Camping La Cle Des Champs
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Camping La Cle Des Champs Calvi Reviews
Corsican Hospitality Has Gone AWOL Aug 19, 2009
I spent eight days in total at this campsite; it is well located on the outskirts of the city and is relatively cheap. It is an extremely busy and popular site with tents packed into every available space; this does not allow much ‘living’ space for campers, but to be fair this is common throughout the European mainland.
The place is kept pretty clean, with several hours being spent each day on this task. There is a single shower block with separate ablutions and showers for male and female guests. The lights were not working properly for the whole of my stay however, and this was a little irritating as it only seemed to require a couple of the tubes replacing.
The block also has basic facilities for washing clothes and pots and pans, but by basic I mean just a number of sinks, and cold water only is available. There is a simple eating area, where breakfast can be bought and good value meals in the evening as well as soft drinks, beer and wine.
There are facilities for a barbeque, and a number of tables spread around the site for campers to dine or just socialise. There are also a number of bungalows for those that have a little more money to spare. There is not any specific car parking so sometimes there is a need to negotiate the vehicles that have been parked eclectically around the site.
The staff are all generally pleasant, but I did find the couple that own the site to be a little less so. This may have been because I was not a French speaker, but I do not remember them at anytime saying “Bonjour” to me first, I always seemed to have to initiate any pleasantries. I found him to be particularly strange; on one occasion I caught several quite large sea bass and offered him two for him and his wife in exchange for a small side salad. To my amazement he refused, even stating that they did not have any means to cook fish! A salad would have cost him less than a couple of Euros, the fish were probably about fifteen Euros worth at least, but it was obviously his choice.
There were other incidents that proved to be rather more annoying though. The night I arrived, I was kept awake until after midnight by several noisy parties. Despite the fact that there were signs requesting that campers respect others and quieten down after 10 pm, this was not enforced and eventually I was forced to ask the culprits to be a little quieter myself. A week later, I was enjoying a meal with some friends at around 10.45pm and we were being relatively quiet, we were quite rudely and forcefully told by campsite staff to keep quiet and return to our tents, we were not even allowed to clean up! My real complaint though is that there was not any consistency, I would not have objected so much if this had been the case the previous week.
The worst was yet to come however, on my final day at the site my camera was stolen from inside a tent. After ensuring it really was missing I reported it to the owner, the blasé attitude of both him and his wife left me astounded. They really could not have cared less, and did not do anything to attempt to locate it or even express any sympathy that it was missing. He merely informed me that the police would not come out for a stolen camera so there was not any point in calling them, and when I enquired where the station was, he gave me brief directions. They did not even take my details unless the camera turned up somehow, not even bothering to enquire what kind/make of camera it was. Maybe they just assumed it was a cheap compact camera and not an expensive digital SLR and therefore not worth the bother. Whatever the reason I was left feeling totally disgusted and speechless by their attitude and total lack of regard for my loss.
I have worked in the retail hospitality industry, running a pub for several years, I had a couple of cases of theft reported during that time, and dealt with them with much greater diligence. In each case a full search of the premises was initiated, an incident report including the full details of the ‘victim’ was filled out and the police contacted.
In this case if it was unlikely the police would attend and a foreign guest was involved, I would have given them a lift to the station in my car. It is basic customer service, a guest had suffered an extremely unpleasant occurrence whilst receiving my hospitality, and I would do everything in my power to ease the situation.
The campsite is generally a decent place to stay, clean, well located and reasonably priced. I met some cool people there and had a pretty good time, which could have been just that bit better if the owners of the site were a bit friendlier and even feigned a little concern regarding the theft of my expensive camera, and all the irreplaceable photographs it included.
A shame that in this case they seem to have lost the concept of hospitality, Corsican or otherwise. The owners can learn something from their employees that is for sure.
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