I’ve heard many people tell me before that a Club Med experience is like no others, and I couldn’t verify how true it was until my family finally visited Club Med Bintan recently. It’s been on our to-do list for the longest time, but for many reasons, it was put off a couple of times until it finally happened during the recent March school holidays this year. My conclusion is: The rumours are true – There is NO OTHER EXPERIENCE LIKE A CLUB MED EXPERIENCE. Now, if you have never been to any Club Med destinations before, and are planning your first ever Club Med experience, this post is going to be useful for you.
Disclaimer: The awesomeness portrayed in this post are specific to our experience at Club Med Bintan. The same awesomeness is likely to be found in other Club Meds as well, but every destination has its own uniqueness, to be discovered yourself.
Now that we are all clear, I present to you:
10 Ways To Rock Your First Club Med Experience
1. Try Every Cocktail & Mocktail On The Menu
In case you are still clueless about this – Your Club Med package is an all-inclusive one. That means every meal and most drinks are included in that one price you paid for a holiday at Club Med. You know how you bring your family for a holiday and you have to count every dollar and cent you spend with every meal and drink you order? –> Not gonna happen at Club Med at all. At every bar you can find within the Club Med premise, you can order any drink you want – Soft drinks, hot beverages, mocktails, cocktails, wines, etc. Some of the more premium wines and champagnes are chargeable, but majority are free of charge and included in your package. Parents with kids need not worry about your kids ordering an alcoholic drink behind your backs because the bartenders would absolutely not serve anyone below the age of 18 years old any alcohol. For the adults, I say go wild and try every single cocktail on the list! Freedom is in the air at Club Med, and this is absolutely one of the best ways for you to rock your first Club Med experience.
2. Enjoy Every Meal With Wine Pairing
Dining at Club Med is extremely enjoyable because they have the best and most extensive buffet menu ever. While they have the usual buffet spread where you help yourself to them, there are also 6 to 8 stations where different courses are prepared individually and served to you beautifully-plated. I was most impressed with this when I had my first meal there – Every dish looked beautiful, I thought I was in a fine-dining restaurant! Best of all, almost everything tasted awesome. Not kidding. In the four days I was there, I didn’t see a main course repeated – That’s how serious Club Med takes their meals. Special effort was taken to ensure that every single guest at Club Med would have a wonderful dining experience, every single time.
During the meal times, the staff would walk around with red and white wines. Make sure you ask for the right wines to go with your food! It’s all included anyway – You’ll be silly not to!
The kids may not get to enjoy the wine pairing bit, but with kids’ trays as cute of these? It more than made up for it.
3. Sleep In And STILL Make It For Breakfast
All meals are served in Club Med Bintan’s main restaurant – Waterfall Restaurant, at specific timings for every meal. If any of the guests are not able to make it for the main meal timings, late breakfast and late lunch are served at the Terrace Restaurant, which is on the beach. I love it that such arrangements are made. For holiday goers who prefer to sleep in late, they won’t miss their breakfast – Case-in-point:L My hubby! And it’s really hard to resist sleeping in, with rooms as cosy and comfortable as these:
For a family of four, you will get two connecting rooms (depending on availability), so every one can get the space they need. Two rooms mean two TVs, two bathrooms, two toilets – Basically two of everything so that no one needs to wait for anyone! It’s perfect for family vacations, I say!
So, between 10am to 11am, late breakfast is served at Terrace restaurant. Same for late lunch as well. And for the rest of us who would make it in time for all the main meals, we simply go for second rounds after that at the late meal venue! =P In essence, you are eating non-stop at Club Med because food supply never stops, which kinda brings me to my next point.
4. Follow The Smells
Apart from meals served at the Waterfall & Terrace Restaurant, snacks and small-bites are also served daily at the Lounge area. This is a chill-out place for the guests in front of the swimming pool, where many people would laze around and just chill. Parents can watch their kids swimming in the pool, while enjoying drinks and snacks there. It’s one of my favourite places in the resort!
Just when you think the schedule is so predictable at Club Med Bintan though, things sometimes get a little more exciting there. On my 3rd day in Club Med Bintan, we realised that the usual snack corner was not stocked up with food. I was wondering if there was a service lapse when a whiff of BBQ aroma came by. Everyone looked towards the Juice Beach Bar area and we saw that the Club Med staff had set up a BBQ station over there! They waved us over and we saw that they had prepared BBQ chicken wings, sausages and corn for everyone!
Truly, if you want to rock your first Club Med experience, always follow the smells and watch out for little surprises that the staff has lined up for you! It was a pleasant surprise of course, and we all had a wonderful time sitting on the hammock on the beach, munching on our BBQ chicken wings. =P
5. Immerse The Kids In The Kids’ Club Experience
One of the best reviews about Club Med is always about their Kids’ Clubs.
For the younger toddlers, they have the Petit Club (separately chargeable at SGD90/day). For kids between 4 to 10 years old, Mini Club is where they go to for their daily activities, and for the older kids between 11 to 17 years old, they go to the Teens Club (Mini Club & Teens Club are included in your Club Med package). The Club Med Mini Club, which both my kids went to, have the most fun-loving and wonderful staff ever! They took great care of the younger kids, and yet could connect very well with the older kids. My kids had such a good time with them that they had a hard time bidding farewell at the end of the trip. It would be the same for your kids as well!
Every morning the kids got to enjoy the sun and sea breeze in the outdoor activity area where they jumped on the trampoline, walked the tight rope and swung at the trapeze. The staff would also bring them for archery, ball games at the beach, pool games, etc. Inside the Mini Club premise, there are also fun games for them to play, all kid-sized!
Perhaps, one of the best things about the Club Med Kids’ Clubs is the opportunity for them to put up a full show on one of the nights. So glad that the weekly night show happened during our stay, and Jayne was involved in one of the dance performances.
It was so amazing seeing all the performances on stage by the kids (from Petit Club to Teens Club) after a mere two hours of rehearsal on the day itself! And if you think the show must be a really simple one, you are wrong! The kids were donned in full make-up, hairdo and costumes! Jayne had so much fun, she couldn’t stop recounting the whole experience after the trip. It was such a great way for the kids to remember the holiday experience, and for the kids to have a chance to showcase their talents. After the show, there was an after-party specially for the kids with a Sprite Fountain – The atmosphere was sooooooo awesome!
6. Spend Your Nights Partying (Or Laughing) Away
If you think that everything becomes boring after the sun sets on a beach resort, then you are very wrong! At Club Med Bintan, there is a special performance put up by the staff every single night. On a typical night, the kids would go to the Theatre to play games or watch some performances after dinner, and have fun with mass dances with the staff. Thereafter, the adults will join in for the rest of the evening for some fun and laughter. So glad we managed to catch a Sports Comedy show on one of the nights which got us bending over in laughter. The staff were so creative and sporting! Everyone could act so well and the entire show was hilarious from the beginning till the end. I love the atmosphere at the nightly shows – That’s when everyone in the resort gathers together like one big family to spend the evening together. Frankly speaking, for a place like Bintan, there is really nothing much to do outside of the resort at night, so the nightly shows are great!
And the night doesn’t end with the nightly shows because after that, the entertainment continues either with sports activities, live band performances or games night! One of the nights, different games stations were set up and Jayne went to try and had so much fun! =D
7. Try As Many Activities As You Can
While Club Med is widely recognised as a wonderful place for kids, the adults are by no means neglected in any way. There is a whole list of programmes planned for the adults throughout the day, so you can pick and choose which you would like to join in for. From yoga and Pilates by the beach in the early morning to aqua aerobics in the hot afternoon and even kayaking competition in the pool during the evenings! Even if you just feel like chilling with a drink and doing nothing, watching everyone else have fun can also be very entertaining. I had a good laugh watching the kayaking competition from the Level 2 bar lounge, with my beer in hand. What a life! =D
Most of the activities provided for guests in the resort are free and included into your Club Med package, so you might as well try them! At the Sea Sports Club, you can try sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddling, etc. At the Sports Centre, there are a variety of sports you can play such as badminton, squash, tennis, basketball or you can also choose to work out at the gym or play some archery.
The kids of course swam countless times. It’s hard to resist swimming pools as awesome as these.
The trapeze was another popular activities among the kids and adults alike. I have to admit that both my kids and I are not the adventurous type, so the most we did was to cheer for our friends at the trapeze. =P
8. Become One With The Sand, Sky & Sea
You may or may not know, but Bintan has really beautiful beaches. Contrary to most beliefs that the best beaches must be in Bali or Phuket, the truth is Bintan has relatively untouched beaches (due to lower tourism numbers as compared to Bali or Phuket), and virtually no other guests would step foot on this stretch of beach except for Club Med guests. You can stand on the sand and be astound at how soft and fine the sand are, and just indulge in the sea breeze and crashing waves. Find a hammock on the beach area and just let all your senses enjoy a rare treat – That’s what holidays are for, and the reason why I absolutely love beach holidays! Club Med Bintan’s beach is really lovely and one of the main reasons why I would certainly want to come back again!
9. Chit Chat With The GOs
The staff at Club Med are referred to as GOs – which means Gentle Officers. It is an understatement to say that Club Med has the best staff ever. Of course, we’ve stayed at resorts where we were impressed with some of the staff because of how friendly and helpful they were, but at Club Med, I can say the same for ALL their staff. Every one felt like family, and everywhere you go in the resort, you would be greeted with warm smiles and greetings. During meal times, you would see the GOs enjoying their meals at different tables with different guests, chatting as if they were old friends. By the poolside, GOs will walk around and occasionally grab a drink and sit together with the guests just to chit chat. I had a chat with one of the GOs who was on a three-month attachment from Club Med Bali and it was nice to hear her share about her different experiences at the different venues, and how much she enjoyed being a Club Med GO. Her son, who’s a few years younger than Jayne, came over with her and lived in Club Med Bintan much to the envy of my girls – “Mummy, he lives here, swim in the pool everyday, eat at the buffet restaurant everyday, plays in the Mini Club everyday and gets to perform in the show every week! I wanna stay here too!!!” Me too, girls, me too. =P
10. Enjoy A Couple Spa In A Private Room
Spa treatments are not included in your Club Med package but you can always opt to pay for one just to make your Club Med experience a more complete one. The husband and I tried the 60min Aromatherapy Massage in the comfort of a private room and it was a most relaxing and rejuvenating experience! The service was fabulous from the beginning till the end, and the room had a to-die-for view of the ocean. So beautiful I can cry!
We got to choose the fragrance we like for our foot soak and massage respectively before we were ushered to our private room. A spa at a beach resort is indeed such a luxury. I loved the whole experience. If not for the kids waiting for us to pick them up for dinner at the Mini Club, I would have loved to linger at their alfresco lounge with some drinks to chill more. =)
As you can probably tell, my family absolutely enjoyed our first Club Med experience, and I think we managed to rock at it somehow. Can’t wait to go for another Club Med experience somewhere else very soon! =D I think you should start checking them out soon too, before the limited rooms are all fully booked, especially if you are looking at the school holiday season. More details on the various Club Med destinations can be found on https://www.clubmed.com.sg/ If you are specifically looking at Club Med Bintan, you can find out how much it would cost for your trip here – Don’t miss out on their ongoing promotions now! https://www.clubmed.com.sg/r/Bintan-Island/y
Disclosure: The J Babies was sponsored a 4D3N Club Med package for the whole family for review purposes. No other financial compensation was received and all photos & opinions used in this post are solely ours.