Imagine Roussillon

Canet en Roussillon, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Book from Book from £154 per night

A family-friendly mini-resort, close to beautiful Med beaches and a hop from the Spanish border (mainly self-catering)

With the Pyrenees in one direction, the Med in the other, and 5 apartments for 2-4 plus a villa for 2-8 in child-friendly grounds, this is heaven for young families. Not only is the accommodation spotless and brilliantly equipped, but the gardens are enclosed and delightful: trampolines, a sand pit, a zip wire, a games barn, 2 heated pools and a free drop-in kids’ club that littl’uns adore. Initially set up by a British couple, it passed in 2022 to a delightful French family, Guillaume and Elodie, who live on site with their 3 (pre-)teenage children. You'll meet them around the pool; or at their sociable thrice-weekly dinners; or in the free fitness classes which Guillaume offers. He used to be a gendarme, but his approach to sport is, we're told, reassuringly relaxed.

This part-catered micro-resort is truly a place to relax and recharge. Breakfast is served every day; there are heavenly hot-stone massages; and, because it’s so small and so relaxed, you and your kids will have friends on tap. During school holidays those thrice-weekly dinners (paella, pizza or BBQ) are included in the rates; for the rest, each apartment has a well-equipped kitchen. Close by are safe sandy beaches - Canet Plage is an 8-minute drive - and there are bikes and beach kit to borrow. Picturesque Collioure and castellated Carcassonne are an easy drive, the Pyrenees mountains too, and Girona is not far over the border. And did we mention: 300 days of sunshine per year?

Highs

  • Combines every advantage of a family-friendly resort with an intimate, small-scale feel
  • The opportunity for 'you' time, with free fitness classes, kids club and massages on offer
  • A superb location: 20 minutes from Perpignan airport, 8 minutes from beaches
  • The grounds are peaceful, charming and (being gated) very safe

Lows

  • Prices rise significantly in the summer due to high demand (but they also include a few meals)
  • The accommodation, though fresh, cheerful and excellently equipped, is not for stylistas
  • You'll need a car for day trips and to reach restaurants
  • Note the 4-night minimum stay

Best time to go

The private gardens and the close-by beaches make it perfect in spring, summer and autumn. It's normally open from April to December, but bear in mind if coming in November-December that the pool is not heated during those months, so will be very chilly; the apartments have electric heaters and reverse-cycle A/C. For school holidays, including May half-term, you'll need to book well ahead.

Our top tips

Get your groceries in Perpignan, head of French Catalonia. Its food market (open Mon-Sat till 1.30pm) occupies the Place de la République; on Sundays the market goes ‘bio’. Parents take note - all shops shut on Sundays at 12.30!

Great for...

Family
Spa
  • Boutique Resort
  • 5 apartments & 1 villa for 2-8
  • Mostly self-catering; restaurants a drive away
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • 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
  • Bicycles Available
  • Daily cleaning in peak season
Room: Aigrette

Rooms

Flamant Rose (sleeping 2-8) is a restored two-storey Catalan stone villa with two glass entrance arches leading to the large kitchen-diner on the ground floor. Upstairs are the four bedrooms - a double with its own ensuite bathroom with a tub and shower, a further double bedroom and 2 twin rooms sharing the family shower bathroom. The twin beds are on the smaller side, so the house can sleep a maximum of 4 adults and 4 children. There's also a large private enclosed courtyard garden with a terrace.

Aigrette (sleeping 2-4) is a maisonette on the upper floors of a restored Catalan vine workers’ house. It has 3 bedrooms (master and 2 singles), a large living area and a covered corner balcony with a sofa and wonderful vineyard views.

Hoopoe (sleeping 2-4) is also on the upper floor and boasts a huge terrace perfectly positioned for sunsets over the Pyrenees. The light-filled kitchen-diner-living space leads into the master bedroom and twin bedroom.

Oriole (sleeping 2-5) is a 3-bedroom garden flat with a double, a twin and a single and is the closest apartment to the pools. The open-plan living/dining/kitchen has large glass windows for maximum light; there's a large terrace too.

Buzzard (sleeping 2-4) is a 2-bedroom garden flat (master and twin) with balustrade terraces and a bright modern kitchen. The terrace at the front opens onto the main courtyard, while the garden at the rear opens to the play park and pool.

Cormoran (sleeping 2-4) is another 2-bedroom garden flat (double and twin), with views to the Pyrenees. It’s lovely and light inside, and benefits from a big bright kitchen with red units and a walk-in shower room with a pebble floor. It has a spacious terrace with a cover for shade.

Don’t expect robes and slippers. Do expect comfortable beds, a choice of pillows and great showers. Also, washing machines, dishwashers, Nespresso machines, adaptor plugs, even GPS for your car.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • DVD player
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

A simple daily breakfast of croissants, fresh coffee and orange juice
is included in the rates, along with thrice-weekly complimentary adult dinners during May-early September. These are hosted by Guilaume and Elodie on their roof terrace, so you can enjoy a fun ‘night out’. Expect home-made paella, wood-fired pizza or a fresh-grilled BBQ - all of it delicious and copious. In the school summer holidays you'll find a snack meal in your apartment as you arrive.

Outside the summer months, Imagine Roussillon is mainly self-catering, but there are top-quality frozen meals available for purchase on-site.

The apartment kitchens are well kitted out for self-catering, with crockery, equipment, basic ingredients and a barbecue. There are grocery shops nearby, along with plenty of family-friendly restaurants, if you'd prefer to eat out. Kids will love cycling to the Pizza Van (homemade pizzas down the road), and the owners recommend various beachfront eateries such as Temple Bar, Maya and the “unmissable” Bamboo House.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Barbecue
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Toaster
  • English-speaking caretaker
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • The list of on-site activities for kids is a treat. Relax by the pool as the little ones splash; watch them trampoline, play table tennis, zipwire or bounce around in the playground
  • Start the day with a (gentle) workout: Guillaume's free fitness classes (Mon-Fri) are tailored to guests' levels and, by all accounts, great fun
  • Have a drink in the lovely garden bar
  • Chateau de Rey, a family-run winery, is next door, with an authentic Catalan tasting shop a 20-minute walk through the vines. There are giant oak vats for kids to play in while you sample
  • Sandy beaches with safe shallow waters are close, starting with Canet Plage, an 8-minute drive. Beachfront restaurants abound; ask the owners for their tips
  • Perpignan, the fiercely proud centre of French Catalonia, is just 15 minutes' away - note the road signs in both languages. The old town is lovely, with masses of history and Catalan restaurants
  • Visit the old fishing village of Collioure (28km). A lesser-known version of St Tropez, its charm is still intact
  • Cross the border into Spain for Costa Brava beaches and historic, tranquil Girona

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling

Kids

This resort is aimed at families with children of all ages, but is particularly geared towards 2-10s. The free kids' club (open 6 days a week) comes in for much praise. Staff are enthusiastic, professional and very friendly; activities include gardening, dancing, arts, crafts and outdoor games.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

Flamant Rose Villa has two floors, 4 bedrooms (sleeping 4 adults, 4 kids and a baby) and a private courtyard garden and terrace. Buzzard and Cormoran are ground-floor flats, sleeping 2-4 plus a baby; Oriole is also on the ground floor but has an extra single bedroom so sleeps up to 5. Aigrette is an upper-floor maisonette sleeping 2-4 plus a baby, Hoopoe an upper-floor apartment with a large terrace for 2-4.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Age-appropriate toy box in each apartment
  • Bikes for all the family
  • Heated pool and splash pool (plus shade)
  • Playground
  • Games room
  • Library of books and DVDs
  • Zip wire
  • Mini putting green
  • Buckets, spades and beach umbrellas to borrow

Distances:

  • Airport: 20 mins' drive (Perpignan)
  • Hospital: 20 mins' drive
  • Shops: 5 mins' drive
Kid Friendly:

Location

Imagine Roussillon lies in beautiful countryside 15 minutes from Perpignan, in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France.

By Air:
Perpignan is the closest airport, 20 minutes away. Carcassonne, Beziers and Girona are 85 minutes by car; Montpellier and Toulouse are a little further. You can even fly into Barcelona El Prat (140 mins) and stay a night there either side of your stay, to take advantage of better flight times and prices. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.

By Car:
You'll need a car: see our rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to France and getting around

Airports:

  • Perpignan Rivesaltes 18.0 km PGF
  • Carcassonne 130.0 km CCF

Other:

  • Beach 7.0 km
  • Shops 5.0 km
  • Restaurant 5.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

8/10
Room
8/10
Food
8/10
Service
6/10
Value
8/10
Overall

The provision of baby equipment was outstanding for our 6 month old. The paella and bbq evenings were great. Our 4 year old really loved the mornings in the kids club with Elodie and Guillaume who were fantastic hosts.

8/10,

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Rates for Imagine Roussillon

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