What It’s Really Like to Stay at Club Med in 2022

by  Lauren Dana Ellman | Mar 9, 2022
Explorer Cove Deluxe Guest Room
Explorer Cove Deluxe Guest Room / Courtesy of Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda

We recently visited Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda in the Dominican Republic. Here's our take on what it's really like to stay at Club Med in 2022. 

1. This isn't the Club Med of the '80s.

The Club Med commercials of the '80s and '90s portrayed scantily clad guests on the beach as well as party-going young adults drinking and dancing. Today, the brand offers an array of family-friendly activities and amenities across all of its resorts — more on that later. 

2. It's impossible to be bored.

Courtesy of Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda

"Each resort truly features something for everyone, with a variety of refined dining options, luxe wellness, and spa amenities, and over 25 included activities," says Carolyne Doyon, President and CEO of Club Med North America. 

3. You'll definitely make new friends — and you may even meet your soulmate.

Each year, Club Med attracts new and returning families from around the world. And, it's no secret that the company encourages a warm, welcoming, and friendly environment amongst staff and guests alike. Take Celestin and Sancha Theodore, for example. The two were coworkers at Florida's Club Med Sandpiper Bay. In an attempt to wow Sancha, Celestin created a special dish for her, and —  spoiler alert — it worked! The two are now married and continue to work together (that special dish, white chocolate bread, is now a Club Med staple). 

4. You'll love the "gracious organizers."

The staff here are called G.O.s — short for "gracious organizers" — and they are truly the heart of the Club Med experience. "Quite often, guests will follow their favorite G.O. as they move from resort to resort!" says Doyon. 

5. Don't expect mediocre food.

Courtesy of Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda

Yes, there is a buffet (and everything is included, so feel free to eat as much as you want) but don't expect powdered eggs or frozen meat. Instead, you'll find delicacies like crab legs, fresh corn cakes, made-to-order pasta, fresh fish, grilled meats, and more. Even your pickiest little one is sure to find something to eat here.

6. It's a kids' paradise.

With its incredible kids' program and an array of family-friendly activities and amenities — there's even a chocolate speakeasy at Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda — each property is designed with your kids in mind. Flying trapeze, paddleboarding, gardening, crafting, electric jetboarding, and tennis are just some of the dozens of on-site (and free) activities. 
 7. ...But grown-ups will have just as much fun.

From the spa to the adults-only Zen Oasis complex (which feels like a hotel-within-a-hotel and features its own pool with a swim-up bar and lush greenery) to the lively nightlife scene, there's something for everyone at Club Med. All you need to do is get out and explore.

8. Explore under-the-radar destinations before they become popular.

Courtesy of Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda

According to Doyon, it took 10 years for the Club Med team to find the perfect location for its new resort. However, once Club Med Punta Cana staff began venturing out to Michès, company executives became intrigued and inspired to explore the region. Fast-forward a few years, and Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda opened its doors in November 2019. Doyon says that uncovering up-and-coming vacation destinations is extremely important to the company, and they've been doing it for decades. (In fact, Club Med was the first to build a resort in Cancún in 1976, and in Punta Cana in 1978.) 

9. You (probably) won't take out your wallet.

Everything from unlimited food and drink (yes, this includes alcohol) to entertainment, to even motorized water sports is included here. Spa treatments, souvenirs, and babysitting services are extra, but, otherwise, you won't need your wallet.

10. Adrenaline junkies will love it here.

Courtesy of Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda

According to Doyon, the resort chain specializes in providing its guests with active vacations. Activities include flying trapeze (a Club Med staple), windsurfing, paddleboarding, yoga, ski lessons, snorkeling, electric jetboarding, and loads more.
11. Brush up on your French

Despite being bought by Fosun Tourism Group (a China-based company) in 2015, Club Med continues to stay true to its French routes. Lots of the guests here are French, and a majority of the G.O.s speak the language fluently. 
Want to take that trip for free — and score some valuable miles for your next excursion? Check out our top pick travel credit cards for the best welcome bonuses, perks, and plenty of cash back.

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