Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 5521: Diamond Resorts, Le Club Mougins
1bed/1bath time share in Mougins (Cannes area), Provence
January/February 2013, 2 weeks
I stayed at this 'resort' because I had failed to find an apartment for rent near my daughter in Mougins Vieux Village. Being out of season, everyone seems to rent out their apartments for months at a time and could not accommodate me for a mere two weeks. This is in Mougins but not in the (pretty) old village itself but in the area called Tourmany nearly at the bottom of the hill. Tourmany is mainly commercial but Le Club Mougins is at the top of a quiet residential street, well away from any hustle and bustle.
For those planning to visit Mougins Old Village be aware that it is a very very steep hill up to the village - so steep that it is almost impossible not to break into a run on the way down in places. I climbed this every morning for two weeks and I got very fit! I walked (or ran!) down the hill every evening in the dark and I felt pretty safe on my own. On 'tired' days, it took me half an hour to go upwards but on good days I did it in just over 15 minutes but I am someone who walks over hills every day. Either way, even the fittest person would need to stop for a 'look at the view' every so often!
Le Club Mougins has a restaurant but I did not get a chance to try it (I gather from other reviews it is excellent) as it was closed for the period I was there, except for breakfast and I got that for myself in my apartment. A little further down the hill, about a five minute walk, is a good supermarket which sells pretty well everything you need for self catering. There are also bakeries, a chemist and the usual assortment of shops within easy walking distance.
The resort complex is more like a hotel set up (in fact classified as a hotel on Trip Advisor) but it consists of modern time share apartments set on a hillside in two to three story blocks. I don't know if every apartment is furnished similarly but looking at the photographs, it would seem that they are similar, but not uniform. I gather that there is a program of refurbishment. With this in mind, I had requested a newly refurbished one, away from the noise of the security gates opening and closing at night. It did not disappoint.
My nights were completely quiet although early morning I could hear the clatter of feet on the tiled floor of the apartment above me.
There was a good sized balcony with a view over to the distant mountains. Good tables and chairs. There is an outside swimming pool which I did not visit, hard tennis courts and crazy golf. This was winter so nothing seemed to be operational although I did inquire about the crazy golf so I could play with my grandson and they said I could just come to reception and collect balls and clubs. In the end it was so wet while I was there that I passed on that.
Judging from the photographs online, the pool is lovely. I did not see sitting out areas apart from my own balcony but this may be near the pool, again in summer only.
The furnishings were attractive to look at and really comfortable. I had a large apartment to myself that could have happily slept four although I had requested one for two (well, actually one!). A big sitting room with a kitchen corner at one end and a comfortable sofa (that turned into a double bed) at the other, leading out onto the balcony which must be lovely in the summer. A big flat screen TV and sound system also. There was a dining table with four chairs. I really loved the spaciousness of my apartment. I was on my own at night and appreciated that I had BBC 1 and 2 on the TV, along with all the usual French and some German channels.
Everything was very clean. That is, except for some blankets in the cupboard that I took out to use one rather cold night. I am sure they would have given me some clean ones if I had asked though. It was just rather off-putting to find a really grubby one at midnight when I needed it.
I had gathered from other reviews that someone would change sheets and collect rubbish every four days but in fact I only had one visit from staff in fourteen days, (when I was out) to collect rubbish. I saw no evidence of cleaning (but then I kept it spotless myself anyway) or bed changing. I had been given a good supply of towels so that was not a problem to change them myself half way through. I think perhaps this was related to the fact that it was out of season and there were very few staff around. As I was on my own, I could always have moved to the other side of my large bed to have clean sheets for the second week so perhaps that was their thinking.
The apartment was as warm as I chose to make it with efficient heating controls which also operated AC in the summer. I like the bedroom cool, which was the reason for needing blankets as the covers were light.
The bedroom was generously sized with an extremely comfortable really thick mattress. The pillows were not to my liking (rather unforgiving and synthetic) but I travel with my own down one anyway because of a neck problem so I am a bit choosy when it comes to pillows and mattresses. The bedroom also had a big wall mounted TV.
The bathroom had a shower over the bath which I didn't use as I like to wallow in deep hot water of which there was plenty every night -- actually the shower/bath switch didn't work but it didn't bother me, and I just mentioned it at the end of my stay as something to be seen to. The loo was separate.
The tiny kitchenette was, despite its size, very well equipped, although lacking a dishwasher (almost a holiday essential for me!).
There was a very good supply of pans, utensils, cutlery and chinaware. A reassuringly full 'kitchen drawer'.
A two ring hob and a microwave that also had a grill feature (which I didn't use). Kettle, toaster and electric drip filter which all lived on top of the microwave as there was no other space for them. I cooked everything on the hob. It would be small to manage to cook very complicated meals but I think pretty adequate for a holiday and I cooked a proper dinner nearly every night.
Problems or Bonuses
I was surprised by the spaciousness. I had expected something much smaller. I had a small entrance hall with cupboard and then quite steep stairs to an upper floor and a large hall, off which the rooms led. There are stairs and steps throughout the resort and I don’t think there would be a way to avoid at least some. This may be a problem for those with limited mobility as there are no lifts.
That old bug bear of paying for WiFi as an extra really annoys and it didn't work for a day (no refund forthcoming) and apparently they couldn't find anything wrong when they came to fix it the next day. (So it must have been my fault then...?) It cost just under €28/week extra for that. And then of course there is tourist tax but I know a lot of places don't include this in their published prices.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I booked through Expedia, which offered a considerable saving over the direct booking prices with the Resort.
The reception was open (I think) on a 24 hour basis and appeared to be manned by just one person at a time so if they are on a lengthy phone call, you just have to wait. All staff I encountered spoke English and were very polite.
I got a really good price as it was out of season (so I really shouldn’t carp about the WiFi extra, should I...) but I had a brief look at the normal room rate and my one bedroom apartment would be about €130 a night, mid season.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would definitely stay again if my daughter was not now in the process of moving to Bordeaux!
I feel fortunate to have found this place because I had failed to find an apartment for rent near my daughter in Mougins Vieux Village. Being out of season, everyone seems to rent out their apartments for months at a time and could not accommodate me for a mere two weeks.
Things to do in this area
Mougins is near Cannes (about 10 minutes in the car). Grasse is not far. I would definitely recommend that anyone basing themselves here has a car because you cannot easily explore the area without, although there are some buses.
Mougins Vieux Village is charming with winding streets, many art shops (some paintings of questionable merit though...) a photographic museum and a newly opened Classical Museum. I did not visit many shops, bakeries etc. as I was so tied up helping with a new baby. However, I have eaten previously in several of the Mougins Vieux Village restaurants and I would not go out of my way to rave about any as I think they are all overpriced. However, they are in an enviable position in a beautiful village and eating outside in the summer there is a pleasure. Some may think that is worth the price.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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