How does a few days in Paradise, where you don't have to worry about anything, sound right now?
Yah, pretty good, I know! Everyone is working so hard either at a corporate job, at their own small business, or at home taking care of the house and the kids. No matter what you do, you know you are always busy. And sometimes stressed. And you could very much use a relaxing vacation with good food, drinks, music in one of the most beautiful beach in the world.
You can go ahead and say you deserve it. It's not selfish, it's not mean and is certainly not bad. On the contrary: you want to take care of yourself and that's always a beautiful thing!
First glimpse at the island of Provo (part of the Turks and Caicos islands), where the Providenciales airport is.
I just came back from the ClubMed Turkoise - called a Village in ClubMed language, and you say it like the French "villAge" - so I wanted to share with you what I loved about (and what is not so great), so you have a better feel of the hotel and if this will be a good fit for you!
Arriving at the airport, you go out and turn left. You will find the ClubMed booth. The person there will tag your luggage and you will wait for your transfer (if you book a package of air and land the transfer will be included. If you buy land only, you can pay extra for the transfer or you can arrange your transportation on your own).
Property: This ClubMed Village is an older property and although you can see that in the room buildings (rooms themselves are nice), the main area is a completely different story, as it was recently renovated. The main area is where you find the beautiful pool, the bar, the restaurant and the lobby. All open, no walls, no windows or doors. It's one big area that wrap around the pool, and it's very comfortable and relaxing.
Beach: The resort is at the Grace Bay beach, voted #1 beach in the world. The first day the water was pretty but similar to what I've seen in Mexico and other Caribbean places (it had rained right before we arrived). It was prettier on the second day. On the third day though, I looked at the beach and knew exactly WHY this was the #1 beach. The water is truly amazing, in a turquoise tone I've never seen anywhere. Put that along with a wide white sand and you get a winning formula :-)
This village is a wide property, so they get a very big area of the beach. All beaches are public but you don't see people at the beach that are not staying at the resort. No beach vendors also. A very 'private' VIP feeling.
Rooms: The rooms are located on buildings next to the main area. They are 3-stories buildings, no elevators (the staff does carry your bags when you arrive and on your departure), and it screamed "island" to me. Far from fancy or luxury. But it felt relaxed and beachy.
The rooms were all well decorated, simple but nice. ClubMed is based on the concept that when you go on vacation, you won't be spending much time in your room. During our 4-night stay we only went back to the room for a shower before dinner and to sleep at night, the rest of the time was at the beach, pool or activities. There are 2 different types of rooms at this Village:
- Club rooms are the most economical ones and they don't have balcony or sea view.
- The deluxe room is the category above (and the highest category) and they offer balcony and sea view.
Rooms are not big, but ok size for the bed and luggage (we've been to several beach resorts where it was a struggle to open our luggage there - not the case here). The room also had a big screen TV (which we didn't use at all), a wardrobe and an office table (which I did use it since I had my clients email to answer - raise your hand if you also peek at your work e-mails during vacations!).
Beds and linens were extremely comfortable. The shower was small and we got no cold water at two different times but it only lasted 10 minutes max until it came back. Is it strange that I felt like this specific issue added to the whole island experience? I truly felt like I was at a remote beach.
Activities: ClubMeds are famous for all the activities they offer and the vast majority is included. This specific location offers:
- Standup paddles and kayaks
- Trapeze school (so fun and they do take the time to teach you. You can go everyday if you want and by the end of your trip you will be doing tricks and almost look like a pro - hey, I said "almost" :-)
- Sailing school (they also teach you how to sail! I learned this first at the ClubMed Cancun and decided to test my skills in Turks. Tiny problem: it's a lot windier there and let's just say that I also learned how to right a capsized catamaran (yes, I flipped it ). It was such an adventure, I wish I had the cell phone with me to register the moment. On second thought, I'd probably would have lost it...
- Tennis school (divided into levels, you can go everyday for group classes. Advance, intermediate and beginners have a different time to practice).
- 24/7 gym (very well maintained).
- Beach volleyball: don't worry, you don't have to be a pro. Just have fun!
- Snorkeling: included and it was one of the most beautiful snorkeling I've ever done (and I've done many). They bring you about 10 minutes further into the sea where the 3rd largest coral reef in the world is and you get to spend an hour there looking at the pretty fishes. Not too many different kinds of fish, but the corral is SO beautiful and the more I looked, the more I saw: big colorful fishes, strange looking ones, and tiny ones too.
- Diving: this is extra but if this is something you want to to try, you have the perfect opportunity there. You can be diving as quickly as on the second day. They have all kinds of packages and you can also sign up to get your certification there. If you are already certified, you will have plenty of choices as well.
Food and restaurant: The main restaurant serves a buffet featuring international cuisine with some of the chefs preparing the food right in front of you. So don't think Golden Corral buffet, think like a gourmet buffet, a marriage between buffet and a la carte, as you do get specialty options every night with plated food. Large salad selection, always American favorites available, and each night they have a different theme. It's never boring! The French night was my favorite, they had bœuf en croûte (fillet of beef in pastry) like a Beef Wellington, Brie with anchovies, Napoleon for dessert... and many many other great options. Food was delicious everyday and with the variety, you don't really get tired of it.
Bar/Drinks: The Village has one bar right in front of the pool, in the main area. It's completely open. Go there as often as you want, order whatever you want. You just pay extra if you want premium liquor. Their house drinks were of a good quality (vodka was Smirnoff and you can pay additional if you want Grey Goose, for example. We were happy with Smirnoff and the other house liquors. Do try the rum made in Turks and Caicos, the coconut one with pineapple juice was sooo good).
You also have wines. There is a large wine fridge at the restaurant you can either ask for a staff member to bring it to you or you can grab a bottle. It can't get homier than that :)
For the wine experts out there, they do have a wine shop right next to the restaurant, featuring better wines. You can buy a bottle there and you will have a special patio section for you to enjoy it in the evening. ClubMed is French territory, after all. Wine HAS to be good.
There is also another bar, called Sharkies - very popular in the island - a bit further away from the main area. It serves food and drinks all day long and stays open until 1am. Live music every day at 6pm which is super fun. Fun fact: the sun sets right in front of it so you get a sunset happy hour. One of those "life is good" moments. Again, simple and beachy, island style.
People: The staff - also known as G.O's which means "great organizers" are there with one goal only: to make you have the best time of your life. They will engage in conversations with you if you welcome them. They might come seat at your table (be sure to seat at a bigger table if you want their company for lunch or dinner), they will teach you skills from sailing to dance. You will also be more than welcome to start conversations with other guests, make new friendships, dance the night away. Everyone was happy, smiling, good energy all around. If you want to make the most of your vacation, try all activities and the parties! Get to know the GOs and the other guests who are also trying that new skill. The age of guests change from week to week but during the days I was there, it was very mixed! Some families with adult kids, some women groups, some couples, some people traveling solo. You will see the people you played tennis at the pool and will possibly have a drink with them. You will then see your teammates from beach volleyball on the dance floor... you get the idea. It all becomes a big group having fun in one of the most beautiful places in the world!
A GO bringing popsicle for us at the beach, and 2 GOs suffering with me on my departure... :)
Entertainment: every night the GOs prepare some kind of entertainment. Truth be told: most of them are somehow cheesy but they put so much work into it that you just respect the fact that they are doing that happily at the end of a long day. They are not professional entertainers - they are the hotel staff working for you to have fun. I enjoyed all the shows. They always end in front of the bar, with a DJ and some of the GOs on a mini stage dancing and engaging everyone on a sort of a line dancing. You come back home knowing how to dance many songs and trust me, you will never be able to hear the song again without starting to dance :-) (last year in Cancun "Despacito" was all the craze... this year ClubMed was favoring '70/80s oldies but goodies', like YMCA (Village People), It's Raining Men, you get the idea. Great for dancing and having fun.
MORE PHOTOS because I couldn't stop clicking :-)
My overall review of the ClubMed Turkoise is that it's perfectly imperfect. It looks a lot more like a very big beach house of your very rich grandma where she invited some of your long-lost cousins, the ones you never really met but that you all share activities and come together to dance after dinner. You won't have a butler serving you, but you might be lying on the beach and GOs will be distributing popsicles.
You won't be seeing marble, granite and golden things but you will be seeing wood, sand and a tone of turquoise you haven't really seen before. The bar is open to you, the food is prepared with care and attention and you get to spend your day at the lounge chair by the pool, at a cabana at the beach or going crazy with the activities. I found that a mix of these three is exactly what the doctor prescribed!
Last but not least, the price can't be beaten for an all-inclusive in Turks and Caicos. And they have seasonal nonstop flight from Charlotte (and some other US cities too like Miami and Atlanta). If you take into account the price and everything that you get in return - not counting how amazing you will be feeling, how relaxed, how connected and the lack of memory space on your cell phone - it's definitely, no doubt about it, for sure and certainly worth it.
Now stop dreaming about it and book a trip to ClubMed Turkoise!! Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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My husband and I, at a much needed adults-only getaway!
It was the first time we traveled without the kids since they were born 12 years ago. I could get used to this!