Club Med – Who Knew?
The name Club Med has been around for years with over 65 resorts across the country including Thailand, Egypt, Brazil, France, Mexico and even on the River of Port St. Lucie in Florida. Club Med had made traveling easier than ever as it caters to families, and in fact, children under 4 now stay free. Trip Advisor ranks many of their resorts among the best family resorts in the world.
When the opportunity arose to receive training at Club Med in Florida’s Sandpiper Bay, I jumped at the opportunity because it is the only all-inclusive resort in the US.
It is a riverfront resort situated on the Port St. Lucie River, and it has become renowned for it’s world-class “pro instruction” at the Club Med Tennis, Golf, Volleyball and Fitness Academies. The resort includes 20 tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course. Since the Circus Soleil trains at this resort as well, there are many opportunities to watch trainings and even receive a lesson on a flying trapeze. Other sports opportunities for adults and kids are pro lessons on golf, tennis, volleyball, swimming, sailing and paddle boarding. All of which are inclusive or your resort stay.
The resort is excellent as it provides non-stop activities for kids of all ages which include cooking, art, sports, a teen club and more. And of course, as I mentioned, there are numerous sports activities for everyone.
The fitness center was also impressive including daily fitness classes with it’s own private studio for personal training, zumba, and yoga. The fitness center also included plenty of equipment and was quite spacious. And the spa was top-notch with it’s L’OCCITANE therapies, healthy cuisine, and rejuvenating wellness activities.
Up until this point, I was always apprehensive to promote Club Med Sandpiper because it being situated on a "river" instead of the "ocean" seemed unappealing to me. However, the resort did have a small beach and the river was quite expansive which gave you the feel of a "beach vacation”. From the beach, you could swim, paddleboards or and use the sailboats. If you desire to take a swim in the ocean, it is only a short drive away. There were also 4 pools at the resort that included a heated lap pool and an all-adult infinity pool that overlooked the river.
As an agent, I try evaluate what I personally "like" about a resort and what I "don't like" anytime I visit a potential property Red will promote. As any resort has its pros and cons, by recognizing what those might be, helps us match the right resort for each client. Another reason to only work with an agent that has first hand experiences with the destinations they promote. So, to begin, I would like to recognize what I “didn’t like” and “loved” at Club Med Sandpiper. (SEE BELOW)
WHAT I "DIDN’T LIKE" ABOUT CLUB MED SANDPIPER
- Although all-inclusive, there are only 3 dining options which included the buffet, one restaurant (menu doesn’t really change), and a beach option opened during “off hours” when the buffet is closed. If staying longer than 4 days, one may want to venture off the property to a nearby restaurant.
- The rooms do not include room service.
- The refrigerator in the room only included water and soft drinks. Beer or wine was not included, and if you wanted an alcoholic drink, a walk to the Spirits bar was a must. Sometimes this was not always convenient. I would recommend buying your desired alcohol ahead of time to stock your refrigerator in case you wanted a nightcap or you were hanging around your room.
- Speaking of rooms, many of the rooms had 4 wooded posts surrounding the bed. One of the posts literally was situated almost in the middle of the room. This was odd as one could easily run into it especially at night. Not to mention that this post in the middle of the room (at least mine) blocked the TV from part of the bed.
- The grounds were okay and well kept, but nothing striking. I thought it was odd that there was no flora anywhere. I also thought it was odd that the brush was let to grow up and around the adult pool and hot tub leaving only a partial view of the river.
- No swim-up bar
- Not recommended for “couples only” looking for quiet time as the resort is a family resort with a lot of kids on property.
- The resort was definitely older and a little run-down compared to some of those striking Caribbean or Mexico resorts. It didn’t have that WOW factor. However, it was very comfortable and appealing in some areas.
- No ocean beach, however, driving to a nearby beach is fairly easy if desired.
WHAT I "LOVED" ABOUT CLUB MED
- It is an all-inclusive resort. For those who do not have a passport or want to travel out of the US, this resort is ideal for those who like the idea of food, drinks, activities, sports, and entertainment to be all included.
- It is located between Orlando and Miami. About 90 minutes from Ft. Lauderdale and an hour from West Palm Beach making getting there fairly easy. Miami was closer to a two-hour commute.
- The resort was laid out nicely and easy to navigate. For those wanting a little quieter or for adults only, I would recommend the D building on the ground level. The ground level provided lounge chairs making it nice for those who wanted that afternoon nap outside.
- There were so many options for kids at this resort. Whether you are traveling with a toddler or a teenager, I guarantee they would never be bored. Back to back activities all day long, with an emphasis on sports. I would highly recommend this resort for families.
- The rooms were very spacious. Extra large rooms that came with a walk-in closet, which I loved, to keep your clothes luggage and belongings. I loved this feature as it made keeping your room tidy very easy. There were also two vanities one in the bathroom and one outside the bathroom, giving plenty of space for your essentials and privacy. The duplex suites come with a separate room/area for those parents who would like some privacy away from the kids and a little extra space.
- The food was very good and the buffet was expansive with a lot of options. They also gave plenty of options for special diets such a gluten/wheat free and or vegans.
- The fitness studio was impressive. I was impressed with the large dance floor for yoga and zumba classes. Also, there were plenty of exercise equipment and free weights as well. Plenty of fitness classes throughout the day were available.
- The golf area was exceptional as well, and I especially liked the free golf lessons that were given every morning for the beginner and advanced golfer. They even had a 9-hole short game practice area and an inside putting green.
- There was a marina next door that offered sunset cruises, nature cruises, and fishing at an extra cost.
- Plenty of evening shows, and although it was the daily staff doing the entertaining, it was quite enjoyable. After the show, you could head to the Spirits bar for DJ and dancing or an adult comedy show was also available.
- There were plenty of beach beds on the beach and adult pool area ensuring a bed or lounge chair would be available in the sun and in the shade. Plenty of lounge chairs at the pools. And especially nice was the heated lap pool.
- Their staff of GOs (Gracious Organizers) powered the children’s clubs, teach sports, entertain the evening shows and socialize with you throughout the day were very energetic and seemed dedicated in keeping everyone happy.
So, in review, although this resort is not meant for everyone, it is ideal for families giving plenty of options to keep your kids entertained. So, if you are not really looking at luxurious accommodations, traveling long distances with your little ones or even purchasing passports, but would like an all-inclusive resort, I would definitely recommend Club Med Sandpiper Bay. Trip Advisor also rates this resort family high as well.
If you would like to view more of my photos of this resort, visit Red’s website at www.redamoretravel.com and click on the Photos at the top of the page. Feel free to contact any of travel specialists in helping to plan your next family vacation.