Club Med has something for everyone

In the 1970s and 1980s, it was the scene for swinging singles. Now families are the mainstay of Club Mediterranean, better known as Club Med, but the company that gave the world the first all-inclusive vacation package has something to offer everyone from among its 80 resorts worldwide.

The first Club Med opened in 1950 in Spain with 200 former U.S. Army tents and communal washing facilities. Since then, the company has expanded to every continent except Antarctica. And no one sleeps in a tent.

To help you pick what’s best for you, Club Med has created five styles of vacations:

  1. Experience the Exceptional, the Club Med luxury vacation
  2. Have a Taste of Everything, resorts that offer something for every member of the family
  3. Discover New Cultures, resorts in unique locations that are rich in history and encourage discovery
  4. Enjoy Your Passion for Sports, resorts devoted to sports, where novices to experts can try exciting new sensations
  5. Feel Renewed, Club Med’s version of a spa retreat,

The Club Med experience has changed over the years. Not much swinging goes on at its resorts these days, but Club Med still has its own special vibe. Organized activities and communal dining are key elements of the Club Med scene. The communal dining is being phased out, but the activities remain strong. The activities are run by a cadre of Gracious Organizers, GOs in Club Med speak and there are about 80 activities to choose from, including a wide choice of land/water sports and leisure activities. Children’s Clubs cater to segmented age groups from infants to teens with activities that keep kids happy.

Club Med can be pricey, but the cost covers everything:

  • Transportation: Return flights and transfers to and from the Club Med Village
  • Accommodation according to the level you choose.
  • Dining: Full board throughout the stay including wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner.
  • Open bar and snacks served at specific times during the day and night.
  • Sports activities with equipment and/or lessons for beginners and/or advanced by qualified instructors.
  • Club Med Baby Welcome for babies up to 23 months
  • Mini Club Med for children from age 4 to 10 years
  • Juniors’ Club Med or Club Med Passworld for teenagers from age 11 to 17.

Special deals are available through the company’s website as well as through other sources such as travel agents. Through June 21, 2008, kids stay free at selected resorts. There are also special last-minute deals and deals for singles.

Kids clubs are like camps, with lots of well-supervised activities. Trapeze is a specialty at many resorts; others feature roller-blading, watersports and hip-hop. Also, Club Med has different programs for different ages: 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds, walking, babies and and tweens and teens. Each week kids and teens put a show complete with costumes, lighting and sound effects.

Family vacations are offered around the world. A sample of some of the resorts:

Cancun, Mexico: Built on a private peninsula, the village lies between the sea and a lagoon.

  • 384 rooms divided among bungalows.
  • 3 restaurants.
  • A range of activities are part of the package, including waterskiiing, snorkeling and dance classes. Optional activities such as horseback riding and scuba diving are also available.
  • Full-service spa and special spa packages are also available.
  • 3 night bars/dance floors

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: The resort lies alongside a lagoon that opens out onto a private beach surrounded by a coral barrier.

  • 14 tennis courts, lessons included.
  • Activities include windsurfing, sailing and flying trapeze
  • Fitness club
  • Space for teens at Club Med Passworld
  • 2 restaurants.

Ixtapa, Mexico: The newest Club Med family all-inclusive resort of Ixtapa Pacific is set against the Sierra Madre Mountains, along the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

  • 298 rooms, including 60 family suites.
  • 3 restaurants.
  • Available activities include spa treatments, water sports,climbing wall and live nightly entertainment
  • Excursions to nearby cities of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo.

La Caravelle, Guadeloupe: The resort consists of 326 rooms in several buildings on the beach in Grande Terre.

  • Windsurfing and sailing available as is a fitness club and circus school.
  • Optional massage package.
  • Children’s club facilities from 4 months to 17 years.
  • Two restaurants.

Adults traveling alone or in pairs can choose from a variety of resorts without children’s programs, including:

Buccaneer’s Creek, Martinique on the edge of one of the most beautiful bays in the Antilles. Available activities include water-skiing, wakeboarding, fitness classes at Club Med Gym and snorkeling.

Kemer, Turkey doesn’t allow children at all. Activities include wakeboarding, waterskiing, windsurfing and tennis.

Turkoise, Turks & Caicos features a sailing academy in addition to other watersports. Adults only.

Otranto, Italy features 10 tennis courts, a 9-hole pitch and putt and driving range in addition to a number of watersports.

Club Med also offers ski vacations with different amenities:

Club Med France

Peisey-Vallandry, France

  • Paradiski ski domain skiing
  • Alpine skiing and snowboard lessons, ski pass included in the package price
  • Indoor/outdoor swimming pool

La Plagne 2100, France

  • Paradiski ski domain skiing with ski-to-the-door skiing
  • Ski and snowboarding lessons, ski pass included
  • Ice cave, skating rink, bob-rafting included

Chamonix Mont – Blanc, France

  • Stay at the grand Savoy Hotel
  • Cinq Mondes Club Med Spa*
  • Heated outdoor swimming pool

Méribel Aspen Park, France

  • Resort without Children’s programs
  • Ski and snowboard lessong, ski pass included
  • Club Med Spa

Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland

  • Resort with children’s programs
  • Alpine skiing and snowboarding lessons, ski pass included
  • Three restaurants including one high altitude restaurant

Sahoro , Japan

  • Resort with Children’s programs
  • Zen: jacuzzi, sauna, swimming pool, midnight bar
  • Art of Japanese living

Val Thorens, France

  • Adults only
  • Ski-to-the-door-skiing
  • Ski and snowboard lessons, ski pass included in the package price