best time to

Luxury Travel in the Maldives by Eryn Krouse

Eryn-Krouse-Header-Luxury.jpg

This article was reposted from Eryn Krouse(@erynkrouse). Read the original story here. Note: All images below are courtesy of Eryn Krouse and her photographer Trent Mitchell, and have been shared with permission.

Luxury Travel in the Maldives

After nine days of all-inclusive gourmet food and drinks, staying in two different overwater villa suites, having a personal boat to go to epic surf, and a whole lot of rest and relaxation, you can bet I got a taste of the good life.

Here is what a luxury surf trip in the Maldives looks like.

After a disorienting period of time where I reached the point where I felt as if I had spent my entire life confined to the cramped insides of an airplane, I finally began to spot the infamous atolls that make up the Maldives out the window. Bright, circular, marble-looking blobs surrounded by rings of different shades of blue that looked more like giant eyeballs than little islands, just floating on the surface of the Earth. I touch down on Malé and hear the pilot say, “Welcome to the Maldives”. Finally, I made it to paradise.

Photo Sep 22, 9 13 57 AM.jpg

CLUB MED KANI

So, picture this. You wake up on a king-size canopy bed with the sunrise peeking through white curtains lightly blowing from the sea breeze. You climb out of bed and step out on to the deck to admire the vibrant blue sheen of the water below you. You might even see a school of fish, or an occasional ray or reef shark swim by. The water looks inviting, so you jump in. Taking a few strokes before turning over on to your back to float, you close your eyes and relax. You hear your significant other calling out your name to let you know that room service has arrived, so you swim back to your dock, rinse off in the outdoor shower, and don a robe from the bathroom. A server is carrying two trays of breakfast items, and he asks you, “Where would you like to eat your breakfast today?” to which you respond “On the front deck, please”. You take a seat outside and uncover the lids to reveal plates of fresh croissants, steaming eggs, crisp bacon, maybe even some warm crepes, and it all smells so good that your mouth waters in anticipation as you pour yourself a hot cup of coffee…

It’s 7:30 am and the day has just begun.

Photo Sep 08, 7 41 19 PM.jpg
summersite_maldives_sept18__0011946.JPG

 Every day in the Maldives brought a new adventure. With the sun out, the water would shine as a bright, turquoise blue, and I’d eagerly admire the view as I waxed up my board. I’d walk the path from the overwater villa down to the dock with my surfboard in one hand, and my boyfriend’s hand in the other. Once in the boat, we’d speed away into the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. It was a common sight to see spotted, lone manta rays cruising by, or a pod of jumping dolphins. Every moment was a different adventure out at sea.

Surfing in the Maldives is a magical experience. The water is so clear that you can see fish swimming under you as you ride a wave of almost transparent looking water. It’s pure stoke. For a complete guide on surfing in the Maldives, click here.

summersite_maldives_sept18__0008049.JPG

Salty, happy, and surfed out, I take a moment to soak in the sun. It feels so good to lay on the sand, feeling the warm rays on my skin while listening to the soft lapping of the waves onto the coquina shore. I close my eyes in absolute contentment, the kind of content I get only after spending blissful hours in the ocean.  This stretch of beach is quiet. The only visible signs of life are the little sand crabs bustling around, bumping into each other.

Photo Sep 28, 10 32 19 PM.jpg

Back at the villa… my body is sore and a bit sunburnt from surfing all morning. I run the water in the tub for an afternoon of rest and relaxation. On the walk back from the beach, I picked plumeria and hibiscus flowers to put in the bath to create a personal spa in the privacy of my villa. To really pamper myself, I open my brand new products from Malie Organics, including a plumeria scented body scrub and body polish moisturizer… the ultimate pampering experience.

CLUB MED FINOLHU

After spending a week at Club Med KaniClub Med Finolhu was just a short boat hop away; a continuation of our experience of luxury travel. Our new overwater villa was equipped with a personal pool, an outdoor shower and spa-inspired bath tub, a butler, and a chauffeur to take us to the various all-inclusive restaurants and amenities located at the resort.

Photo Sep 11, 11 44 27 AM - Copy.jpg

Tea time at Club Med Finolhu is an event in itself. Originally established in England in the 1800s by aristocratic British society, the concept of afternoon tea is the very embodiment of comforting luxury, every detail from the china to the atmosphere to the finger food, all adding to the overall experience of mid-afternoon pleasantry.

Wrapped up in soft, white robes, my boyfriend and I sat on the couch in the front room; floor-length doors opened up to the outside deck and the expanse of crystal blue ocean, smooth jazz softly playing through the speakers. Tropical rain quietly fell outside as our butler brought in a selection of Ceylon tea, specially packed in nearby Sri Lanka. Names such as Darjeeling Black, English Breakfast and Moroccan Mint labeled the cloth tea bags, all neatly stacked together in a wooden box. I chose English Breakfast, my personal favorite tea, and Michael chose Darjeeling black, carefully stirring in sugar crystals and organic milk until the tea was a rich, chocolate brown liquid. Bringing the cup of tea up to my mouth, a warm sensation runs through my body as the deep aroma slowly creeps up my nose, traceable hints of spices of the orient. The tea serves as a palette cleanser; the perfect balance of sweet and savory to go with the finger sandwiches, cookies, and tropical fruits.

One could argue that tea is just tea, but there is something special when it transforms into a whole experience; the feeling of being in your own world with no land for as far as you can see; just a muted turquoise ocean blending into the soft grey of the rainy sky. It became an emotional experience that transported me into a state of euphoria that comes only when I feel completely free, without a worry in the world.

It’s amazing the power tea can have, isn’t it? (;

Interview: Samantha Wills' girls trip at the Zen Oasis of Club Med Punta Cana

Samantha-Wills-Header.jpg

Last July, jewellery creator Samantha Wills (@samanthawills), discovered the new Zen Oasis space of Club Med Punta Cana, alongside a fabulous turquoise lagoon in the Dominican Republic. We asked her some questions for a perfect relaxed girls' trip in Punta Cana.

Note: All images below are courtesy of Samantha Wills, and have been shared with permission. 

What was it about Club Med Punta Cana that made you want to visit the resort?

Being based in NYC, the Caribbean is so close! I had never visited the Dominican republic before, and when I saw the Zen Oasis private beach, my ticket was booked!

What was your typical day in the Zen Oasis?

20180959_155214695049451_1461265775246442496_n.jpg

I would like to tell you I was up with the sun to join the 5:30am yoga class! But I don’t want to lie to you!

🍳🍊  About 9am, we would walk along the beach to the restaurant at the end of the property & get some fresh scrambled eggs prepared by the chef & freshly squeezed juice.

☕🌊 Grab a take away coffee to go and follow our footsteps back along the beach, to the private Zen Oasis beach beds. That is were you would find me most of the day. I loved the thatched umbrellas, and the beach team where never too far away with a cocktail or sparkling water! I packed my bag with a few good beach reads, so between those & ocean dips – it was the ultimate relaxation holiday!

🍤🍴 Lunch was always local seafood…and dinner we would go to the champagne bar, pop a bottle of our favorite bubbles (which grants you access to the private dining area!)  where the waves literally lap in underneath the deck. It was perfect.

🍸🎶 We stopped by the beach parties, and live music, but in the full relaxation mode we were in, we took our sun kissed bodies to bed before midnight each night.

It was definitely a holiday we returned from feeling refreshed & rejuvenated.

What was your highlight from the trip?

The Club Med Spa was INCREDIBLE. The massages transcended you to an out of body experience. Thatched huts with billowing white cheese cloth & just the sound of the ocean drifting thru. It was truly incredible.

What did you enjoy the most in the brand new Zen Oasis Space?

Access to the private beach. The gardens in the Zen Oasis where also really beautiful.

20347088_1815537268759319_990777255003160576_n.jpg

What is your top tip for a girls’ trip in Punta Cana?

I think its great, if some of your girlfriends have families with young kids. There is so much stuff for kids to do, but also very separate from the private adult areas of the resort.

While there is buffet style catering for lunch & dinner, you can also choose to eat a la carte, which means there is always on option, because with groups not everyone runs on the same schedule.

What are your must-dos for a holiday to Club Med Punta Cana?

The Champagne Bar is the perfect dinner (and lunch!) spot. The massage in the Club Med Spa is also a must do, (daily if you can!)

Which Club Med resort would you love to go to next?

Morocco looks incredible, but Finolhu in the Maldives will always have my heart!

Are you craving for a peaceful hideaway in Punta Cana like Samantha Willis? Book now to discover the new Zen Oasis space, exclusively for adults.

Interview: Australian Photographer Trent Mitchell Captures the Beauty of the Maldives

Trent-mitchell-header1.jpg

Surrounded by endless ocean, colourful coral and epic surf breaks. Its no surprise Australian photographer Trent Mitchell (@trent_mitchell_) produced some serious wanderlust-inducing photographs from his recent Maldives trip at the Manta Exclusive Spacewith model Eryn Krouse (@erynkrouse). Trent's deep love for the ocean and the Maldives settings made the perfect backdrop for his snaps. We asked him some questions about his experience as a photographer.

Note: All images below are courtesy of Trent Mitchell, and have been shared with permission. 

What makes the Maldives so 'photographable'?

As a passionate water-based lifestyle and travel photographer I’d have to say the water’s colour, clarity and diversity in colour! I’ve never seen so many different blues. I can’t wait to head back and explore and shoot more in the waters and on the islands of the Maldives. It’s just incredible.

What makes Club Med Kani in particular, so great to photograph?

The single best attribute islands have for photography is the flexibility of having a 360 degree field of view to work with. Putting a resort of Club Med Kani’s standards on an Island gives a photographer an unlimited canvas for creating beautiful images all day. There’s always somewhere incredible to shoot no matter what the day brings.

What separates the Maldive beaches from others?

I’d have to say the pure whites of the sand and the vibrant water colour. Everything just pops. Simply put, some days it feels like your living inside a postcard. It’s overwhelmingly beautiful.

What were your favourite activities at Club Med Kani when you weren’t shooting?

I was staying in the Manta overwater suites at Club Med Kani and I’m a morning person so my favourite thing was quite possibly the simplest thing given the seemingly unlimited activities available. Waking to the sun rising over the water, throwing on my board shorts and going for my morning swim in the crystal clear waters was without a doubt my favourite thing to do. Most people sleep in, so some days it felt like I had the resort to myself! I actually can’t think of a better way to start a day, anywhere.

Share with us your favourite shot – what makes it great?

I couldn’t select just one from my shoot so I picked a single image from three different perspectives of the resort. Eye level, above and below the water. The photos are all of Eryn Krouse enjoying her time in Kani.

20583117_370591756694306_4246796433161715712_n.jpg
21878860_153472438479033_9172192893023027200_n.jpg
21980167_795822663922311_4728416275980615680_n.jpg

📷 The first shot reminds me of how beautiful and relaxing it is to live over the water for a week.

📷 The second photo is Eryn paddling out to the surf break named Ninja’s located on the outside reef behind the resort. I like the feel of the crisp blue waters.

📷 Lastly, the final shot is taken under the waves at Ninja’s. It’s a beautiful moment of Eryn gracefully navigating through the surf between waves.

Which Club Med resort would you like to photograph next, and why?

I’d love to revisit the Maldives to be perfectly honest! It’s a bucket list location for me and I’d love to indulge in the Club Med Finolhu Villas experience for the extreme luxury and the waters surrounding the resort offer endless photographic opportunities. If I had to choose a different country it seems so hard to choose but I’d have to go with snowboarding in Japan. I’ve never been to Japan and I can’t think of a better culture to experience, things to do and photograph! Let’s go!

Want to see more about the Maldives? Jump on to Trent Mitchell's official website.

A Guide To Surfing In The Maldives By Eryn Krouse

Heqder-eK.jpg

This article was reposted from Eryn Krouse(@erynkrouse). Read the original story here. Note: All images below are courtesy of Eryn Krouse and her photographer Trent Mitchell, and have been shared with permission.

A Guide To Surfing In The Maldives

Last August, I discovered a surfing paradise in the Indian Ocean, known as the Maldives. I had such an amazing time, that I spent the entire year daydreaming about returning, up until the day I finally found myself back again.  Thanks to Club Med, my boyfriend and I packed our bags in anticipation of scoring epic waves in an epic place…

For those who have never been to the Maldives, it can seem like a fantasy location, somewhere far away on the other side of the world. It’s certainly not an easy journey from Los Angeles; consisting of a 16 hour flight to Dubai, a 7 hour layover, a 4 hour flight to Malé, and then a boat ride to whichever atoll you’re resort is situated in. However, the journey is doable and highly recommended for those seeking the ultimate ocean paradise in an exotic destination.

21980167_795822663922311_4728416275980615680_n.jpg

Guide to Surfing in the Maldives

The Maldives is a special place. Made up of more than 1000 islands, there are endless surf breaks to score long, perfect, head-high waves to your heart’s desire. On the rare chance that is is too flat to surf, the Maldives is home to incredible marine life, making free diving a favorable alternative.

The archipelago is made up of three main areas: Malé Atolls, Central Atolls, and South Atolls.

Club Med Kani is located within the Malé Atolls, and there’s a helpful, on-site Excursions team that will take you (and your group) on a chartered motorboat to any surf or dive spot you wish to go to. All you need to do is set up a time and then meet your boat at the dock. Once on board, you can ask your driver to check a few spots before deciding where to surf. Most of the spots located in the Malé Atolls are very close to each other, so hopping from spot to spot is easy. Unfortunately, the Malé Atolls can be quite crowded, especially between May and August. However, with access to a boat and with some patience, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a great surf session.

Surf Spots in the Malé Atolls

Chickens This wave is known to hold swell size from 3ft -10ft+ and provides for a long, left-hand wave with 2 sections where getting barreled is possible on the last section of the wave. When wind conditions line up perfectly with a big swell, this is a stellar wave for experienced surfers. However, the wave breaks near a wall of rocks that can look intimidating. I thought this spot was called Chickens because of a surfer’s reactions to the rocks, but it’s actually due to a nearby poultry farm on the island.

Cokes This is a hollow, right-handed wave recommended for experienced surfers when the swell is on the larger side. It breaks over a shallow reef and is known for its tubular waves. The wave’s name comes from a nearby Coca-Cola factory.

Guru’s This left-hand wave picks up plenty of swell and is a popular spot within locals because it is accessible from the shore. It is an easy ride recommended to all surf levels.

Honky’s This wave is a long, left-hand wave with two sections. If nearby Sultans is crowded, this spot can be a good alternative.

Jailbreaks This right-hand wave is located right across the national jail. It is known for being a fast wave with 3 tube sections.

Lohi’s A consistent left-hand wave with two sections, this is a goofy footer’s paradise. Named after the island resort Lohifushi, it is also considered to be a “private wave”, and those not staying at the resort may be discouraged to surf.

Ninjas A slow right-hander with both an outside and inside break, it is good for beginners and long-boarders. This spot doesn’t hold big swell and becomes too walled off. This spot is accessible from the Club Med Kani resort, though walking through the reef on low tide may cut up your feet. It’s not fun to walk to the spot, but it’s possible to surf it without a boat.

Sultans A quick right-hand wave that works better with bigger swell. It is one of the most consistent waves and there will always be something to surf.

… and after a long day of being out in the ocean, there is no better remedy for that surfed-out feeling than filling up a bath tub with warm water, soaking your tired body, and overlook the fish swimming below. Talk about a surfer’s paradise!

Surf photography by Trent Mitchell 



Interview: The Sporty Family Holiday Of Pip Edwards At Club Med Cancun

Untitled-2.jpg

In July, the P.E Nation Co-founder Pip Edwards (@pip_edwards1) ventured to Club Med Cancun with her family. We asked her some questions on how to have an active family trip to Cancun.

Note: All images below are courtesy of Pip Edwards, and have been shared with permission. 

Why did you choose Club Med Cancun Yucatan for your holiday?

We spent time in LA either side of our week in Cancun so it was the perfect choice for a little downtime. It was very easy to get to and nothing beats the Caribbean blue waters of Cancun!

19534557_942529635903791_3569731934579851264_n.jpg

What are your must-haves when travelling to an adventure-meets-relaxation location like Club Med Cancun Yucatan?

👟 Make sure you pack your training gear and trainers as there are soooooo many activities to tick off!!

😎 Sunglasses...

👒 Cap...

☀️ Sunscreen...

👙 Swimsuits...

🏃‍ And activewear are all must haves for a holiday like this.

What was your typical day in Club Med Cancun Yucatan?

Breakfast was always spent sizing up which activities to tackle for the day. Stand up paddle boarding, snorkelling, flying fox, pool basketball, ping pong and tennis were all regular favourites which kept our days very full. It's amazing how many activities you can jam into one day!!!

19761111_1688910521417533_2909551240201371648_n.jpg

What was your highlight from the trip?

Watching my son receive all of his Club Med Medals on awards night. He was so pumped and excited. It really made the holiday.

What did your son like the best about Club Med Cancun Yucatan?

EVERY SINGLE ACTIVITY!!! From tennis to snorkelling, basketball to tennis. He made a whole heap of new friends and was addicted to pool basketball. He never wanted to leave.

What is your top tip for enjoying a romantic getaway while also travelling with a child?

Go to Club Med because it's so focused on the kids and the staff are so incredible with them, that you can actually get some time off to enjoy one on one time with your partner!!!! Basically, everybody is happy !!!!!

Want a dream family holiday like Pip Edwards? Discover our Cancun freshly renovated resort here.

Planning a Last-Minute Summer Holiday? Here Are The Best Spots to Go.

last-minute-summer-holiday.jpg

Where has the year gone?! There are less than 9 Fridays to go until Christmas (bring it on!), and it’s the time of year when our minds start drifting to dreams of time away with the family or your loved ones. With the average cost of hotels skyrocketing to $500 per night, and Airbnb houses in Bondi reaching $1100 a night over this period, often it’s better to skip the domestic holidays and jetset off on an international adventure.

If you’re dreaming of a last-minute international adventure over the Christmas and New Year break, we’ve put together a list of holidays that are still available – and that won’t break the bank.

Take the whole family to beautiful Indonesia

As one of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations, Indonesia is the perfect blend of sun, sand, sea, and culture. Accessible via direct flight from Australia’s capital cities, Bali and Bintan Island are perfect for short Christmas breaks that’ll give you maximum R&R for your precious annual leave.

BALC_G218_024.jpg

If you’re heading to Bali, make sure to check out a traditional Balinese dance, learn Bahasa, and hit the surf breaks in Nusa Dua. A trip to Kintamani and the Temple of Tanah Lot are also must-sees. Meanwhile, avid golfers will be in heaven at Bintan Island, while yogis and health enthusiasts will fall in love with the beautiful beach, spa, fresh produce, and juice bar.

RBIC_H116_016.JPG

Cool down with skiing in China

If you ever want a story to tell and to be ahead of the curve, go and ski in China! An up-and-coming ski destination, China will host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games – and the country is definitely gearing up to grow the local ski scene.

BEIC_A117_092.jpg

Ski resorts like Yabuli have been graced by the likes of Shaun White – plus you can head to the neighbouring city of Harbin and tick the Ice and Snow Festival off your bucket list. Alternatively, China’s latest ski resorts, including Club Med Beidahu, are ideal for skiing in January, with runs that snake through forests.

Adventure in the Malaysian jungle

Hello Malaysia! Head to Cherating Beach, and enjoy a holiday which combines jungle adventures with beautiful secluded beaches. Kids will have a blast meeting the locals, from monkeys scampering around to lizards roaming about – plus, the neighbouring turtle sanctuary is a must-see. For adults, yoga and treetop adventure circuits are perfect to help burn off Christmas dinner. Winner!

_DSC6803.jpg

And for the ultimate end to the year… head to the Maldives

KANV_LUXE_A115_006.jpg

Okay, we’re being a bit cheeky here but hear us out: 2016 is officially Visit Maldives Year, so there really is no better way to finish off the year than a trip to heaven on Earth. You’ve worked hard this year, and now’s the time to treat yourself with a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to the beautiful Maldives.

Indulge with an overwater suite in Kani, or get the ultimate luxury experience in the Finolhu Villas. Go on, you deserve it.

Now that you hold the key to enjoy amazing last minute holidays, discover the best Club Med Offers here and start packing!

All You Need to Know About Holidays in Cancun

DSC6480-cop12y1.jpg

With its picture-perfect white-sand beaches, vibrant dining and nightlife scene, and proximity to fascinating cultural sites, Cancun is a delightful Mexican holiday destination.  Perhaps best-known for hosting spring break festivities, Cancun has much more to offer if you scratch the surface. Here's everything you need to know to plan your Cancun holiday…

Best time to go to Cancun

December-April are the peak months with clear skies and balmy temperatures, while May-August offers hotter temperatures and fewer crowds. If you're not a hard-partying student, it's best to avoid mid-March to early April – that's when spring break is in full swing.

How to get to Cancun

Cancun is around 20 hours flight time from Sydney. You can fly from all major airports in Australia to Los Angeles flying Virgin Australia, with connections to Cancun flying with either Virgin America or Delta Airlines.

Visas and Vaccinations

Australians don't require a visa for holidays to Cancun. However, if you are traveling via USA, you will need an ESTA visa. And while it's not required, it's recommended you check up on your shots: Tetanus and Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and B. It’s important to note that some Club Med Kids Clubs will ask for proof of immunisation for the little ones!

Your guide on what to do and see in Cancun

Explore ancient Mayan sites

  • A day-trip to Chichen Itza is a must-do when you visit Cancun. Amid the pyramids, arcades and columns of the ancient city, Chichen Itza's most notable landmark is El Castilo, a beautiful and imposing 355-step pyramid.

  • Tulum is another popular excursion from Cancun, with a spectacular location overlooking the Carribean Sea. The ancient walled city offers Mayan ruins set above a gorgeous beach.

  • El Ray is home to ancient stone structures and a population of friendly iguanas.

  • Coba is the only site where you can actually still climb the ruins and explore the area on a pushbike.

Discover the exotic Mexican wildlife

  • ☼ A half hour boat ride from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a tropical island offering a low-key alternative to the mainland. The Isla Mujeres Turtle Farm, charged with repopulating the waters with turtle hatchlings, is a must-visit.

  • Holbox is a sleepy island north of Cancun home to a large population of whale sharks. Swimming with these gentle giants of the ocean is possible from June to August.

  • ☼ The Island of Contoy is a nature reserve home to coral reefs and amazing birdlife. The waters surrounding the island contain whale sharks, tropical fish and manta rays.

  • ☼ For a truly spectacular experience, swim in the natural holes and mysterious rivers of Cenotes.

CANC_K117_292.jpg

Have fun with various sports and activities

  • ✔️ With all that turquoise water, it's no surprise watersports are one of the main drawcards in Cancun. Think about choosing an all inclusive resort: Sailing, scuba-diving, and snorkeling are all available with Club Med, for example.

CANC_G114_034.jpg
  • ✔️ With their spectacular backdrops, the golf courses of Cancun lure players from all over the world. With courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, the challenging layouts are sure to delight.

A few tips in "Survival Spanish"

  • Good morning: Buenos días

  • Good afternoon: Buenas tardes

  • Good evening: Buenas noches

  • How are you? ¿Cómo estás?

  • I’m from Australia: Soy de Australia

  • Please: Por favor

  • Thank you: Gracias

A few more helpful tips

  • ✔️ Beware when walking through Cancun's narrow streets! Cars and motorcyles often pass very close to pedestrians.

  • ✔️ Tipping is customary in Cancun: 10-15% at restaurants and one or two dollars per suitcase carried. However, if you’re at Club Med don’t sweat it – everything is included!

The beauty of Cancun represents a once in a lifetime holiday destination. Whether for a honeymoon, a family holiday or an indulgent solo getaway, Cancun is Mexico's ultimate playground.

Discover more about Club Med Cancun Yucatan here or in the video below:

All You Need to Know About Skiing in the Italian Alps

BlogHeroPicture.jpg

Ciao Bella! Villages with cobblestones covered in white, mountains blanketed in fresh powder snow and even bigger mountains of pasta… what more could you want on a holiday? The Italian Alps are truly something all skiers and boarders have to experience, and we have the lowdown on all you need to know for your ski holiday here.

Best time to go to Italy

Club Med Pragelato

The best snow on the Italian Alps is between January and February, when skiers can expect consistently fresh snowfall and cold temperatures. If you really can’t wait to hit the slopes, December is still a good time to visit, especially as you’ll get to experience some Christmas charm.

Remember to book well in advance for trips around Christmas and New Year, and for February (French, Belgian and Swiss school holidays).

How to get there

Flights to Italy are around 26 hours from Sydney, depending on your stopover. For a ski trip, we recommend Emirates, Singapore Airlines or Qantas – you’ll need the luggage allowance for all your ski gear! Consider flying into Turin with an airline such as Air Italia when booking a trip to the Italian Alps, as transfers to the slopes are less than 2 hours. If not, Milan is your next best bet.

Visas for Australians heading to Italy

You won’t need a visa to travel to Italy, unless you’re planning on spending over 90 days in the Schengen area.

An out of this world ski holiday: The Milky Way

There’s nothing more authentically Italian than a romantic snow-covered valley…it’s truly bellissimo! Home to the 2006 Winter Olympics, Pragelato Via Lattea is a ski area of champions.

Holiday in the Italian Alps

There are runs for skiers of all levels, with 42 black runs, 118 red runs, 54 blue runs and 30 green runs – it’s Europe’s second largest ski domain so you’ll never get bored!

Follow the tracks of champions, and ski Olympic courses at your own pace.

Convenience is key! At Pragelato, you can take a gondola from the ski room at Club Med straight to the heart of the mountain.

Stay in private cosy chalets in a protected valley, with romantic cobblestone streets amongst snow-covered fir trees.

Ski on the edge… literally!

Breuil-Cervinia-Valtournenche-Zermatt…it’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s one heck of a ski area! Located on the very edge of Italy, you’ll be able to ski the pistes between Cervinia (Italy) and Zermatt (Switzerland) with ease!

Club Med Cervinia

The Australian Alps have nothing on these ranges! Get some serious altitude, as this mountain soars up to 3920m.

Take the challenge of ‘Nero Cervino’, a black run with a 65 degree drop. This one’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure…

There are ski areas dedicated for the little ones. Valtournenche has jumping castles and a wild west snow play area!

Don’t forget to take a pic with the Matterhorn!

Italian cuisine after a day on the slopes

Pizza, pasta, prosciutto, risotto, minestrone, gelato, cannoli…really, the list of incredible Italian foods could go on forever. Italians are known for their extraordinary cuisine and where better to enjoy the art of Italian food than in the Alps?

Club Med food in the Italian Alps

While you’ll get the classics such as Spaghetti Bolognese and Pasta alla Carbonara everywhere, indulge in a local specialty, Pasta al Tartufo (pasta with truffles), at Club Med Pragelato. What’s more, there are freshly sliced Italian cured meats at every meal, and of course - vino!

Apres-ski aplenty in the Italian Alps

There’s a certain charm about the Italian Alps that has captured the hearts of so many, but not just for the skiing. Europeans invented apres-ski, so it’s no surprise that there are plenty of things to do if you need a break from the slopes:

Apres-ski in the Italian Alps

Take a stroll through the snow-covered cobblestone roads of Via Lattea or Cervinia, and don’t forget to stop for an Italian espresso!

Get active and explore the mountain on snowshoes with a guide

Looking for romance? Take a sleigh ride through the snowy glades

After a long day on the slopes, warm up in a Turkish Bath.

Other spots to visit on a holiday to Italy

Make the most of your ski trip to Italy by taking some time to see some of this beautiful country. Here are our top picks:

Florence, Italy

✔️ They do say all roads lead to Rome! Discover culture and history at The Colosseum, the Forum, the Trevi Fountain and St Peter’s Basilica

✔️ Explore the lost city of Pompeii, only a short train trip from Naples

✔️ Shop ‘til you drop for the world’s finest high-fashion in Milan

✔️ Take a food tour of Florence…your tastebuds will thank us!

Bella Italia!

There’s no doubt about it: the skiing in Italy is some of the best in the world. While you’re at it, indulge in Italian tradition; whether it be food, art or history.

Learn more about Club Med’s Italian ski resorts here and discover Club Med Pragelato Vialattea in the video below.

Want to discover our Facebook Snow Squad Group? Join us here!

All You Need To Know About A Holiday to Phuket

cover2.jpg

What's the ideal spot for a quick getaway from home? An island brimming with beautiful beaches, kind-hearted people to meet and a vibrant cultural history to discover, also known as Phuket. Phuket is the ultimate hub for exploring the customs, community, culture and the phenomenal beauty of Thailand… all while getting a sun tan. 

Best time to go to Phuket

How to go to Club Med Phuket

Phuket is warm all year round, but the dry season falls between December and March and is generally most popular. Don’t worry though, even in the wet season you’ll still see the sun.

Visas and Vaccinations

Unless you plan on staying for more than 30 days, Australian and New Zealand passport holders can travel to Thailand visa-free.

It’s recommended that travellers get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B before travelling to Thailand. Also, kids will need their immunisation history on arrival at the Kids Clubs, whether at Club Med or other resorts.

How to get there

How to go to Phuket

Jetstar is the only airline to fly direct to Phuket, with a flight time of 9 hours from Sydney. Alternatively, enjoy a stopover with Singapore Airlines, Qantas or Thai Airways, with flight times of around 12 hours.

Your guide on what to see and do in Phuket

When it comes to combining culture with sun-soaked fun, Phuket is the perfect spot. Discover Phuket through local flavours, activities, and excursions to beautiful shores…

More than just beautiful beaches

Club Med Phuket Thai Massage

✔️ Relax your body with a traditional Thai massage. ✔️ Take on the challenge of Muay Thai, Thailand’s favourite combat sport!

Club Med Phuket activities

✔️ Soar above vibrant gardens and frangipani trees on the flying trapeze. ✔️ Take a Thai cooking class and learn how to create Homok Talay and Tom Yam Goong – not just Pad Thai. ✔️ Calm your mind and body with yoga classes. ✔️ Take a Ruea Hang Yao (long-tail boat) to secret snorkeling spots, and discover untouched coral reef.

Explore it all in Phuket

Explore in Phuket

✔️ Phang Nga Bay has unbelievable emerald waters, with towering cliffs rising from the sea.

✔️ Get up close and personal at an Elephant Safari Park.

✔️ Swim with colourful fish while diving or snorkelling at Racha Yai Island. If you’re lucky, you might see a few dolphins.

✔️ Learn about Buddhism and spirituality at the Big Buddha, a landmark with 360-degree views of the island.

✔️ A holiday to Phuket isn’t complete without a speedboat trip to Phi Phi Island… it’ll look great on your Instagram.

Survival Thai Tips

📝 Hi: sa-was-dee

📝 Welcome: yin-dee-ton-rab

📝 How are you?: sa-bai-dee-mai

📝 Thank you: kob-kun-mak

📝 Goodbye: la-kor

📝 Excuse me: kor-tang-noi-ka

A few more helpful tips

Tips Club Med Phuket

✔️ To avoid getting sick on your holiday, make sure you always drink bottled water. Many hotels and resorts, like Club Med, will offer safe bottled drinking water in your room or at the bar. Also, don’t eat food cooked on the footpath.

✔️ Don’t be afraid to barter with your taxi or tuk tuk driver. Feel free to negotiate a price to avoid getting overcharged. Your driver will often wait for you at your destination, so make sure you decide on a return-trip price.

✔️ When visiting Buddhist temples, ditch the beach clothes and thongs, and opt for more modest clothing to respect local customs.

There’s so much more to Thailand than Pad Thai and Satay Chicken – you really have to experience this incredible country and its beautiful people for yourself. Pack your bags and head for the seaside at Kata Bay.

Discover more about Club Med Phuket in the video below or by clicking here.

All You Need to Know About a Holiday to Mauritius

bintan.jpg

The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is a tropical paradise, home to ancient volcanoes, lush green forests and a gorgeous coastline dotted with palm-fringed beaches. With a flat ocean for wakeboarders and waterskiers, and some of the most warm-hearted hosts you’ll ever come across, you’l never want to leave. Convinced? Yep, we thought so! Here's everything you need to know to plan your holiday to Mauritius.

Best time to go to Mauritius

infinite pool club med albion

Diving and snorkelling is best from October to March, and from May to October, the surf is top-notch on pristine waters!

If you are really looking for the highest temperatures, you might want to go in December, January or February but keep in mind that it will be rainy season...

How to get to Mauritius

Best Beach Mauritius La Pointe Aux Canonniers

It takes about 8 hours to fly from Perth to Mauritius. From Sydney and other Australian cities, you'll need to first catch a domestic flight through to Perth.

From Perth or Singapore, you can fly with Air Mauritius but if by any chance you find yourself in Kuala Lumpur, Air Asia can also provide you a direct flight!

Visas and Vaccinations

Australians don't require a visa for stays up to 3 months in Mauritius, as long as you have the appropriate travel documents and have an onward or return passage ticket.

Before you go, make sure to check up on your routine vaccinations. As with most island nations, your doctor will most likely also recommend Typhoid, Hepatitis, Rabies and Yellow Fever vaccinations. If in doubt, just check in with your GP before heading on holiday.

Your guide on what to do and see in Mauritius

Hit the water

Mauritius snorkeling and wakeboarding

☼ Scuba divers from all over the world flock to Mauritius. On the island's south coast, Blue Bay offers ideal conditions for beginners. More experienced divers head to the north and east coasts for reefs, shipwrecks and amazing concentrations of tropical fish.

☼ The north western tip of the island (where Club Med La Pointe aux Canonniers is located) plays host to waterskiing and wakeboarding, thanks to smooth coastal waters formed by a natural lagoon.

Club Med Albion Family Holidays

☼ Trou aux Biches is family-friendly beach with a reef teeming with marine life – in other words, it’s the perfect spot for avid snorkelers!

☼ Still not wet enough? Tick off an experience on your bucket list and swim with dolphins in Bénitier Lagoon, kitesurf and windsurf at Le Morne, or parasail off Belle Mare.

Fun on dry land

Club Med Mauritius Hiking

☼ Hiking the island's hilly terrain is popular with the trek to the summit of Le Morne one of the most popular hikes.

Kids and grown-ups alike will love Casela Safari, a 14-hectare nature park home to elephants, rhinos and big cats. The popular Walking with Lions one-hour guided walking tour allows you to get astonishingly close to lions, tigers and cheetahs.

☼ The island boasts some breathtaking golf courses overlooking the sea. Most courses are located within the island's resorts, including near Club Med Albion Villas.

Discover an exotic melting-pot

ALBC_B113_049

☼ Port-Louis, that most people know as 'Por Lowee' is Mauritius capital and the first stop you should make on your cultural tour. The diverse cultures of Mauritius can be found everywhere, especially when you gaze over churches, mosques, and Indian temples from the citadel. Most of them are also open to visitors so feel free to step inside, while respecting the local customs!

☼ The Chamarel Village is also a local gem that you must visit. In the midst of the jungle, you will find one of the finest Mauritian Rhum distillery and local coffee plantations. The cherry on the cake? Iconic natural wonders like the Seven Colored Earths or the Chamarel Falls, are also located in this small village of 700.

Must-see local festivals. The Mauritian melting-pot also allows you to enjoy several celebrations, from different religions and influences all year round. If you have the opportunity to be there in November, you will see the Muslim celebration of the Goons, the Hindu's lights for Diwali and the rythmic Festival Kreol to name a few!

What to eat in Mauritius

Club Med La Pointe Aux Canonniers Restaurant

With influences from Africa, France, India and China, the cuisine of Mauritius is a delicious, spice-laden journey of unique flavours. Must-try dishes include:

🍜 Fish Vindaye: fish preserved with spices and served with rice, dhal and pickles.

🍜  Octopus Curry: Mauritian curries differ from their Indian counterparts by including unusual meat and seafoods - octopus is a favourite

🍜  Dholl Puris: the island's national dish of a flatbread topped with yellow split peas.

Before you plan your Mauritius getaway...

A few more helpful tips from locals

✔️  Unlike Oz, Mauritius is pleasingly free of venomous reptiles or dangerous animals. The only things to worry about are a few feisty sea creatures like stonefish – just mind where you are stepping.

✔️  Falling asleep under a coconut tree might be the quintessential tropical paradise activity – but beware, sometimes coconuts fall, and you don't want to be underneath when that happens!

✔️  If you want to take the extended family on a holiday in Mauritius, renting a villa will allow you and your loved ones the chance to soak up the sun for that little bit longer.

Club Med Albion Villas

Quite simply put, Mauritius equals tropical bliss. Whether for fun and adventure on land or on water, whether you want an adrenaline rush every day, or whether you want to simply lie back and relax in paradise, Mauritius literally has it all.

Discover all our Club Med resorts in Mauritius here, or start by watching a video of Club Med La Plantation d'Albion below:

All You Need to Know About a Holiday to Cherating Beach, Malaysia

BlogHeroPicturekids.jpg
Club Med Cherating

Craving an escape to nature? Cherating Beach ticks all the boxes with warm water, tropical rainforests and wildlife at every turn. Straddling Malaysia’s east coast, Cherating Beach’s lush jungles and secluded beaches make it the ideal holiday for couples and families.

So if you’re planning a holiday to Cherating Beach, here’s everything you need to get your Malaysian jungle experience underway…

Best time to visit Malaysia

Cherating Beach is hot, humid and sunny for the majority of the year, with temperatures ranging between 22 and a balmy 32 degrees. Monsoon season is between November and February, but Malaysia’s east coast is generally drier than the rest of the peninsula.

How to get there

Club Med Cherating

Fly direct from Sydney to Singapore on Singapore Airlines and connect on Firefly to Kuantan, or fly Malaysia Airlines to Kuala Lumpur then connect on to Kuantan. From there, it’s an easy 45-minute drive to Cherating Beach.

If you’re the road-tripping type, Cherating Beach is less than three hours by road from Kuala Lumpur.

Visas and Vaccinations

Make sure everyone has had your routine vaccinations for Mumps, Measles and Rubella, as well as Diphtheria. While it’s not required, check with your doctor if you should also get shots for Typhoid and Hepatitis A.

Aside from that, just hop on the plane! Aussies and Kiwis can stay in Malaysia for up to 3 months without a visa, as long as your passport has at least 6 months validity.

Your guide on what to see and do in Cherating Beach

The Malaysian jungle is filled with endless adventures, and Cherating Beach is no exception! Explore this incredible part of the world in an almost endless number of ways…

Get back to nature

Visit the Turtle Sanctuary and release turtle hatchlings into the sea

Club Med Cherating

Go on a magical firefly excursion on the Cherating River, and learn how and why these mysterious glowing beetles communicate using light

Discover the Cherating Mangroves with an hour boat ride through this natural haven

Pick a sunbed and relax on one of the many private beaches! Three are located just outside Club Med Cherating Beach, and stretch over four kilometres

Club Med Cherating

Get your hiking boots for a jungle adventure trek

Get your blood pumping

Get some height and climb the treetop adventure circuit in the jungle

Club Med Cherating

Soar with the monkeys on the flying trapeze in the heart of the forest

Grab a kayak or boat and venture out onto the clear waters of Cherating Beach

Learn from the locals

Visit Kuantan, the east coast’s largest city, located 30km south of Cherating Beach

Take a trip to the nearby traditional villages to experience the culture and meet the locals

A few more helpful tips before you go to Cherating Beach

✔️ The monkeys are adorable, but don’t get too comfortable! You’ll find monkeys at every corner of the jungle, and they’re a sneaky bunch. Leave your luggage unattended or your food lying out, and you can be assured before long you’ll have a group of monkey friends.

Club Med Cherating

✔️ The turtle sanctuary is closed on Mondays so plan ahead. The sanctuary is just 5 minutes from Cherating Beach, so it’s easy to get there – if you’re keen to release some hatchlings it’s always best to call ahead to ensure you get a spot.

✔️ Bring plenty of sunscreen and mozzie repellant. With such tropical temperatures, the sun can be a scorcher!

Club Med Cherating

See you on the beach! ☀🌴

Discover more about Club Med Cherating Beach in the video below, or by clicking here.

All You Need To Know About A Holiday to Bintan Island

bintan1.jpg
Club Med Bintan Island

Secluded beaches, raw nature and beautiful jungle… nope, you’re not dreaming. Bintan Island, just a short ferry ride from Singapore, has all of these things – and none of the crowds. Once a pirate’s island, Bintan Island is now a treasure trove of its own.

Best time to go to Bintan Island

For the best weather, venture to Bintan Island in the dry season from March – October.  We recommend sticking around for the Tanjung Pinang International Dragon Boat Festival in October!

How to get there

Club Med Bintan Island

The easiest way to reach Bintan is via Singapore, which is only 8 hours from Sydney and 5 hours from Perth. Look for all-inclusive flights with Singapore Airlines and Qantas, or low-cost flights with Jetstar and Scoot. Once you’re in Singapore, Bintan Island is a short 50-minute ferry ride away. Too easy.

Visa and Vaccinations

Bintan Island is part of Indonesia, which means Aussie tourists won’t require a visa to visit Indonesia for less than 30 days.

Also, while it’s not a necessity, it’s a good idea to check up on your shots: Tetnus and Diptheria, Hepatitis A and B. At Club Med, Kids Clubs also require proof of immunisation for the little ones so make sure to get a certificate before heading off.

Your guide on what to do in Bintan Island

Whether you’re looking to rejuvenate, nourish, and refresh your body and mind, or to get active, Bintan Island literally has it all.

Here are our picks:

Rejuvenate and unwind

Club Med Bintan Island
Club Med Bintan Island

☼ Lie alongside pristine sandy shores under the warmth of the tropical sun ☼ Enlighten your mind, body and spirit with sunset yoga by the ocean ☼ Refresh with a fresh juice bar, or daily selections of vibrant tropical fruits ☼ Enjoy a serene couple’s massage at a spa in the clifftops or a facial all to yourself.

Have an active experience under the sun

Club Med Bintan Island
Club Med Bintan Island

☼ Tee-off at the Ria Bintan, Bintan Island’s award-winning golf course just five minutes away from Club Med Bintan Island. With panoramic ocean views and spectacular greens atop ocean cliffs, its no wonder Ria Bintan is one of Asia’s best golf courses ☼ Soar through the air on a flying trapeze by the ocean at twilight. Perfection! ☼ Paddle a kayak out to sea, or glide over the waves on a windsurf ☼ Strap on a snorkel and explore the vibrant life beneath the waves

Extend your trip with a stopover in Singapore

Singapore

Located only 50 minutes ferry from Singapore, we recommend anyone visiting Bintan Island spend a few days exploring this vibrant city. Lost in the wonder of the big smoke? Check out our top picks: ☼ Take the family on the ride o their life at Universal Studios on Sentosa Island ☼ Get up close and personal with the animals at Singapore Zoo ☼ Enjoy a drink and the evening laser show at the iconic Marina Bay Sands ☼ Enlighten yourself on a spiritual visit to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple ☼ A visit to Gardens by the Bay is a botanical experience like no other. This one’s a must do!

A few helpful tips before your trip…

Club Med Bintan Island

✔️ Check your passport. Since you’ll need to get off your plane in Singapore, make sure your passport has at least 6 months validity!

✔️ Bintan Island is one hour away from Singapore…and one hour behind. Make sure to set back your watches appropriately!

✔️ Construction on an international airport will begin from 2017, and the island will become more accessible from then – so make sure you get in now!

✔️ Ferry timetables are available online and most of them line up nicely with flight arrivals. Keep up-to-date online at the Tanah Merah Ferry website.

A pirate’s life for me?

Club Med Bintan Island

Bintan Island truly is an ideal wellness escape just a stone’s throw from Singapore, and makes for the perfect place to restore and refresh your body and mind. Plus, it’s still one of Asia’s best-kept secrets,making it the perfect place to recharge your batteries – without the crowds.

Discover more about this amazing holiday destination on the Club Med website.

All You Need to Know About a Holiday to Bali, Indonesia

BlogHeroPicturebali.jpg

Towering coconut palms and long, sandy beaches under the warm tropical sun… it’s no wonder Bali is one of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations. Bali has a rich cultural and spiritual history, with fragrant foods, temples and traditional festivals just waiting to be discovered.Sound like a dream? It definitely is. If you’re planning a holiday to Bali, here’s everything you need to know about this tropical paradise…

Best time to go to Bali

Club Med Bali

Depends on what you’re after! May – July are the peak months of dry season. If you’re a surfer, catch the best waves between April – October, and if you’re looking for culture, don’t miss the Nyepi Festival in March or the Galungan Festival in February.

How to get there

Club Med Bali

Bali is only a 6 hour flight from Sydney or a 4 hour flight from Perth. Virgin, Jetstar and Garuda all fly direct.

Visas and Vaccinations

We have some good news: Australian tourists no longer require a visa to visit Bali for less than 30 days. And while it’s not required, it’s recommended you check up on your shots: Tetnus and Diptheria, Hepatitis A and B. It’s important to note that some Club Med Kids Clubs will ask for proof of immunization for the little ones!

Your guide on what to do and see in Bali

One of the best things about a holiday to Bali is immersing yourself in the rich culture, and making the most of beautiful surroundings. From surfing the seas to savasana in yoga, we’ve got our top picks below.

Embrace local traditions

Club Med Bali

✔️ Take a lesson in Bahasa, the official language of Indonesia

✔️ Participate in a traditional Balinese tea ceremony

✔️ Learn how to create delectable delicacies such as lawar or bebek betutu at a Balinese cooking class.

Chase your adrenaline

Club Med Bali
Club Med Bali

✔️ Soar through the air on a flying trapeze amongst the palms!

✔️ Enjoy a competitive match of beach volleyball on the sandy shores of Nusa Dua.

✔️ Try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding or windsurfing alongside pristine shores

✔️ Venture to UIuwatu or Padang Padang to experience the very best swells Bali has to offer – surf on waves of up to 12 ft!

Embark on an adventure

Club Med Bali

✔️ Escape to the Uluwatu Temple to uncover beautifully crafted Balinese architecture and spirituality, or watch the sun set from a cliff towering above the seas

✔️ Visit world-heritage listed Borobudur and experience Buddhist spirituality and history first-hand

✔️ Take the plunge and feel the thrill of white water rafting down the Ayung River and through the dense Balinese jungle.

A few more helpful tips before your trip to Bali…

Club Med Bali
  • Wild animals look cute, but be wary! Not only will wild monkeys try to steal your food, but they might get in to your luggage too. Keep a lookout for these little critters and take photos, but keep your distance.

  • Rainy season doesn’t mean constant downpours. While the weather is out of anyone’s control, often rain is limited to a few brief spells rather than a constant downpour.

  • Haggling is okay for products and services but save it for markets and stores. Most international resorts and hotels in Bali, including Club Med Bali, have fixed rates within the resort.

Survival Bahasa – Basic words you need to know

Good morning: selamat pagi

Good afternoon: selamat sore

Good evening: selamat malam

Hi, how are you? Hi, apa kabar?

I’m from Australia. Saya dari Australia.

Thank you! Terima kasih

Please: tolong

Really, there’s something for everyone in Bali. Whether you’re looking for exhilarating experiences, a cultural awakening, or simply somewhere to laze by the pool, you really can’t go wrong.

Take the kids, take a partner, or bring all your friends; you’ll have a ball under the Balinese sun!

Club Med Bali

Discover more about Club Med Bali in the video below, or by clicking here.