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Club Med Sandpiper

The only Club Med resort located in the United States, the Port St. Lucie village closed in August, 2010, then reopened in December following a $25 million renovation that which upgraded the resort from a three “trident” to a four “trident” status.  The “trident” evaluation is Club Med’s unique qualifier.

Approximately half the rooms were renovated (including some family rooms that were re-configured), several pools were redesigned and replaced, tennis courts and other athletic facilities.  The beach on St. Lucie River was even reshaped with the import of tons of new sand.  Children’s play areas were expanded, landscaping and hardscapes were significantly upgraded.  Some of the improvements are still underway, approximately half of the rooms are awaiting upgrades scheduled to be completed by November 2011.   A new 12,000 square foot spa and fitness center will be completed by this spring.

As a result of all these improvements, Sandpiper Bay in Florida is now considered a flagship for premium sports programs and an example of innovation.  The enhancements in the variety of sports activities include tennis, golf and fitness academies with intensive lessons for an extra fee, extensive programs for children as young as four months, a partnership with PBS Raggs (a kids television series for those who do not know) and a Romero Britto art studio for kids.

If guests want to improve their tennis game, they can take a daily one-hour group lesson that is included in the basic daily rate.  But a Sandpiper guest wishing more individualized instruction can sign up for private lessons at an additional fee on one of the 21 hard and clay tennis courts.

A similar level of coaching in golf and fitness is available as well.  Sandpiper houses an 18-hole golf course plus practice facility designed by Tom Fazio.  There are additional opportunities for golf within a short drive from the property that offer a courtesy to Club Med guests.

One of the unique features of this club is the Circus School featuring flying trapeze lessons, an opportunity to learn to walk a tight rope, juggle like a clown and jump on a trampoline.  Instruction is provided with quality and professional supervision and equipment is adjusted to the age and talent of the participant.

It has been 60 years since Club Med opened its first village in Majorca, Spain.  It now operates  80 villages located all over the world, including the newest resorts in Egypt and China.  Each of the locations has it’s own personality, some are designed for adults only, while many others feature activities for all ages, complete with “Baby Clubs” for the very young.

The locations are all-inclusive and have been significantly upgraded from the original resorts that were void of televisions, telephones and computers.  Today’s clientele demand these necessities in today’s lifestyle so Club Med listened.  However the same basic philosophy of an active and interactive experience is what Club Med is all about. 

The dining experiences at Club Med have also been upgraded from their original concept.  Today, guests may still enjoy open dining seating in the primary dining room, however table cloths and private tables are now the norm.  Additionally, specialty restaurants are also located at the resort for a more intimate dining experience.

Club Med claims its Florida resort is the only true all-inclusive in the United States.  Although some other resorts offer accommodations, meals and recreation packages, their prices do not include alcoholic beverages and gratuities.  Club Med offers all of it and they are expecting it to be increasingly popular with Americans.  It is a truly “worry free” vacation when you know everything is covered before you leave home. 

Rates are approximately $250.00 per day per person based on double occupancy, but there are frequently special offers available during off peak times.  Knowing the price includes all meals, beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), tips and activities for all ages along with instruction is a definite plus for this vacation experience.

I took my children when they were young to two Club Meds and they still recall the experiences they enjoyed with the GOs (Group Organizers), the craft making and circus activities in which they participated.  This vacation allows for everyone in the family to have a great and memorable experience.

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