The above statement by my teenage daughter fairly accurately describes this paradise on earth. What differentiates a Club Med holiday from other all-inclusives are the GO's, the fun-loving, staff with endless energy whose only job it seems is to make your time there the most fun of your life. Their day job is to teach you to windsurf, or to sail but at night they entertain and befriend you. They come from diverse, interesting backgrounds, from all over the world. This was my fourth Club Med (after the Bahamas, Mexico and the Maldives. So the Club Med concept was not new to us.
While going through some of the reviews on this website, there seemed to be two concerns. That the cleanliness of the rooms was less than desirable, and that non French speaking persons are 'ignored'. Both could not be further from the truth. Here are some of my experiences:
The Rooms: Our interconnecting rooms in the villagio looked brand new. The bathrooms were clean, did not have a smell, though the toilet cubicles really ought to have had some ventilation. The rooms were reasonably large. They were will lit (when we opened the wooden shutters outside our frosted windows), had large walk-in closets a tiny TV that we never watched and a huge safe. If you want a fancy view, sure take a suite, but you wont spend much time in it.
Hotel or Villagio: If you want to be close to the action, stick with the villagio. If you want to have a quiet time, stay in the hotel. We never felt the need to go to the hotel, except to check in and check out.
English or French: Our French is pass-able at best. But it was not a problem. All the GO's were fluent in English. It seems that speaking English and French is now a requirement to work at Club Med.
The Kids Club: Regardless of how old your kids are, encourage them to go the Kids Club. Once there, they wont want to leave. The GO's are awesome with them.
Watch out for the beach: It is not great! It is basically a pebble beach. But the water sports facilities more than make up for this minor irritant. But do get beach footwear that wont come off in the water. Remember, the pebbles hurt as you enter and leave the water. The good news is that you dont have sand all over when you leave the beach.
Water Sports: Good equipment all around. They have Hobie 15 catamarans, a range of windsurfers with sails for beginners to advanced. The water skiing school instruction is adequate and will have you up and skiing even if you've never skied. But while we were there, the winds were fairly high a couple of days and they had to close all water sport activities.
Snorkelling: A pleasant way of spending an afternoon. A 30 minute boat ride, along the coast, past some caves takes you to the snorkelling site. But there isn't much coral, few fish and limited visibility. So you can skip this if you have something better to do. There seemed to be more fish around the jetty at the Club. I only wished they would allow us to borrow equipment to snorkel right there.
Scuba Diving: If you are into diving and have Advanced PADI certification, you must dive on the World War I French shipwreck, the Paris II. This wreck lies in 30 meters of water only 150 metres from the shore and is just incredible! The entire ship is lying upright and looks like it is ready to sail. Do Google it and get some information on it before you dive as it will make it more interesting. I went for four dives and my kids one each. The rest of the dives were pretty average, with visibility being around 15 to 20 metres and little sea life. Water temps were 25 C on the surface and 23 C at 30 metres. I was comfortable in a 5 mm wetsuit.
Other water activities, not included in the package: We went parasailing, (spectacular) and jet skiing (a ripoff). But the kids enjoyed both. The only nuisance was that this facility only accepted cash. So had to walk back to my room to get my wallet in order to pay for this.
The Food: Dont plan on dieting. You wont be able to. With almost a hundred items to choose from, each one cooked to perfection, you'll find that you are over eating. The only problem is that your brain gets paralysed with the choices. And you find yourself wandering around the buffet, trying to decide what to eat. We solved that problem by tasting everything!
Crazy Signs: This Club Med tradition of dancing at every opportunity may seem juvenile, but it is difficult to resist. You will find your hands and feet seemingly moving on their own. So dont fight it. Just join in. And enjoy it 'cause everybody else is. Just sit back and relax ........... as this is going to be your best vacation of your life!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In Turkey, Palmiye nestles alongside an extensive beach between the wild peaks of the Taurus range and a warm sea of sparkling blue. Bungalows shelter beneath a pine grove and the hotel looks out onto the Mediterranean : two complementary atmospheres for this great family Club Med Village, home to a vast array of sports on land and sea, with something for all ages. A dreamlike place to unwind and put yourself in the expert hands of our Club Med Spa staff. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Club Med Palmiye Hotel Kemer
- Club Med Kemer
- Kemer Club Med