Per weekfrom 1475.00 to 2285.00 EUR
It’s no exaggeration to say that the word "paradise" is often heard at Montengrand and its easy to see why; This picture-perfect row of five romantically quaint but beautifully renovated 2-3 bedroom cottages, nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees and within minutes of the medieval bastide town of Mirepoix, enjoys a setting so breathtakingly beautiful it could motivate the most reluctant artists, and views that could well put pay to poolside plans to get through the most gripping of blockbusters.
Set on a 30-acre domain of wildflower meadows and woodland, this tiny and charming hamlet of cottages has a magical quality that will have a wind-down effect on even the most frazzled of families. Even in a rundown state, several years ago, it cast its magic on its owners Nicki and Adrian who sold up and moved out of Fulham to pursue the idea of transforming Montengrand into exactly the kind of holiday they wished they could find for themselves and their, then toddler, daughter Mo. If the visitors book is anything to go by, they have certainly succeeded in answering the prayers of most parents and their offspring. In fact, Montengrand has become something of a closely guarded secret amongst families who return year after year. July and August dates are often booked up year in advance, but get in early enough and an early summer or warm September stay could well be yours.
The five cottages sleep for 4-6 and are a homely but stylish mix of Cath Kidston meets French country chic and wonderfully in keeping with the pastel-coloured scenery that surrounds them. Each has a large double bedroom and a twin, whilst some have additional beds in large, safe, mezzanine sleeping areas or in bunk rooms. Kitchens are well-equipped with gas hobs, electric ovens, microwaves and dishwashers, whilst all bathrooms have both baths and showers. Some cottages also have en-suite facilities. Their thick stone walls ensure that they are cool even in the height of summer and warm and cosy in the winter months, with the aid of log burning stoves and electric radiators. All come with boutique hotel-style luxuries in the form of comfortable beds with crisp Egyptian cotton bed linen and fluffy cotton bath towels. There's even a daily fresh bread and croissant delivery, a pre-arrival grocery and baby essentials (nappies, wipes, formula, jars etc.) service, optional home-cooked meal deliveries, plus a mid and end of stay maid service - adding to the hotel-type experience. Plus, a brilliantly comprehensive list of baby and toddler equippment and toys is an added bonus for young families and testament to Nicki and Adrian's first-hand experineces.
No matter how enchanting the interiors of the cottages, it’s their exteriors that often provide the best memories. Each has a private, furnished terrace or garden with BBQ leading off their south-facing open-plan living areas, which are ideal for eating en famille or simply enjoying some quiet time together. However, the stunning pool, which is heated for comfortable baby swimming even in spring, is a major draw. Safely gated and fenced, it benefits from amazing views and a brilliant summer kitchen where impromptu communal BBQ nights often take place. Then there's the 18ft tepee often adopted as a den by junior guests in the day and sometimes used by families to 'camp-out' at night, cooking up sausages and beans over the campfire and taking in the star-filled skies.
Accommodation Overview: The Hayloft
Set over the first and second floors of this old stone property, The Hayloft provides a spacious open plan kitchen, dining and living area with a fantastic double height ceiling. A double bedroom with a five foot four poster and the family bathroom (fitted with bath with overhead shower) are accessed via a wide hallway leading from the living area. There is a twin bedroom upstairs, plus a large mezzanine style landing area, which has limited headroom but can provide extra sleeping space for up to two children and is usually adopted as a play area by younger visitors. Wide French doors lead from the living area out onto the large south facing 3 meter by 6 meter shaded balcony / terrace, which offers a fantastic view south across the domain and which is furnished with a table and chairs and a gas barbecue. The stairs leading down to the grounds from the balcony are fitted with a gate at the top with a child proof handle. Will comfortably sleep 2 adults & up to 4 children, plus baby.
Once they've arrived and become enchanted, few families venture far from Montengrand although the very charming and well preserved medieval town of Mirepoix is just five minutes away by car and crammed with pretty shops, useful services (banks, pharmacies, doctors etc.) and family-friendly cafes and bistros. A trip to the Monday morning market which fill the town square and the cathedral forecourt, is not to be missed, neither is the annual puppet festival, which takes place in the first week of August, or the Jazz festival in April.
Beach bums and water sports enthusiasts will enjoy the sand-fringed 600-hectare La Montbel (10-20mins drive), whilst the Mediterranean beaches can be reached in just over an hour. The incredible La Cité at Carcassonne is only a 40-minute drive away and, during the winter months, the family-friendly ski station of Mont d’Olmes about the same distance.
Food lovers should not miss the opportunity to book a babysitter and visit the restaurant at the nearby Abbaye-Chateau de Camon, which, although reasonably priced (approx 40Euros for 4-courses) is highly acclaimed and has seating in the wonderfully atmospheric cloisters in the summer. Also highly recommended is the restaurant at the vineyard of Domaine Gayda.
Nearest Medical Services: 2 English speaking doctors in Mirepoix (5mins) & emergency department at Foix hospital ( 35- 40 mins)
Getting There: Flights - Carcassonne’s 'Salvaza' Airport is within 40-mins (served by Ryanair), Toulouse 'Blagnac' Airport is 1 hour away ( British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com & Flybe). By Rail: Take the Eurostar to either Paris or Lille and take the TGV to Toulouse. There is also a sleeper train from Paris to Carcassonne.
Check-in time: 16:00
Check-out time: 10:00
Reservation Deposit: 30%
Balance: 56 days prior to arrival
Check-in time: 16:00
Check-out time: 10:00
Reservation Deposit: 30%
Balance: 56 days prior to arrival
Sleeps 4-6+cots in 1 x double bedroom (5ft four poster), 1 x twin room (2 singles) & a mezzanine level landing which can accommodate two child singles.
Carcassonnes 'Salvaza' Airport is within 40-mins (served by Ryanair), Toulouse 'Blagnac' Airport is 1 hour away and Perpignan & Beziers Airports are 1 hour and 45 minutes away.
5 minutes away from the beautiful mediaeval, bastide town of Mirepoix, with its spectacular covered walkways, twice weekly markets, numerous restaurants, bars and pavement cafés
Beautifully landscaped heated outdoor pool with summer kitchen and gas barbecue and fantastic views to savour. Swimming pool area has secure fence, and child proof handle on gate. Gate is always double locked with key when under 5's are in residence.
Montengrand has a small roster of trusted, local, English speaking, baby sitters.
The following are always found in the cottages: toddler steps in bathrooms, toddler table and chairs, hand blender, sippy cups, plastic crockery, plastic cutlery, night lights & socket covers. The following are always available for those who need them and put in the cottages on request:wooden Cots, high chairs, booster seats, stairgates (top and bottom if required), baby bath, bath seat, non-slip bath mats, microwave steriliser, bed guard, potty & audio baby monitors.
Each cottage has a toy chest with a selection of toys, plus a small selection of baby/ toddler books in the children's' bedrooms and a DVD library.
Home-made meal delivery service available. Pre-arrival grocery shopping service. Local farm shop delivery, for seasonal fruit and veg grown in the surrounding fields. Daily bread and croissant deliveries can also be arranged. Plus, there's a large organic vegetable patch to plunder.
Lots of inflatables at the pool and pavement chalks which can be used very creatively on the sandstone slabs in the gardens and up at the swimming pool. There's a large wooden play fort and play house with slide and rope bridge plus a sand play table. Pre- bookable bike hire is possible from a local company who offer baby seats, helmets, tag alongs and trailers to make use of safe, flat cycle track from Montengrand to Mirepoix.
Stairgates are available.
Each cottage has its own private garden/terrace.
All of the properties at Montengrand have WiFi.
There is a small flock of very tame but slightly stupid sheep, lots of chickens who lay delicious eggs, 3 adorable, miniature Shetland ponies, 3 cats, guinea pigs to feed and two dogs called Lola and Jimmy. Little ones always enjoy helping to feed the menagerie.
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What a fabulous family holiday destination! We joined friends at Montengrand for a week's holiday in September and cannot wait to go back! Its so far removed from a 'resort' type holiday, its bliss. Its a classy, but incredibly family friendly place, perfect for babies and young children - you don't have to pack a thing as everything for your baby or child has been thought about - toys, books, DVD's, sterlisers, highchairs, cots, booster seats - I could go on. The cottages are beautifully designed and equipped (we stayed in the Hayloft with our 2 year old daughter) and the communal feel to the place is there if you wish to indulge with your neighbours or there is sufficient privacy to enjoy your holiday on your own. There are probably 3 things that stand out for us that make this the fabulous holiday destination that it is 1.its rustic nature and the beautiful surroundings that Montengrand is set in - you can fly 2 hours from the UK ...
Nicki, Aidy & Mo make Montengrand a magical place to be. We've just come back from a fornight staying in La Bergerie, the newest of the 5 beautifully restored cottages that form part of this haven. There are 5 of us in our family: me (Mum), Dad, Emma (our beloved nanny), Rosie (age 2) and Lois (age 1) and the cottage provided a perfect home from home for us. We had some great days and evenings out: Mirepoix (especially fun on market day), the beach, the lake, Carcassonne, Gayda vineyard & the Abbey (for a romantic meal for Mum and Dad) but it was Montengrand itself that won our hearts. We were out there with 3 other familes we knew the 1st week, so there was lots of communal eating and late nights round the campfire, but we made new friends in the 2nd week and Rosie had her 1st holiday romance! The girls also loved the super friendly dog Lucy, Bisou the horse and the various sheep, bunnies etc. Personally I thought the morning bre ...
What a magical holiday! Second year running and we're hoping to go again next year! In fact we took three other families with us this year and they are itching to get back too! It is the living. Nicki and Adrian are perfect hosts and Mo is wonderful - she taught Jude (our 2 year old) to love the water like a little fish! It is difficult to find somewhere that caters perfectly for children but means you do not compromise at all on the quality of your holiday - Montengrand does it all in beautiful style. Bring on our return!
Montengrand was just fantastic and we have just booked for next year. Our daughter Mimi enjoyed every moment, feeding Bisous the horse, visiting the sheep and playing in the the wonderful Tipi. THe heated pool is also absolutely beautiful. We have stayed at a lot of places that market themselves to be kiddy friendly but Montengrand far exceeded all our expectations. It was just perfect and we really couldn't think of a greater place to stay for the summer! The cottages are very luxurious, with champagne on arrival which was very special. Nicki, Adi and Mo are great hosts sand we cant wait for next year, we will be going back year after year!
Nicki and Adrian have worked hard and thought of everything that parents with little ones need on holiday. We all really enjoyed our stay at Montengrand and wouldn't hesitate to recommend to good friends.
An idyllic place to stay - we loved the animals, the superb pool & the home grown veggies! The owners were so friendly and helpful - just what you needed for 1st hol with a baby. Mirepoix and its markets was also a lovely pretty place to spend time. We would have no hesitation in coming back. Overall experience: Excellent
An idyllic place to stay - we loved the animals, the superb pool & the home grown veggies! The owners were so friendly and helpful - just what you needed for 1st hol with a baby. Mirepoix and its markets was also a lovely pretty place to spend time. We would have no hesitation in coming back.
The hospitality was fantastic. Nicki and Adrian had thought of everything to make sure we had a stress-free relaxing holiday, with everything provided that you might need travelling with a 4 year old. Our daughter loved the accessibility to the animals and the freedom for her to roam safely. The accomodation was spacious, comfortable and clean. Would definitely recommend to any families with young children.
Montengrand is a fabulous little place, a home from home with lots of added luxury and thoughtful extras. Nicki and Aid were wonderful hosts, and our daughter fell in love with them as well as all their animals. Everything was made so easy, especially meals, as the catering delivery service was fabulous and fed us often!
We stayed in the Hayloft for a week and loved it. Perfect for families with small children. Great for them to run around, meet / play with the animals, explore the woods and fields, and lovely surroundings. Recommend a visit to Foix - a lovely town with a nice children's park in the centre.
great place to go to with kids - Nicki the owner v helpful and welcoming
Montengrand/The Hayloft provided a great combination of luxury, lots of useful kiddy equipment, comfortable and stylish surroundings for the adults and lots to do for the little ones. Our son loved visiting the rabbbit and guinea pigs, sitting on the tractor and playing in the teepee. The pool was fantastic - the nicest we've been to. A wonderful peaceful setting and friendly hospitable hosts. We couldn't fault it and will certainly go back. Thanks for a fab holiday.
A superb holiday - our hosts had thought of everything to make life as easy as possible. It really was a home from home and superb location for exploring the region or simply relaxing by the child friendly pool. We'll certainly return.
Beautiful chic cottage (the hayloft) the best we have stayed in, and as our first family holiday abroad with our 11 month old daughter really could not have asked for more. Nikki and Adrian are wonderful hosts and always on hand if you need anything, simply fantastic. Our only regret is that we wished we booked for 2 weeks! Will be back again next year! :)
We all had a great time. Expectations exceeded in lots of small ways. Well thought out for families with small people with lots to interest and amuse. Nothing too much trouble for the very welcoming and friendly owners.
Montengrand is simply the perfect holiday with young children. Great hospitality, beautiful houses, a fantastic pool and wonderful location.
Montengrand has the perfect set-up for a relaxing and hugely enjoyable family holiday. We had the perfect week and would return in a heartbeat!