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L' Océano D'Or Camping Site (Jard-sur-Mer, France)

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2 Reviews

L’Océano d’Or is an attractive, well-kept site, ideally situated in unspoilt countryside. The site offers a variety of high season family entertainment and live music in the special amphitheatre. The campsite buildings have been built in traditional Vendéen style and the spacious bar has a relaxed atmosphere. The grassy pitches are bordered with low hedgerows or small trees providing some privacy. The swimming pool complex has a waterchute and waterslides, surrounded by spacious sun terraces.

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    2 Reviews
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    • More +
      19.08.2012 21:10
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      3 stars

      Let me first start this review by saying I am currently still on holiday writing this review while my memory is still fresh and secondly a little about why we booked here. Last year we stayed in South Brittany in an amazing campsite with Keycamp in Benodet. It really was perfect and we were desperate to repeat the holiday but with a little more hotter weather. Last year we had one decent week but a second rainy and generally miserable week so we decided we needed to venture further south. Determined to stay near a beach we settled on the Vendee as any further South was really clocking up the miles and the journey time from our home in West Yorkshire, so the Vendee it was. This limited us slightly as we wanted to book with Keycamp again - we were happy last year and also gained a 15% discount for going back with them, so the only campsite that seemed to hit all the right notes was the L'Oceano D'Or, rated 5 stars.

      Arriving:
      After a 5 hour journey time in the UK, a ferry to Calais and a 9.5 hour drive (avoiding toll roads) we wearily arrived at the site. We parked up and ventured to reception to check in, only to be told by an uninterested member of staff we needed to turn right then left. Okay we thought, we were being sensitive, we were tired after all. Arriving at the Keycamp reception (a caravan) we were greeted by a fairly unpleasant staff member who didn't greet us, just said 'what's the name'. I was getting a little impatient with the unfriendly staff but bit my tongue as the rep showed us to our caravan. We had upgraded to one of the luxury caravans this year and I have to admit I was very impressed on our arrival. As a repeat customer we had a lovely bottle of red waiting for us and the modern luxurious caravan was very refreshing. We were slightly perplexed at why we had been put in a caravan away from all the English and next to the reps living quarters but hey no, we're on holiday. 

      The pool:
      Feeling slightly let down by its 5 star claims, we started our explore and soon discovered the pool was... A pool with 2 slides. We had been slightly spoilt last year at Point St. Giles with a lazy river, a domed inside pool area, several slides, children's activity areas in the water, etc, but the pool was unfortunately just that. There is 1 absolutely tiny children's pool area with a tiny tiny slide in but this gets so overrun with children its not much use. It should probably fit around 3 or 4 children max but often has around 20 in. The pool area is fairly unclean too, with only 1 very dirty unisex toilet for the whole pool and bar area. There is 1lifeguard but I only noticed him on day 4, and he certainly isn't easy to spot in an emergency. The pool is open daily 10 - 7. Another thing to mention is the lack of shade. The past 5 days have been 35 degrees at around midday and with parasols only making an appearance yesterday we were fairly unimpressed. With fair skin and 2 small children, we desperately needed shade but when they did make an appearance they were small and pretty useless. 

      Bar area: 
      Another letdown I'm afraid. In need of a bit of tlc and definitely in need of an update. Home to all of the evening entertainment and a pass through to reception, web area, small games room and tv room, it isn't as my h of a 'hub' as I would have expected but the bar isn't overpriced (around 5 euros for 2 small Stella's) and the staff are pleasant. The entertainment has been hit and miss on an evening, one night we had 7 line dancers, they were okay but not everyone's cup of tea, while the next night was a strange dj who played 30 seconds of one song before turning it off and putting on another, it did turn into a good night once he played the whole of a song! Tonight we have muscles and chips night (in the middle of an arena -bit strange) and later a Caberet. We've also had a whole night of a ping pong competition and a karaoke night. 

      Play area:
      The playground (if you have children) is the best thing going for this site. It's fab. A pirate ship in the centre with ropes, firemans poles, ladders, slides, etc all coming off here there and everywhere, with a set of swings, a robe climbing frame with suspended seats and lots and lots of sand. It is pretty impressive but there are some rough older children that hang around so we don't let our girls play unsupervised. It is also worth mentioning that there are no kids clubs during the day. While we don't want to ship the children off for hours each day, it is nice for them to make friends and do creative play for an hour each day but unfortunately that isn't an option here. 

      Extras:
      There is a pizza shop, a very small convenience shop and a boules area. A key fob to enter the site by car means your car is pretty safe lol, but young children could frighteningly get out of the site very easily. Luckily we are at the other end of the site. There is also a football pitch and a basketball area. 

      There are 430 pitches so a fairly big site, but the pitches are small. We cant park down the side of our caravan but do have a big decking area. Dogs are allowed on site so this is something to bear in mind.

      The site is situated in Jard Sur Mer which is a little village area. A beach is about 15 minutes walk or a few minutes in the car. A Super U supermarket is a few minutes walk so handy when you check in are told that men must wear speedos in the pool! My husband was mortified as this wasn't the case at the site last year but each one is different. 

      All in all for the price (we paid £1500 for 10 days but am unsure how much is the caravan how much is the site) we are a little disappointed. The site is most definitely not 5 stars. We have travelled fairly extensively and can safely say that is can't be 5 stars. Even in comparison to last years site it should be rated as a 3 star. I feel the site is massively missing out in areas and could look at providing more facilities, clubs, sports events and entertainment.

      * out of interest I have checked to see the price to come as a family of 4 next August for 7 days. For a super tent the price would be £550. A luxury 2 bed  caravan will set you back  £1100 while a 3 bed caravan with decking will cost £1050. All without the travel costs included. 

      Perhaps we were slightly spoilt last year  in what was most definately a 5 star site but i feel this site could have offered so much more than it did. 

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      • More +
        12.10.2006 21:52
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        Campsite ocated in the Vendee region of France

        L’ Oceano D’ Or (ODO from now on) is a medium sized campsite located in the picturesque seaside town of Jard Sur Mer in the Vendee region of France. It is about an hours drive south of the more well known St Jean De Monts resort and as French resorts go its location is much better as Jard Sur Mer is a lot less commercialised.

        We stayed on the campsite for two weeks in August having booked with Keycamp to stay in one of their supatents however on the site there is a wide range of choice available with regards to accommodation. A number of companies have a mixture of tents and mobile homes on the site. In addition there are some more permanent structures which tended to be owned by French families as well as a number of plots available to pitch your own tent. In terms of cost this will vary dependant on the type of accommodation you choose, the entire cost of our holiday including channel crossing was just under £800 for a 12 night stay whilst friends booking with a different company paid about £1,100 for a mobile home.

        Most of this review will focus on the site from the perspective of someone camping on the site as that was my own experience.


        The Location

        The site itself is well set out and located close to the centre of town and is surrounded by houses on all sides. It is relatively easy to find as it is located on one of the main roads approaching Jard Sur Mer however despite having quite a wide entrance it is easy to pass by it as it is slightly set back from the road on the main approach.

        The centre of town is between a five to ten minute walk dependant on how close you are to the rear exit and the beach is a further ten minute walk. The nearest supermarket is about a similar distance to walk and a short three minute drive which is the better option to transport essential BBQ supplies of the liquid kind.

        The Pitches

        On the whole all of the pitches were of a decent size and most of those set up for tents had a little privacy in the form of hedges to the sides and rear and they tended to be staggered on opposite side so you did not stare out of your window directly into the tent over the other side of the road.

        The pitches were generous in size and I could easily park my car alongside the tent without restricting our ability to sit outside of the tent at the table or in the sun chairs that were provided.

        Inside the tents were spacious and well equipped and to a generally high standard.

        The only serious issue I had with the particular pitch that I had was that the drainage on the site was not sufficient and we were warned on arrival that the tents in our row had been prone to flood in times of very heavy rain and this was the case for us as well on one particular day when there was heavy rain. Fortunately even though we were out on the day in question we had removed all clothing and perishable items off the floor and the camp rep had come round while we were out to mop up the small amount of rain that had got in through the floor. Or us this was not a major issue but one couple who had a slightly lower pitch than ours did get moved from the site. There had been an attempt to install a new drain but this looked like a botched job which hopefully will be rectified in the winter months.

        The Washing Facilities

        Not such an issue for those in mobile homes but for us common folks the toilet and shower block can make or break the holiday especially with fussy teens in tow.

        There were a number of shower blocks located around the camp which meant that no one had far to walk which is much appreciated late at night with a full bladder of red wine to dispose of.

        Each block was identically set out with the building split in half, in one half there were shower stalls and wash basins whilst in the other half there were toilets and more wash stalls. At the end of each block was a separate facility to do hand washing of laundry or to wash up cutlery.

        The individual shower stalls were not the most spacious and only had a small, supposed, dry area to store clothes. After our first experience we soon decided to wear swimming costumes to the shower block as then it did not matter if they got wet. The water varied from luke warm to hot and was a matter of pot luck and was delivered on a timed supply so you had to keep hitting a button.

        On the plus side the wash areas were kept pretty clean however the supply of hot water could have been better, rather late in the holiday I discovered that the best facility was in the disabled shower the use of which held no guilt for me.

        Facilities

        The campsite boasts a more than adequate range of facilities. As you enter the site the main building is straight in front of you which housed the reception point as well as a bar, pool room and a games arcade.

        The bar itself was quite large however part of it had a tiled floor which had quite big steps that was also open to the elements and when it rained this floor became very slippy. In this area during the day there were table tennis tables et up whilst in the evening it became home to the nightly entertainment which included a disco, live bands and games nights however we only visited it once as the entertainment was not great and the prices were high with a pint of beer costing £4.50.

        Next to the bar ware the three swimming pools; the main large pool was well set out with the depth of the various areas clearly marked out. Next to this were two medium sized water slides which had their own plunge pool and there was a small paddling pool for the toddlers.

        The pool did have a lifeguard however they tended to watch the areas by the slides rather than the main pool.

        Two things I did like was that there were a lot of sun lounges around the pool and also you needed to wear a wrist band which was issued upon arrival which prevented locals turning up to use the facility.

        Other facilities on site included a small laundry, a shop that sold fresh bread and other essentials and a take away for those too lazy to cook which made pizzas and other fast food but it was all prepared to order and was reasonably priced.

        The sports facilities were pretty good with a tennis and basketball courts, outdoor table tennis tables, a small football pitch and lots of space to play boules. There were also two play areas for the toddlers with climbing frames and swings.

        Security

        I certainly felt very safe on the site and had no worries about the children wandering around on their own. At night the campsite was well illuminated and there was never a need to carry a torch.

        Entry to the site was through a barrier for which you needed a swipe card and the barrier was locked from 11.30 at night with no driving on the camp after this time.

        There were plenty of sped bumps to keep the speed down of those driving on the site and you were more at risk from kids on bikes than anything else.

        Sundry Issues

        A few other relevant things about the campsite. Overall I found the site well maintained and all of the staff were competent and very friendly.

        Whilst there were no internet facilities on the site there were a couple of pay phones which meant that using a phone card could keep the cost of calls home down.

        The camp was not very noisy at all however on a couple of nights the noise from the bar did seem to go on to close to midnight when it should have been quiet from 11.30.

        On the plus side the camp does allow BBQ’s unlike some in France however on the down side they do allow dogs and the French have not yet come to terms with the concept of picking up after Fido. Personally on a family site with lots of small children I do not agree with allowing dogs on the site.

        I would recommend the campsite especially as the problem we had with flooding was unique to our location and only affected four of the tents. There are a few niggles that would stop me giving it five stars and I have stayed on better sites in France but on the whole ODO is not a bad place to stay and it is in a lovely area of France and a great base from which to explore.

        Thanks for reading my review.

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