Yes Club Med is a great value family vacation, but it’s also not… it’s so much more and we’ve put together 5 reasons why these resorts should be your next holiday destination choice!
Like the majority of South Africans Iʼm pretty set in my ways. I know what I know, and like what I like. That holds true for my brand of booze, my favourite food-store and logically where I go to wind down after a hectic year.
So while the rest of South Africa was heading back from their annual pilgrimages from Plett, Knysna or Balito I had the opportunity to head off on a sneaky week in Mauritius, courtesy of Club Med South Africa.
I knew as much about Club Med as the rest of us, and was pretty sure I knew what to expect when I checked in.
I was wrong, on so many levels.
I have been nothing but blown away by the Club Med experience from start to finish. I get that they are without a doubt a well oiled hospitality machine, but in my humble opinion Club Med has refined the art of guest entertainment and packaged activities to the point of perfection.
So for those of you that THINK you know Club Med, but have never actually tried it, here is my list of 5 Reasons Why: Club Med.
1. All Inclusive is ALL Inclusive.
I have been on the receiving end of dodgy t&cʼs apply all-inclusive package deals in the past but when Club Med say ALL Inclusive, they damn well mean it.
We spent 7 days at the resort in Mauritius, ate at a variety of restaurants, drank a variety of cocktails, shooters, sprits, beer and soft-drinks, sailed, snorkelled, scuba dived, scootered and swam and there was, and is no “extras” bill on check out.
Sure, if you want to splash on a premium bottle of Champers (House sparkling wine is already included) or a bottle of Jack Daniels you can pay for the privilege, but its entirely unnecessary and not the norm at all. You literally donʼt need to bring cash or a card on holiday with you. Everything is already covered.
2. The GOʼs (guest liaisons) are amongst the best in the world.
A common theme on our discussion during our stay was just how damn good every single member of staff is.
Having almost given up on the South African shoulder-shrug service levels, and having recently come back from a trip to Europe over Christmas nothing could prepare me for the attentive, friendly and downright personable guest relations that permeate through absolutely every area of the Club Med experience. If it is one thing that definitively sets Club Med apart of itsʼ competitors it has to be this. We were engaged, frequently by friendly GOʼs from the world over who within 2-3 days knew our names, activity preferences, tipple of choice and back-stories to our trip.
We watched a “Zumba instructor by day” turn into a chaperone for an 82 year old French guest for much of our stay ensuring she had dinner reservations, companionship and the requisite selfie on the beach… not because her job dictated she had to, but because she had picked up on the fact the old dear was alone and wanted to make her holiday more memorable.
We were also given lessons by a friendly sailing instructor who insisted we stay out 15 minutes longer to master a final sailing 101 session so that we wouldnʼt waste time the next day.
The staff at Club Med are heavily invested in your vacation experience, and in my opinion it places them head and shoulders above other holiday options.
3. You donʼt need to think, plan or prepare for a thing.
Coming off the back of a 2 week European vaycay where figuring out a train timetable was the start of almost every day, the idea of not having to not think for a week was highly appealing.
The organised activity schedule on offer at our resort was daunting at first, until you realise that everything is highly structured …to be as flexible as possible. You can participate in as much, or as little as you want to with no fear of pressurised or frantic decision making or early call times.
We particularly found the water-sport activities to be something that we changed our minds on quite a bit, and we never had a situation where we were turned away, or disappointed we could not participate in something.
I would urge any visitor to try and get as much of the activities under their belt as possible, there is frankly simply too much to do and see in a week period, and all activities are completely self contained so you need nothing other than a towel, a costume and a sense of adventure
4. Kids ARE NOT the only reason to book.
Frankly the kids programmes and arranged care and activities we witnessed at Club Med have to be a defining reason why young parents keep coming back to the Club and I have to admit I thought we would feel a little out of sync traveling alone (our kids are 15 and 20 years old) but this couldnʼt be further from the truth.
We hardly saw any children during the day as they are kept busy with their own activities in a different part of the club. There are also dedicated kiddy free zones, bars and pools where guests who absolutely donʼt want to see youngsters during their stay.
The bar area turns into a massive party every evening running until the early hours, and the vibe is consistently festive even though the theme changes every evening (all accessible prior to arrival via the Club Med App linked to your specific booking ref).
5. Overall Value is hard to beat.
Summing up our Club Med experience the one word that kept popping up in conversation was value.
The price point is similar if not better than comparable hotel offerings in Mauritius, and the all inclusive package including all activities, meals, drinks, gratuities etc simply pushes the Club Med option over the finish line way ahead of standard offerings.
We literally did not spend a cent over and above accommodation in a week at the resort. This also makes the check-in and check-our procedure remarkably fluid with all guests being given a RF IF Armband on arrival that doubles as your room-key, so you don’t need to carry wallets, bags or have pockets allocated to credit card sized room-keys either.
In conclusion I admit to being one of the many who thought I knew all about Club Med from the school of public perception, and have to also admit it probably wouldnʼt be on my list of priority holiday options prior to this trip. Having spent a week soaking up the sun at Club Med La Pointe aux Canonniers to the North of the Mauritius island, and being surrounded by a great bunch of guests in a relaxed holiday environment where everything is focussed on giving you the best time of your life, I am the first to admit its probably going to be top of the list for our next holiday plans.
It really is that good.
Try for yourself, and like me donʼt be afraid to admit that your preception of a global leisure brand is actually quite different to the reality.
Happy Holidays! Joyeuses Fêtes