Château de Villiers-le-Mahieu – Les Maisons de Campagne ****
Indoor swimming pool
Free upgrade for all children (up to 12 years old) to the package booked by their parents
Nicolas, father of Philippa (5 ans and a half) et Stanislas (19 months), de Bruxelles
Last March, my wife and I, accompanied by our two young children, took a trip to France, to the Atlantic coast. On the way, we decided to make a stop in the Yvelines for a relaxing stay in an exceptional residence: the Château-de-Villiers le Mahieu. Here is the story of a successful long weekend.
We pass the imposing wrought iron gate and face the beautiful perspective of the driveway that leads to the castle. We walk along and admire the architecture: the fortified gate, the towers, the narrow openings, the asymmetry, then we pass the moat. After explaining to my daughter what a moat is and what it was used for, we arrived at the reception area.
There we are told how the « country house » works. The aim is to make both the adults and the little guests feel at home. For this, several rooms are at their disposal according to their ages and desires: an attic fitted out with children’s games for the youngest « Gustave’s attic », a room with a pinball machine and arcade games for the teenagers, a reading room with a library, a room fitted out in the base of a tower for poker for the older ones… Drinks are also served: water, soda, fruit juice, tea, coffee… in two large bars adjoining lounges delightfully heated by fireplaces that invite reverie.
The concept of the « country house », the idea that this is a bit of a home from home, is very pleasant. It gives an informal, relaxed feel to the place, which makes us feel good, relaxed… We borrow a bike to ride along the paths and around the estate. We read a book by the fire while sipping a drink. We play a board game. But I was also very impressed by the wealth of activities on offer. A few hours after our arrival, we were invited to a Champagne tasting with a sommelier. The next day, a yoga class is scheduled for 10 am. And all weekend long, Vince and Léa will be organising treasure hunts, boat trips and other activities for the children in the kids’ club with passion and professionalism. In short, there is always something going on at the castle.
Another strong point is the catering. The buffet formula is a bit reminiscent of a well-known club, but I must say that the quality of the products here is superior to what I have experienced elsewhere. For example, at the first dinner I was able to enjoy a nice choice of salads, a beetroot salad, sea bream and steamed vegetables, accompanied by an olive oil sauce and very finely chopped peppers and a chocolate cake that was not too sweet, just right. I counted a choice of no less than 6 red wines and almost as many whites plus a Prosecco. In addition, there is a well-stocked bar that calls for a cocktail competition.
The next day, our lunch confirms all the good things we think about the cuisine. Tasty scorpion fish, lamb cooked to perfection, a salad of raw forgotten vegetables, a salad of marinated salmon… Everything is fresh, delicious, well presented. And the table is unanimous, from the youngest to the oldest. I help myself to a plate of chocolate crème brûlée and a piece of Paris-Brest. On Sunday, we took advantage of the large terrace in the sun to enjoy a gourmet and refined brunch: smoked salmon, oysters, avocado salad, monkfish, eggs, dairy products from independent producers, an assortment of cheeses, fruit salad, baskets of fresh fruit…
For young and old alike, there are several self-service activities available. There is a golf practice, tennis courts, a fitness room, a bocce ball court, boats for sailing on the moat… A fleet of bicycles of all sizes and colours is also available.
We had also reserved a time slot at the Spa pool for the children. Certain times of the day are reserved for families, which is a good idea, especially given the noise level my daughter can develop around a pool. The pool is very pleasant. The place is very bright with the glass roof. Everything is very sleek. There is a small outdoor area with deckchairs, a corner with water and fruit tea, a hammam, a sauna and of course a very complete spa for those who want it. I am always surprised at the enthusiasm with which my children discover the pool. For the bath, it’s the big negotiations, but for the pool they are the first in the water. Just enough time to put on a swimming costume and they splash around more often than not. Between the bike and the pool, they sleep well in the evening.
In the end, these few days at the castle left us with excellent memories and the children are already asking “Daddy, when are we going back?”
Thanks to its beautiful surroundings, and its activities and services designed for everyone, the Château de Villiers-le-Mahieu is without a doubt an ideal holiday destination for families travelling with children.
Thank you, Little Guest, and see you soon!
Monday-Sunday: 9AM - 6PM.
© 2023 Little Guest SA
extraordinary family holidays