Monday, November 26, 2012

5 Things to love or hate about a Club Med holiday

How good is this shot?
We recently returned from a much needed and long-awaited family holiday. Eight days at Club Med Bali. People smirked when we told them. Some laughed outright. One actually said he wouldn't speak to me again. What's with the snobbery? I have five and six year old daughters. I'm not a backpacker. I'm not looking for a cheap full-leg tattoo and disappointingly I'm not in the market for a yoga retreat. Club Med was the only place I looked at. Judge after reading...

1.  IT'S FRENCH - Of course. You'll love this because it means delicious baguettes, loose-layered croissants and a variety of smelly, creamy scrummy cheeses. A week later, you may hate it for these exact reasons when you look at the size of your new arse. You may also hate the fact that the many French staff seem to be employed with the sole purpose of kissing the arses of French guests. Aussies don't get this treatment. We get a weird 'hellooo' each time we cross paths, which I actually preferred, because it left me free of bullshit small-talk with the handsome young strangers, whilst allowing me to appreciate their buns in tight white pants from afar. Pity there was no French Champagne though.

2.  MINI CLUB - There's nothing to hate about mini-club. It runs from 9am till Midnight (!), and the kids can go in or out whenever they like. Every day has a new theme and every evening ends with a spectacular spectacular from the kids or from the mini club organisers. Either way, parents can loll about in comfy lounge chairs drinking cocktails and clapping excessively when their kids hit the stage. The excessiveness of clapping is dependent on the number of cocktails consumed. It goes without saying that our children frequently received the amount of applause normally reserved for A-list mega-stars.

3.  ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET - Club Med or not, you either love it or not.  I'm a notter, but even I was impressed on day 1. The Club Med smorgasboard is outrageously over the top. There are food stations for Chinese, Italian, Japanese, French and Indonesian cuisines. You mix these with a selection from the carvery, bakery or salad bar and top it off with a visit to the dessert bar. Embarrassingly, my partner and his travel pal made animals of themselves day and night. Not surprisingly, each brought home an extra 5kg and it wasn't in their luggage. If you love stuffing your face and have a 'something for nothing' mindset, you'll love Club Med smorgasboard. I just can't do overeating anymore, and wondered continuously about the over-consumption and wastage in comparison to the lacking about 100m down the road, but I guess that's typical of western hotels in third world countries, not just Club Med.

Every night, a new extravaganza to occupy them
4.  OPEN BAR - ALL DAY!  - The same unnamed person who put on 5kg also started each day with a poolside Bloody Mary. He finished it in the same place with a Margherita. LOVE THIS! The bar is open for a refreshing bevvy any time of day and it's all covered in the cost. While the sensible among us waited for an appropriate hour to relax with a Vodka and Lemon soda, the ability to have a few, poolside, beachside, inside or outside was marvellous. It was even better to do so knowing your children were safe, nearby and having just as much fun as you, only without the vodka. No need for unknown babysitters, late night taxi back to your hotel or a 'what to do after dinner?' scenario. There are activities for the kids till midnight, a show for all guests every night and your room is a short stumble through a beautiful garden away. What's to hate? Crap, crap, crap wine. That's all.

5.  THE CLUB MED SONG - It's so tacky it's hilarious. Every night, at the end of the show, the 'Chef of the Village' (hilarious in itself), leads the entire audience in a dance routine to one of the most kitsch songs imaginable. This is intended to kick off the evening celebrations, although at 10.30pm, it was our signal to hit the sack before the kids hit the wall. Again, you love it or hate it. Me?  I loved it! Just as you wear things you wouldn't normally be seen dead in, floss around without a skerric of make up and see how long you can get away without doing your hair, you get in there and fully embrace this kind of holiday kitsch - it's the stuff you will always remember. 

The verdict?  I couldn't imagine a more relaxing holiday with young kids. Once booked, you don't have to think of a single thing. There's no planning, scheduling, driving, running for buses, haggling for taxis or deciding where to eat. You can do as much or as little as you want. You come and go as you please. Your children are safe and entertained ALL the time.  I had me at 'you don't have to think,' and as far as mums go, I'm sure I'm not the only one. I heart Club Med. 

1 comment:

  1. Love it Ags. Sounds fabulous. Even the buffet and the bloody Marys. You in detox?