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Club Med Yabuli
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Reviewed February 6, 2013

I can't deny the fact that ClubMed Yabuli is located at an isolated area with low rise buildings and broken towns. After a long flight, my wife and I were picked up by the bus and reached the resort just before dusk. As well known in ClubMed, we were warmly welcomed by the GOs at the entrance while our rooms were already taken care of, better than a 5-star hotel I would say.

Rooms were fantastic as mentioned from all other reviews and the scenery from the room was mind blowing. The international buffet was alright(Mutton & Fish mainly), free-flow bars were so awesome that I actually got so high and opened a Chivas. Met another crazy couple there and became buddies after the first night.

I would like to give special thanks to all these people that have made our stay so memorable.

Ms Mei (Village Chief) - First female Chief I have seen with an exceptional powerful aura which we all agreed. Very well organized and managed village, most importantly, you take feedback seriously. (Still amazed at the feedback we gave after the first day of snowboarding and actions were taken immediately the next morning.)

Victor Ski(Hot Ski Instructor and Gangnam Style Lead Dancer) - Crazy enough, 4 of us were personally taught by Victor to snowboard and 3 gave up after the first lesson while I was the only student that succeeded in boarding down the basic course without falling. He has been our best friend, teacher, clubber, dancer and most importantly, an eye candy for both our ladies. Never seen a person dance the Gangnam Style with such force:)

Sam (Restaurant Manager) - Thank you for making so much effort in getting the best quality food for the people. Though I got really sick of mutton and fish after the 2nd day, it was all paid off with the awesome steamboat that you have arranged for us. We would also like to thank Christina and yourself for bringing us out to Yabuli town on your off day, it was one of our highlights througout this holiday and it will not be possible without your help.

Charles(Sexy Korean Boy), Jordan(DJ for all night entertainment), Jade(watch out for this pretty Hongkong lady, makes you wanna join the Mini Club.) and the rest of those that have partied with us.

Thank you very much and I do hope to see you people soon in ClubMed.

Benny and Swan

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Benny14154
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

Best holiday ever

Where to begin? We have just come back (group of 12) from an awesome holiday at club med yabuli!
The hotel- spacious well appointed rooms and amazing activities. Gym and pool were terrific special shout out to Robert the aussie lifeguard.

Skiing- the limited ski runs are more than compensated by the talented, professional, enthusiastic ski and snowboard instructors. Special thanks to Tom, Peter, Adriana, Ted, Sebastian, JT and Victor who all went above and beyond to make our ski experience the best we have ever had in the world. Kids ski club rocked! Well managed by Eric and the ever helpful team. The fact that they get the kids ready and pumped for the fantastic day ahead is a big bonus!

Activities and entertainment- extraordinary! Our children have all become trapeze artist thanks to the guidance and encouragement of the circus team Charles, Claire, Max, Wings and Alit. Dance classes on every afternoon offer an array of dance styles lead by the worlds greatest dance instructor ever - Nico! We loved all the shows put on by the extra talented GO's under the clever coordination of Clayton as well as the kids versions organised by Tina. Mace and Caesar rocked the nights away and were so inclusive of kids making them all feel like super stars!

Mei (CDV) skillfully leads a great team. Thank you to Peter, Ted and Tom for their Aussie board short and singlet send off in -20 degree temperatures. The only bad thing about the trip was leaving!!!

We would thoroughly recommend club med yabuli to everybody. If you would like to take a look at just a bit of the fun you can have, click here (or copy link): http://youtu.be/a8OUus_vZNk

Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
2  Thank thejoelguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

Accommodation was clean and spacious, Food was very good for a Buffet, Slopes were a little icy, but the entire staff and ski instructors made up for any dissapointment on the snow. The most fun our kids have ever had skiing as there was so much to do on and off the slopes. Would recommend to anyone with a family

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank TheWsx4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

I travelled alone and stayed in Club Med (CM) Yabuli from 13-20 Jan 2013

Booking : It took me 1 month to get my reservation confirmed for CM Yabuli. Surfing the net, I realised that promotions differ depending on which CM web site you visit. For my trip, clubmed.com.sg and clubmed.com.cn were significantly different by as much as S$500-1,000 for 5 nights. To save that amount, I decided to book through the China website. Unfortunately, Chinese laws make it difficult to confirm overseas bookings as (a) overseas credit cards are not acceptable unless you are in CM Yabuli (b) Shanghai & Harbin CM insists they have to be paid in Renminbi but not all overseas banks can handle such remittances (c) Some banks who handle RMB remittances need 4-7 working days before money is received (d) Clubmed.com.cn does not send us reservation details until a few hours before it expires - it does not give us time to send them any payment before it expires. I kept making bookings, and they keep expiring on me. After a lot of exasperation, frustration and worry, the issue was finally resolved a few days before my arrival when Fanny of CM Yabuli, Reception decided that I could pay on arrival. If she did not stick out her neck and make a brave management decision, my trip would not have been possible and I would have suffered some financial loss as I had already paid for my flight, hotel in Harbin and other items. Upon my arrival, after learning more about my plight, on her own initiative, she upgraded me to a lovely room with mountain view at no extra charge. Thanks for brave managers like FANNY !

Clothing : CM Singapore and CM Harbin gave me great advise when they suggested I might want to shop for the right clothes in Harbin prior to CM Yabuli. I spent one night in Harbin and bought sufficient warm clothing and ski clothes + warm slip-resistant boots. I reckon it was better than renting ski wear as they worked out to be about the same price, fit better and I get to keep them after this. Also, being dressed differently, it was easier to spot myself on the numerous photos taken by the professional photographers during skiing which are offered for sale.

Transportation : I travelled to CM Yabuli via train from Harbin to Yabuli South station. It cost me about 38 RMB versus 800 RMB if i had rented a taxi. The only problem I had at the train station was I had to lug my luggage bag from one platform, take the underground tunnel, up the stairs, to another train platform. The train ride was pleasant and I found out lots by talking with my fellow China commuters - a great way to learn more about china and its people. Upon arrival, I caught a bus to CM Yabuli for 20 RMB.

Skiing : Every night, we have to sign up for classes the following day. Indicating the class you want (beginner, club 1, 2,....) and the language of instruction. I signed up for English classes everyday. Unfortunately, on the first day, I was the only beginner requesting English. They assigned me to a China instructor who many thought could conduct classes in English and Chinese. He then proceeded to teach all beginners that day. His command of English was very poor and he was not able to identify clearly which part of the foot we had to use to stop / ski. With his poor English and my poor Mandarin, I ended injured after the first day.

Medical Care : CM Yabuli has a resident doctor and nurse. That night, they tried a spray to numb my pain. In the middle of the night, I was in a lot of pain and couldn't sleep. The doctor was woken up to attend to me. He gave me a pain-killer. The next morning, he persuaded me to visit Yabuli Hospital for an x-ray. Though he was supposed to have the day off, he stayed behind and sent his nurse to the hospital with me. She took very good care of me, bringing me to the different departments, explaining to the doctors in chinese. The chinese doctors were very professional. When the x-ray they were viewing was not clear, they sent me back to the x-ray room for another look before they wrote the final report. The only problem was, none of them could explain what was wrong with me in English.

Management : The nurse was despatched to get a report from me before the night was over. She even photocopied all the documents given by the hospital for submission. The next day, I was assigned an English instructor from Australia to coach me one-on-one. During lunch, the Chef-de- Village (overall boss at CM Yabuli), MAE, came to talk to me. After learning that I very much wanted to learn to ski this trip and the various difficulties I have encountered so far, she went out of her way to ensure that I would have a most enjoyable trip the rest of my stay, not just in CM Yabuli, but in China. She assures me that what happpened to me will be looked into and appropriate action taken to prevent a recurrance.

People : The people in CM Yabuli are great ! All the staff (GOs and non-GOs) go out of their way to make my visit most pleasant, even before I met the big boss. Though I was there alone, I made a lot of friends and felt like part of the CM family. After a few days, I missed half-boiled eggs. The restaurant staff did not know what I wanted but they tried very hard to fix me 2 eggs like what I described (I learnt later that they cooked and discarded a few eggs before they served me 2 eggs that matched my descriptions). During meals, I have many GOs asking permission to join my table. These GOs were most entertaining, especially lifeguard KouQi, a chinaman whose struggle to learn and master English commands my admiration.

Restaurants : CM Yabuli has 3 restaurants. After a few days, the International buffet restaurant menu begins to repeat and gets a bit boring. Mudan Restaurant, which serves hot pot, only serves one carbohydrate - a particular noodle. No bread or rice was offered so guests can leave feeling hungry. Bianco Restaurant serves mountain/Italian-French food. The food was delicious. I especially enjoyed the dessert. If you have a particular GO you want to thank or show your appreaciation to, invite them to dine with you at Bianco/Mudan. Apparently, only guests are allowed to make reservations there so enjoy your privilege.

Staff : While I was making my reservations, CM Yabuli costs about the same as CM Sahoro in Japan. Yet Yabuli seem to employ a lot of China staff with poor command of English. It would be great if they could have more GOs/ski instructors with a better command of English, or those who can speak both Mandarin and English.

Natives : The work culture in China seems very different from the rest of Club Med around the world. Many times, I have to keep reminding them about what I want and I may still not get it at the end of the day. An example is the taxi who brought me to the hospital. I paid cash for the trip without receiving a receipt. That night, I called the driver and requested he give me a receipt (need that to claim insurance) before my trip was over. He promised to do so. I reminded him a few times subsequently but still did not get a receipt till hours before I depart. I found this behaviour when I made my booking with Shanghai office and with some of the reception staff in Yabuli - so be patient and constantly check that your request is attended to. Best is if you could wait for them to do it on the spot - I have found that that works best. (P/s. If you are going to stay at Reception for any length of time, try to dress warmly because it is very cold).

Jacuzzi : Don't miss this treat ! CM Yabuli has an outdoor Jacuzzi that is about 36 degrees C. After skiiing for the day, it feels great to soak all your sores away. After a few minutes of soaking, you can even feel icicles on your hair. One day, it snowed while we were soaking, that was a wonderful experiance. Must try !

Ski / Snowboard Rental : Must agree with earlier writer about this. It is very expensive. They charge 380 yuan per day regardless whether you rent skis (ski + boots + poles) or snowboard (board + shoes). The good thing is they allow you to change as and when you want. For beginners like myself, I had to change a few times because I realised that the ski boots were too big thus hampering my control of the turns.

Overall, club med has really tried to give me a great skiiing experiance and wonderful holiday. I highly recommend it especially if you are going alone, or need English-speaking instructors. I realised that most of their University graduates who claim to be able to speak English, has the equivalent of what Singapore primary students learn.

Room Tip: Talk to Fanny, the reception manager. She's great !!!!!
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank fantastic33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

Great effort from all the GOs organizing the X'mas event while we had our holidays at the Club Med Yabuli. Everything was taken care of including the children.
The land transport from the airport to Club Med is a gruesome 4 hours ride and the temperature was -24 on the average daily and -33 at nights. Nightfalls at 4pm. However, these had not taken away the fun and joy we had over the stay from 21st till 27th December 2012.
On Christmas day itself was a strong-wind day which limited the outdoor activities to almost nil so the GOs re-scheduled their curriculum to entertain the almost full-house guests. The night events were awesome with trapeze performances and other comedies entertainment. My teenage boys simply loved them and did not want to miss any of them.
The GOs are friendly and always willing to help in any matters. Special mentions go to Victor, Charles, Niko, Man and JT. Not forgetting the French entertainment director who brought us so much laughter and Mei, the GM of Club Med.
However, the ski arrangement needs to improve as Club Med's classes were signed up with no prominent counter to direct GMs. The approach from the private contractors who offered personal coaching with a separate fee complicated the confusion if I had not clarified myself that we were signed up with the Club Med.
Overall, we had a wonderful time with the great GOs at the beautiful resort!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank James L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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