December 3, 2013

To Club Med or Not to Club Med.... that was the question

When deciding where to stay, or vacation should I say, on our recent trip to Turkey, I considered the idea of staying at one of the Club Med Turkey resorts. As I had never been to a Club Med resort before, I wasn't sure if the whole "fully inclusive, arranged times, activity filled holiday" would suit us...

My husband and I are very used to doing our own thing when it comes to a holiday, normally with lots of exploring and mostly self drive.

I had a pre-conceived idea of what I thought the Club Med experience would be like. I envisioned lots of young people, all single, all partying it up with night clubs and loud music all night. Or the other extreme of loads of children running around - not a bad thing, but only if you have kids of your own!

Well I couldn't have been more wrong! We decided to eventually book the Club Med option and try it out. Safe to say, after our Club Med Bodrum experience, we are converts! We are now one of those couples who would gladly book another Club Med vacation in a heartbeat, and actually can't wait to go to another resort. Collect another Club45 t-Shirt as the regulars do!

So why the total conversion you ask? Let me tell you why...

Club Med Bodrum, Turkey

Choosing which Club Med resort to go to is not an easy decision. There are so many to choose from and all of them are stunning. There are Club Med Resorts in the Indian Ocean, the Alps, Asia, The Americas, Europe, Middle & Far East and Africa.

Our choice was Club Med Bodrum, Turkey, as it is beautifully located on the coast of gorgeous Turkey, warm Mediterranean sea, friendly people and easy to access with Turkish Airlines from South Africa. No visa needed either. Hop on a flight from SA to Istanbul, and there is a straight, easy connection to Bodrum. The Club Med transfer picks you up at the airport and transports you directly to the resort.

This hassle free, easygoing, no stress flight, arrival and transfer set the scene for this wonderful break that really was the ultimate "stress free" holiday.

The Club Med Team (GO's) set the scene of pure hospitality on your arrival, and you at once feel pampered and part of the Club Med family.
We had chosen a standard club room, as for us we only planned to sleep there, not spend loads of time in the room. It was plain and simple, but very clean, not much of a view, but set in lovely bougainvillea & scented gardens with green trees and flowers everywhere. Truly beautiful grounds.

The resort is really huge, and walking to the pool, beach & restaurants everyday provides you with much needed exercise to work off the fantastic and never ending meals that are served at the resort.

There are two restaurants that serve all meals three times a day. All meals are buffet style, however the food is unbelievably good. Each day has a theme, although is sounds a bit clich├ęd, it really is fun. Everyone tries to dress according to the theme, and the theme dictates the food specialities for the day.

There is also nightly entertainment with performances by the staff. All in good fun mode, and you can watch or not, it's entirely your choice.

Club Med fully inclusive policy is something I was not sure of before I went, but wow, what a WIN. The fact that you can wonder past the numerous bar areas at any time, pick up a coffee whenever you feel like one, fresh bottled water anytime, and of course a cocktail or two at night ;-)

Our favourite part of the whole Club Med experience had to be the daily activities.
Archery, table tennis, tennis, aerobics, wind surfing, sailing, water aerobics, bowls, cooking lessons, or just a Spa treatment. 

Everyday we ran down to the beach to catch the daily 10h00 snorkel boat.The boat sailed to a different cove each day for two hours of snorkelling.I could live like that, truly! It was amazing. The water in Turkey is so blue, it's unbelievable, and warm too. Such a wonderful daily routine to get into. Not too much sea life, but just so relaxing.

Back from snorkeling, and a choice between coffee on the beach, or a dip in the pool, and which restaurant to have lunch at. The pool bar restaurant or cliff restaurant hanging over the sea with spectacular views - those were the tough daily choices on a Club Med holiday!

One thing to note about a Club Med Holiday, or the Club Med Resorts, are that they are completely French! This was quite a shock to me, as I wasn't aware of this fact. The Club Med brand is a French brand, and therefore the language at the resorts spoken is French, the announcements, shows and signs are all in French, and the staff are predominantly French. It was a little disconcerting at first, flying to Turkey and then feeling as if I was in France. However my French is better than my Turkish, so it wasn't a bad thing ;-)

Apparently all the Club Med resorts are French except the ones in China. This according to a regular Club Med'er who had stayed at 7 in total! So I'll take their word for it as a first timer.

The one theme night was dedicated to a "local" night, with the local Turkish dancers and local Turkish cuisine - definitely the best night of the whole stay. Fabulous!

My husband has stated to many friends that this was one of his best holidays ever!
It doesn't matter which resort you choose, and where you go, I can recommend a Club Med Resort. My next tough choice is between Cancun Mexio, Bali or Thailand. Such a hard decision!

Photo Credits: All photos by Pedro Pires & Abigail Pires (Abspires40 Flickr)


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