There are so many reasons to love Club Med, if my visit to a couple of Club Med properties can justify my opinion.
In my pre-baby life, the all-inclusive factor was a great welcome. If you’ve been to Club Med, you know their food is always excellent and coupled with free tipple safe for top-shelf selections; it was all I needed to have a good holiday.
After the kids came along, I never missed happy hour and the me-time I so deserve at Club Med. I’m on a holiday after all. I don’t think any parent ever worried about dropping their kids of at the Kids Club because you were always assured of the safety and SOPs and this is was the case even in the pre-Covid-19 days, mind you. The GOs (short for gracious organisers and it refers to the staff of Club Med) at the club are very good with kids, some of them left their nursing job to join Club Med I learned during our conversations over meals, and they’d check for temperature, get the kids ready for the activities and meals, and are attentive to their needs, all while making sure a good time is had.
If we’re not signing up for activities, my other half and I usually also throw in a visit to the surrounding cities to have a more enriching experience. Club Meds are after all located at some of the most stunning locations around the world and best if one makes the most of out of it.
Whatever your reasons are for loving Club Med, you’d quickly realise one thing – the happy vibe is felt everywhere through B/L/D at the restaurants where chances are you’ll be sharing your table with one of the many GOs, at the many activity points around the property or at the nightly energetic performances. There’s never a dull day at Club Med.
And there never will be. Club Med was established in 1950 by founders Gerard Blitz and Gilbert Trigano under ethos in which “…our purpose in life is to be happy. The place to be happy is here. And the time to be happy is now.”
Through the different decades, it has reinvented itself as the purveyor of happiness through its all-inclusive holidays and resorts around the world. To-date, there are a total of 71 resorts including luxury resorts, 2 sailing ship and discovery tours. How exactly did Club Med survive the lockdown and how will it ride the storm of the new normal when its very essence is built on enjoying happiness especially in the companionship of others?
Vijay Sharma, the GM of Club Med SEA, tells us all about surviving the lockdown, embracing the new normal and why Club Med Cherating should be on your holiday list.
How did Club Med survive the worldwide lockdown?
As the hospitality and tourism industry drew to a halt, we at Club Med decided to focus on spreading positivity and project the ever-needed spirit of optimism to our guests at home. Hence we launched #ClubMedatHome, a digital and social media initiative comprising a series of home-based, family-friendly activities designed to replicate our most popular offerings, such as expert training workouts, DIY recipes of Club Med’s signature dishes, and family-friendly fun games from Club Med’s signature kids club.
Club Med also extended the spread of positivity to healthcare workers in Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital in Pahang, by providing 200 free resort stays at Club Med Cherating where healthcare staff will be able to enjoy a 3D/2N holiday package, valid for one year.
What are the new enhancements guests can look forward to at Club Med Cherating?
Club Med Cherating re-opened on 28 July 2020 and had resumed operations with the launch of our ‘Safe Together’ guest assurance program developed with Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services. Under the Safe Together programme, a series of heightened safety and hygiene protocols aligned with guidelines from global and local health authorities will be implemented at all of our resorts, reassuring guests of clean and safe environments allowing them to visit with confidence. We are happy to share as well that on Club Med Cherating’s re-opening day, the resort was at full occupancy – which reflects the effectiveness of our Safe Together programme.
Our all-inclusive offerings will also be adapted to suit the current climate while still delivering a happy and relaxed vacation experience for all guests, which includes practices such as: frequent sanitisation using Ecolab’s disinfecting agents and procedures; safe social distancing; and preventative precautions such as health declaration forms and temperature checks. Hand sanitizers will also be made available throughout the resort, and specially designed Club Med protective masks along with N95 masks are available at the boutique for the guests’ purchase.
Furthermore, our resort employees will be wearing masks throughout their shift for an added level of protection. We also ensured that all resort staff are thoroughly trained on precautionary and cleaning measures as well, closely following WHO guidelines and under the guidance of Ecolab.
What will happen to all the buffets guests fondly look forward to during their stay?
In our restaurants, options of various specialty corners by local and international chefs, and “a la carte” options along with the buffet are offered. While our signature French savoir-faire of buffets and all-day dining will still continue, we will have our team serving the guests instead of the usual self-service counters, and food which used to be apportioned by guests will now be pre-prepared in individual portions. Rest assured, guests will still be spoilt for choice on the dining selections Club Med has to offer.
Bread, yoghurts, salads, fruits which used to be apportioned by guests will now be pre-sliced and prepared in individual portions. What used to be self- service cutleries like plates, cups and drinks at the dispensers will now be served by our team members. Jugs of water, pepper and salt on each table will be replaced after each guest. In addition, more seating are made available outdoors and tables are spaced further apart as part of distancing measures.
Most hotels are embracing contactless services, will it be the same for Club Med?
Throughout the resort, our guests will see communications across various touch points including: shuttle buses, reception areas, guest rooms, restaurants, meeting rooms, activity locations, Mini Clubs, entertainment areas, and high touch point areas such as elevators, delivering a reassured vacation experience for our guests. Heightened hygiene and safety measures are also practiced to reassure our guests in the ‘new normal’. Club Med continues to adopt digital bracelets for contactless payments and room access.
What are the SOPs at Kids Club?
At Kids’ and Baby Club, which caters to children ages 4 months to 10 years old, there will be temperature checks and safe distancing measures observed with everyone adhering to the local governments policy of wearing the mandatory masks. The children’s temperature will be taken twice daily, and frequent hand washing is also mandated. Kids’ Club toys are disinfected daily, and activities have been modified to reduce body contact between children, with more activities moved outdoors.
Why should Club Med Cherating be our next holiday destination?
With a 70-year legacy in the hospitality industry, Club Med has the expertise and commitment in providing happiness and safety during your stay. Club Med Cherating is also merely a 3 hour drive away from Kuala Lumpur, so it is a perfect escape from the city for those looking for a quick getaway.
Club Med is also an all-inclusive resort, which means you never have to worry about navigating to dine or explore. With self-sufficient resort facilities and in-resort activities within the Club Med Cocoon, Club Med Cherating is your place to relax and immerse in nature within our highly clean and spacious compounds.
With large open-air spaces and wide outdoor environments, our resort has the natural space you need for safe distancing and fresh air ventilation without any constraints. Nestled in 80 hectares of nature, Club Med Cherating is an eco-friendly nature resort allowing our guests to truly immerse themselves in an uplifting outdoor adventure.
For more information on Club Med, visit its website.
This story first appeared in Prestige Malaysia.
(All images: Club Med)