What comes to mind when you think of Club Med? For some reason for me it was strictly a couples resort in far away places. Wrong on both accounts! Club Med offers the ultimate all inclusive European style family vacation AND the only US location Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Port St. Lucie, is about an hour from The Palm Beach International airport. How about that?
First of all, I am so excited to write this assignment – I am doing it while my kiddos are fast asleep in their room. I tucked them in and kissed their sweet sweet faces they said things like: “This was the best day ever! I love you! Can we come back here for my birthday?” So, I think it is fair to say Club Med is doing something right. We made this just a girls trip with some of our besties to celebrate the start of summer. The thought of taking three kids solo can be a little daunting, one has to go to the bathroom, the others don’t want to leave the show/pool/meal… but in this setting and with a friend it was easy. (Side note, when I travel my kids wear these bands with my phone # blurred in the photo for privacy) and it gives me a little extra peace of mind.)
Some vacations, as a parent, really require a lot of work. Club Med, not so much. Simple packing, easy drive, show up and right from check in it is easy street. A very wise friend once told me that you go on trips and you take vacations. Trips are where you bring the whole family and make great memories, the kids have the best time ever and you do all the things for all the people and usually collapse in bed filled with joy but exhausted. Vacations are the times where you get some me time, maybe some adult time – a book? the spa? tennis? dancing? a relaxing meal that you didn’t have to prepare. Club Med, like a fairy godmother, combines the two. Quality family time, adult time with the kids close by having a BLAST – so you go to bed joy filled, relaxed, and guilt free. YES MAM.
Upon check in adults and children over a certain age receive a wrist band that is your ROOM KEY. Which is amazing, because if you have ever lost your hotel key, or walked back to your room only to realize your key is still by the pool… ugh.
*Insider fact – your wrist band color specifies what language you speak so you can be warmly welcomed! Staff have free access to language classes to sharpen their skills.
The rooms are designed so that everything gets a great night of rest. Quiet, blackout curtains, family rooms with a separate kids sleeping area. Did you see my video tour? So well thought out. Shampoo, body wash, lotion are provided in refilled bottles(yes to conservation!). Each pod of buildings has laundry facilities or you can send it out to be done by housekeeping.
They even have baby bath tubs, strollers, cribs for parents to use free of charge, A bottle washing area stocked with baby food open 24 hours a day, right next to the 24hour indoor toddler play room. They thought of EVERYTHING so you don’t have to.
KIDS CLUB (MINI Club Med):
I am ALL for quality family time, but getting a recharge of your own while you know the kids are having a blast is really really lovely. Kids ages 4months to teens can enjoy kids club from 9am-5pm, then 630-830, then pajama club 7pm-midnight. Yup. You read that right. So, if you need a guilt free breather but also want to have family time – this is THE place. Activities include: art studio, splash pad, quiet time (age 7 and under), talent show, playground, mini golf, trapeze, sailing, beach games and more. Included for kids over age 4. There is a daily fee for the under 4 crew to be in Mini Club Med – but they stay free so you have the option of adding days in or keeping the babe with you.
There is an adult pool for some kids free time, a spa that gives a great deep tissue massage, a menu of fitness classes, golf, paddle boarding, tennis, boat tours, nature walks, jet skiing, paddle boarding, trapeze (yes adults too!), sailing and more. Each evening at about 6 there is a family friendly happy hour with face painting type activities and snacks(they vary nightly), and a show for the kids. While we were there the shoes were “Boys vs Girls” and a Talent show. The talent show was a super personable host who goes by the name Batman supporting brave kids getting up there and sharing what they can do and there was not a dry eye in the place. Then it’s off to dinner at your leisure. Every night after dinner the staff puts on a family friendly hoot of a show then the action moves to a family friendly dance party that transitions into a night club experience.
Dining for families is easy – buffet in the same location so your crew can get a hang of things. The menu changes but the layout stays the same. Insider tip – Make a potty run before getting your food so you can all enjoy a meal uninterrupted. If the kids are enjoying camp there is an adults only section of the restaurant for a quieter option. The Riverside Restaurant is open to ages 10 and up featuring a la carte dining (reservations required). There is no room service but there are pretty much around the clock snack options and the bottle room has baby food and healthy baby snacks in case a little one cannot wait until meal time. Insider tip – fill a paper coffee cup with fruit and pop it in your mini fridge in case you have a kid who will be looking for a snack. All meals and adult beverages (premium brands available for a fee) are included.
*Packing note – all of the parking is self parking, so if you have to run back out to get something it is easy peasy. Pull your car up to registration, get checked in, then park close to your room and unload.
The packing cubes in the photo below are my new favorite thing.
Cash for tips (there is an ATM in the lobby- but for example the spa can only accept cash gratuity)
Quarters if you plan to do laundry on site (there is laundry in every building)
Casual Day Clothes
Fitness clothes if you plan on taking advantage of the yoga, spin and other fitness classes
Golf or tennis clothing if you plan on that
Phone charger (you will want your camera)
Day bag for yourself with: sunblock (my kids happily apply these clean ingredent neon sticks), hat, sunglasses, book, yeti cup
Small day bag for each child attending kids club (with swimsuit, change of clothes, and sunblock). All labeled (we love Mabels Labels use code PalmBeachMoms for 10% off suring 2019 summer).
Mabels labels parent contact wrist bands (ours lasted 3 days in water)
Diaper bags for little ones attending kids club
Casual island dinner wear
Evening bag for dinner
MORE ABOUT CLUB MED:
Club Med is a French company offering European style all inclusive vacations for everyone almost everywhere. Surfing to snow skiing, The Alps to Africa, Club Med is a reliable easy option to explore new places on a controlled budget. Club Med has locations for families, couples and singles at the resorts and on cruises. They are leaders in sustainable travel by using local non invasive plants, eco responsible purchasing, eliminating fertilizers and pesticides, recycling and so much more.
We have The Dominican and The Swiss Alps on our next Club Med list. I love the idea of actually knowing what a ski vacation will cost because wow those can add up fast. Greece and Africa also look amazing!
Have you been to this Club Med? Did you even know it was here? Do you have any questions about our trip or Club Med? Comment below or email us and we will get back to you.
Happy summer friends!