

Best time to go

It’s lovely to be in southern France for the spring flowers, or when the vines are on the turn. In the Summer season (June-mid-September), Country Kids’ holidays are run on an all-inclusive basis, and can book up over a year in advance. However, during the Mid and Low seasons (March-May and mid-September-October) rates are self-catering and you have more flexibility in tailoring the holiday to your needs. At any time of year, the childcare in the crèche (fully regulated and taking babies from 3 months) is second to none. The Big Kids Programme of activities for ages 6-12 runs during Summer and Mid season only.

Our top tips

  • When enquiring, ask about the ages of the children already booked in that week. The team are happy to discuss this, and it will help you get an idea of the number of playmates your children may have
  • Bear in mind you really do not have to bring a lot with you for the children as they have everything you can think of. You’ll just need clothes and sun cream - and even that can be bought on site!

Great for...

Family
Great Outdoors
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Apartments
  • 7 apartments for 4-12
  • All-inclusive (summer) OR self-catering (Mid / Low season)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 8 Dec 2016 - 31 Mar 2017
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
  • Tennis Court
  • Bicycles Available
  • Yoga
Room:

Rooms

The old farm buildings, where once Roquefort was produced, have been beautifully restored to hold 5 apartments (in the Old Dairy), a self-contained cottage and a large farmhouse villa. Wonderfully welcoming and well equipped, the French rustic-chic décor includes whitewashed walls with stonework peeping through, sofas to slouch on, super-comfy carved beds atop chunky tiled floors, and pretty gingham curtains (thick-lined to keep light out). All have full kitchens, private terraces and thoughtful family features, such as toys and TVs.

Ideal for big family groups, the grand Farmhouse has 5 bedrooms (including a jaw-dropping master suite), and a palatial double-height living space.

Self-contained, but close by, the quaint, cosy 2-bedroom Chestnut House is more open-plan than the others - perhaps not ideal for light-sleeping little ones.

Back at the Old Dairy, ground-floor Apartment 1 is big enough for a family of 4 (or more) and grandparents, too. The terrace is shady and secluded, tucked away at the back of the building.

We stayed in the Old Dairy’s smallest apartment: top-floorApartment 5, where the views were to die for. The 2 bedrooms can interconnect, there’s a huge bathtub to splash around in, and the terrace (fenced and gated) felt very private.

The remaining apartments have 3 bedrooms a piece (sleeping up to 6). We loved ground-floor Apartment 2’s generous wisteria-shaded terrace, at its most luscious in spring. Up on the first floor, Apartment 3 has a fun kid-friendly mezzanine bedroom (properly walled, with a window) and a terrace shaded by kiwi trees - great for all older kids or babes in arms. Conversely, Apartment 4 (also on the first floor) is ideal for families with crawlers, as it only has 2 internal steps. Outside, the gated, fenced terrace has gorgeous rural views.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Barbeque
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dishwasher
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob stove
  • Ipod dock
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

Every apartment has a hand-built kitchen with an indoor and outdoor dining area. You get a large fridge-freezer, full cooking equipment, a dishwasher and kid-friendly extras. An enormous welcome basket also awaits your arrival, practically stocked with everything from hot drinks and milk to bread, pasta and sauce, and fruit and veg.

Guests self-cater in Mid and Low season, but in summer rates are all-inclusive. During this time there are buffet breakfasts, chef-prepared evening meals delivered to your apartment, an à la carte menu, meals-to-go, kids' meals (including a pasta bar) and 2 lovely communal lunches per week. During our visit we enjoyed a fun Friday barbecue with steak, salads galore and an incredible lemon meringue pie. Perfectly set under the wisteria at a long table – cold wine, great company and happy kids running amok.

Once you’ve devoured the contents of the welcome basket (included all year), the on-site shop can provide picnic ingredients, chef-prepared meals, or a bottle of bubbly from the wine cave. (Shop produce is included in the summer rate.)

We loved the indoor-outdoor bar, where cushioned wicker sofas ask to be lounged on throughout the day. It’s close enough to all the apartments to use a baby listener, and parents often stay here until the early hours, relaxed in the knowledge that their kids are safe. This is the venue for the kids' complimentary daily afternoon tea and the summer season buffet breakfasts (warm pastries and freshly squeezed juices). Some guests stick around to eat here, others take it back to their apartment, and the really savvy ones have their children collect it for them. Best of all, on Fridays there's a kids' PJ party breakfast, so us parents get to go back to bed!

The village has a fantastic restaurant, La Palombe (a 15-minute walk), but for authentic French cooking, good wines and the sun setting over the valley, head for the friendly Auberge Campagnard.

Features include:

  • All-inclusive in summer
  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Communal dining
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Toaster
  • Welcome hamper
  • On-site shop
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Splash about in the family pool, or float serenely in the (small but secluded) adults’ pool. Both are heated and heavenly, lined with teak loungers and poolside ‘beds’
  • On site you have tennis, table tennis, 9-hole mini golf, a small gym, a Jacuzzi, yoga, beauty treatments and massages - you may choose to never leave your holiday bubble!
  • But in case you do, Alice can arrange off-site activities including horse and pony rides, horse and carriage rides, canoeing, fishing, pedalo-ing, golf, archery, wine-tasting and more
  • Tour the tree-lined Canal du Midi, picnic, windsurf, or wild-swim by the lovely, peaceful Lac du Salagou
  • Or pose in 16th-century Pezenas, an exquisitely cobbled hilltop town full of pretty restaurants and boutiques
  • Visit the old town of buzzing Montpellier, a 50-minute drive. It’s the most popular city to live in in France
  • Come home and chill out in the bar
  • Borrow a DVD or catch up on an entire box set - plenty to choose from
  • For child-specific activities, see our Kids page

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Kayaking
  • Language courses
  • Petting farm
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Rock climbing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga

Kids

i-escape's Best for Kids Awards 2014
Winner: Best For Babies & Toddlers
> See the full list of winners

This is paradise for parents and children alike; family luxury is redefined here. It’s not about 300 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and someone to clean your sunglasses while you dive into an infinity pool. It’s more about gently cajoling harried parents into remembering how to relax.

Lying by the adults’ pool, I heard my young son charging past on a treasure hunt and just smiled before going back to my book, content that both of us were in our respective happy places!

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Every apartment is designed with families in mind. Apartment 5 and the Chestnut House each have space for up to 5 people in 2 bedrooms; the other apartments have 3 bedrooms (sleeping 4-8). The Farmhouse is the largest and grandest option, sleeping 10-12 in 5 bedrooms. All apartments have space for at least 1 baby cot - see rates.

Babysitting:

Babysitters are provided 2 nights a week (so adults can have 'date nights').

Baby listening:

Baby listeners are available to borrow, and they stretch to the on-site bar; baby-listening apps also work well with the resort's WiFi. On babysitting nights, Laure stays in touch with the sitters by mobile phone or walkie-talkie, and are moments away if they need assistance. The sitters tend to be staff so will usually be known to guests.

Baby equipment:

  • Sterilizers
  • Mini-blender for baby purées
  • Umbrella pushchair
  • Changing mats
  • Bed guards
  • Wooden cots
  • Moses baskets and bedding
  • High chairs
  • Baby bouncy chairs
  • Bath toys and non-slip bath mats
  • Baby bicycle seats
  • Potty
  • Steps for bathroom
  • Plastic mattress protectors
  • Plastic plates and cups
  • Portable restaurant seats
All these are free of charge; additional items may be available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Creche/Kid's Club:

On-site drop-in crèche and play group (ages 3 months-6 years) open Monday-Friday (9am-5pm) and Sunday (11am-4pm), with a daily 1-hour lunch break. Facilities include toys and games, arts and crafts, a sleep area, and children’s toilets / changing area, plus an outdoor area with a ball pond, soft-play climbing and ride-ons. Organised activities include baking, scavenger hunts, music sessions, story-telling, yoga and mini golf.
There is also a Big Kids’ Programme (ages 6-12) available during Mid and summer seasons only. Activities are adapted to suit the children's interests and include basketball, rounders, mini golf, quizzes, treasure hunts and dress-up. Supervised activities are also held twice a week in the early evening.

Children's meals:

  • Mid / Low season: self-catering with fully equipped kitchens
  • Summer season: all-inclusive meals (buffet breakfasts, 2 communal lunches, an à la carte menu, Kids’ Club dinners, evening chef-prepared meals delivered to your apartment, and on-site meals-to-go)
  • All seasons: complimentary kids afternoon tea (sandwiches and cake)
  • All seasons: Friday PJ party breakfast from 7am - kids can be collected from their apartments and parents can go back to bed
  • All seasons: on-site shop selling milk, bread, pastries and chef-prepared frozen meals (free during summer season only)

Kids Activities on site:

  • Petting farm with sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, donkeys, horses and rabbits. Kids are invited to help feed the animals and collect the hens' eggs
  • Supervised horse and pony rides (ages 3+)
  • Large swimming pool and smaller toddler pool (toys and swimming lessons available); both fenced
  • Tractor rides
  • Tennis (coaching available)
  • In-room toys, games and books (to suit all ages)
  • In-room large flatscreen TV (with Sky), DVD player and DVDs
  • French lessons (enquire for details)
  • Ping-pong
  • 9-hole mini golf
  • Playground and sandpit
  • Treehouse
  • Trampolines
  • Bicycles to borrow
  • Woodland and lots of open space to play

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Lac du Salagou (large lake with beach area and pedalos)
  • Rock climbing on the Larzac Plateau (all abilities)
  • Tree-climbing courses (kids and adults; all abilities)
  • Trout-fishing
  • Archery (all abilities)
  • Aquarium, Insect Micropolis, Aqualand and dinosaur park
  • Velorail (a ride on an old train track through the countryside)
  • Hiking (routes suitable for all ages)
  • Indoor swimming pools with slides
  • Mine de Pioch Farrus (prehistoric copper mine where visitors wear helmets with lights on the front)

Families Should Know:

The family pool area is shaded by chestnut trees and has a playpen for babies; a poolside bar provides drinks and ice creams. Both pool areas are safely fenced. The on-site shop also sells essentials like nappies and wet wipes. The entire property is gated and fenced, so you'll feel as comfortable as possible letting the children roam free.

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour (Béziers)
  • Hospital / pharmacy: 20 mins (Bédarieux)
  • Village shop: 10 mins (15 mins to supermarket)
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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