23 Aug Les Maisons de Campagne
Housed in a former hunting lodge belonging to Louis XIV, the Maison du Val welcomes families to the heart of the Parisian countryside. The idea? A country house where “we put our feet under the table, rather than our hands to the work”. The all-in principle: everything is included, and that’s no mean feat. A host of activities are spread throughout the house and garden. You soon get used to the comfort of this new-style hotel…
(Psst… In a hurry? We have summarized it all up using a rating system, right there)
A board next to the reception desk sets the tone: there’s never a dull moment here. So you get excited when you check in because you want to get lost in this hotel. The girls immediately spot the children’s rain boots. The sizes they choose are not the right ones, which amuses them even more. Further on, a piece of furniture is covered with board games. We retrace our steps and realise that the snack is served. Discovering the bedroom is no longer a priority, we want to try out the cuisine and relax. The decor is so stylish, you can just sit back, relax and enjoy. We know that here, no one will be bothered by children running around in boots that are too big.
Where do we sleep?
Our room overlooks the garden. You feel like opening the window, settling down on the bed and enjoying the fresh country air. The shower room is as beautiful as it is well thought out.
We asked for a cot, so we got a whole kit: a changing pad and a little pouch with a few children’s hygiene products. You’re really made to feel welcome in this house!
What do we eat?
Eating is an essential part of the Maison du Val experience. As well as a snack, an aperitif is served at the end of the afternoon. The three meals are served buffet style. Hot, cold, desserts and a chef to serve us and explain his choices. The food is unbelievably good and, let’s not forget, the buffet has the merit of letting everyone eat what they like. The girls made some discoveries (thanks to the chef, to whom they didn’t dare refuse a tasting) and so did we.
Info for those travelling with toddlers: we have crockery for children, compotes to drink and purees for toddlers.
What do we do?
We can’t decide whether to tell you everything, to show you the full range of activities, or to leave you with a bit of mystery… But we’re tempted to give you a sneak preview of what we do at the Maison du Val. There are three playrooms, one for each age group, and a cinema room for the older children (and for the grown-ups). Outside, we walk around the property, from the sandpit to the trampoline and the cuistax (or ‘pedal car’ for readers unfamiliar with this northern activity). A number of activities are organised at weekends. I did a painting workshop on the terrace, to give you an idea.
We ventured outside the house and visited the Château de Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas’s country house, and the gardens of the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. There is a museum here, but it closed half an hour after we arrived.
Apart from the minor drawback that the hotel only offers one pair of interconnecting rooms, this hotel is exactly what you’re looking for. We loved our stay. The activities are designed to appeal to everyone, the setting is magnificent, the food is excellent and the facilities are superbly comfortable. And because it’s all-in, there are no surprises at check-out or hesitations about taking part in an activity or having a drink, which is very pleasant. Now we want to try out their second address…
Les Maisons de Campagne - Maison du Val
Route Forestière des Brancas
Brussels (3h30) / Paris (45 minutes)
Made for Families
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