Family villa holidays in France just became even more must-have. Find out why Carolyn Boyd and her family would have happily stayed forever in their villa at Château Capitoul in the South of France.
Two hours into our stay on the Languedoc coast of southern France and we were quite at home. My husband was heating the plancha grill on our villa patio, ready for a gourmet barbecue supper. I was sitting on a rattan chair sipping rosé and gazing over neat rows of vineyards, and the kids were drying off after a long dip in the pool.
This was Château Capitoul, the third sister in a family of sun-drenched, French resorts, each with luxury villas and an elegant chateau hotel at their heart. We already knew and loved two of the resorts. In fact we’d stayed at Chateau les Carrasses as new parents, and then Chateau Saint Pierre de Serjac more recently. So we had high expectations of their younger sibling.
The villa holidays in France your kids won’t want to leave
Our duplex villa had two huge ensuite bedrooms as well as a relaxing lounge diner and a enviably well-equipped kitchen. From their room, I heard the kids already hoping to extend our stay. “I would be happy to live here,” said our nine-year-old son to his big sister, “even if we did have to share a room.”
Part of a Hameau set on a hillside close to the hotel, our villa is one of 44 which sleep between two to ten guests. Each offers the same incredible view, although some have their own pools. And several are ideal for bigger multi-gen families wanting their own space. The décor is tasteful, with neutral furnishings and individual touches chosen by their owners – all villas are individually owned.
Château Capitoul itself has eight individually designed rooms. Marble-floored bathrooms, standalone baths and Cinq Mondes products all whisper quiet indulgence. And the gardens are planted with Mediterranean plants which benefit from an eco-friendly self-watering technique to minimise their impact on precious local resources.
Splashing around in the pool for kids and spa time for grown ups
During our stay the children loved playing tennis on the courts near the villa and hurling boules on the pétanque piste. However, it was the pool that drew them back time and again.
Meanwhile, I headed to the spa in the basement of the chateau. An ideal place to ‘get away from it all’, and ‘all’ for me included the kids. There in the blissful, adult-only Balneum, I swam uninterrupted in the indoor pool, then relaxed in the Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. Afterwards, I indulged in a heavenly massage chosen from an enticing menu of treatments using a wide range of Cinq Mondes products.
Fun days and incredible food, the essence of family villa holidays in France
Days out exploring included visits to nearby Narbonne for its fabulous market, shops and Roman museum. The local village of Gruissan with its ruined tower and fisherman’s huts, was another favourite with our kids.
Naturally we returned hungry at the end of every day, only a perfect excuse for Asado. This is the hotel’s more casual restaurant and comes complete with open kitchen and flaming grills. Plus, all the grilled fish and meat on the menu is sourced from local producers. We tucked into steaming mussels, generous burgers and meaty tuna steaks. All accompanied by the incredible Bonfils wines produced by the co-owners of the estate whose vines I’d gazed over on our first night here. Asado is perfect for families, although we’re looking forward to trying elegant Méditerrano on a couple’s break. Because, in the words of my son, ‘I would be happy to live here’. Or at least visit again, very soon.
How to plan a family holiday at Château Capitoul
Château Capitoul sits in 200 acres of unspoiled Languedoc countryside in the south of France. Narbonne, Carcassonne and the Mediterranean are all near neighbours.
How to get there
Direct UK flights to Toulouse take from 1 hour, 50 minutes year round. Toulouse is 2 hours, 30 minutes’ drive from Château Capitoul.
Two-bedroom self-catering villas from £290 per night, with a minimum two-night stay.
Adult-only hotel rooms from £165, including breakfast.