When hurricane Wilma hit Mexico in October of 2005, it nearly destroyed Cancun. Fortunately, the people and government of Mexico rallied and quickly restored it, one of the largest tourist areas in the country. One of the resorts, Club Med Cancun Yucatan, spent nearly $24 million in renovations after the hurricane and as a result, the beautiful property is the perfect vacation venue for just about any age and any level of activity that you may desire.
Club Med is one of the first -- if not the first resort -- which uses the “all inclusive” vacation concept. Guests pay a set fee for their rooms, meals, drinks and most activities at the resort. Even tips are included. There is a lot to be said for this style of travel. You never have to keep track of what you are ordering for meals, the hassles of figuring out tips, and running back to the room for money for beverages for the children.
Truth-be-told, you could travel to Club Med Cancun Yucatan, never leave the resort and have a spectacular vacation. As an added benefit, the resort is very close to the airport.
The resort boasts that it is family friendly and now focuses on cultural friendly excursions as well. The resort itself is beautiful and since this was my first visit to Cancun, I think I was spoiled. The beach on this property is clearly the most beautiful of the region. Other hotels bring their guests here for snorkeling because it is the best in the area. While I still think snorkeling in the Virgin Islands tops the snorkeling here, it is still nice to see tropical fish right below you in the water!
The beach at Club Med
Besides snorkeling and swimming, the resort offers other water sports including sea kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing, and wakeboarding. Other activities include fitness classes and a weight training room, tennis, volleyball, basketball, ping pong, various dance lessons, swimming at the pool and organized games, evening entertainment and dancing. Like many of the Club Med resorts there is also a flying trapeze where brave guests, children included, can try their hand at flying with the greatest of ease on a trapeze (a completely safe and supervised activity).
Food-wise, there are two main restaurants and a snack bar at the resort. One of the restaurants specializes in worldwide specialties and the other in Mexican cuisine. I must have eaten three gallons of guacamole in four days. Both serve very good food. The snack bar was typical for that type of restaurant.
One night a week, local artisans bring their wares to the resort to sell crafts, clothing and art work. Like I said, you never need to leave the resort.
The balconies at Club Med
We found the Club Med rooms to be very attractive and fairly spacious. There are suites that are downright luxurious and would be great for an extended family trip. Our room had a refrigerator which was nice for extra drinks and snacks, a coffee maker (which is not standard in every hotel these days) and a safe. Our balcony was on the first floor and a stone’s throw from one of the beaches and snorkeling areas. That was very handy, but I think I would have preferred a second level floor so we could have slept with our balcony door open and listened to the surf at night.
As part of the recent renovations, there is a brand new spa. How about a massage in one of the ocean-side cabanas? Talk about heaven. I was probably the most relaxed I have been in years. The spa services are extra but the massage was fantastic.
Unfortunately, my daughter, Eliza, became ill on the trip. We had to wait until 9 a.m. to see the nurse at the resort which was a bit bothersome at 7 a.m. with a sick child in a foreign country (they did assure us “real” emergencies would be treated as such) and the nurse was serviceable if not great. She dispensed some over-the-counter medication and Eliza was up and about within 24 hours. On-site medical services are a big benefit in my book, especially when I travel with one of my three children.
Other huge bonuses for the resort are the Children’s and the Teen’s Clubs. The Teen’s Club, Passworld, just opened and it is great because now teens have their own supervised location where they can play video games, create their own music CDs and do some “chillin.” It is perfect for those teens that tend to get bored on family vacations -- and for the parents who have to listen to them complain. The 13-year-old, 16-year-old and two 17-year-old teens in our group gave the club high ratings.
There are also babysitting services available for the little ones.
For those willing to spend extra money, the resort offers off-site excursions. We went to Boca Del Puma, a local jungle for a bit of biking and hiking and then swam in a small Mayan cenote, a freshwater-filled limestone sinkhole. The swim was one of Eliza’s favorite parts of the trips. Several excursions are available.
For more information on Club Med Cancun Yucatan visit www.clubmed.com.
By Kathleen Ganster
Boom this! Travel Editor