Published on January 2nd, 2015 | by Steve Hanley
Club Med, Turks & Caicos
The Club Med experience focuses on doing things other than just basking on a beach. The facility in Turks & Caicos is for adults only, but that doesn’t mean it is R rated. It just means the pool is not filled with small fry when you want to take a swim. We all love our kids, but we don’t always love being with other people’s kids, especially on vacation.
Club Med Turks & Caicos has something going on from sun-up to long after sundown. The sails go up on the fleet of Hobie catamarans at 9 am. And there aren’t just one of two boats with a long waiting list of would be sailors. There are a dozen of them, all rigged and ready to go whenever you are.
If you don’t know how to sail, the waterfront staff will be glad to teach you. That goes for the kayaks and stand up paddle boards as well. If you just want to go swimming, the aquamarine water is warm and inviting with moderate surf. The pristine white beach is rated one of the 10 best beaches in the world by TripAdvisor. It stretches for miles in either direction from the Club, offering plenty of opportunity for long walks to collect shells or splash your toes in the surf.
Club Med was one of the originators of the “all inclusive” vacation. All meals are provided in a family style dining hall. The food is plentiful and well prepared with an extensive variety of traditional and indigenous foods. There is a separate facility set up like a normal restaurant on the premises as well. Reservations are suggested.
Family style dining means you may take your meal in the company of resort staff or travelers from anywhere in the world. On our last night, my wife and I sat with a family from Geneva, Switzerland. Using fractured English, French and German, we were able to communicate and strike up a friendship. It was one of the culinary highlights of our vacation!
Twice a day, a boat leaves the village to take guests snorkeling on a nearby reef. That, too, is free. The Club provides all the equipment you may need and will even teach you how to use it if you don’t know how. The same applies to the tennis facility at Club Med. There are 12 courts, which means there is always one available any time of day. They are lit for nighttime play, too.
Beer and wine are available at several locations, all at no charge, of course. Mixed drinks cost extra. A small, intimate snack shack by the beach offers music every afternoon before the dinner hour. Next to the shack is a place to play patanque, the French version of bocce, and we made it a point to spend a few minutes playing every night before going in for dinner.
An unusual activity at the Turks & Caicos club is a high wire and trapeze area. Have you ever wanted to fly through the air, do a somersault and catch a trapeze coming toward you at just the right moment? The staff will be happy to teach you that skill while you vacation. Of course, you are wearing a safety harness and there is a big, bouncy net underneath you. Nothing can get bruised except you ego. I chose not to try it last year, but we are going back again in February and I just might talk myself into trying it this time.
The sailing team sponsors a regatta one day a week and a trip to a nearby island for a picnic another day. My wife and I came in third in the racing and got an official Club Med medal at the end of week awards ceremony. We felt like we had won the Olympics!
Every night after dinner, the staff puts on a stage show around the pool area. It’s more off-Broadway than Broadway, but it’s fun. Maybe it would be best to call it far off-Broadway! Tours of the island and shopping excursions can be arranged with the concierge staff. But we found there was more than enough to do right in the village.
We chose Club Med Turks & Caicos based on the recommendation of a friend and found it exceeded our expectations. The accommodations are not grand, but the location is exquisite, the staff courteous and helpful and the food delightful. Having so many things to do all in one place and at no extra charge made this one of our favorite vacations ever.
Photos by the author