Club Med wouldn't be what it is today without our incredible GMs (Gentle Members) visiting our 70+ Resorts around the world every year. Whether soaking up the sun in the Maldives or discovering a new culture in Bali, any GM's visit to Club Med is truly unique. Ivy Bendixen has just recently been to Club Med La Plantation D'Albion for the first time and her visit was memorable in many ways. We've asked Ivy a few questions to know more about her unique experience in Mauritius...
Note: All images below are courtesy of Ivy Bendixen, and have been shared with permission.
Why did you choose to go to Club Med La Plantation D’Albion?
Mauritius has been a top favourite destination to visit for a long time. I always promised myself that when I met that one special person I was going to spend my life with, this is where we would go. Just took me awhile to do the trip as we had been living and working in the USA. We had made plans to go this year as a special celebration. Unfortunately, the love of my life passed away 11 months ago so I made the heartbreaking decision to continue with the trip & took his ashes to scatter in the ocean. I had narrowed it down to 2 resorts but my travel agent Colin, from italk travel North Perth, had been on a trip there earlier in the year, showed me some photos, and said I should also consider Club Med. As he knows my travel preferences, I am so glad I listened to him!
What was your typical day in the resort?
We went as a group of seven and everyone was free to do as they please then meet for dinner each night. We created a WhatsApp for Club Med to keep in touch. Being an early riser, my day started with a visit to the gym. It is one of the most picturesque I have ever trained in – picture floor to ceiling glass looking out onto the gentle waves rolling in, the greenery and then the stunning sunrise – it took my breath away!
Then after freshening up, I would walk through the lovely gardens to the restaurant to have breakfast. Sometimes others in our group would be there and we would share the special moment looking over the water whilst having the best ever French baguettes & croissants, fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh fruits just to name a few. If not, I was happy just to be there on my own & enjoy the view. GOs Steph & Alicia knew just how I liked my coffee and by the time I had walked back to my table from the restaurant it would be waiting for me.
If we weren’t going on a tour then I would relax at the Zen pool & read. We all tended to gather here at some stage of the day. Of course, fresh crepes being prepared was a big incentive for our group foodies. In the afternoon, I would join the Pilates class or one of the other recreational activities such as archery (which I always wanted to try) then watch the majestic sunset.
The group met in the bar for a pre- dinner drinks then onto dinner. Dinners are themed and creatively varied each night so you are never bored. Also, the dress code is different for each. eg: white night, blue night, gala dinner etc. The resort makes a huge effort to ensure the theme & colours flow through that the staff all wear the matching colour shirts, the bars & other social areas are dressed accordingly. Every night there is a fabulous show which we made sure to attend. After the dance floor becomes alive & you can party to your heart's content. I also enjoyed the lovely treatments (Hamman, relaxing facial & sublime North African massage) at the Cinq Mondes Spa & highly recommend them.
What was your favourite part of your holiday?
I loved that it was all-inclusive (except some water sports, the spa & tours) so you did not have to think about what you may be spending. This is a big plus for a group as each person has a varied budget. From the moment you land at the airport to the time you return for your journey home, everything is organised for you. You can just sit back & truly relax. All staff are so special with a genuine warmth and caring manner. No one passes you without a greeting.
What was the most memorable moment you had during your stay?
There were so many but some stand out, such as the surprise private dinner in the gazebo overlooking the ocean arranged by my friends with Jean-Benoit, the General Manager (Chief of Village). Other memorable moments were:
• The thoughtful box of fresh frangipani flowers (out of season) left on my bed with a very caring note to take with me out to sea had me in tears.
• A surprise birthday cake at the Gala Dinner, the Moët & Chandon shower set up on stage & then shared with us all.
• “Happy Birthday” spelt out with flowers on my bed at night.
• Tarik’s private Tango lesson (on my wish list too).
Tell us about the GOs that stood out most to you & why?
Again, there were so many as everyone is friendly and caring to make sure you are happy & enjoying yourself. No detail is too small to be given attention.
• For me – Renata, Guest Relations extraordinaire, arranged some special requests I had (see point 1).
• As mentioned Steph & Alicia in the restaurant ensuring I had my coffee that way I like each day. Ragab & all the sports activity team were fantastic.
• Chloe having patience teaching us archery.
• Unn, our awesome pilates instructor.
• The staff at Cinq Mondes Spa ensuring mind numbing calmness & peace.
• Julia at the boutique to ensure our shopaholics were kept happy with a big smile.
• Cathy & Camilla at the bar – always looking after us no matter what the request was.
• Alba arranging all our tours ensuring we did not miss out on anything. Making sure all the special requests were met. Organising my personal special arrangements.
• Salim, our tour guide on 2 excursions was so much fun & a wealth of information. (In fact, he invited us to his house for a meal on the next trip)
• The reception staff giving helpful advice & organising taxi’s for us on our private excursions.
• Tarik dancing in the Michael Jackson show – truly a talented dancer. Then later on the dance floor and my private Tango lesson.
• The housekeeping staff adding lovely touches each night at turndown. The night of my birthday they wrote Happy Birthday in flowers on the bed.
• The buggy drivers who were so much fun.
What are your must-dos for a holiday at Club Med Albion?
Definitely book some tours as the country and the people are great. The tour guide is so informative & we also found the taxi drivers were the same – happy to share details about their country. Don’t be afraid to order a taxi as they set rates & wait for you. At the shopping centre, even the security guard was helpful in translating French for us & helping in directions. Try the free activities, you may find a new sports activity you like or like me tick it off the list of things to try. Relax in the beautiful calming Cinq Mondes Spa – a must do - well worth it. Then just relax & enjoy the resort as a whole! Do as much as you want or as little as you want.
Do you have any tips for future GMs going to Club Med Albion?
Once your holiday is booked I would definitely download the Club Med app which would help you choose the clothes you would need on the different nights & make packing much easier. It’s appreciated that the guests join in on the themes as the resort puts in so much work to make it happen. Go with an open mind & you will soon be impressed.
Which Club Med would you like to go to next & why?
We will be talking to our Travel Agent Colin soon on some options we are looking at: Morocco, Spain or Italy also stopping by Mauritius on way home. These countries are on our wish list & now that we know there are Club Meds in each it makes it much more appealing. We plan on visiting as many Club Meds as we can either as a group or individuals.
To book your next holiday at Club Med La Plantation D'Albion, visit here.