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“excellant food; the best service you could ask for”

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Club Med Columbus Isle
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Salvador
Certificate of Excellence
malibu calif.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“excellant food; the best service you could ask for”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2009

First off, the review below about the food and the GO's is completely inaccurate. You have an amazing selection in the buffet and the other specialty restaurants. You have fresh fish every day, shrimp, sushi, fresh pastries, etc, etc!!! The list goes on. The selection is amazing. The specialty restaurants offer a great quite escape from the main restaurant with great food and service.

Second, the GO staff is amazing. They are so accommodating. They work all the time for you and don't stop until the the nightclub is finished. Flavia, the chief of Village is everywhere. She is at breakfast, walking the beach, lunch, night, etc... This place is beautiful and the staff and management does an excellent job to make sure your stay amazing. I would recommend this resort to anyone!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank albe357
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Chicago
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2009

The post made by A4man66 was 100% accurate. They advertise that there are 3 restaurants at this Club Med. What you should know is that you will be dining at the buffet, Christopher's, on a daily basis for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Buffets = variety, but again, A4man66's post was exactly what you will get. I gave up drinking coffee at the buffet because the creamer was expired. I poured it in my coffee and white, cottage cheese looking lumps formulated quickly at the top of my coffee. My husband and I had to split a piece of cheddar cheese for lunch one day b/c there was only one sliver left. You would think that they'd replenish the buffet, but that's not the case. Everything I'd type would be similar to the previous post, so I encourage you to check it out.

In addition to the buffet review, you should know the following:
1. You need reservations for Bérimbau and Watling’s. These restaurants are not open daily and you need reservations, which means that unless you wake up at 8AM every morning and run down to the reception area to make reservations, you will be eating at the buffet every night. They supposedly only take reservations at 8AM the day before you want to dine at Bérimbau and Watling’s. There aren't many tables, so you most likely won't dine at those restaurants. The employee at Bar Azul (Rhonda, I believe) is very nice and cooks up a better lunch than the buffet.

2. If you understand French, then you'll fit in great. If you don't, then have fun trying to figure out what they're announcing. Half of the time, they didn't translate back to English. English is the official language of The Bahamas, but Club Med Col Isle has direct flights from Canada and France, so Americans are the minority and French will be spoken a majority of the time.

3. There were a couple posts on here about GOs trying to get with the female guests. I didn't believe it when I read it and didn't think I'd care because I was going with my husband, but it's actually kind of offensive to listen to them. Many times, they didn't work. Instead, they gathered by Bar Azul and openly talked about the girls they "got with". There was a flight from France or Canada that came in and one of the GOs made a comment that a "fresh batch of girls were in". Is that seriously what happens to a person when they're stuck in San Salvador for that long working at Club Med???

4. They will make you checkout of your room at 9:30AM for a flight that departs at 1:00PM. You could pay an additional $40 to stay until 11. I felt that 9:30 was too early and left us with nothing to do in the day time since we didn't want to board a plane with sand all over us.

5. I would have rather purchased a non-inclusive vacation package and paid for my food. This was my 1st club med experience and my last. I thought club med's would have more experience catering to tourists and we'd receive better service, but that wasn't the case.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jchirc1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Earth
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2009

First off, a little background info so to justify that I'm not blowing smoke.
I spent 10 years in the food service industry and have been a travel industry professional for the last 15 years.
My spouse and I have visited Club Med turks and Paradise Island and have visited Columbus, this was our sixth time to Columbus.

Most of the reviews you will read here are accurate as to the grounds,beaches,rooms and sports, all really nice,have not changed since the first time we came here in 2000. The resort is starting to see her age, she opened in 1992, there is a renovation for this fall, but no one seemed to know if it was going to happen or what. I would say the rooms need it the most, they seem rather tired.

What has really gone down hill is the food, when we started coming here back in 2000 all the way through 2008, there was always something palatable to eat, this is not the case anymore. It looks like the french have stopped caring about whom they hire to run the kitchen. If the current chef spent more time learning how to cook and not at the bar, working on his motorbike and trying to pickup females, there may be improvement. Here's what you can expect during your week stay, note Go's work for club med, GE's are locals who work at the resort, and you and I are GM's.

Breakfast Buffet:
Pancakes and frenchtoast-pre-cooked and looking pretty sad.
Hasbrowns- deepfried in oil that is reused, nice bitter taste.
Lumpy oatmeal
Sausage-when they cook a batch, whatever is leftover is used the next day, by day 3 some of the stuff looked real bad.
Bacon-same as above
Scrambled Eggs-A watery slopp offered daily

Fruit and Cheese room;
This room was always jam-packed with every kind of cheese,coldcuts, and fruit in the old days, not any more buddy!
You get ham, turkey and one type of sliced cheese(if they have any), cottage cheese and butter packets. There is an assortment of dry cereal, this would be your safe choice. Milk and juice machine are kept cool.
The fruit is fresh, but is missing any kind of flavor it should have.

Bread and pastries:
What can I say, this is a french company, so if you like continetal breakfast, you are all set. Besides, how can you screw up making bread dough????

Omelette and egg station:
This is where you can get some semblance of breakfast. They have a local hire cooking here 5 days out of the week, she's very good. The other two days, it's hit and miss, most of the GM cooks think over easy means add oil on top of the egg, yuck!

Stay Tuned a yummy lunch is coming right up!

Lunch tends to have more variety than breakfast, but the standard rules apply. There is a pizza/pasta station, what you get is two pizzas kept warm and you can pick slices from. Quality is ok, think pizza hut hand tossed crust, but better cheese. The cook(GM) makes two pasta dishes and keeps them warm to serve your self, you can also get plain pasta that is slathered in oil, and then add your own sauce, which is a cream sauce or a marinara sauce, then garnish with the antacid of your choice.

On to the Buffett, you will come across to the gourmet hot dog, hamburger and chicken nugget extravanganza, followed by french fries(of course). Next,they have some sort of grilled meat, usually lamb, pork chops(once), and beefsteak(once), followed by two types og grilled fish which the french folks will consume rather quickly. Now to the vegetables, they have grilled vegetables, followed by boiled brocolli,cauliflower, and potatoes, every day!

Meat and cheese room:

You can make your own sandwich here, with cold cuts straight from your grocer's aisle, enjoy. The cheese is still limited, and wait there seems to be some renditions of pasta salads or some other mystery, good thing you brought the immodium, one never knows. You can make yourself a salad here, which is what I recommend, at least you are in control of the preparation. There is an ice cream machine in here, the french really like it, which is astounding to me since it does not even compare to the excellent ice cream available in Paris/Europe.

Once you exit the meat and cheese room, there is someone making some dish from a far off place, you are at your own risk.

The next section is the one that floors me the most, there are about 8 chafing pans with covers split by a carving station. The chafing pans contain a dish that has been carefully made of either the last nights' or days' leftovers, but hey who does not love a steaming portion of ratatouille? The offering at the carving station will be mostly roasted chicken(4), pork raost(2), or a beef tongue that Gene Simmons would be proud of.

Oh, they do have soup, two kinds, they are most refreshing from the heat.

Now Dinner is quite different(the theme, not the quality) each night they slopp you with the following:

Saturday: Dolce Vita- Supposed to be Italian, I just wonder how the heck they got Chef Boyardee to come down to the Bahamas.

Sunday: Neptunia- Every delicacy from the sea, frozen skinny crab legs, more grilled fish, calamari that could pass for gummy bears, seafood pizza, I think I saw Charlie the Tuna running, or should I say swimming for his life.

Monday:Mediterranean- If you like Gyros, this is your lucky night, they have all the right ingredients, line up to get one. Grilled mystery meat, mystery dishes that the cooks can't tell you about. But there is one special surprise, you get to eat outdoors, so when you eat, the mosquitoes eat, and you are the main course!

Tuesday:Gala- This is the tribute to the french, you get your frog legs, escargots,ratatouille(again), roasted chicken(again), and all sort of goodies. But if you do not like french cuisine, you can always get a cheeseburger or slice of pizza.

Wednesday:Asian- Oh boy, I was excited, but then really dissapointed. Ok, I don't eat sushi, but how can you have a guy from Mexico City make sushi? Not one egg roll to be found. The French have an interesting way of making sweet and sour pork, they overcook it and then caramilze it. Don't chip your teeth. Oh, you can get spring rolls at the spring roll stand, only takes about 11.5 minutes for ONE.


Thursday:Caribbean- they completetly killed this one, they give all the local hire cooks the night off so that they can try to cook Bahamian food themeselves. What they really do is embarass every Bahamian on the island, shame on you people.

Friday: Tex-Mex- this is the one I can recommend. Some how the managed to get pork ribs, and all your favorite fixins from Taco Bell. Hurry if you get to the Taco Stand the cook(not local) will make you one, just one, with a gleam in his eye, more guacamole anyone. They have a fajita station, and they serve jalapeno peppers. What I like about the food this night was that if I closed my eyes and smelled some vinegar, I just may be at Hooters.

Beverages, they have Kalik(Bahamian Beer) on tap in the restaurant, not bad, but the only kind. What is really bad is the house wine.The french are notorious for their wines, however they missed the boat on this one(pun inteneded). They have White(sour),Rose(sickly sweet), and Red(vinegar). But not to fret, each table has a winelist of the good stuff, the fleecing starts at $45.00 a bottle.

If you go, please be polite to the GE's that work the dining room, as a matter of fact be polite to all the GE's, they get the treatment from the other guests.

The beach bar has a snack bar open from 1pm to 630pm, get your food there from the two local ladies and you will be alright, take it back to the room and put it in your minifridge, since there is nothing stocked in there anyways.

I can elaborate more, email me before you purchase anything!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A4man66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2009

My family, including myself (47), my wife (46, though she won't admit it), and our boys (ages 17 and 14) went to ClubMed Columbus Isle which is on San Salvador in the Bahamas. It was fabulous! The club is pretty much the only resort on the island. In fact, the airport is a small cinder block structure built right behind the resort. You can literally walk from the airport to the club. There's only one flight a week from the US, and that is from Ft Lauderdale on Saturday on Spirit air, an Airbus jet. There's a flight from Paris that arrives on Tuesdays, and a flight from Montreal on Fridays. There's a very small turbojet that flies in daily from Nassau, but it wouldn't be my choice!

This club is one of Club Meds elite resorts. You can see on the website that there are multiple colorful four unit villas that spread out in four adjacent arcs from the beach. Like most Club Meds, the rooms are nice, clean and comfortable, but not luxurious which is okay because you don't spend a lot of time there. In fact, we didn't lock our sliding glass door most of the time as you felt quite safe whether or not you were in your room. Each room has one or two safes to lock up your valuables. The club has beautiful artwork throughout that the family that founded Club Med collected in Asia.

There is a maximum of about 450 guests, which is nice because there are about 200 employees. Most guests are European (French, some Germans, and some Italians), South American, and Canadian. We were four of only 40 Americans. The predominant language spoken is French, which my wife can communicate at a basic level, but almost everyone including the guests can speak English. The Italian language is soooo beautiful, and to hear families speaking on the beach was a really pleasant experience. The other guests really enjoyed having my wife try to speak French, and no matter what their reputation may be, the French were wonderful to us. Other guests were just as happy to reply with "hi" as "bon jour". As an aside, the sunbathing is also European, so frequently there were topless women sunbathing. Fortunately, there were very few European men wearing thongs! My wife kept calling it the island of the beautiful people. We laughed about it with the boys, so they never felt uncomfortable being with us no matter the scenery!

The beach was gorgeous. The pictures from the website really are how the club and the water looks. The water is crystal clear, and bluish green as you'd expect from the Bahamas. Because it is a relatively small club, there were plenty of lounge chairs at the beach or around the pool. There was none of that early morning rush to get chairs like you so often experience on cruises or larger resorts. I would classify the club as one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.

As for activities, there was plenty to do, but nicely subdued as opposed to other ClubMeds were they try to get you to dance at noon around the pool, or play volleyball, etc. We did a ton of reading on the beach or around the pool, and our quiet time was always respected. Nonetheless, the club specializes in water sports (scuba, snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing), but also has tennis, volleyball, etc available. My younger son and I scubad twice, each time to about 60 feet in really clear water over the wall into deeper water. My other son and I went out on kayaks, and all three of the guys sailed. My younger son took windsurfing lessons and did fabulous, though he admits it is hard work. All of us would swim in the ocean. My favorite was to swim down the beach in mid-afternoon to the beach bar, and then walk back with refreshments! One afternoon, we rented bikes from the club (the only expense that wasn't prepaid the whole week) and rode about 10 miles down to where Columbus landed. We didn't worry about getting lost as there is only one road that goes around the circumference of the island. The natives speak English, and we felt very safe off on our own. The club has just one pool, and while I saw people swim laps, it is mainly a pool for goofing off in. Most of the swimming was done in the ocean. Once, my wife did water aerobics in the ocean.

As for the food, it was fantastic. They had an amazing assortment of nice fresh food. Of course we had a lot of fish, but the choices were quite broad. Last year, we stayed at an Iberostar resort in Punta Cana. Iberostar couldn't hold a candle to ClubMed food. While plentiful, ClubMed had really healthy choices like fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and fresh bread. We ate in the main restaurant for all our meals, which is cafeteria style, though I'd love to eat in a cafeteria of that quality everyday! We could have eaten in one of the two specialty "sit down" restaurants whenever we wanted, but we enjoyed having all the options of the main restaurant. We heard the others were very good, too.

At night, the club apparently had a lively bar and a show, but we tended to hang out with the boys, playing cards, walking on the beach in the dark, and yes, even watching a little TV. One of the employees had a really powerful telescope. With it we were able to see Saturn and its rings. Reading may have been our major activity, as my sons finished at least one book a day. My wife read funny novels such as "Bitter Is the New Black" which she loved.

We met some really nice people, both guests and employees (called GO's). We became close with a family from NYC and an ophthalmologist and his wife from Canada, but we spent most of the time with just the four of us. Mainly, it seems to be a resort that caters to couples and families with older children. There were several small children, but no Kids Club for young kids like we've seen at the ClubMed in Florida.

As for negatives, travel is not easy unless you fly in from Montreal or Paris on the direct flight. We took the 45 minute charter from Ft Lauderdale on Saturday at 11 AM, which meant we flew down Friday night to make sure we didn't miss the flight since it is the only one all week from the US. The flight was only about a third full. Flying home yesterday made for a long day, but not excruciating. We flew off the island at 12:30, made it through customs relatively easy, then flew on Delta to Atlanta and then Columbus, arriving about 11 PM last night. AirTran has direct flights to Ft Lauderdale, but we didn't get into Ft Lauderdale in time to make that flight.

The rooms weren't luxurious, but they were nice. The sheets may have been a bit scratchy, especially if you have a sunburn. Maintenance responded quickly to a couple issues with our rooms, including a TV remote that vanished into thin air.

All in all, we loved it. I know we hope to go back sometime!!!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SteckMark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2009

Club Med Columbus Isle is well known to Parisians and Canadians -- who flock there -- but less well known to Americans, who are only a few hours away from this Bahama Paradise. Imagine a tiny, beautiful Caribbean island with virtually one resort and virtually its own airport (about 3 minutes away) that has direct flights from the U.S. and Canada, with an extraordinary range of things to do -- from sailing and massage to tennis and scuba diving, with a gorgeos, secluded, turqouise beach, with an endless array of excellent food, with fun shows every night, with a nightclub that goes all night. Imagine, most of all, the friendliness and attentiveness of a staff of people from all over the world who become your buddies and are devoted to making sure you are having a great and safe time.

Imagine the manager of this resort -- the Chief de Village -- Flavia Bove, greeting you every night at dinner, making and serving you exotic drinks on the beach and actually -- yes, this is for real -- going out of her way personally to add special touches to your stay. Nothing misses her eye for detail when it comes to ensuring a special Club Med experience. She's supported by an equally wonderful staff of "GOs," including many we met at Turks & Caicos (where Flavia was Chief de Village in the summer of 2008...you might say we followed her to Columbus Isle!). Kudos to a terrific group of GOs, including Gaby, Max, Ashley, Lisa, Gene, Germaine, Gentil, Fernanda, Fred, Kyle, Victor, Morgan and the phenomenal chef!!! And so many more!

None of this is exaggeration. We've been to resorts all over the world. This Club Med is a unique and truly special place.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2009

We had a carefree stay. no problems. The food and rooms were excellent. Flavia and her staff did a superb job.
There was seven in our party and each one had a great time. Can't wait to return.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank GrandmaCLongIsland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2009

We visited Club Med for Thanksgiving Week 08. Seemed to be a lot of returning customers. First time club meders - highly recommend it. All inclusive meals which were great! All the french trimmings, breads/cheeses were amazing. Plenty of wine but youd be wise to invest the few extra $$ for a decent bottle - although highly overpriced, it was a nice treat.

The beach was really amazing! Fantastic white sands and blue seas. Just like a postcard. Sea was a small bit rough one or 2 of the days but other than than it was great for swimming, snorkling, boating. Nice walk along the beach too. Lots of sunloungers.

The GO's were very energetic and friendly as were the bar/food staff. In particular 1 female GO (I cannot recall her name - but with long dark hair) who works in the gift shop who offered me her own high factor sun cream when they had none in stock. House keeping staff were very very sweet and were delighted with the tip we left for them. Flavia did a great job in overseeing everthing.

Rooms were clean and basic. Only a few steps from the sea. Great AC! ;)

Indulged in the SPA for a full hot stone body massage as did my partner. Worth it!
Suitable for families, couples and singles. Plenty of activities if you choose to participate.
Now we are converted to Club Med and cannot wait to try again.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sars4619
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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