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Club Med Sandpiper Bay
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Reviewed March 2, 2012

We went to Sandpiper with no expectations as we know no one that had been here before. We can't say enough positive things about our vacation! We traveled during Spring break (their most crowded time) with our 3 boys ages 4, 12, and 14. Although they were full, we never felt crowded. Our 4 year old went to "Camp" everyday and loved every moment. He tells everyone how he went on the trapeze. Because he was in Kidz Club, I had my choice of pools to sit beside with a cold drink and a book and sun!. The older boys played basketball, soccer, beach volleyball. They learned to sail and swung from a trapeze. My 12 year old was thrilled to be asked to come back for a "catch" from the incredible trapeze staff. My husband and I both utilized the gym which was top notch. We were so impressed by all the GO's. They put in incredibly long hours, yet always have a smile on their faces, a warm hello and tons of energy! The food was delicious. I am grateful that I can't get chocolate bread at home or I'd weigh 500 pounds! We can't wait to go back again. I am telling everyone I meet about how they too should visit this great Club Med right here in the U.S. Thank you Sandpiper staff, thank you for giving us a vacation that we will always treasure.

Room Tip: If you are traveling with a family, I definitely recommend the Club Room. Kids have their own room and adults have theirs.
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Joanie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
clubmedofficial, Guest Relations Manager at Club Med Sandpiper Bay, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2012

Dear Joanie M,
Thank you for sharing your wonderful family memories with us! We are thrilled to hear that all three of your boys loved their vacation and that you were able to relax. Activities like the flying trapeze create memories to last a lifetime. We can’t wait to see all of you again soon!

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.
Reviewed March 1, 2012

I am of two minds as I write this report. It was mostly positive, but there are things that need to be worked on. Also, this is a very customer targeted resort. But if you are considering Sandpiper, you probably already know that, so you’ll be ok.
Sandpiper basically caters to two crowds: sports (golf and tennis) enthusiasts and to families (possibly extended) who want to keep their children entertained. We fell into the latter group.
Background:
I travelled with my wife and 22month year old daughter. We stayed for 5 nights, 4 full days and 2 half days.
General Details:
The resort is well laid out. It’s a medium sized resort so everything is close regardless of where your room is.
There are two restaurants: the main buffet restaurant and an all day hamburger & sandwich/night time theme restaurant. We ate at both. There is also a bar near the middle of the resort.
There are a lot of sports facilities. They have 20+ tennis courts plus golf if that is your thing. Also, they offer a lot of free lessons for enthusiasts of all levels. B/C of timing and weather issues, we unfortunately, were unable to take lessons.
There is a very good day care facility there which caters to children of all ages.
There are four smallish pools: an adults only pool (not meaning topless…just no kids allowed ), the main pool, a lap pool and a kiddie pool with lots of slides/showers etc.
They have some facilities like their circus training area (ie. trapeze) that you probably would not get anywhere else. The kids we watched seemed to really enjoy it.
They also have some limited water sports: sailing and paddle boarding.
The rooms are spread out across the resort in 3 story buildings.
Our Stay:
I’ll start with the positive. The staff is super friendly. The GO’s are always smiling an energetic; I really felt that was their true nature, as opposed to some corporate policy. The servers in the restaurant were also super attentive and (almost overly) polite. Same with the cleaning people. Everybody was just great; I never had a bad feeling about anybody.
We put our daughter in the baby club for three half days. The vacation was largely about her, so we only put her their when we wanted to play tennis. I think she had a good time (hard to tell though…she is shy and quiet). But we had a lot of interaction time with the child care staff and imho, they are people you can trust; they care about kids.
The sports facilities were very good as far as we could see. They had tons of high quality tennis courts (we are hackers so you mileage may vary) as well as a driving range and a golf course which costs an extra fee to play as far as I know. We had crummy weather so we only could play a couple of times.
My daughter liked playing at the beach, digging up sand. But be aware, this is not an ocean beach with miles of white sand. This is a (my guess) a man made beach with the same sand that they put in golf bunkers. Kids dig up sand on the beach. Adults do not sunbathe.
The food was good. There was a fair bit of selection (proteins, breads, pastas) although it mostly repeated during the week. On the weekends however, they did bring in lots of new stuff. For example, our Saturday was southern food (ribs, fried chicken, corn on the cob etc.) It was yummy. The breakfast buffet was a also good but that one really repeated.
We ate at the “Soleil” restaurant several times. During the day it’s a hamburger/sandwich/beer place. Pretty good. I liked the fries. At night, they serve a reservation only dinner. We went on the Moroccan night (tagine). It was really good; so much so, I ate their leftovers at the buffet the next day 
I used the fitness facility several times. It is bright and very well equipped, I was satisfied.
They have Wi-fi which costs $50 a week. It was pretty good until it stopped working with two days left in our vacation. Apparently they had some kind of system outage. To their credit, they did not charge me anything for the Wi-fi even though I did get 3 days service and I did not even mention the problem to them when I checked out.
As for the not so good:
The room we had was poor. I’m sorry Club Med, but I cannot give the resort five stars because of this. Sandpiper has recently gone under renovation and as I understand it, there are renovated and still non renovated rooms. Unless they did a really crummy job, our room was certainly non renovated. I could go on but for starters: the floor tiles had huge cracks, the bathroom was tiny and dark, lights weren’t working, cover plates on the bathroom fixtures were missing. It wasn’t great compared to outside the room.
The room was also extremely dark. The main faced to the ‘backyard’ (unfortunately we were on the ground floor which meant we could see people walking by). Unfortunately, it faced into
The other thing that we found problematic was that we were supposed to get a “crib” for our toddler. What we got was basically one of those portable playpens that you sometime stick babies in when you are in a pinch. We didn’t even try to put her in that, we knew she would freak. So we slept with her on the bed which I know isn’t the greatest idea; we lay awake in fear that she would roll off the bed and onto the hard floor. I really think they should provide proper cribs even a basic one. They aren’t that expensive!
Other small things (only b/c I know Club med reads this site)
- It would be great if they had a water hose off of the beach so that we could get the sand off ourselves and our kid after walking on the beach
- They only server one beer in the restaurant. It’s a pretty mild beer (putting it mildly). A second choice like a dark beer would be good. The house wines are also not good but you can buy better ones if you are so inclined
- There was kind of a dead time after 5 pm at which time (everything including the arts and craft building was closed) there was nothing for toddler to do. The weather was bad for a couple of days and we didn’t really like the room so we were kind of stuck. I know the staff needs time to clean and eat but maybe if things were staggered so that something was open, it would be helpful.
The end:
Sorry if this was kind of a point form review. But my thoughts:
This is a great place for family. There are tons of things to do and everybody seemed like they were having a good time. The staff is great and the facilities are fantastic.
HOWEVER, if you come here, check which type of room you will be getting and upgrade if necessary (or within your means). The room was not good and I hope Club med addresses this shortfall soon. But I will be coming back as we all had fun.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a renovated room. I also do not recommend rooms on the ground level
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank peterandkaori
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
clubmedofficial, Guest Relations Manager at Club Med Sandpiper Bay, responded to this reviewResponded March 2, 2012

Dear peterandkaori,
Thank you for writing such a detailed review of your stay with us. We're deeply sorry that your accommodations were not satisfactory. We're looking into your concerns immediately, and we hope this will not deter you from staying with us again in the 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.
Reviewed March 1, 2012

This was our second time we came to Sandipiper. We saw a big improvement this year ( even though it was great last year) Both my kids( 6 and 3) were in Kidz Club all day every day and they had a BLAST! They were well taken care of and really loved by the amazing staff. The food this year was even better then in the past and some new really great healthy choices! Thank you to everybody there for making our family getaway awesome! But maybe by next year wifi will be included!

Room Tip: The club room is great for a family of four! We thought that by facing the outside of the club would be noisy but it was not. I think all the rooms are great
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Lindsay S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
clubmedofficial, Guest Relations Manager at Club Med Sandpiper Bay, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2012

Dear Lindsay S,
Thank you for telling us about your wonderful stay at Club Med! It is great to hear that you were pleased with the Kids Club, food and of course, our awesome staff. They work hard to ensure that every guest has an unforgettable vacation. We can't wait to see you and your family again soon!

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.
Reviewed February 28, 2012

The Sandpiper Bay Resort provided us with a dream vacation . We didn't think of ourselves as the all-inclusive types so this was our first Club Med experience. We were greatly surprised by the lovely aesthetics of the resort and the international feel of the clientele. This was a fun and relaxing vacation in the most heartfelt sense.

FOR KIDS: Our 12 & 15 y.o. boys had plenty to do with golf, tennis and never-ending pick-up basketball. Our 6 & 9 y.o. girls loved the sailing, paddle-boarding, tennis, golf and circus arts. They all loved the pools. The village is safe and small enough that we felt comfortable with our kids navigating on their own. They loved their independence and the options available to them.

FOR ADULTS: My husband and I loved the simplicity of our life there. Not having to think about food or activities gave us the time to connect with each other in pure delight. The logistics of life were taken care of for us. We had so much fun with the kids and then so much joy in just hanging out as a couple while the kids went off and did their own thing. It was also interesting to chat with other guests from all over the world. It made for a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

PROS: Plentiful activities but not in-your-face. Beautiful accommodations in adjoining standard rooms. Walk-in closets. Double sinks in each bathroom. Very clean everywhere we went, esp in our rooms that were mopped and scrubbed clean every day. Plenty of fresh drinking water available at no charge throughout the modern and beautifully-designed village. Lovely staff who seemed genuinely gracious and hospitable. Superb, fresh and interesting food choices. Always something for adults (vegetarians included) and for kids, even fussy eaters. Kids loved being able to eat as much as they want (esp from the self-serve ice cream machine) and we loved not worrying about the cost of every food item. Great, modern gym that was never crowded. Loved the early hours. Nice 3 mile running paths in surrounding area. Amazing Circus Team that were supportive of both kids and adults trying out the trapeze. Lovely setting on the river (brackish, leading into ocean) that allowed us the chance to see dolphins and plenty of sea birds. Ever-present Chef du Village always checking in with a kind word in French and English. Monsieur Pirotte, mille mercis, pour une excellent experience.

CONS: While the river is pretty to look at, it doesn't invite swimming. Sailing and paddle-boarding were fine but no one wanted to go in the water with the occasional jellyfish around. The coffee was lame. A European-managed resort should have top-notch fresh brew for their guests. The lap pool and adult pool were heated but not the beautiful and FREEZING family pool. It would have been nice to use that pool since we didn't like that loud music was constantly playing at the only comfortable pool for kids (the lap pool). I wish there was more outdoor seating at the Marketplace restaurant since it was so lovely on the terrace. The wait staff work very hard and it felt like they were understaffed at times. Mostly they cleared the tables promptly but it was clear that they were overworked. The RAGGS characters were over the top and totally unnecessary. They took away from the otherwise classy feel of the resort. Luckily, they were mostly easy to avoid.

Overall, we loved this peaceful, fun time as a family. We connected in a way that is impossible during busy everyday life with 4 kids. I had tears in my eyes as the Chef du Village and Kelsi saw us off on our final day. We will miss our time in Club Med and hope to come back again very soon.

Room Tip: We liked the G building; quiet with great views. Quick walk to the central action but far enough removed to be tranquil. Top floor made for a quiet experience. A/C units loud but effective. Room 834 & 835 overlooked a quiet beach and beautiful river where we saw dolphins from our balcony most mornings.
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank BigMaineFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
clubmedofficial, Guest Relations Manager at Club Med Sandpiper Bay, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2012

Dear BigFamilyFromMaine,
Thank you for taking the time to write such an in-depth review! We are thrilled to hear that your entire family was pleased with your stay, including our various activities like trapeze, golf and tennis. We would also like to thank your for your insights. We will certainly pass them along to upper management. We hope to see you and your family again soon!

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.
Reviewed February 27, 2012

i was here for 3 nights the place was awesome , had a lot of activities and had great food. when you stay at this resort the people are extremely nice and helpful , this place had saiing for free . its a great place to hang out with family and go golfing . this resort had great views of the lake and had a bunch of late night trapeze shows they also offered skate parks , basketball courts and tennis courts and many more . i will definately come again ..

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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Thank andreaurrutia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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