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.
We throughly enjoyed our first holiday abroad as a family of three at Montengrande. The accommodation, surroundings and hospitality left absolutely nothing to be desired. Wholeheartedly recommended!Review dated 26/05/2018
Montengrand is a fantastic place to holiday with children. Nicki and Ady are wonderful hosts and really have thought of everything possible to make your trip a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Our toddler loved the swimming pool, play fort, sand table and animals (especially the sheep!) and we loved the beautiful cottage, delicious home-cooked meal provided by Nicki and the bar! It says a lot that many of their guests are repeat bookings. We hope to join them!Review dated 03/07/2017
A wonderful spot and a perfect location for our first family holiday abroad with our 6-month old daughter. Waking up to fresh bread and pastries every morning and opting for Nicki's cooking on more than one occasion was a delicious treat. Another treat was the massage and beauty treatments we indulged in and all without leaving the front door! The cottage was well equipped and if there was anything else we needed, it was no problem for Nicki and Ady. There are fantastic walks to be had straight from the cottage, with what must be some of the finest views in the region - thank you to Ady for his tips on which direction to walk in. Highly recommend!Review dated 16/01/2017
Fabulous, relaxing, family-friendly break in beautiful surroundings. Nicki, her family and team are excellent hosts and we found ourselves rebooking for the following summer before we had even caught our flight home! Lovely pool and pool house, other nice touches include pastries and bread delivered for breakfast, restaurant bookings made for you in advance, and the option to book manis, pedis and massages.Review dated 10/01/2017
Our first trip to Montengrand was in August 2016 with our two children aged 6 and 5 - it was a joy!
Nicki and Aidy have thought of everything from fresh bread delivered to your door each morning, to pizza night, arranging bike hire and even a fridge and BBQ beside the pool. We can't wait ot go back this year!Review dated 09/01/2017
Montengrand is perfect for a family holiday. It is rural enough to be peaceful, yet close enough to Mirepoix to enjoy the restaurants and cafes there. The cottages have been renovated to an exceptional standard and are very well equipped with everything a family might need. My children loved the outdoor pool, which has a large selection of pool toys to play with, and enjoyed meeting the animals who live at Montengrand. Nicki and Ady are warm and accommodating hosts, and nothing was too much trouble for them. We enjoyed it so much that we have booked again for next year!Review dated 07/01/2017
We loved our stay at Montengrand from the second we arrived and we had tears in our eyes leaving. Within 5 minutes the children were off making friends and exploring. In addition we had a 6 week old baby and the team at Montengrand couldn't have been more helpful to make out stay comfortable and relaxing. We would 100% recommend it to anyone.Review dated 07/01/2017
The entire family absolutely loved it. Our 14 month old loved the freedom to wander and the animals. We hardly saw our four year old as he spent almost the entire time in the field or in the play house. We all loved pizza night and cycling on the track. My wife's favourite thing was probably the night out at the Abby. For me our experience was summed up when I saw the fridge at the pool and thought 'damn I should have brought some beers up here to chill' so I opened the fridge to check that it was on and what did I find....a stash of ice cold beers. Oh and I really loved watching the rugby with Aidy and the other guests in the barn with a cold beer or two from the pump. Really can't think that we've ever been anywhere even remotely comparable. Nicki and Aidy were awesome. Oh yes and the babysitters were charming...and the bread delivery at the door each morning...I could go on...and on. Awesome.Review dated 06/10/2015
A real delight - homely and welcoming, beautiful area, very kind and accommodating owners - would definitely visit again.Review dated 21/09/2015
This property is perfect for families and great for those with babies as Nicki asks you what you need in advance and even provides monitors/sterilisers etc. The cottage was decorated really nicely and it was particularly useful to find lots of toys for my baby to play with and lots of DVDs for us to watch! One thing to note is that the cottages do have stone walls and floors and can get a little cold so bear that in mind if you're travelling out of the height of summer. There is a fire place which warms the place up nicely though.Review dated 14/07/2015
We had a fantastic week at Montengrand, it's such an amazing place, very relaxing, wonderfully rural, but close to amenities, and the owners are extremely helpful and friendly. We really liked how safe it was for the children, and our 3 year old was able to roam and play safely with the other children there. The pool area was idyllic and a particular highlight was the family pizza night. We thought we might do several day trips, but we didn't really need to go anywhere, although we did visit the castle at Carcassonne which was very impressive. We would highly recommend Montengrand to anybody.Review dated 16/01/2015
Nicki and Adrian created a welcoming family atmosphere. We had a lovely week chilling out by the pool which we almost had sole use of!
Be warned most guests seem to be repeat bookers! Says it all if you want a family friendly get away.Review dated 20/09/2014
We have just got back from the perfect first family holiday - and we have our gracious hosts Nicki and Adrian to thank for making it such a special place to stay. They have provided everything you could think of (plus a few things you might not have!) to make your stay as stress free as possible. And the thoughtful placement of age appropriate toys in the house made the welcome extra special for our little boy.
You soon get into the Montengrand way of life - enjoying freshly delivered bread and pastries in the morning, lunches by the stunning pool, wandering around the luscious grounds petting the animals, and having quiet BBQs in your garden as the sun goes down. I think our favourite memory will be the family pizza party, where we made delicious pizzas cooked in the wood-fired oven. The children ate and played in the late sunshine and the wine flowed freely for the adults, making it an enchanted evening.
There is a certain magic about Montengrand and I think it is something that will stay with us for a long time, and at least for as long as we can wait to go back again!Review dated 21/06/2014
Fantastic setting in beatutiful countryside, teaming with wildlife. Short drive or bike ride to supermarket and restaurants if you need them. Fabulous pool and nice touch with the bread/pastry deliveries. There's plenty to do in the area if you want to get out and about but, to be honest the site is so nice we didn't feel the need very much.Review dated 28/08/2013
We loved it and have already booked for next year. We really appreciated:
- Fantastic location in unspoilt countryside, 5 mins drive from historic Mirepoix.
- Beautifully furnished gite with lots of nice touches, very practical too. Four other families but didn't seem crowded
- Great setting. Pool with platform for toddlers to splash around on
- Charming, helpful hosts who organised a welcome shop, some delicious meals, morning bread, restaurant bookings and babysitters
- Husband summed it up as a family holiday which didn't seem like one ..!Review dated 02/08/2013
An outstanding holiday, the hosts have organised a special experience for children, a kind of swallows and amazons. Most importantly there are always other kids to hook up with, which makes it great for them and the parents too.The area offers plenty for kids to do; canoeing, tree adventures, horse riding, cycling and plenty more, plus they'll love the medieval towns and castles nearby. a great place with great guests and hosts.Review dated 29/07/2013
Nicki and the team are wonderful. We stayed with our 3.5 year old and 10 month old. All equipment we needed was set up for our arrival and we were alos able to use the babysitting service to have some couple time, including a lunch and winetasting at a local vineyard. The daily delivery of pastries was a lovely touch too. A very easy trip for us and the cottage was gorgeous.Review dated 20/06/2013
We had the most amazing week at Montengrand and cannot recommend it highly enough. The location was absolutely idyllic and the cottage and grounds were stunning. Its quite a challenge going on holiday with a 5 and 1 year old but we all had such a relaxing and fantastic time at Montengrand! We very much hope to return one day in the future!Review dated 27/08/2012
From the pre arrival planning through to departure things could not have gone better. Our 19 month old hadn't encountered many animals before but after 10 days at Montengrand he was happily feeding rabbits, chatting to the lamb and discoursing with Lucy dog.
Nothing was too much trouble for Nicki and within a day of arriving we were all thoroughly relaxed. Nicki and Ady made excellent suggestions for trips around the area (all with the little one in mind) but the greatest treat was just enjoying Montengrand - the pool, the gardens, the woodland were a wonderland for us all to explore.
If there was a six star rating I would award it. Perfect.Review dated 01/11/2011
Beautiful accommodation and surroundings. Stunning swimming pool - very child-friendly. Cute animals to pet. Very helpful owners.Review dated 01/10/2011
Our stay at Montengrand couldn't have been more relaxing and the place and hospitality surpassed all our expectations. Would thoroughly recommend, at the risk of making it more popular than it already is - and never getting availability ourselves in the future! Nicki and Adrian have hit the spot exactly with this placeReview dated 23/06/2011
Completely fantastic. We loved it and it was perfect for our girls (18months & 3). The sheep, rabbit & chickens were a total hit & Nicki & Ady were wonderful hosts.Review dated 16/06/2011
Without doubt the best family holiday we've had so far. The owners couldn't have been more welcoming; the location is beautiful; and the kids loved the animals and the freedom to run around and explore. It's well worth taking advantage of the catering provided as all meals were of an excellent standard and freshly cooked to order and delivered the same day.Review dated 09/06/2010
Without doubt the best family holiday we've had so far. The owners couldn't have been more welcoming; the location is beautiful; and the kids loved the animals and the freedom to run around and explore. It's well worth taking advantage of the catering provided as all meals were of an excellent standard and freshly cooked to order and delivered the same day. Overall experience: ExcellentReview dated 21/06/2010
Overall Experience: Outstanding!Review dated 02/06/2010
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.Review dated 03/11/2009
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! Review dated 03/11/2009
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! Review dated 03/11/2009
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 bread and pastry delivery was a bit of a highlight! I could go on forever, but suffice to say we loved it and hope to return for many years to come to see all Nicki & Aidy's wonderful plans for even more delights at Montengrand develop.Review dated 03/11/2009
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 and really feel like you are away from it all.2.The swimming pool - the facilities and backdrop are just stunning and finally 3. Nicki and Aidi, along with their daughter Mo, are wonderful and welcoming hosts. They have created a supremely relaxed environment for children and adults to enjoy and the subtle special touches are first class - you'll have to book to find out what they are! Our daughter had a wonderful time playing in the wigwam, swimming in the pool and saying goodnight to the animals and as she was happy, it made it a very, very enjoyable holiday for us all!Review dated 03/11/2009
Sleeps 2 adults and 2 children plus infant in 2 bedrooms, 1 double and 1 bunk bed room.
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.