Went just got back from Club Med with our 3 girls of varying ages: 6, 11 and 14.
We went over Thanksgiving week thinking the percentage of Americans (English speakers) would be higher. However, the majority of the guests were French speaking Europeans but it didn't decrease our enjoyment. Our kids didn't seem to mind and I think it added to the cultural experience for them. All the guests were very courteous even if they didn't speak English. Most of the staff spoke English very well and communication was not an issue. They seemed very friendly, and want to help.
It's almost entirely families. There aren't rowdy drunks hanging around the pools and beaches.
Paradise! I believe this property just underwent a $40 million dollar renovation. The grounds are gorgeous!! Beach, pool, open air bar and lobby are amazing. Our room slept 5 people and was spacious enough with 2 small bedrooms and a connecting area for another bed was fine and we didn't spend much time there anyway.
The trapeze is very cool! They also have kayaking, windsurfing and sailing. Lessons are offered for these 2 x a day if you want to learn. Snorkle gear, Archery, tennis drills and soccer is available daily.
Our two older girls went to the "kid club" only one day. They have planned activities all day and also at night. The older kids can be signed up to come and go as they please. They swim, play games, trapeze, catamaran, sports, dance, etc. They also have a show they put on for the community on Wednesday night they practice for. It's very cute and most kids have fun doing it.
Our 6 year old went to the "mini-club" every day! The mini-club is broken up by ages (babies, 4-5, 6-7, 8-10, 11-13, 14-17). She was reluctant at first but she went willingly every day and said she had a blast! I almost felt guilty sending her there every day because we wanted to spend some time during the day with her so we kept her with us a few days. They give them 2 choices every hour what they want to do and split into groups to go do it. They did stuff like: trapeze (circus), archery, soccer, kayaking, catamaran, pool (they have a special pool with slides, etc.) games, slip 'n slide at the beach, dancing, etc. The G.O.'s (the people who watch them) are very good matches personality-wise with each age group and interacts with them accordingly (silly, cool, fun, etc.) They take them to lunch and have snack with them. You can also let them go to dinner with them too but we wanted to keep her in the evening with us. They have a special show for the young kids after dinner which you can leave them there or watch with them. Our daughter enjoyed watching every night!
We could always find a chair at the beach and at the pool. I've been to resorts where you have to "claim" your spot and if you didn't show up at 5 am to put something on a chair, you were out of luck. This is not that kind of resort. It is very exclusive and worth the money in my opinion not to deal with that kind of nuisance.
There are 2 restaurants. One is on the beach with covered but open air seating. This was nice for breakfast. The other is more "upscale restaurant" in appearance. Both are buffet and serve a large variety of foods. There will be something for everyone. A small variety of food can also be obtained through ordering right on the beach at the open air bar.
The weather was beautiful. Warm and pleasant. 80 degrees or higher.
There were no mosquitos. They spray every day.
Pro or Con: Topless French women. A lot of them. Husband didn't mind it, I could care less and my kids were a little freaked out at first but then got used to it as much as an uptight American can:)
While the food selection was vast, I felt the taste was somewhat lacking. There was always fresh fruit (delicious) and fish, beef and chicken options. Everything looked good and many dishes are prepared in front of you so you know they are fresh. It may have been just a cultural difference in pallet?
Disappointing snorkeling I have been snorkeling in much better places. You may need to go on an excursion outside of club if you want to see better fish.
Smokers. Of course you can smoke anywhere which is disturbing to me as a non-smoker. Yuck.
The bar is free but the liquor is not top shelf. If you want that you will have to pay extra. It didn't stop me from enjoying many a mojito:) Wine is served with dinner and its a a little flat. I'm a wine drinker so I have my opinions!
It would have been nice to have some more drink and snack options in the room. These are very limited so it you want a bag of peanuts or a cocktail while you want to sit on your private deck in your room, you are out of luck. My kids would have liked a granola bar, etc. at the beach between meals.
Most guests are European so if you are looking to socialize with other people, your choices are limited. Also, the kids in the mini-club are also largely french speaking. Fortunately, many of the kids are happy to speak english to communicate. Many of the kids speak 2 or 3 languages.Makes me feel bad we only teach our children only one language in US.
Worst part here and why they are lacking 5 stars....we all got sick. All but one of us came down with what the Club Med dr. called "travelers illness". He gave us anti-biotic and anti-nausea meds. Didn't sound too scientific to me so I looked it up on CDC website. Turns out it's a real thing. The CDC refers to it "travelers diarrhea" and involves, obviously, the later part of that title in addition to cramping, vomiting and fever. Onset comes typically after 7 days of being exposed. Causes? Primarily bacteria from poor food sanitation and water borne bacteria. Luckily, we got it just before leaving and were able to deal with some of it at home. Horrible. Gross. Let's just say we left the maid a very hefty tip upon leaving. Apparently it's a large issue because we did notice later all the references to it in the room and literature at club medical office. Not sure what you can do about preventing it yourself. Beware!
During busy seasons, make sure you book your excursions early. The popular ones fill up quickly. Daily, the lessons for sailing and windsurfing can also fill up so book them a day ahead if you can. We went on a Dominican Tour to several local places. It was an all day trip that took us to a Cacao farm, Hand made cigar factory, a local grade school, small tour of the city of Higuey and it's local market and visited the Basillica of our Lady of Altagracia. We also went to a rum factory (a little cheesy) and did some souveneir shopping. It was wonderful and our kids really thought it was interesting. This gave us a really good idea of what life is like outside the resorts. Totally recommend this excursion.
Trapeze is only offered during certain times for kids (and adults:). The windows are not huge so make sure you plan accordingly if you want to do this.
Save cash for the transfer back to the airport. The van transfer from Club Med is more expensive and the front desk will call you a cab (which is really another van) for a fraction of the price.
Most guests arrive on Saturday/Sunday so I think our mistake was that we didn't ask our kids to go on the first day when all the kids were arriving at the same time so by the time they joined (on Tues.), they felt that some "cliques" had already been formed. Though everyone seemed nice they said, it was just harder for them so they didn't go back. I should mention our 14 year old marches to the beat of her own drum so she just wanted to hang out with us which of course made the 11 year old want to as well! Oh well, hubby and I got one day alone at least:) This was a family vacation after all! You can still do all the same stuff with your kids and not put them in the club. I think most parents think their kids would enjoy the company of other kids. Ideally, it would have been nice to have a few days or afternoons to ourselves but we had so much fun with them, it didn't really matter to us.
Notwithstanding our illness, this was an amazing place and I would recommend it to anyone. I would definitely go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the Dominican Republic in this all-inclusive family resort, designed over a long white-sand beach, considered to be the finest in the world. Travel to Club Med Punta Cana with your family and enjoy a carefree all-inclusive vacation in this resort which flourishes beside a lagoon surrounded by magnificent grove of coconut palms. Fun moments filled with memories await your kids at Club Med world-famous children's clubs with dedicated activities and sports for children and teenagers from morning to evening, for each age group, and all coordinated by qualified and enthusiastic professionals. This newly redesigned resort has something for everyone, with amenities such as: Baby Club Med™*, a new Spa* with private pool access, exclusive private Oceanfront Family Suites, new dedicated programs for Mini Club Med™ including Le Petit Tennis®, circus school and Baby Gym®, Passworld for teens, and more. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Club Med Punta Cana Hotel Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Club Med
- Club Med Dominican Republic