club med cancunClub Med Cancun ($160) is 15 minutes from the Cancun airport, 20 minutes to the hottest Cancun nightclubs, and a half hour to the bohemian enclave of Playa del Carmen. You can walk from one end of the horseshoe-shaped Club Med Cancun village to the other in about 10 minutes. At one end is the water sports and at the other the trapeze and waterskiing dock. The pool, main restaurant, and main bar are in the middle. There are rooms on both sides, with everything evenly spread out. Even when booked to capacity, the village never feels crowded and you’ll never have to wait in line for anything. Cancun Club Med at the bottom of “The 7” (Cancun Island), gives you a view of the entire Hotel Zone to the north.

club med cancunClub Med (a French company) began in 1950. The first “Villages” were developed for budget minded singles that did not mind the bare minimum of facilities. Club Med Villages have since become much more refined. Most of the “Villages” have been renovated and now rate 3 to 4 “Tridents” (Stars). As “all-inclusive”, everything is included in one single package – airfares, transfers and accommodation, as well as meals, drinks, sports facilities, and nightly entertainment.

Le Chef de Village “Village Chief” (resort manager) is a huge presence at the resort. Seemingly everywhere at the same time, initiating conversation, greeting guests at the restaurant, on the beach, at the water ski dock, etc. – walking or riding his bicycle around the club, and making sure all is well. Club Med staff are called “GOs” (Gracious Organisers). There is always a doctor on duty. If you forget your medication, you can get a prescription here. “Meds” are much cheaper than in the US.

Bastille Day (La Fête National), July 14, at Club Med Cancun Yucatan is packed with activities (think 4th of July). There is a re-enactment of the storming of the Bastille – with the kids (and then everyone) throwing water-balloons at the “King” and “Queen” (Chef de Village and his staff). There were also parades, champagne towers, and fireworks displays.

If your party is larger than 3, you are automatically placed into 2 adjoining rooms, which means 2 TVs, 2 fridges, 2 bathrooms, etc. This is great if you’re traveling with kids and need some privacy. The fridge is stocked with water and sodas.

Unless you want to spend $25.00 US for sun tan lotion, bring your own. Hair conditioner will cost you $10 for a small bottle. The rooms are nice and very clean, the beds are huge and comfy. The rooms, air-conditioned to 73 F (23 C) from a central location have ocean views, double sinks, separate shower and toilet areas, and plenty of space to hang clothing. There is a computer in the room with free Wi-fi, however you can`t download or save, so you may want to bring your own laptop. There are CD players in the room.

If you’re picky about your bed linen, you may want to bring your own pillow, or request a feather pillow. It’s very, very hot in Cancun and the pillows and quilts are stuffed with synthetic materials. The coolest places (temperature-wise) at the village are the bathrooms. They have been referred to as “arctic”. But, minimal air conditioning is the common complaint.

The Club Med Cancun Jade Complex is a premier hotel within the hotel. It is separate from the main compound, quiet, offers room service for $3, and is perfect for escaping and relaxing. It is located a 4 minute walk from the main restaurant and pool area. From the Jade building you walk straight onto the beach, tennis courts, and into the Las Cazuelas restaurant. The trapeze and waterski are a 10 minute walk. There are golf carts to shuttle you around.

Some of the most memorable moments of your vacation may be encountered over dinner or lunch with new-found friends. If you want to be social and meet people ask the hostess for a Table of Eight. (this is the “European” style).

The main Club Med Cancun restaurant is La Hacienda. Dinner, in European tradition, is 7:30pm. The buffet features a different food theme every day for both lunch and dinner. Many guests pass their entire stay dining at the Hacienda buffet, without ever going to the specialty restaurants. You’ll love the made to order omelets, special pizzas, fresh fruit, dessert, ice creams, sashimi, sushi, fish, salads, white chocolate bread, black beans, Beef Wellington, lobster, grouper, chicken, and shrimp. There are exotic foods for the daring as well. Try quail, ostrich, duck, marinated mahi-mahi, middle eastern lamb stew, and frog legs. There were also plenty of choices for those with allergies to certain foods, like eggs, dairy, and peanuts. Cafe au lait and espresso are available all the time. Las Cazuelas Mexican restaurant offers a late lunch from 2-4, however, it’s a hike to the far side of the resort (the Jade Complex). The golf-cart shuttles make the trip back and forth, but it can still be a hassle. Dinner is menu only. The guacamole gets honorable mention. The Pergola Steak House serves a late breakfast of limited choices. The normal breakfast ends at 10:30am, just about the time when many young adults are waking up. Dinner requires a reservation. The views from the Pergola are probably the best in the whole resort with tables practically on the beach, but the food gets poor reviews.

With 2 main bars you’re never far from refreshment. The central bar closes down about 12:45. La Chispa disco, at the water’s edge, is big and airy. This is where you’ll find the crowd until 2am. Before the late night partying begins, there are of course the shows. “Crazy Signs” is a popular show that involves guests of all ages. Some of the other shows are “Ooh La La”, and possibly (probably) inappropriate for children.

There are three beaches. The main beach is for swimming. The snorkeling beach puts you on the reef where you’ll see rays, barracuda, grouper, and schools of colorful fish of many different species. The third beach is for the water sports (kayak, wind surf, jet ski, water ski, parasail, etc.). If you can handle a boat, sail out past the reef. There are plenty of canopied beds, lounges, and chairs around the beaches and pools, but you’ll need get there early for a spot of shade. Ask for a beach umbrella and the staff will set it up for you. You’ll not be bothered by many beach vendors venturing so far south of the hotel zone. Work off a few calories in the fully equipped gym, or classes in yoga, Abs, Pilates, and salsa. Treat yourself to a massage after a soak in the Infinity pool.

club med cancun trapezeClub Med welcomes families. The Kids Club staff is engaging, sensitive, fun-loving and charismatic. Parents can drop off their youngsters at 9:00 am and then pick them up at 5:30 pm. The GO’s keep the kids entertained with trampoline, pie fights, water balloon fights, talent shows, dress-up parades, soccer, pinatas, pool games, kayaking, sailing, and of course, the trapeze. Some of the youngsters spend their whole vacation on the trapeze, acquiring confidence and skill, and dreams of running away with the Circus. Moms love the trapeze too, and some even learn a “catch”! For the many, many teens, there’s a club also, “Carwash” that chaperones dances and mixers for those at the “awkward age”.

The resorts’ clientele is primarily French. English-speaking teens may feel a bit alienated as French teens tend to “click”. The French can and will speak English if coaxed, but English-speaking kids really need to put themselves “out there” if they want to make friends. While younger kids will play with whomever, it doesn’t happen so easily when they are older.

If you get the urge to venture off the property to do some sight-seeing or shopping, or perhaps a tour of Tulum, Chichen Itza, Xel Ha, Xcaret, the Hotel Zone, etc, You can walk next door to the Westin Hotel and through their lobby to the bus stop in front. WalMart is just minutes away.

In the evenings, after dinner, you can witness sea turtles as they dig 4 foot deep holes on the beach where they bury their eggs. Club Med employees will then move the eggs as a conservation measure. Yes, there are small crocodiles in the lagoon, but they all have “emotional disorders” due to the numerous “crazies” and speedboats that have invaded their habitat.

A Club Med Cancun photographer will record special moments of your holiday. You can schedule a free photo shoot for your family on the beach. Purchase a CD of all of your pictures (family shoot, kids camp, etc,) for $200.

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