It is ironic that I was traveling sans family, but all I could see during my stay at Club Med’s Miches Playa Esmeralda in the Dominican Republic was all the family-friendly potential.
But let’s start at the beginning. Getting to the resort was really quite easy. Coming from Jacksonville (and probably anywhere on the east coast) I had a short layover in Atlanta, and then on to Punta Cana (about a three-hour flight). Punta Cana is a small and easy-to-navigate airport. From the airport Club Med arranged my transfer so I hopped in a comfortable, air-conditioned, wi-fi-compatible tour bus for a one-hour drive to the resort. The reason I share this is for those parents traveling with littles, this trip is totally doable.
During my site tour, the things that resonated with me were the small details that just made things easier for families. I know it seems silly but one of the standouts was that the kid’s bathroom had stools for the small ones to easily access the sink. This probably seems insignificant to those not in the weeds of life with littles but after a week of lifting a 40-pound child twice a day to brush his teeth, it becomes an often missed tool.
The kids’ canopy beds were my favorite and provided me with the mind of a child to daydream of being on safari with these fabric nettings overhead to protect me. (One’s imagination should never be stale.)
While I didn’t get to appreciate all the kid-friendly offerings on this trip, Club Med’s offerings make sure that family trips can still feel like a vacation for the parents.
Club Med Baby Welcome
This is what makes it easy to travel with small children. Included in your stay is everything parents and young children need to feel comfortable: baby bed, baby bath, changing table, high chair, bottle warmer, strollers. There is also a baby corner in the main restaurant to prepare baby food.
Baby Club Med and Petit Club Med
Club Med offers on-demand childcare service for children starting at four months. Club Med’s G.O.’s (Gracious Organizers, what Club Med calls their on-site resort team) are there with activities and environments tailored to specific age groups.
Mini Club Med
Is for children ages four and up to try sports, creative workshops, and games. For kids six and up they can try archery and some water sports and when they reach eight even more water activities open up for them.
Club Med Passworld
For those often hard to please teenagers, there is a space exclusive to them to hang and express themselves in the company of a G.O. Sports include flying trapeze, archery, sailing, windsurfing, hiking, beach movie night and beach party.
This is the evening babysitting service parents need to make sure their trip with the kids also feels like a vacation for them.
For those often hard to please teenagers, there is a space exclusive to them to hang and express themselves in the company of a G.O. Sports include flying trapeze, archery, sailing, windsurfing, hiking, beach movie night, and beach party.
The family-friendly restaurant was vast and for someone like me that traditionally does like buffets style dining, I was impressed. There were so many offerings. I sampled a traditional Dominican Republic breakfast one morning that was eggs, salami and mangu which is mashed plantains. It was pretty interesting, but for less adventurous eaters there were traditional eggs, omelets, any variety of bread you can imagine, fresh fruits, and the oh-so-dependable box cereal. There is also a Secret Chocolate Room which makes for a theatrically exciting experience that ends with a treasure chest of sweet delights.
I recently spent some time learning about all of the Club Med properties and destinations (you can officially call me a Club Med Specialist). There are so many possibilities all over the world.
In fact, one that is super intriguing to me is opening on December 3, 2021. It is Club Med’s first North American Mountain Resort, where sea and mountains meet, is located in the Charlevoix region in Québec. The resort offers a ski experience that will impress even the most experienced skiers. I love this concept for the ease with which it makes a sometimes tedious ski vacation easy for families. The schools, the gear, the easy access off and onto the slopes, the variety of additional activities – it’s all there.