Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 


New York, NY
USA

We are parents, too. We think traveling well and traveling with children shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. We have limited vacation time, and we’re not spending our few days of freedom in lousy hotels eating bad food. We know the world is full of wonderful resorts, cool urban escapes and far-flung lodges that can make our time with our kids count. We want it all, and we don’t think it should be so hard to find. So we’re going to share it with you.

 

Undercover France: Where to Stay in the Languedoc

Travel Journal

Travel Journal

Dispatches from around the world

Undercover France: Where to Stay in the Languedoc

Henley Vazquez

In February 2016, one of the Languedoc's most beautiful wine estates, Château St Pierre de Serjac, reopened following a two-year, 31-million euro renovation. A collaboration between winemaker Laurent Bonfils and hoteliers Karl and Anita O’Hanlon, Serjac charmed Passported scout Janet Mick when she visited this summer with her daughter—so much so that she added a stay at its sister property, Château Les Carrasses. Read on to find out what makes these two hideaways in France's undiscovered Languedoc region such a fit for families. 


Basics

  • This 19th-century chateau set within a vineyard in France’s picturesque Languedoc-Roussillon region has an 8-room hotel and 36 self catering houses and apartments designed for families, ranging from two to four bedrooms and many with private, heated pools.
  • Get active: the resort’s 100-ft main pool is heated from April to October for plenty of outdoor splashing, plus there’s a clay tennis court, boules court, bikes of all sizes, table tennis, and a kids’ club in July and August; recover at the spa, which has its own indoor pool.
  • The property can be accessed from nearby regional airports or TGV (Beziers has a great rail connection to Paris and to Nice/Provence); the closest nonstop international flights come into Barcelona, a three-hour drive to the south.

Bedtime

  • The smallest room for a family of four is the reasonably-priced two-bedroom apartment in the new self-catering properties.
  • Our favorite room within the chateau is the three bedroom La Maison des Bons, a suite spread over three levels with superb views, a fireplace for chilly fall nights and large soaking tubs.
  • Babyproofing here goes above and beyond, with everything from high chairs and travel cots to bottle sterilizers and warmers, changing mats and pool alarms and gates provided for families.

Bests

  • Don’t feel like cooking? Head to the chateau’s restaurant and dine al fresco on the terrace (they’ll also do takeaway if you prefer to eat at home); extra bonus, the freshly baked bread, croissants and pizza the front desk can deliver to your house; BBQ packs are also available.
  • Parents get the best of both worlds, with family-sized spaces in the houses and apartments but the resort amenities mom and dad crave when they want some downtime (thank you kids’ club and Cinq Mondes spa!).
  • If you haven’t explored this part of France, it’s a less-discovered gem with stunning beaches nearby, canals for canoeing and barge trips, local markets, festivals, and charming restaurants, as well as engaging museums and aquariums for kids; vinophiles in particular should add to their list since wine at the estate dates back to Roman times, and the chateau’s new winery is state-of-the-art (their first vintage was bottled this year).

Buts

  • Some rooms in the hotel are very small so you must rent a self-catering “house” on property for enough room for a family.  
  • You’ll need to hit the markets to stock your kitchen if staying in one of the houses, but the concierge does offer “stocking” packages to have the basics ready upon your arrival.  
  • Housekeeping isn’t daily in the homes, so you’ll need to pay an extra fee if you’d like more regular tidying.

Basics

  • Château Les Carrasses was built in 1886 on the foundations of a pilgrim rest area on the Route de Saint-Jacques de Compostelle Château; it’s reborn as a hotel and boutique winery.
  • Accommodations range from twenty-eight stylish suites to apartments and villas, many with panoramic views, gardens and private pools and all with authentic architectural details, antique furnishings and design elements sourced from local markets.
  • Resort amenities include a brasserie and bar, a large heated pool, sun terrace, clay tennis court, beach volleyball, bikes, sport equipment, and kids’ club.

Bedtime

  • The smallest accommodation for a family of four is within the château, namely Le Parc Bellevue, a two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen and living area overlooking the terrace and surrounding countryside below.  
  • Families who prefer more privacy should book one of the homes or loft-style apartments, which are airy and provide generous accommodations and a private garden set away from the chateau.
  • The self-catering apartments include packs provided to stock the cabinets with basic essentials and cleaning supplies; BBQ kits are available as well as gourmet packages and private chefs, or guests can order from the resort’s main restaurant.

Bests

  • Like its sister hotel Serjac, Les Carrasses offers special programs for kids plus “kids’ dinners” organized during the summer to allow children to meet playmates of a similar age; Sunday nights include live entertainment under the stars.
  • With so many activities in the region, boredom is never a problem; plan to kayak, tour gardens, visit Narbonne’s indoor market, storm the Cathar stronghold of Minerve and wander the medieval village of St-Guilhem-le-Desert.
  • The staff straddles the line of sophisticated and laid-back perfectly, creating an atmosphere that’s welcoming to families of young children but still upscale enough for their parents.

Buts

  • Room service is limited as is the brasserie’s menu, so guests enjoying a longer stay must explore neighboring villages for variety.
  • You’ll need to hit the markets to stock your kitchen if staying in one of the houses.  
  • Housekeeping isn’t daily in the homes, so you’ll need to pay an extra fee if you’d like more regular tidying.