With the summer season hot on our heels, it’s high time to start thinking about vacation plans for the upcoming months.
I always have great difficulty deciding where I’d like to use my vacation days: a good problem to have, to be sure, but a struggle all the same. My ongoing list of “Future Travels” is as long as it’s ever been (I’ll see you someday, Tokyo), which means that all-important first step — settling on a destination — is a tricky one, year in and year out. It’s the paradox of choice for the modern voyager.
Amid this year’s search for my ultimate getaway location, I came across a video that challenges viewers to “check those dream destinations off your bucket list.” Intrigued, I began watching — hoping this might help me put a dent in my “Future Travels” backlog.
Turns out, the video is part of a new campaign for Club Med, the hospitality company that pioneered the all-inclusive vacation model. It had been a while since I’d crossed paths with Club Med, but I was drawn in by their invitation to “Become a Continental Connoisseur.”
For those struggling to pull the trigger on vacation plans, or balancing multiple family members’ getaway opinions, put this on your radar: Club Med’s offerings provide a diverse array of all-in, family-friendly cultural experiences around the world.
The brand has resorts scattered across 26 countries — a total of 68 resorts, in fact, in locations in Brazil, the Caribbean, China, Florida, France, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Maldives, Morocco… the list is extensive.
Club Med Kani, Maldives
Founded in France in 1950, Club Med is in the midst of a brand evolution. Namely, a $1.5 billion investment in opening new properties and renovating many of its existing resorts. The all-inclusive concept remains a staple of its offerings, meaning you can truly sit back, relax, and stop arguing with Yelp while you enjoy the dining, events, and activities on tap at each location.
The new Club Med Lake Paradise in São Paulo, Brazil, for instance — which opened in December 2016 — is located on Lake Represa Taiaçupeba and surrounded by an 18-hole golf course. The resort is 45 minutes from Guarulhos Airport, one-hour-and-15 minutes from São Paolo, and features a spa, four swimming pools, a movie theater, restaurants and bars, sports activities like biking and archery, and a kids’ clubs. Suddenly, São Paulo — a Brazilian mega-city that’s been on my “Future Travels” list for years, but daunted me because of its immensity — begins to look like a viable vacay spot for all ages.
Club Med Lake Paradise, São Paulo, Brazil
As part of its new offerings, the company has also expanded its reach in fast-growing tourism markets in Asia, including China and Southeast Asia. Club Med Sanya, which opened in Spring 2016, is one example: located on the longest beach facing the South China Sea on the Island of Hainan, Sanya is billed as “China’s Hawaii.” The resort delivers the sea-views, lagoon pool access, windsurfing, and flying trapeze experiences you didn’t yet know you were looking for in your next trip abroad. Off-site excursions also include a visit to the Nanshan Temple, which was built in 1988 to celebrate two thousand years of Buddhism in China, and boasts a soaring statue of Bodhisattva Guanyin.
Club Med Sanya, China
If a major trip abroad isn’t in the cards for you this summer, the Club Med Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic presents an enticing option. The sun-soaked tropical location boasts a gorgeous beachfront and the recently opened Zen Oasis — a private hideaway exclusively for adults to find rest and relaxation (and a moment of respite after dropping the kids off at the Children’s Club). Punta Cana is also home to the Club Med CREACTIVE by Cirque du Soleil, an acrobatic playground allowing guests to learn the artistic feats showcased in famed Cirque du Soleil productions. Your friends and family will be impressed if you return from the DR with pro tightrope or flying trapeze skills.
Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Another option closer to home is on the horizon: Club Med Cancun Yucatan, which is working on renovations to its “Jade 5 Trident” luxury space as we speak, is due to open this July 2017. The exclusive space has a dedicated lounge and overflow pool, luxury accommodations with sea view suites, and deluxe rooms with private balconies or private gardens. It’s an ideal option if you’re looking to treat yo self with breakfast in bed and champagne in the evenings while overlooking the Riviera Maya (because you deserve it!).
Club Med Cancun Yucatan, Mexico
Need more convincing? Well, Club Med has made it easier than ever to get a sense of its resorts with 360-degree virtual reality video tours, providing immersive dives into the different “sun” and “snow” locations around the world.
And if you’re into travel for the whole “meeting people” side of things, you’re in luck, too. The company launched The Club Med Resort App, which provides live updates about on-site events and amenities, and has a chat feature that lets guests communicate with each other. What’s a vacation without some new friends?
Looks like my “Future Travels” may become a reality after all. Time to start checking them off!