The group has no fear of being the trailblazer for new leisure trends and anticipating holidaymaker expectations, by providing them with ever greater well-being, luxury and satisfaction. By following these two guiding principles, the Sirène Holidays Group has today become THE benchmark for top-of-the-range campsites in Europe.
Since it was established, now more than half a century ago, by the Carletti family, the Sirène Holidays Group has grown considerably. Acquired in 1967, La Sirène, the group’s first campsite in Argelès-sur-Mer, now boasts being viewed as one of the loveliest open-air hotels in Europe. Its lush surroundings laden with fresh and relaxing Mediterranean scents, its well-equipped pitches accommodating carefully laid out and luxury mobile homes that are regularly replenished, its aquatic park with exceptional dimensions, its helpful and cheerful team, its activities for the entire family and its exceptional shows. Everything which creates the appeal of the La Sirène campsite, but also the concept of the Sirène Holidays Group, a concept which has since been offered on two other sites in Argelès-sur-Mer. These are L’Hippocampe, located opposite La Sirène and which shares part of its facilities with the latter, as well as Le Bois de Valmarie, in the heart of Le Racou, a small seaside hamlet.
Nowadays, Sirène Holidays is more than a group. It is a unique experience providing your holidays on sites, each of which continuously develops its own identity, but is always top-of-the-range!
In the spring of 1967, the adventure begins. The Carletti family – Josette, Claude and their two children Eric and Sylvie – decide to sell their home and business on the Côte d’Azur. With a caravan attached behind their car, they set out en route for a complete Mediterranean odyssey!
Moreover it is on the coast that the “boat” drops anchor in Argelès-sur-Mer, at the La Sirène (“The Siren”) campsite. Were they already bewitched by campsite’s siren song? Again, that same year, the Carlettis purchase the campsite from the Galmiche brothers, who at that time are throwing in the towel faced with contemplating investment in the site. It comprises 3.5 hectares, a bathroom facility, a self-service store and a reception…all meeting 2-star standards. Here begins what is to become, in just a few short years, THE benchmark for 5-star campsites in Europe!
From 1969, the expansion begins. Facilities follow…works begin for utility connections, waste water disposal and other general improvements. Leisure facilities are not neglected. In 1980, the first swimming pool is created and in 1984, the beach club is established, linked by a regular shuttle bus to the campsite, some 900 metres from the beach.
The end of the ’80s marks a new ambition. The demand for increasingly luxurious accommodation becomes a major trend. Eric Carletti, who is gradually taking over from his father, accelerates this development. In 1988, he starts to incorporate mobile homes within the business. In 1989, he is amongst the first to construct around 20 timber chalets, amidst lush vegetation.
The recent boom, sustained by environmental issues, of these accommodation formulas proves that in this sphere, amongst others, the proprietors of La Sirène were still 20 years ahead of the field! The 3.5 hectares purchased at the beginning were transformed into a lovely 17-hectare wooded park. Moreover, the park is now rated 4-star. Sylvie takes up her position in charge of La Sirène’s bookkeeping. Eric meanwhile is on the look-out for all new trends.
The “lucky strike” happens in 1992. Upon the invitation of a Spanish company, specialising in leisure theme parks, Eric discovers a theme park in Rimini, Italy. Artificial rocks made from coloured concrete, waterfalls, water slides, a Jacuzzi and beaches alternating rocks and lawn…the first aquatic complex in Europe, established on a campsite, springs up. It is an instant success and this aquatic paradise quickly becomes a benchmark.
The offer to holidaymakers is completed by the campsite making some space available to leisure partners, such as the diving club and the sea kayaking club. Along the same lines, the L’Hippocampe campsite, on the other side of the road, is purchased in 1994 and immediately equipped with a series of pools and water games. It is certainly smaller, but just as much fun.
At the very beginning of ’97, it is the Le Racou campsite, starting from Côte Vermeille (a rocky coastline extending through the Catalan Costa Brava), which is set to enjoy a fit-out worthy of its exceptional geographical situation. Town planning constraints, linked to the preservation of both the site and its vegetation, mean that the group is not able to complete the project until the year 2000. However this setback opens the Carletti family’s eyes: landscaped integration is at the heart of the entire concept of camping and caravanning. All three campsites stand to benefit from this. The tropical atmosphere, well before being staged within leisure parks generally, is diligently created at the La Sirène, L’Hippocampe and Le Bois de Valmarie campsites.
Far from settling with this environmental vision, as a trailblazer, Eric Carletti starts to dream up specific “mobile home” designs. Wiser for all that he has seen in existing designs, with all of his knowledge of holidaymakers and their demands, he designs, from the year 2000, accommodation combining luxury, well-being and the designer look. From this point on, each year, more new designs are created. These are ever more luxurious, more convivial, more delightful to live in and more “assimilated” within the green space available…
The surroundings, warmth and comfort, were by then already excellent for spending an unforgettable stay. As an offering however this, on its own, was still not enough. Into the 21st century (immediately after the year 2000!), it became necessary to offer the most unforgettable evenings to “campers” at La Sirène. The activity leaders started to stage major musical comedies, turning to the bestsellers, for example The Blues Brothers, Cats, Grease and The Lion King…Nowadays, on the stage area, completely redone and kitted out with professional equipment in 2006, more than 1,000 spectators dream at each performance, participating, singing and dancing. Here again, pervading right through the festive atmosphere, the Carletti family has inspired the requisite dynamics.
The group’s marketing has also gained by this trailblazing spirit. From the end of the ’90s, La Sirène had its own website. Since that time, this site has kept pace with all major developments of the Web. The bespoke booking centre has no reason to envy major travel agents. Campsite offers are optimised to meet all of the demands of Internet users. This enables the group to offer the ideal stay in real time.
Without, for a single moment, losing sight of the family values championed from the beginning of the Adventure by Carletti Senior – honesty, seriousness and ambition – the entire Carletti family has been able to put everything into practice to advance ever further within their field. Emphasising a tool designated as “camping and caravanning”, their field goes much further: it is about making people happy…for the length of a single stay or longer!!!
The Sirens’ song is certainly spellbinding but only leads to one thing: everyone – families, children and friends – meeting up…by the sea in the Roussillon sunshine…for special times in LIFE!!!!