Four pools; a high-flying trapeze experience; tennis, golf, and volleyball lessons; all-you-can-eat dining; a luxurious spa; and a gorgeous water-side setting make Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port St. Lucie, Florida, a perfect destination for families of all ages. Imagine a sophisticated European vacation and a classic American summer camp rolled into one and you get the Club Med experience.
I recently had the pleasure of spending four days at Club Med Sandpiper Bay. It was the “momcation” of my dreams. I played tennis, hit some balls at the golf range, took fitness and yoga classes, learned how to hang from the trapeze, had one of the best massages of my life at the Club Med L’Occitane Spa, took a dip in the pool, and indulged in lots of good food and tropical drinks. (Hey, I earned it after my active trip). I am now a Club Med convert and can’t wait to go back, but this this time I’ll take my husband and my Gilmore Girls.
There are endless ways to spend your days at the resort. Golf, tennis, beach volleyball, flying trapeze, and fitness academies with specialized facilities and training offers fun for all ages. You can take lessons and/or just enjoy a game. Prefer water sports? Try water skiing, sailing and paddle board.
Club Med Sandpiper Bay is a kid’s playground. Besides all of the sport activities, splash pool, Kid’s Clubhouse, and shows, the resort also offers drop-off clubs for babies through teens — Programs for ages 4 to 17 are included in the resort fees! Parents can enjoy some alone time and the kids enjoy an organized day of fun.
Being at Club Med feels like the best summer camp experience ever. There are fun activities all day long and the staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and supportive.
Every evening the G.O’s (that’s Club Med speak for staff) put on a family-friendly show. Whether it’s a flying trapeze extravaganza, a hilarious lip-sync production, or a dance party, you’ll end the night with a smile.
In all honesty, I’ve never been a fan of buffets and I worried that all-inclusive meals would equal processed, mediocre food. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Club Med is a French company after all —they know food. All the meals I ate at the resort were freshly made and delicious. And you MUST end each meal with a piece of Club Med’s famous Chocolate Bread. Trust me.
There are three restaurants at Club Med Sandpiper Bay:
- The Marketplace — a buffet eatery for the whole family that offers, fresh, delicious international cuisine. A plus for families with babies and young children is the “Baby Corner” with jarred food, toddler favorites, and more.
- Soleil — A waterfront restaurant featuring a gourmet menu. Try the Nikos juice for a healthy and refreshing morning drink.
- Riverside Grill — An upscale eatery with a great wine list, that offers an adults-only dinner.
A Note on Food Allergies:
Food allergies are no problem at Club Med Sandpiper Bar. The Executive Chef is highly knowledge about allergies and dietary restrictions. (I know, because I was able to speak to him personally) At The Marketplace, he will walk with your around the buffet showing you what is safe and non-safe foods for you, depending on the allergy. I specifically asked about desserts for my peanut and tree nut allergic daughter and was very happy to learn that there is a dedicated nut-free soft serve machine with vanilla and chocolate ice cream. At Soleil and Riverside Grill, just inform your server of your allergies and/or restrictions and he/she will steer you in the right direction.
- Slice Bar and Lounge mixes up cocktails (and non-alcoholic drinks) all day.
- Enjoy a cocktail from the Infinity Bar at the adult only calm pool.
For those who equate a vacation with rest and relaxation, Club Med offers that, too. Enjoy some quiet time at the adults-only “Calm Pool,” immerse in the hot tub, soak up the sun on a chaise on the beach, find some inner peace at a yoga class, and treat yourself (fees apply) to a treatment at the glorious Club Med Spa by L’Occitane.
The 411 and Some Helpful Tips:
- Prices depend on the room type, age of the children, and season. For example, a 7-night package in July for 2 adults + 2 children (ages 5 to 14) in a Deluxe Family Room, will cost $4,989, not including air fare. Kids under 4 stay free.
- All food, beverages, tips and taxes are included in the price. Extra costs are incurred for playing 18 holes of golf, private lessons, off-property excursions, spa services, and evening babysitting programs.
- The resort is approximately a 45 minute drive from West Palm Beach airport, which is a little over a 2 hour flight from Newark Airport. Car service to the resort can be organized through Club Med.
- For families, my first accommodation choice would be “Deluxe Family Room” which features 2 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. The kids get their own separate bedroom with two twin beds and down the hall, parents get to relax in style with a very large room with a king-size bed, a desk, and a sitting area. My second choice would be the Club Room Family, which is a bit smaller, and has only 1 bathroom, but does have a separate room for the kids with a bunkbed.
- Download the Club Med app on your smartphone. It offers all the information you need right at your fingertips, and best of all, a map that helps you get around the resort easily.
- Coin operated laundry facilities are available on every floor, as well as a laundry service for an additional fee, so you can pack light.
- Club Med Sandpiper Bay is offering free golf green fees at the resort’s 18-hole course and free group lessons for all levels, now through Oct. 31, 2016. For the summer, free waterski lessons will be available July 1-Aug. 31, 2016, including equipment options such as water ski boats, bi-ski, and mono ski.