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“Very nice resort!”

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Club Med Columbus Isle
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Salvador
Certificate of Excellence
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
60 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Very nice resort!”
Reviewed February 13, 2013

We spent one week in February 2013 in this resort, and this was a really enjoyable experience. We really enjoyed the sports activities, specially the tennis and snorkeling. Besides, the island is quite nice (beautiful beach) and the food was excellent!
I only give it 4/5 because the room was a bit "old" and it would be nicer if they would be refreshed. Try to ask for a room a bit away from the pool, this way it will be quieter and you will not be disturbed by the noise of the activities.

Room Tip: Avoid the "simple" rooms and ask at least for a Club room; almost all the club rooms have...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Thom2121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
clubmedofficial, Guest Relations Manager at Club Med Columbus Isle, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear Thom2121,
Thanks for the review! We're thrilled that you enjoyed our snorkeling, tennis, and other resort activities. Once again, thanks for the review and we hope you choose to stay with us again soon.
Kind Regards,
Your Club Med Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2013

Hi everyone,

I came back from Club Med located in Columbus Isle (but do not expect anything grand about Columbus) two weeks ago. In brief, that was a nice escape from London’s gray and cold weather, but it was not the best vacation ever. Not because of the Club itself (I’ll come to that in a minute), but basically because the site is just about a beach which, actually, is not really well located. Imagine that you face the beach, but that the sun is most of the day in your back. So if you want to feel the sun, you then have to lie with your back to the sea. Mmm, not ideal. Furthermore, there is not much to see and do on the isle, but to be fair, that’s why some other people like it very much; just be aware of it. On another note, when I booked (in December through the UK call center), they “forgot” to tell me that it would not be possible to practice waterskiing!!! Once on the premises, I was told that waterskiing is only on in summer; how disappointing. But the people in Columbus are not to be blamed for that.
For the rest, i.e. the club in itself, the GOs really make the best of it. All GOs are helpful and I have to say that you can feel that there a nice atmosphere is reigning there. Special mention to the animation team and the people in charge of the shows in the evening (Not only Quentin, but the all the guys behind it –costumes, sound, etc.) are outstanding. Food is just fine They don't really how to make cocktails on a standard basis (never had the same Mojito twice), but this is a detail.
With regard to the activities, because I could not go waterskiing and I because I do not dive, I went sailing (catamaran) every day in a very gentle and encouraging atmosphere thanks to Bryce, James, Mamadou, Camille and Evan. I was a beginner and encourage me to come back, practice, participate in the small regattas they organize twice a week, etc. Lots of fun. Nice team you have there!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Ferris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
clubmedofficial, Guest Relations Manager at Club Med Columbus Isle, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear Ferris B,
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed our sailing and that our staff was helpful during the entirety of your visit. However, we're sorry to hear that other aspects of your trip did not meet your expectations. Once again, thanks for the review and we hope you choose to stay with us again in the near future.
Kind Regards,
Your Club Med Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2013

I was looking for a kitesurfing destination so thought I would try Club Med on San Salvador. I enjoyed the Club Med and thought it was a good value. The wind on San Salvador is usually from the east so it is off-shore at the Club Med. However there are beautiful spots on the east side of the island. I was able to have a great week of lessons and kiting with Richard Maximo, local instructor. I appreciated that Club Med allowed Richard to drive to my room where we would load up and drive/boat to some fabulous spots.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank L A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
clubmedofficial, Guest Relations Manager at Club Med Columbus Isle, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
Dear L A,
Thank you for the review of Club Med Columbus Isle. We're so excited that you truly enjoyed your kite surfing experience. Once again, thanks for the kind words and we look forward to having you back soon.
Kind Regards,
Your Club Med Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 22, 2013

It was a truly wonderful week. The staff was fun and their friendliness sincere(with the exception of a few at the Front Desk) . The island retreat was gorgeous and serene. I appreciated that it was unmuttled by over-the-top details that could distract from the natural beauty. I loved listening to the sound of the waves and the wind in the palms that could be heard from my guest room. The daytime activities were fun and the pool beautiful. I wish the nightime shows were better - or that there were options like movies or board game nights. The food was SO good..too good :) The gym machines need a major overhaul though. That was a bummer. I hope to be abel to return someday soon to this wonderful place.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jennifern183
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
clubmedofficial, Guest Relations Manager at Club Med Columbus Isle, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
Dear jennifer n,
Thanks for the review! We're happy to hear that you were pleased with our resort, staff, activities, and pool area. Once again, thank you for the review and we truly hope to see you back again soon.
Kind Regards,
Your Club Med Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
Reviewed January 16, 2013

The setting is sublime, the food is excellent, the beach is straight out of a movie and everyone smiles. It's hard to think of a better place to go to in order to completely unwind and have fun. I learned how to sail in only a few days thanks to the watersports team (James, Bryce, Evan, Camille and Mamadou). Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
westk18858
Level Contributor
50 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013

We tried to book this resort for next week prior to a family wedding on another island. However, we only needed 6 nights, not 7, so that we could leave on Friday to hop over to the neighboring island. I was working with an online Club Med agent who explained that their policy was to only book 7 night stays, and that this is why I was unable to book my travel via clubmed.com (due to the flight/date restrictions)
He explained that in order to get pricing, and a Sat-Fri stay approved, he would need to ask 'management'. One week later I still didn't hear an answer. I was told that he was still waiting for " management approval".
Well, long story short, I am leaving in 6 days to stay at Sandals. I never heard back with an answer!!!
This club med sounds lovely based on most reviews. I am so disappointed in the customer services and inflexibility, that I will likely not give them a try in the future if my schedule allows to fit into their policy.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank westk18858
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2013

Quick read: Great beach and excellent diving. Food is "good" not great. This is NOT a great place for singles/solo, mostly families and couples. Rooms are average for Club Med and are in decent shape but showing their age. Night life is not great and there is not much in the way of excursions

If you have already been to Club Med skip this section. Club Med was never about five star accommodations and service. On the contrary they can be mediocre depending on the club. Club Med has always been about fun. Activities, sports, and making new friends. You will arrive on a charter flight of strangers, an return home with a plane load of friends whom you are sad to see go their separate ways. The camaraderie and opportunity to meet new people at Club Med is second to none. The rooms at Club Med are usually fairly basic because you are not meant to spend much time there, you are out having fun, relaxing, dancing, or playing sports. Service leaves much to be desired at times because the staff at club med are usually very young people out for fun and adventure, they are not professionals. The same staff members (GO's) provide the night time entertainment. Club Med is not the Ritz.

The setting: it looks like a deserted island with an airport and club med. The beach is big and beautiful and the water is gorgeous. Take note though that in winter the water is pretty cold. The water temps are in the 70's which is chilly compared to islands further south. This is the coldest water I have experienced while on a "tropical" Island. Of course in summer the water is great. Divers need a 5mm wetsuit in winter (see below). There really is not much to see on the island, which is a flat coral atoll. About 800 locals live here in small settlements around the island. A quick 50-60 minute flight from Ft Lauderdale.

The club: this club is old but in decent shape. Rooms are typical old school Club Med and getting worn down. I was in several rooms and all smelled moldy/musty. Not uncommon in humid climates. Most rooms have an ocean view. The pool is quite small, but why people stay by the pool with a beautiful beach right there has never made sense to me. The dining room has a nice layout with inside and outside tables. The "reservation only" small restaurant open several days a week got mostly good reviews from people I talked to. The rooms are arranged in quadplex stucco structures and are very spread out. If you are a diving fanatic, stay in the 300-400 block close to the diving center, but realize you will have a long walk to the dining/pool area. If you are a tennis buff, stay at the other end of the club like the 600s.

The food: kind of disappointing overall, except for the deserts. The pasta station was good. I have been going to club med for 20 years so I know what they are capable of. I would rate it good but not great. A far cry from my favorite club in Cancun. Part of the problem I think is the source of the food. Nothing is grown locally and so has to imported, mostly from Nassau, and the quality could be better. In contrast Mexican clubs have massive amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and access to local produce, chicken, etc.

Nightlife: move on, not much to see here. Pretty quiet by 11 or 12, except for a few sparsely attended parties at the beach bar.

Activities: great diving, see below. Tennis is popular here and there are daily lessons for all levels, about eight courts, several with night lighting and open until midnight. The water sports team was great, and the sailing here is good. You can rent bikes to cruise around the island.

Diving: the Bahamas are one of the worlds top dive destinations, and you won't be disappointed. Expect to see a LOT of sharks, up close and personal, mostly reef sharks and hammerheads. One dive group saw 22 hammerheads the day before I arrived! Oceanic white tip have been reported as well. I'd say the big draw is the animal life and not the coral. On my second dive I saw 6 reef sharks, a hawksbill turtle within touching distance, eels, stingrays and pilot whales, and the usual assortment of tropicals. There are two very nice large dive boats and the Seafari run dive operation is great. Winter diving here is pretty cold compared to islands further south. Nearly everyone wore a full length 5mm. A friend with a full length 3mm was cold. Several instructors wore hoods. Suits and all standard equipment are included in the price. I would advise against the dive packages unless you are sure you are going to use them all. No refunds unless you have a medical excuse.

Excursions: fhugedaboutit. Not many options here. Deep sea fishing and the lagoon tour got good reviews from our group.

Columbus Isle or Turks and Caicos? No brainer.

Bottom line: Both have great beaches and good diving. Do you like high energy and partying, or going solo? Turks and Caicos. Prefer a quieter family club with better everything ? Columbus Isle.

I have been to club med Turkoise many times going solo. If you are going by yourself, stop right now and go to Turkoise. Don't even think about it. No seriously don't even think about it. Columbus Isle is mainly families and couples, and this place closes down early. Late night at the bar in Turkoise is 5 deep and crowded, going on until the wee hours. There is no late night at Columbus Isle. Everyone is in bed by pretty early.

With the beaches and diving being excellent in both places, it depends what kind of atmosphere you want. Are you looking to hook up or party? Turks and Caicos. Looking for a quiet romantic getaway? Columbus Isle. If food, rooms and grounds are important, no question, Columbus Isle. If you want to do any island exploration, you have to go to Turkoise, as there is nothing else to see on Columbus Isle.

There are a lot of French people from France at Columbus Isle, but also French Canadians from Quebec, they both have direct charter flights to the island. There can definitely be a language barrier here more than other clubs.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank melmark2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Club Med Columbus Isle

Property: Club Med Columbus Isle
Address: Cockburn Town, San Salvador
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > San Salvador
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Salvador
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Club Med Columbus Isle 4*
Number of rooms: 216
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the refinement of the Bahamas during your stay at Columbus Isle. The heavenly all-inclusive resort of Columbus Isle is a paradise for diving and honeymoon vacations. Travel to Club Med Columbus Isle as a couple and enjoy a carefree all-inclusive vacation in this secluded resort on the Caribbean Sea. Indulge in a massage* by the ocean or relax by the pristine beach. As one of the top 5 wall diving destinations in the Caribbean, this luxurious hideaway is also the best luxury resort for couples. This environmentally-friendly resort also offers a wide range of activities and sports for adults. No matter what your travel expectations are, you'll find the amenities at Columbus Isle to be more refined than anywhere else: premium oceanfront accommodations, oceanfront massage* palapas, and scuba diving* in one of the best diving spot worldwide. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Med Columbus Isle Hotel San Salvador
Club Med San Salvador
San Salvador Club Med
Columbus Isle Club Med
Club Med Columbus Isle Bahamas/San Salvador

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