“Sophisticated and elegant family villas on a working domaine - vineyard views, private pools and a spa for “la belle vie””
Days are spent exploring this authentically French corner of the Languedoc: vineyards, rolling hills, sleepy villages and chateaux at every turn. A visit to nearby Pezenas market is a must for nose-tingling cheeses, and it's only 40 minutes to the seaside. Kids' activities are laid on in summer, and they’ll be making firm friends; fellow guests who we met were already booking dates for the next year. Choose a villa with a private pool, and you might not want to leave at all.
- Families are warmly welcomed (we think best for ages 5 and up), with tennis, ping pong, bikes, summer scavenger hunts and more
- A great cocktail bar, fine restaurant and swanky spa take the hassle out of finding these holiday luxuries elsewhere
- You can choose from a range of villas, from 2 bedrooms to 4, plus a 1-bedroom apartment
- About half the villas have private heated pools - a rare luxury in resorts of this type (and most are gated too)
- Another godsend is that they're flexible on arrival and departure days
- You may feel nervous unleashing your family in the elegantly styled villas - and you have to pay for the final clean (unless you are happy to DIY)
- For those with toddlers (or older guests with mobility issues), most villas have lots of stairs
- This is a working winery, so expect some noise from September harvest farm machinery
- Traffic can be slow in the summer holidays
- It's not cheap, plus extras like end-of stay cleaning, meals and activities add up...
Best time to go
Our top tips
If you want to be slightly away from the bustle, ask for La Maison du Jardinier (a 2-bedroom villa with private pool) - the original gardener's cottage, tucked away among vineyards with a secluded garden.
You may want to do a quick shop en route from the airport, as the villas don't come with supplies (besides some tea, coffee, dishwasher tabs and condiments).”
- Boutique Villas
- 36 villas for 2-8
- Restaurant (usually open daily, except Tuesdays in winter)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Tennis Court
- Bicycles Available
- Laundry Service
- Cleaning not included; daily maid service additional cost
- Trail maps
There are over 30 villas, ranging from 2 to 4 bedrooms, with or without pool, plus a 1-bedroom apartment - so you've plenty of choice (unless you leave it late to book, of course). Some are attached, others stand alone; most are on 2 levels - so be prepared for stairs.
We stayed in a 3-bedroom villa with private pool (one of the Maisons des Vignerons), and were blown away by the space. From the entrance hall, we emerged into a gorgeous kitchen-diner, then down to a vast lounging area, whose central glass doors open onto a garden terrace with dining for 8, loungers, BBQ and our own private heated pool. The views are of the vineyards and it is a sweet spot for a sundowner. You can keep an eye on the pool from inside, although they are all gated or alarmed for safety.
In our house (the layout varies in others), one bedroom was on the ground floor, with a full bathroom next door: tub, shower, Serjac toiletries and stacks of the fluffiest towels and robes. Upstairs were 2 further ensuite bedrooms, with acres of wardrobe and storage space, and a freeview TV in the master bedroom. It's all très chic, the muted straw and cream palette enlivened by colourful light baubles and bold artworks. And it's ultra high-spec too: expect Smeg appliances and enough wine glasses for a house party (see Eating). Despite (I'd like to say 'because of') all this, we felt instantly at home!
Cleaning is not included; the end-of-stay clean costs extra. As it's unlikely you'll want to extensively clean the property yourself, we recommend factoring in this cost.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
- Washing machine
Each villa has a brilliantly equipped kitchen, including dishwasher, coffee maker, microwave, toaster and all the utensils you could need to whip up a mini Gallic feast. We enjoyed lazy breakfasts and the occasional lunch 'at home' - there are surprisingly good little supermarkets in the adjacent villages of Roujan and Pouzolles (both within 10 mins' drive), not to mention the wonderful market at Pezenas.
But trust me, you won't be cooking every day. In summer, a family-friendly lunch menu offers pizzas, sandwiches and snacks on the terrace, while in the evening there are kids' meal times and the occasional paella night or BBQ. But if you fancy spoiling yourselves one evening, book a baby-sitter and a table at the Domaine's restaurant: a quiet, elegant space for candlelit à la carte dinners.
Try the basil cocktails (the barman really knows his stuff), then whet your appetite on smoked tuna tartare with sweet peppers, or asparagus with eggs and caviar. Mains include fresh fish, roast pigeon or lamb (spiced up with morels and spring greens when we stayed), or cod with cuttlefish and chorizo. But do leave room for a soupcon of fruit parfait or Tonka bean chocolate. It's not a cheap dinner, but it is special.
There are also 2- and 3-course set lunches, and a fantastic but pricey buffet breakfast if it all gets too much. The kitchen can arrange BBQ packs or picnic lunches with advance notice. If you simply want fresh bread or croissants in the morning, just let them know and send the kids out to collect it.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Meal delivery service
- On site, you can build up a sweat on the tennis court, cool off in the main infinity pool, warm up again with a game of boules or table tennis, or borrow bikes to explore 200 acres of estate
- With wine domaines at every turn of the road hereabouts, you can taste vintages of every colour, age and varietal - so long as someone can drive you home, of course
- Don't miss the Saturday market in Pezenas - it takes over the whole town centre - for excellent fruit and veg, saucissons, cheeses and fish
- Do book at least one afternoon in the spa for a relaxing treat – our Moroccan massage was a blissful stress buster, and there's a full treatment menu, steam room, sauna, indoor pool, and Jacuzzi
- Outside the domaine, there are lots of family-friendly days out, from kayaking to horse riding and sailing, and beaches are a 35-minute drive away: reception will guide you
- The 18 hole, 7400-yard golf course at Béziers St Thomas (20 mins' drive) welcomes non-members
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
- Wine tasting
Families will love the villas and the space here. Kids will make friends, but you could always come with another family, or several - villas have 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms, and several adjoin, so it's ideal for groups large and small. There is no formal crèche, but there is a summer kids club, and plenty of activities inside and outside the estate to keep families happy. Best of all, many villas have private gated pools.
Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
The most popular villas are the 3-bedroom ones with private pool. In each category (except the 1-bedroom studio), you can request a house with a private pool or without. For families with babies or crawlers, the 2 bedroom apartments are all on one level, with gated terraces. Bear in mind that there are only three 2-bedroom houses with pool, so book early for those
Reception can recommend local babysitters and provide contact details
- Travel cots and bedding
- High chairs on request
- Baby baths
- Plastic plates and cups
- Stair guards
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
During the summer, kids club sessions can be booked (1 session is a morning or afternoon) in blocks of 5 or 10. Expect a variety of activities for 4-12 year olds, including scavenger hunts, den-building, French cricket, foraging and water play. After the high tea at 6pm you could head to the mini disco or enjoy movie night.
During the winter school holidays, the solarium pool is open for kids aged 5+ from 10am-noon (first come, first served Wed-Sun, by reservation only Mon-Tue; free if you bring your own robe & towels from the villas, otherwise EUR5/person)
During school holidays, kid-friendly lunches (sandwiches, snacks) are served out on the terrace, and there's a separate kids dinner (normally at 6pm), plus occasional BBQs and paella nights for older children. If you come out of season with pre-schoolers, as we did, you might find the restaurant rather formal, with attentive waiters, hushed couples and a sophisticated kids' menu (think fish fillets with artichoke and potato puree served on huge French dinner plates)
Kids Activities on site:
- Ping pong table
- Tennis court
- Heated pool
- Bikes (of all sizes) to borrow
Kids Activities nearby:
- Sandy beaches at Serignan and Portiragnes (35 mins drive)
- Calm, shallow waters on the Thau lagoon (45 mins)
- At Thau, you can hire little electric boats for the day
- Horse-riding for all ages nearby
- Kayaking and kite- or wind-surfing for older kids
- Dinosaur Park at Meze (40 mins), with really lifelike models
- Aquarium in Montpellier (1 hour) - handy for rainy days
Families Should Know:
- Lots of steps and gravel paths - not ideal for toddlers or pushchairs
- Most private pools are gated; 2 are not but they do have security alarms
- The main pool has a shallow end for smaller ones
- The solarium pool is strictly reserved for guests who are 16+ and there is no lifeguard present when open for kids in the winter holidays so parents are required to supervise children
- French law requires no children under 16 in the sauna, Jacuzzi or hammam
- Airport: 25 mins (Beziers), 80-90 mins (Montpellier)
- Hospital: 25 mins (Beziers)
- Supermarket: 6 mins (Magalas or Roujan)