We met with Sylvain and Laure owners of Country Kids Resort in the South of France - an unspoilt holiday hideaway for those in the know.
Country Kids Resort, France
Country Kids Resort is located the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France and family-owned and ran by husband and wife Sylvain and Laure (who live on site with their 2 young daughters Mila and Emy). This unique luxury resort is based on a three-pillar philosophy: Fun For Kids, Relaxation for Parents, Quality Family Time Together.
The private land and surrounding area is home to seven unique apartment where there is a big emphasis on community within this resort and throughout your stay. With a kids clubs for children of all ages, themed evening dinners, babysitting nights and morning visits to feed the animals.
Our Editor who visited Country Kids easier this year said: "Country Kids is a very unique family holiday destination that offers an incredible tailored service for families from the very young to pre-teens. Set in a beautiful, unspoilt rustic setting, these farm houses are the sort of place you want to keep to yourself and not tell anyone about - a true hidden gem in the South of France."
But, as we can't keep a secret we also chatted to the owners Sylvain and Laure and found out what makes Country Kids Resort such a success story...
Sylvain and Laure (who live on site with their 2 young daughters Mila and Emy)
Hello Sylvain and Laure, so lets start with your background in hospitality...
Laure: We have been working in hospitality for a combined 24 years. Sylvain grew up in the hospitality industry - as a child I remember peeling carrots standing on a bucket so I could see over the worktop (Sylvain) - and we both spent eight years working for big international hotel brands in Paris before moving to Bangkok in search of a new challenge. In 2015 we made the move to the South of France to Country Kids.
So, what prompted you to make the move to Country Kids?
Sylvain: We had our first daughter, Mila, in Bangkok and struggled to juggle busy working lives with the challenges, and excitement, of being new parents. We wanted to find a way to balance our working lives with our family lives, watch our children grow up, and spend time together as a family. When Laure fell pregnant with our second daughter, Emy, we knew it was time to make the change. We made the move when Laure was six months pregnant and have never looked back!
How long have you been managing the farm? Did you have any experience working with animals?
Laure: We had no experience with animals! We took responsibility of the farm when we moved to Country Kids in 2015 and have been learning ever since. Sylvain’s alter ego, Farmer Syl, takes the kids down to the farm every morning in the tractor to feed the animals and help with grooming.
Sylvain: It’s one of my favourite parts of the day! The kids can pet the animals and help with their care. It’s great to see them get involved – they learn so much and the animals love the attention!
What has been your experience running a business with a young family?
Sylvain: Running a business with a young family can be a challenge at times, but it is so rewarding. We are strict with our office working hours and spend the remainder of the day on site as a family. Although we rarely get away during our summer season, we’re lucky enough that it doesn’t feel like work. The resort is so small that we see guests more like friends and it is incredible to see our kids enjoying the freedom of the outdoors and making friends for life. When we see families return year on year - we have a rebooking rate of 70 per cent - it is so worth it!
With such a high rebooking rate, what do you think makes Country Kids so successful?
We think the personal touch, goes a long way. We make all of the arrangements from enquiry, to welcoming guests on property. Guests feel totally confident that everything is taken care of, so they can just focus on their quality family time. Our whole resort is fully kitted out for families, including cots, baby changing equipment, fully equipped kitchens, stair gates, bicycles and helmets, tennis rackets and balls, mini golf... we could go on. Everything is designed with families in mind, so parents can rest assured their children are safe at all times! In addition to family time we are also sure to value parents-only time too. Guests are offered complimentary babysitting nights with our experienced sitters to make the most of some mum and dad time. We also host kids-only pyjama parties on Friday mornings – after the Thursday babysitting evening – where children are picked up from their apartments and taken to enjoy some kids only time, with adults left to enjoy a well-deserved lie in.
Why do you think family holidays so important?
Laure: with so many parents are juggling busy working lives with the needs of their family every day, there is so little time to stop and just enjoy being together. Getting away from modern pressures, even for just a few days, allows to families to reconnect with what’s really important. And you learn so much from each other! We are always amazed by the things kids pick up, and what they can teach us as adults!
OK, so describe your perfect family holiday to us...
Sylvain: For us the perfect family holiday is somewhere free from distractions, where every member of the family can feel safe and comfortable to enjoy some independence, somewhere the children can explore the outdoors and meet new friends while we have some free time to relax and unwind. It’s a balance between relaxing and family time, we love hearing the girls’ stories of their new friends and what they’ve learned during the day, and we love getting outdoors as a family and seeking out adventures together!
What would your girls describe as their favourite part of living at Country Kids?
Laure: For the girls, it is having access to the incredible facilities on site. They love having a farm and petting zoo on their doorstep, acres of farmland at their fingertips and a whole range of play areas to explore. They are just old enough to start forming long-term friendships with our regular guests, which is lovely to see.
For us, we are so grateful for the freedom this offers the kids, although we don’t think they realise this yet. They can spend their day exploring and we know they are safe and secure in the park!
What is your vision for Country Kids in the future?
Sylvain: Our dream would be for someone who had visited Country Kids as a child, to return with their own family – or a Country Kids wedding!
Country Kids Resort also won Best Family Hotel in the 2018 Junior Design Awards read more HERE
For more information, up-to-date rates and booking please visit Country Kids Resort