We spent May half term in a 3 bed, 2 bath Eurocamp Espace at Chateau de Lez Eaux in Normandy, France.
Having not done a Eurocamp holiday myself since I was about 7 but with the ringing endorsements of family, friends and fellow bloggers, we were excited to see what Eurocamp had to offer us. As a family of five, we often find ourselves gravitating towards self-catering holidays mainly due to the flexibility the separate bedrooms offer us as well as space for us grown ups to relax once the children have gone to bed. Standard family hotel rooms don’t often cater for more than four people.
I’m going to be honest and say that our first impressions of our Eurocamp Espace were not great – it felt dark and cramped compared to the pictures I’d seen online and, with it being the start of the season, it smelt a bit musty. I was also disappointed to see how shaded our Espace was by the surrounding trees, I felt like we were going to be missing out on what little sun was available to us! However, the following morning, when I’d had a good night’s sleep and was in a better frame of mind, I felt much happier with our little holiday home. This isn’t a fancy hotel, you are camping! I started to see our Espace for what it was – sheer luxury in comparison to a tent. It is, of course, all about your mindset. The musty smell faded over the course of the week thanks to the air freshener we invested in at the local supermarket and us keeping the windows open as much as possible to air the property. And, whilst I have been in other mobile homes of similar size with a better layout, the Espace suited our needs perfectly.
On paper, the 3 bed, 2 bath Espace will sleep eight (a maximum of six adults) in a double bedroom (with ensuite), a twin room, a bunk room and a fold out double sofa bed in the living area. Realistically, I think eight people would be pretty tight but I guess it depends on your priorities and who you are sharing with. For us as a family of five, the Espace worked really well – Dave and I slept in the double room at one end and the kids had the two smaller bedrooms at the other end of the property. The girls shared the twin room and Ben had the bunk room to himself. There had been some chat about swapping them around over the course of the week depending on who we thought might benefit from a night on their own but in practice neither of the girls actually wanted to sleep on the top bunk and I couldn’t be bothered to keep swapping the bedding around. It worked really well for us as the girls are pretty good at sharing anyway but we tended to just pop Amy to bed slightly earlier than Chloe so that she was asleep (or nearly asleep) by the time Chlo came to bed.
Although the beds were small (think camp beds in the twin room or a super small double in the main bedroom), they were comfortable and we all slept extremely well. I think this was in part due to the late nights and the amount of time we spent outside but also due to the well fitted blackout blinds and additional blackout curtains – something I’ve really missed since we got home! There’s also a fitted fly net on each window which means you can leave your windows open to air your mobile home without fear of filling it full of bugs! It is worth bearing in mind that bed linen and towels are not provided as standard however these can be added as an extra – something that might be worth investing in if you are short of space in your car or if you are flying! As part of our package we had bed linen, bath towels and beach towels. These were all in good condition however I think I might be inclined to take my own in future just for that extra level of home comfort. That being said, not having to drag a load of dirty bed linen and soggy towels from last minute swims home with us was a bonus. We did find that one bath towel each really wasn’t enough for the week – particularly with daily hair washing.
As I have mentioned, the double bedroom benefits from a small ensuite – this was great as it meant that Dave and I didn’t have to go crashing down to the other end of the mobile home, potentially waking the kids, if we needed to go to the toilet during the night. The shower was pretty small but surprisingly powerful and we never suffered from a lack of hot water – in fact if anything it was too hot at times, there was a careful dance to be done with the taps to get the water temperature just right! The main bathroom at the other end of the Espace had a much bigger shower, which to be honest we didn’t often use as I got into a routine of washing the kids’ hair at the swimming pool rather than waiting till we got home but they enjoyed having their own bathroom.
The kitchen area is stocked with enough plates, bowls and glasses for eight people as well as knives, pots, pans and other cooking paraphernalia. Dave was pleased to see there was a cafetiere and thoroughly enjoyed a proper pot of coffee each morning. There’s plenty of storage space but not much room for preparing food – that said, if you’re anything like us you’ve not gone on holiday to cook big fancy meals! We preferred to use the BBQ which was provided or visit the onsite takeaway. I think the closest we got to cooking a proper meal in the kitchen was some pasta and sauce one night! Make sure you’ve got a few basics with you when you arrive to tide you over until you can get to the supermarket or campsite shop – tea, coffee, washing up liquid etc (or pre-order a welcome pack with these things in).
The living area provides a comfortable and cosy seating area for the odd time we were forced to eat our meal indoors or for several games of OK Play before bed. (If you have’t come across this game before it comes highly recommended – we all love it!) The table was a little wobbly but served it’s purpose and we loved that we could fold it down and move it out of the way if we wanted. The gas fire was quick to heat up and came in handy for helping to dry out towels on occasion when the weather just wasn’t warm enough but we never really felt the need to use it to actually warm our mobile home through – we were perfectly snug!
The way the mobile homes were positioned meant that our outdoor space felt really private, we were only overlooked by one other mobile home which was actually empty until the day before we left! We ate most of our meals outside on the decking area – I love a bit of alfresco dining, especially on holiday. Our decking area had a fixed awning which initially I was frustrated by – I wanted to sit out in the sun- but actually it was a godsend as it protected us from falling tree debris after a couple of storms and the odd shower if it started spitting while we were eating! The decking area was only covered at one end so we could have easily moved the table to the other end if we’d been desperate to eat in the sunshine however, as Donna said the other week, my family is 40% ginger so a bit of shade is no bad thing! Although the table only had four chairs, there was a number of folding chairs stored in a cupboard inside the Espace so we could comfortably sit our family around the table. We also had two reclining chairs and two sun loungers, neither of which got any use sadly thanks to the cloudy May half term weather!
Throughout the Espace, there were a number of British plug sockets alongside the European ones which was super handy as we’d only managed to take two adaptors with us – and you can imagine with multiple tablets and mobile phones to charge as well as needing to use my hairdryer – it would have meant a lot of faffing about! It’s amazing what a difference such a little detail can make!
Although I had a few niggles with our Eurocamp Espace, in reality it provided us with exactly what we needed and I think our seal of approval is evident in that Dave and I actually spent an evening while we were on holiday working out where we would like to stay with Eurocamp next! The current plan is to book another trip next May half term and perhaps look at travelling a little further south in search of sunshine!
*We stayed with Eurocamp free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*