We have now returned from our fourth Club Med holiday and as I have a friend going in a couple of weeks I thought that rather than writing the usual review I would write out the tips that I think have helped us get the most out of our stays.
1. Understand that this is a holiday for the kids so try to see things through their eyes
If I didn't have kids, there is no way that I would holiday in Club Med. But we have three and so needs must. This is their favourite holiday of the entire year and so, it has, against the odds, become ours too.
2. Persevere with kids club
The first time we came the kids didn't want to do Kids Club (a lot of French kids that they were a bit scared of) and certainly didn't want to do 'The Show'. Now they are used to the format (lots of activities), the French and The Show and there is no stopping them. Seeing each one of my kids actually wanting to perform on stage in front of 100 people has been one of the most wonderful moments of this trip. The team that run Kids Club are second to none - a huge congratulations to Houda and her team - Arnaud, Sergio and Marta were all stand outs.
3. Have a couple of glasses of wine and sit back and enjoy the evening performances
This week we had shows that included 'Mamma Mia, the Funhouse, Dream Girls and The 70's' Last year it was 'Grease and The Titanic. These shows are not West End productions. It would be easy to turn up and think they were slightly unpolished and sit and sneer all night. We've found that a couple of cocktails, a bottle of wine with dinner and another cocktail for the show is a jolly good way to get with the programme. As a result, we can officially report that the shows are brilliant fun, often hilariously silly and rather well performed. Certainly we cannot fault the work ethic of the GO's who put them on - work hours long into the night to rehearse around an already full work schedule. Our congratulations go this year to the Chef of Entertainment Dominic who had my kids enthralled with his magic tricks.
4. Speak French
Be prepared for the official language of Club Med to be French. I know this sounds stupid but we were quite shocked on our first trip about how little leeway was made for us English. When we have made the effort to speak French though we found that we were often rewarded with a response in English.
5. If holiday camps aren't your style avoid:
- The pool at midday (they do this weird dance thing around it in which guests stand up and join in - we have never got it and never will!!!!!). We just went to lunch early instead and avoided it all.
- The Rotunda when there is a quiz on (it will be in French and is loud and noisy)
- The bar when it rains - it just becomes a seething melee of noise and horrendousness. Go into Marrakech that day instead!!!
6. Make friends with an English family
We have met some fab people here each year and it really helped us not feel isolated. Nothing like having a laugh over different cultural reference points is there :). Besides you have to have someone to gossip to over some of the rather, er topless, looks by the pool......
7. If you can, stay in The Riad
Yes service was patchy (but I suspect they are on the case with this) and it is APPALLING that they still allow smoking inside, but.... the pool is heated, prettier and quieter than the main pool and you can enjoy a quieter lunch away from the hubbub - for us this was worth every penny. Be under no allusions though - it claims it is 5 star - but it is really a 4 star as we would understand it.
8. Start the day with the 'musculaire' wake-up or one of the other many activities
Starting the day every day with a couple of classes was the highlight of my trip. Fun, challenging in parts - it was a joyous start to the day. The rather hunky instructor may also have been an important factor.
9. If you want to complain go straight to the top
Club Med is run like an army. You need to speak to the top if you want to be heard or get anything changed
10. Book early
Club Med really does seem to be one of those places that genuinely rewards you for booking early - we have got all our trips at what we felt was an incredibly good value price for a family of five. Its amazing what you are prepared to forgive when you and your kids have had a cracking good time at half the price of any other holiday you have in the year.
Go and get stuck in!!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Le Riad, which is surrounded by private gardens, has sixty Suites which combine a Moroccan setting with every comfort imaginable. With its swimming pool and its rooms each with a fireplace, Le Riad is an intimate and princely place. You can sample a privileged lifestyle relaxing in the Bar-lounge, enjoying the cozy atmosphere in the piano bar or unwinding in the library. The more curious amongst you can treat yourselves to the exotic flavours and spicy dishes on offer at the restaurant. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Club Med Marrakech Le Riad Hotel Marrakech
- Marrakech Club Med