- by Minette Fourie
Club Med started as a small venture on the island of Majorca in the 1950's. From their humble beginnings of tented colonies, the group has grown to a multi-destination resort giant. They have properties in China, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Morocco, Mauritius & a host of other exotic locations.
Originally Club Med attracted mainly singles & young couples, but it's a completely different story today, with their "villages" catering to the needs of everyone who steps over their threshold. From the youngest member of the family, to the oldest... Club Med has the holiday of your dreams in the bag!
I had the "terrible job" of spending a week at Club Med La Plantation d'Albion on the paradise island of Mauritius - one of their 5 Trident (the unique Club Med alternative for a star rating) resorts.
Here's why Club Med is the best choice when it comes to the myriad of other resorts and hotels on the island.
ALL INCLUSIVE (almost)
Club Med Albion is an all-inclusive resort. This means that ALL meals & drinks are included in the cost of your holiday package. Even the pancakes they lovingly prepare around 4pm at the Serenity Pool and other snacks on offer throughout the day - just in case you get a bit peckish between meals. The inclusivity also extends to water sports like kayaking, SUP & sailing, along with all other sports & recreational activities in the resort. (Football, Archery, Trapeze, Tennis, Tai Chi… you name it!)
You’ll only have to take your wallet out for premium drinks (champagne, Johnny Walker, imported wines), whilst all other drinks – including the house wine, beers, softdrinks & cocktails are fully inclusive.
At the Cinq Monde spa you can custom pick your treatments & the duration thereof. They even offer special treatments that run over the course of a few days – maximising the benefit of your selected treatment. Any spa treatments can be billed to your room and settled upon check-out.
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD
Speaking of pancakes & snacks, let me tell you a bit about the amazing food options at Albion. The main restaurant, The Distillerie, situated near the main pool and a stone’s throw from the beach, serves up a veritable smorgasbord. The buffet style set-up means you can find something for every taste or dietary requirement. From traditional Mauritian cuisine to Indian, Asian stir-fries to American burgers, it’s all there. What’s also great is that they change up the offering from a day to day, so you will be hard-pressed to get bored of what’s on the menu.
For those who enjoy their breakfast & lunch a bit later, there is Le Phare – an a la carte style restaurant situated in the resort’s Zen Area. The service runs outside of the usual hours, and also requires you to book your space for dinner at least one night in advance. And if the laziness completely takes over, you can even order your breakfast to be delivered to your room. Now that’s 5 Trident service!
The GO's, or Gentils Organisateurs (which is French for "Nice Organisers") are at the heart of your experience at Club Med Albion. Upon arrival you are met by your designated GO, who is never further than a call away and can help you with anything from suggesting an excursion for the day to ordering you a double espresso at the bar. Our adorable GO, Renata, hails from South Africa and has been at Albion for over a year. This girl really knows her buffet from her beach towel and went out of her way to make us feel welcome and looked after. Some guests share a meal with their GO’s once or twice during their stay, which is a fabulous way to learn more about the resort or even find out a little more about the country they come from. All the GO’s were not only amazing ambassadors for their respective home countries, but fantastically service-oriented employees of Club Med who were always ready with a smile and a “How are you?”
Never a dull moment might be a bit of an understatement. Club Med La Plantation d’Albion puts on a show every night. From a Michael Jackson tribute, to an Avatar-themed trapeze show. A scintillating Beach Party – complete with fire dancers – to a Hip-Hop & Ballet fusion show that’ll leave you breathless! There is a party every night, and YOU’RE invited!
Again, the choice of whether you attend the shows or events are left completely up to you. Perhaps a quiet drink at Le Phare is more up your alley, but for kids & adults alike there is no reason to feel bored in the evenings. You are in paradise! Why not dance the night away on the beach to the beat of vibrant Creole music. When in Rome…
If you are dreaming about an island getaway, but can’t get it over your heart to leave the little ones at home, then don’t!
Club Med Albion has a dedicated children’s area (Mini Club Med) where you can leave the little ones whilst you have some much-needed R&R. The GO’s that run the club are all trained in childcare and offer a host of activities to keep the kids entertained in a safe environment. From art stations to a fully supervised splash pool, you’ll be assured your little one is also having the time of their life in the company of other children. You could see the smiles on little faces from the moment you walk in to the Mini Club.
They aren’t confined to the club either, with the Mini Club GO’s taking the kids on walkabouts around the resort. One day we saw them all singing and dancing, walking down to the beach for a “shell hunt”. Too cute for words!
The value for money you get when booking a Club Med resort really doesn’t come close to anything else on the island. As the market is so competitive to lure guests to resorts in Mauritius, it’s honestly the world-class service and hands-on approach from Club Med that sets them apart from the competition. Everything happens seamlessly, as the entertainment arena gets transformed from one theme to the next. You’ll even find the General Manager (or Chef de Village) handing out ice-creams on the beach... Now THAT is a 5 Trident experience & service at secured rates, in this time of exchange rate fluctuations & unavoidable price increases.