What you should know before you book

Club Med is considered the original all-inclusive resort and has locations all over the world, usually in exotic places. Some of the most popular locations are in North America and the Caribbean, and I thought I could give you a few pointers on how to plan your Club Med vacation with some specifics from my recent trip to Club Med Punta Cana.

Large resort – Note your landmarks

Club Med Punta Cana is one of Club Med’s largest resorts and is wheelchair friendly. As the resort is quite spread out, make sure to make note of landmarks when you leave your room, as the building names aren’t well marked.

Should I book a couple’s getaway at this family resort?

Club Med Punta Cana has a great kids program complete with kids pool and water park as well as great staff that are adored by the children.  The benefit of having these children’s facilities is it gives parents’ time to themselves and those without children a peaceful relaxing getaway. Even the main pool and restaurant have a separate section for children.

Can I keep connected?

The Punta Cana resort offers wifi in certain areas of the resort, and a business centre with computers at an extra cost.  Try to book the unlimited week pass if you will need to have computer access throughout your stay.  The wifi tends to be spotty in this part of the world regardless of where we stay.

How is the beach?

Club Med Punta Cana boasts one of the finest beaches in the world, and is really good for children because it stays fairly shallow; there can be weeds that wash up on the beach, but the resort staff are usually good about cleaning them up. The only down side of the beach is when you wade out, there can be larger rocks along the way.


 photo BannerAdforClubMedCancun_zps1712c302.jpg

Mobility Issues – Will I be able to still enjoy?

Punta Cana has flat terrain that is wheelchair friendly.  For those that have these concerns, Punta Cana is the best North American zone Club Med resort to cater to this need.

Experience the Culture at a Bargain

To get a low cost excursion in Punta Cana, try bargaining with the taxi drivers at the resort taxi stand.  Most drivers would be willing to take you on a city tour at a fraction of the cost.

Rooms

Club Med PuntaCana has a variety of rooms to suit every need: a private and exclusive area with its own infinity pool; a family suite of over 720 square feet with upscale, personalized services; as well as family-friendly bungalows amidst the tropical gardens; deluxe rooms with balconies ideal for couples; and club rooms. The Punta Cana resort offers wifi in certain areas of the resort, and a business centre with computers at an extra cost. Try to book the unlimited week pass if you will need to have computer access throughout your stay. The wifi tends to be spotty in this part of the world regardless of the accommodations.

Restaurants

Enjoy Oceanside, poolside or terraced dining with a menu of international fare, low-fat foods, a snack bar to satisfy between-meal cravings, and a baby corner for your little ones.

Activities

There are a number of activities at Club Med Punta Cana including: golf, flying trapeze and circus activities, sailing school, scuba diving, tennis school, and a windsurfing school, as well as a number of pools. They also have a variety of great kids programs for children from as young as 4 months to as old as 17 years. A kids pool, and waterpark, along with great staff, keep the children busy, and give parents time to themselves; those without children are able to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing getaway; even the main pool and restaurant have a separate section for children.

Other Club Med Info

Get the best Deals?

It pays to book early with Club Med.  As long as you are more than 60 days prior to your departure you can rebook your stay if Club Med offers a new lower promotional price.  When you see a new promotion come out that looks like it would save you money, just call and ask
your travel agent or Club Med  to double check if you can save any money on the new promotion.   This trick can save quite a bit of money, especially if you’ve got a knowledgeable travel agent – it’s a case where it pays to be with an agency.

Don’t pay membership fees

Also, ask, and a good travel agent should be able to discount the Club Med membership costs (Saves $60 per adult). Plus, every booking through a travel agent should be at better prices than booking directly with Club Med, and you get the additional advice.

Do you really need connecting rooms? 

If your children/teens require only limited supervision request to be close together but avoid booking the connecting rooms, which will save you a few hundred dollars. Request to be close by and they seem really good about keeping families together.

Is the Insurance worth it?

Look at the Club Med’s total peace of mind insurance – it’s not a bad price at $79 per adult and $49 per child.  This insurance will allow you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours prior to departure and still give you credit for up to 90% of the land value for future travel.
Make sure you know that the insurance only covers what you book directly with Club Med.

10 Things You Must Try at Club Med

  1. Beaches – Many times Club Med has had first choice of location and it shows.
  2. Club Med is renowned for its white chocolate bread
  3. Crazy Signs- communal dance led by the GOs at varying intervals during the day and evening (a few Corona’s down and it can be a great time)
  4. Socialize with the GO’s- (Club Med staff) you’ll find they are friendly and known for there energy and positive attitude.  If this is of interest to you, when dining, grab a larger table than you might need and you’ll be dining with friends in no time.
  5. Sports lessons – all included
    • Tennis
    • Wind surfing
    • Sailing
  6. Kids Clubs – Petit Club, Mini Club, Club Med Passworld
  7. Baby sitting
  8. Club Med Spa – it costs extra, but a massage on arrival sets the tone for your stay
  9. Club Med Baby Welcome – complimentary, but needs to be booked in advance
  10. Flying Trapeze
  11. Five Trident Luxury Space

Booking Your Holiday

Things to Note

One of my worries about going to all-inclusive resorts is food allergies.  So it’s good to know that Club Med will cater to food allergies.

No Tipping Required at Resort

Tipping at the resort is not expected or allowed

Bring a Watch

Make sure to bring a watch as there are very few clocks around the resorts, and the day’s activities are all scheduled at varying times – without a watch I found that I kept missing the ones I wanted to participate in!

Reducing Flight Costs

There are many airlines that fly to the cities or areas where the Club Med resorts are located. If you’re flying out of North America down south, many people prefer getting a direct, non-stop flight. If you’re looking to save money, consider a flight with one connection as you can save a lot of money. Club Med offers flight plans as well, but before booking, check the cost of booking your vacation and airfare separately. If you book airfare separate you may be able to find better flight pricing except if you are comparing to a promo with chartered Club Med flights.  If you book your flights separately make sure to book your transportation at the airport not through Club Med. This could earn you savings of up to 50% on airport transportation.

When you arrive, you have the choice of taking a shuttle to the resort or a cab. The shuttle is great if you’re not in a hurry, but you have to wait for 10-15 (or more) people to get organized before you can leave for the resort – and sometimes the resort is only a few minutes away! Look into the average cab cost, because if you know what you should be paying, you may save money and time taking the cab instead of waiting for the shuttle.

Theme Night Dress

And there’s theme nights! Club Med resorts will have theme dress nights such as:

  • Jeans & Blue
  • Jeans & Black
  • Black & White
  • Coffee, Cream, Brown & White
  • All White
  • Free Casual
  • Formal

They’re optional, but if you want to participate, sometimes it’s good to know what theme nights may be available while you’re there. Both the resort manager or a travel agent would be able to get you this information!

Plus, Club Med offers extras for birthdays and anniversaries at no additional cost if you inform them.

Upgrades and Resort Perks

Families of 3 can upgrade from a Club Room to the Family Club at no extra charge, and it’s a much better space. In Turquoise, the adult only resort, always request a second floor or higher room to avoid the noise and foliage that has grown up.

Request a late check out if the resort is not full- you don’t want to bake in the sun for hours before your flight and not have a place to freshen up.