relax

Aerial Yoga - Why You Should Make Your Next Yoga Class Suspended in the Air

Imagine yourself suspended off the ground by a hammock with a light breeze and an amazing view in the background… It’s fun, totally different and a little bit crazy - it’s called Aerial Yoga.

This new activity appeared in the last few years after yoga really took off all over the world. Aerial yoga involves moving through different postures to help improve alignment and flexibility - yet don’t be fooled by the challenging postures, it’s still accessible for all levels of experience. And it is now available at Club Med Bintan Island!

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What is aerial yoga

Aerial yoga is also called anti-gravity yoga as during the session you are suspended off the ground. It combines traditional yoga postures and core strengthening exercises with the use of silk hammock that lift you off the ground and allow you to completely let go, getting deeper into the postures, and cracking a few smiles in the process!

Benefits

  • It relieves compression in the spine instead of the natural downward compression produced by gravity. It allows you to relax and reduces joint pressure.

  • It challenges the central nervous system and stimulates both mind and body. It requires focus and patience to learn to move your body through the different poses.

  • It increases pulling strength. This movement isn’t found in the traditional yoga practice. It is a great way to keep your shoulders balanced!

  • It improves flexibility. You will be able to refine and improve your alignment and relax into the pose.

  • It is beginner-friendly! You can play with the different postures and build the strength to execute the different yoga poses as you gather strength and confidence with each class.

Yoga in Bintan Island

From Club Med Bintan Island, take time to rejuvenate body and soul with an aerial yoga session facing the sea, just upside down! You’ll definitely get addicted quicker than you think.

Just a short ferry ride from Singapore, Bintan Island is surrounded by raw natural beauty: the perfect place to relax and experience wellness activities: a beautiful spa perched on the rocks, flying trapeze or new yoga poses.

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Interview : Emma Isaacs and her Bali Family Experience

Founder and Global CEO of Business Chicks, supporting Australian business women, and Author of “Winging It” book, Emma Isaacs is a busy entrepreneur. She is passionate about encouraging women to be bold, to be courageous and to take risks.

As a Mum of 5 (enough for a basketball team, she says) Emma Isaacs needed a break from her never-stopping schedule of Mum-Entrepreneur and chose Club Med Bali for her well-deserved me and family time.

Want to know more about Emma’s holidays in Bali as well as tips to disconnect and how to have a successful holiday? We had the pleasure to ask her a few questions about her relaxing stay.

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

If you could describe your family holiday to Club Med Bali in 3 words, what would they be and why?

🙌 I’d say “freeing” because to be able to choose how much I have my kids with me or away from me brings a huge sense of freedom.

🎉 Then “fun” because we always love the array of activities from circus school through to the nightly concerts.

😌 And finally “stress free” as I love how everything is included at Club Med and you don’t have to worry about receiving a massive bill at the end of the vacation.  

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Tell us about your Club Med Bali experience as a family with 5 young children.

It was awesome because of the affordable childcare for our baby. The local nannies at Club Med Bali are true dedicated to what they do and we always feel happy being able to leave the baby knowing she's in great hands. 

What were some of the activities your family did at Club Med Bali?

The kids were really into the Kids Club and they did the trapeze every day. They also made friends from other countries and spent a lot of time exploring the resort. 

Did you manage to find a balance between "us" time and "me" time while on holiday at the resort?

Yes that’s the beauty of Club Med! We found ourselves with many free hours during the day (guilt free!) and would congregate as a family over meals. 

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With such a busy work and family schedule, how do you find time to organise and take holidays? Any tips for fellow busy mums?

My advice would be to sit down and plan the year ahead. Even though you know there’s going to be an expense and lots of organisation, just rip the band-aid off and book a holiday in. Breaks like this one, to Club Med, keep you motivated to work hard knowing that there is a holiday at the end. 

What are your top tips to disconnect from business/routine while on holidays?

I’ve been en entrepreneur my whole life so there is no such thing as truly switching off and I’m absolutely ok with that. I actually find it less stressful if I can check in with the office for a tiny bit of time during the holiday and then I find I’m free to focus on recharging when I’m sure everything is taken care of back home (which it always is!) 

How does travel effect the way you work, your creativity, productivity and view on priorities?

I always find I’m far more creative and inspired when I prioritise vacation time.  

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What country / holiday has inspired you the most in your life and why?

I’m fortunate enough to have experienced a safari in Africa, exploring the raids in Morocco, sipping cocktails on Necker Island in the Caribbean and frequently visiting New York with girlfriends, but anywhere that I’m able to make sure the kids are having fun and I’m also getting a break will be top of my list. 

What is the next Club Med resort you would like to experience and why?

Cancun in Mexico! Living in LA means we often get to Mexico but I have not yet made it to Cancun so that’s next on my list. 

Discover more about this sanctuary for families and friends at Club Med Bali here!

20 reasons to book an amazing snow holiday for 2020

It’s time to decide on your next holiday destination – so, which will it be: sun or snow? Although sipping cocktails pool-side and basking in the sun is always a great relaxing holiday, why not shake things up in 2020 and take your next holiday to new heights with an unforgettable snow escape?

From the soaring peaks of Mont Blanc in the French Alps to the perfect powder slopes of Hokkaido in Japan, there are so many reasons to make your next holiday one in the snow…and why you shouldn’t delay and book one NOW! So sit back and relax, we’ve listed 20 reasons why you should book a snow holiday for 2020 below…

1. Amazing snow conditions and resorts to experience

With over 20 on-snow resorts, you’ll be sure to experience the most incredible skiing and snowboarding conditions with kilometres and kilometres of fun.

Ski, snowboard or snowshoe in the 4th largest ski area worldwide from the brand new Club Med Les Arcs Panorama or slide nonstop on the 14-kilometre long slope from the mountain top at the new resort Club Med Grand Massif Samoens Morillon to the Valley of Giffre.

Thinking of somewhere a bit closer? Japan is known for its incredible powder snow and conditions are almost always great. No excuse not to go and glide on that fresh powder!

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2. Finally experience a European white winter of your dreams

If you’ve yet to experience a white winter in Europe… here’s your chance with more than 15 Club Med snow resorts in Europe. Whether you want to try skiing for the first time, just enjoy the mountain feel or discover a new experience - all kinds of activities are available and promise an amazing snow holiday in the mountains.

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3. Slide through the fresh powder of Japan

For an authentic Japanese experience and endless powder snow, the Hokkaido region is one of the best choices for a snow holiday that’s not too far from home. Need more convincing? Tomamu has just been awarded as the number 1 resort in Japan by international travellers on TripAdvisor and Sahoro as the Number 1 hotel for families in Japan by TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice.

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4. Try new destinations you’ve never thought about

Did you know that there are some ski resorts in China? If you’re looking for a bit of adventure, snow, and fun - Club Med Beidahu or Club Med Yabuli are waiting for you! Be a pioneer and discover skiing in China before everyone else. Taste a traditional Chinese fondue, a typical dish to share in a warm-hearted spirit, and hit uncrowded slopes in wonderland-like landscapes.

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5. Embark on a culinary journey

From cheesy tartiflette and fine wine in Europe or fresh sushi, Yakiniku BBQ and sake in Japan: your tastes buds will be tingling. More than just a ski holiday, embark on a culinary journey and discover local cuisine and specialties.

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6. You won’t believe how easy it is to organise

With Club Med, it’s all taken care of so you can just focus on relaxing, having fun and reconnecting with loved ones. Lift passes are ready, lessons are booked, and ski gear is even awaiting for you in your locker. It doesn’t get much better than this!

7. Beginner? Snow-worries…

Whether you’ve never set foot on snow or had only a couple of lessons, no worries at all – we’ve got you. From having small group lessons with English-speaking professional instructors to getting introduced to the mountain lifestyle - your first ski experience will be unforgettable. Check out our ultimate guide for the first time skier here for more information.

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8. Enjoy the mountain to the fullest

Even if you want to ski or snowboard, you can definitely have an amazing snow holiday by trying other activities such as snowshoeing in stunning landscapes or having a bit of fun with sledding or ice-skating. Plus, all of Club Med snow resorts have an array of unique adventures on offer as well as indoor activities.

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9. Ski where the Olympians do

As an official partner of the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA), Club Med regularly have winter Olympic athletes training in the resorts. Are you ready to ski alongside our country’s athletes? You might pick up a tip or two!

10. Make lifelong memories with loved ones

Booking a snow holiday is also the occasion for you to reconnect with your loved ones. Everything is already taken care of, so take a moment to relax by the crackling fire, a tea or hot cocoa in-hand, and enjoy every moment with your loved ones.

11.  Kids will have the time of their lives

Kids at Club Med are in their winter element! Little ones can learn to ski from 4 years old and make new friends from around the world in the included Kids Clubs, teens can enjoy the slopes during the day and hang out with new friends in the evenings, and adults can enjoy the different mountain elements knowing their children are very well looked after. Families can also share amazing moments together with the new family experience restaurant in our new resorts, where children are inviting their parents to dinner for a fully interactive experience.

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12. Revive and relax after the slopes

After a big day shredding the powder slopes of Japan, Italy or France, there’s nothing more satisfying than relaxing in the sauna, getting a well-deserved massage at the spa or swimming in the heated indoor or outdoor pool.

Each Club Med snow resort has unique spa partnerships with the best well-being brands such as Nuxe, Cinq Mondes or L’Occitane. Post-ski bliss!

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13. Snap the ultimate Instagram shot

Warning: your friends might be a little bit jealous seeing the blue-bird snow days! With incredible landscapes, trendy design and delicious food, there are so many nice shots you can take during your holiday.

Start first by choosing the subject for your photo, get creative and find a new angle, take advantage of the golden hour for a nice light and there you go - you have the perfect shot! Here is one of the great shots that you could take during your next snow holiday.

14. Indulge in luxury

Thinking of going the extra mile for your snow holiday? Discover the Exclusive Collection by Club Med - a series of luxurious resorts set within stunning destinations such as Valmorel Chalet-Apartments, Le Belvedere Exclusive Space in Les Arcs Panorama, Le Lodge Exclusive Space in Valmorel resort and Le Refuge Exclusive Space in Val d’Isere.

All these exclusive spaces offer luxurious accommodation, services such as bottomless champagne from the bar from 6pm, dedicated friendly hosts and more…

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15. Here’s your excuse to look stylish on the slopes

A snow holiday also means… ski and snowboard gear! And what better excuse to buy new gear for your upcoming holiday? Rental shops are available at the resort so don’t worry about bringing skis and snowboards, but why not buy that cute beanie or warm puffer jacket and feel super comfortable as well as super stylish?

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16. Wake up to snowy views every single day 

Get cosy in your room and admire snowy views every single day. Designed by the world’s best architects and designers, feel comfortable in your home away from home with lazy morning sleep-ins, afternoon naps after skiing all morning or getting ready for an evening at the resort. It’s your own private space in paradise.

17. It feels good to plan the next holiday

Maybe you just came back from holidays but it always feels good to look forward to the next holiday, right? Even if it’s for 2020, don’t worry - just the thought of planning your dream snow holiday will make you feel good.

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18. The earlier you book, the more you save!

Great news - planning your holiday early means you get the best deals, especially for snow holidays with Club Med. If you book at sales opening on 30 January 2019, you can benefit from up to 30% off your dream holiday – the best offer guaranteed of the year. Which means all that’s left to do is sit back and relax until your holiday!

19. Planning in advance means more time to relax

Once you book your snow holiday with Club Med, it’s all taken care of. You just have to choose from a wide variety of activities, restaurants, and amazing experiences once you get there. Enjoy the all-inclusive convenience from accommodation, gourmet meals, open bar, sports and activities: with us, it is all included in one package. Easy!

20. Go once and you’ll want to come back every year!

The fresh air of the mountains, the warm and fun vibes, the fresh powder… you’ll quickly understand how addictive a snow holiday is and we promise you - you’ll definitely want to come back again.

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Convinced yet? Book your snow holiday here with Club Med!

Looking to be part of a like-minded snow community? Join the Club Med snow squad here and receive snow holidays tips, insider knowledge as well as prizes, exclusive deals and more.

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

Top Snow Resorts to get you Pumped for the Games...No Matter your Ability

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An opportunity to gather nationalities, live the spirit of sport and follow incredible extreme sports achieved by high-level athletes...who doesn't love the Winter Games?! This year, the 2018 Winter Games kicked off on 9th February and will run up until 25th February, 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, serving up a healthy dose of adrenaline to the athletes, and motivation for viewers to dust off the old skis or learn the skill of snow sports. Whether you're a just starting out or consider yourself a 'pro', Club Med has pulled together a list of the best ski resorts to get you snow-loving like an athlete.

Learning to ski - beginner skiers

Just starting out and still a little shaky? With fluffy powder snow, runs for all ability and world-class instructors, Japan is for you!

Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido

Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido, the trendiest new ski resort where you can experience the incredible mountains of the Hokkaido region, offers access to over 145 hectares of snow to explore. Perfect for all abilities and ages with ski lessons liked to the Kids Club, there's truly something for everyone on and off the slopes. Ski made easy thanks to free ski lift pass, small group lesson included for all levels with English-speaking and professional ski instructors, plus an indoor wave pool just 2 minutes from the resort - Club Med Tomamu is a winter wonderland!

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Club Med Sahoro

Don't forget the sensational Club Med Sahoro, awarded as one of the best travel destinations in Asia, Hokkaido promises a fun-filled family experience! This is the perfect setting for family snow holidays and to discover a little-known area of this fascinating country. Enjoy hassle-free skiing on powder snow without the crowds in a peaceful setting, perfect for beginners! Free ski lift pass for Sahoro domain is also included with ski lesson, ski from 4 years old and snow from 8 years old.

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Intermediate skiers

Club Med Grand Massif

Club Med Grand Massif located in the French Alps, is one of Club Med's new ski resorts opened in December 2017. This resort is the perfect destination to soak up the 360 view of the valley designed to blend in with the mountain top. You can also ski between two domains, among pine trees on the Massif side or with open views of Mont Blanc on the Flaine side. What could be better than skiing with a view? Slide non stop on the 14 kilometre long slope taking you from the mountain top to the Valley of Giffre. Combine there, amazing skiing experience and amazing views!

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Advanced skiers

Club Med Arcs Extreme (for adults-only)

Arcs Extreme located in the French Alps, is the only Club Med snow resort dedicated only to adults. For the very best in winter sports and festive fun, Club Med Arcs Extrême is the place to be! A ski-in-ski-out resort with more than 200kms of slopes available and at 2000 metres altitude, it's the ideal resort for those looking for the ultimate thrill!

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Club Med Val Thorens Sensations

Club Med Val Thorens Sensations, located in the ski station voted best in the world, offers ski-in-ski-out access to the 3 Vallees domain. Perfect for expert skier with the largest and possibly best ski areas on earth! Moreover, the resort stands at an altitude of 2,300 metres which guarantees snow until April.

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Ready to hit the slopes? Learn more about Club Med's 20+ snow resorts here!

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

A family holiday in Club Med Bintan Island

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Club Med has met the lovely Tara Morgan, a Melbourne-based Mobile Travel Agent, who travelled to Bintan Island with her family in October 2017. There, Tara celebrated her daughter's 10th birthday, relaxed and discovered new experiences! She was kind enough to answer our questions and share with us her experience at Club Med Bintan Island in Indonesia. Hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed interviewing her!

1. Why did you choose to go Club Med Bintan Island?

We needed a family holiday that wasn’t too far to travel from Melbourne which had a great beach and where everything was included (activities, food and drinks) and Club Med Bintan delivered.

2. What was your typical day in the resort?

My children couldn’t wait to go to kids club after breakfast each morning to do archery followed by circus school where they flew through the air on the trapeze. It gave my children amazing opportunities and they were able to meet children from countries all over the world as well as the incredible staff members who also came from countries from all over the world – it truly broadened their horizons.

We would then spend part of the afternoon at the beach. When we were there they had the most perfect waves which were just big enough to be able to body surf. And then in between swimming we would hop on a paddle board, kayak or catamaran with the children and go out on the water. There are so many activities on offer and to take part in if you want too. As a family we played tennis, badminton, family archery, basketball, water polo, water aerobics, golf just to name a few.

Then each night they put on different shows which were fantastic especially the white night!

3. What was your highlight from the trip?

Celebrating my daughters 10th birthday whilst we were there with a specially made Club Med cake followed by the children performing on stage. Also, being located next to the Ria Bintan golf course was also fantastic as we had the opportunity to play at this first class golf course which was additional but worth every cent. Back at Club Med Bintan they have a putting green and also you can hit in the nets and be taught by a golf pro.

4. What did you enjoy the most in Bintan Island?

Definitely all of the activities that were available, the beach, then the food – oh my goodness where do I start……the choices were incredible. Being such a multi cultural resort the food also represented this diversity. From Italian to Korean to Indian to Japanese and then American to name a few.

We were so spoilt for choice and then desserts….thank goodness we did so many activities during the day! I loved that my children had such an amazing variety of food and dishes to choose from and that they could go up and get it themselves. Being all inclusive made our family holiday so very easy. We didn’t have to worry when the children wanted another banana milkshake – they just went up and ordered it themselves. Or we wanted another Pina Colada - no nasty bill at the end of our stay as it is all part of our package.

5. What is your top tip for a family trip in Bintan Island?

Always check the activity board for the next day so that you don’t miss out on any of the fantastic activities that are offered on each day.

6. What are your must-dos for a perfect family holiday in Bintan?

Enjoy and try the activities and new experiences that Club Med Bintan has to offer and also enjoy the precious family time together.

7. Which Club Med would you like to try next?

We would absolutely love to take the children skiing in Japan to Club Med Sahoro

My family and I have just recently returned from the most wonderful 7 night family holiday at Club Med Bintan.

This was the family holiday we needed and Club Med Bintan delivered! It has something for everyone – an amazing kids club catering to all different ages and activities. My children couldn’t wait to go to kids club after breakfast each morning to do archery followed by circus school where they flew through the air on the trapeze. There were so many activities for all children to choose from including being part of the stage production which was just fantastic. It gave my children amazing opportunities and they were able to meet children from countries all over the world as well as the incredible staff members who also came from countries from all over the world – it truly broadened their horizons.

Then the food – oh my goodness where do I start……the choices were incredible. Being such a multi cultural resort the food also represented this diversity. From Italian to Korean to Indian to Japanese and then American to name a few. We were so spoilt for choice and then desserts….thank goodness we did so many activities during the day! I loved that my children had such an amazing variety of food and dishes to choose from and that they could go up and get it themselves.

Being all inclusive made our family holiday so very easy. We didn’t have to worry when the children wanted another banana milkshake – they just went up and ordered it themselves. Or we wanted another Pina Colada - no nasty bill at the end of our stay as it is all part of our package.

Club Med Bintan has the most beautiful beach and the water temperature is just divine. When we were there they had the most perfect waves which were just big enough to be able to body surf. And then inbetween swimming we would hop on a paddle board, kayak or catamaran with the children and go out on the water. Bliss!

Being located next to the Ria Bintan golf course was also fantastic as we had the opportunity to play at this first class golf course which was additional but worth every cent. Back at Club Med Bintan they have a putting green and also you can hit in the nets and be taught by a golf pro.

There are so many activities on offer and to take part in if you want too. As a family we played tennis, badminton, family archery, basketball, water polo, water aerobics, golf just to name a few. Then each night they put on different shows which were fantastic especially the white night!

We absolutely loved our stay at Club Med Bintan and it definitely exceeded our expectations. It was the perfect holiday for us.

Thank-you to all the wonderful staff who made our stay so memorable.

We are now looking forward to planning our next Club Med holiday!

Curious to know more? Discover all what you can do at Club Med Bintan Island and plan your next family holiday!

Luxury Travel in the Maldives by Eryn Krouse

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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? (;

What could your snow holiday look like in Club Med Tomamu?

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Think Hokkaido, and powder snow pops to mind... Blanketed in a sheet of pristine white, winter has never looked more captivating! Arguably the best winter holiday destination in Japan, beautiful natural landscapes meet with magnificent volcanic origins to create a mystical wonderland - Welcome to Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido!

Scheduled to open in December 2017, here's a little foretaste of all the Must Try Experiences available in this brand new all-inclusive resort for your next family snow holidays!

The ultimate powder snow experience

Strap on your skis or snowboard and hit the slopes! Gear up with rental equipment and take to the slopes for endless half pipes, table tops, kickers, rails, and boxes – why glide on the snow when you can ride a different wave?

Can’t ski? Experience the rush of wintry winds on snow sleds or ice slides. Snowshoe across soft powder with the mountainscape as your backdrop. With 145 hectares of snow to frolic in, state-of-the-art equipment, and expert instructors to guide you with group lessons, Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido caters to both beginners and experienced snow sportsmen. For the adventurous at heart, night skiing is also available at an extra cost from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm every weekend.

Memorable (or maybe not so...) nights at the Ice Village

The magical Ice Village is available during the winter in Tomamu, where temperature can drop as low as -30°C. Our guests enjoy convenient access to this gorgeous village illuminated by deep blue lights. Create the perfect memory of ice skating, ice slides and dining at the ice restaurant.

Enjoy an icy tipple in hand-carved ice glasses. After all, how often have you hung out at a bar made completely out of ice? Trendy, unique, and eye-catching, it ticks all boxes for an Insta-worthy visit.

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Paddock-to-plate Yakiniku barbecue

Savour an authentic Yakiniku barbecue experience, grilled right at your table at Haku, our specialty restaurant. Choose from a variety of mouth-watering meats including premium cuts such as Japanese Wagyu beef – all perfectly prepared to add some sizzle to your meal. Tenderly chargrilled meats that melt in your mouth – a truly authentic Japanese culinary experience.

Hokkaido is also renowned for its delectable local seafood. Haku offers a selection of fresh seafood such as crabs, sea urchins and scallops for guests looking for an unforgettably fresh dining experience.

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Guided whiskey & sake tasting

The zen-themed Nest Bar is the perfect location to unwind after an exhilarating day on the mountains. What better way to relax than by sinking into a cosy chair with a glass of sake in hand?

Guests can also indulge in a sensory journey with tasting sessions of locally-sourced whiskey and sake. Here, enjoy 5 premium Japanese whiskies such as the award-winning Nikka and Suntory’s single malt Yamazaki or Hakushu, as well as local artisanal sakes.

Japan’s largest indoor wave pool

Make a splash at Mina Mina beach, Japan’s largest indoor wave pool. Paddle board in balmy waters in the 80m long and 30m wide wave pool, or laze in the cradle of gentle waves. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

The Mina Mina Beach bustles with activity during the daytime, but transforms into a peaceful respite after 8:00 p.m. when it is lit up with soft, romantic lights.

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Relax in an open air onsen

Hokkaido is home to a great variety of onsen – unique hot springs dotted around the region for travellers who prefer a more relaxing experience. Soak in a warm outdoor bath while taking in the wintry landscapes. In the daytime, be treated to a sight of endless fields of unspoiled natural beauty. Come nightfall, admire constellations overhead. A delight for both mind and body, Kirin-no Yu in the neighbouring Hoshino resort is located just adjacent to the Mina Mina beach.

Aromatherapy is also offered, where essential oils extracted from Hokkaido vegetation are heated. Guests can enjoy wafts of fragrant natural oils for a soothing experience. Aroma profiles are refreshed monthly, making it both a surprise and a whole new experience every visit!

Double the fun with Club Med Sahoro Hokkaido

If you can’t get enough of Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido, swing by Club Med Sahoro Hokkaido, located just 30 mins away. Tackle the advanced ski trails or simply relish in a more traditional Japanese experience.

Hokkaido has a plethora of sights and activities for visitors all year round, but winter is when the destination truly shines. With its unspoiled natural beauty and inexhaustible list of exciting winter activities, Hokkaido is the ultimate destination for a fun-filled winter vacation.

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So if you are looking for the best time to visit Hokkaido, why not now? Start planning your trip for an unforgettable winter vacation.

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

A Guide To Surfing In The Maldives By Eryn Krouse

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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.

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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 



7 Incredible Zen Pools

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Whether it is in the wild or next to the sea, there are so many ways to relax in a Zen Pool at Club Med!Exclusively for adults, our Zen Pools are designed for people looking for peace and well-being. Here is our selection of 7 incredible zen pools you'll want to dive in.

#1 Surrounded by palm trees in Bali, Indonesia

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Overlooking a lush field of palm trees, the design of this incredible Zen Pool of Club Med Bali is inspired by the local culture.

#2 Alongside turquoise lagoon in Punta Cana

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Located in the Dominican Republic, Club Med Punta Cana offers a brand new Zen Oasis Space for adults only. This luxurious Zen Pool is the perfect hideaway for peace, harmony and relaxation.

#3 Dedicated to peace in Phuket, Thailand

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Enhanced by lawn and teak, this Zen Pool in Club Med Phuket is dedicated to peace and relaxation.

#4 Natural Pool in Da Balaia, Portugal

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In Portugal, perched on a red clifftop in the south of the country, Club Med Da Balaia offers a Zen Natural Pool with pristine water naturally cleaned by plants.

#5 Into the wild in Cherating Beach

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Perched on the edge of Malaysia and in the middle of the jungle, the Zen Pool of Club Med Cherating Beach also offers an incredible view over the water.

#6 Revitalize with nature in Rio Das Pedras

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Beautifully located in the Mata Atlantica nature reserve, this Zen Pool of Club Med Rio Das Pedras in Brazil is between the forest and a fine sandy beach.

#7 Over water in Cancun Yucatan, Mexico

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Alongside the world's second largest coral reef, indulge in this brand new Zen Pool of the Jade 5 Trident Luxury Space. Between the Caribbean Sea and the lagoon, Club Med Cancun Yucatan offers a luxurious and exclusive retreat.

Plan your holiday to dive into all these incredible Zen Pools here and enjoy up to 40% with our Early Bird Offer!

Zoe And Benji Marshall's Top Tips For A Couple Getaway In The Maldives

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Recently, rugby league legend Benji Marshall, and his wife Zoe Marshall (@zoebmarshall) escaped for a romantic getaway in the Maldives. Together, the couple discovered paradise at Club Med Kani and Club Med FinolhuWe asked Zoe some questions about her experience and her best tips for a seamless trip to the Maldives.

Note: All images below are courtesy of Benji and Zoe Marshall, and have been shared with permission.

Why did you choose Club Med Kani and Club Med Finolhu for your holiday?

Benji and I had never been on a Club Med Holiday, let alone to the Maldives, and it has been on my bucket list for years. I had seen friends and even celebrities have the most incredible time and I knew when we found some time off, it was the first place we wanted to go. Kani is all about the Club Med Culture and I wanted to experience that first hand. Finolhu is pure luxury and apart of Club Meds Exclusive range. I wanted to experience the difference between the two.

What are your must-haves when travelling to an island destination like Club Med Kani and Club Med Finolhu?

👙 A Bikini. You can pretty much make do with everything else but you need your Bikini!

📖 I also love a great book…

💑 Oh and my husband... He is a definite "Must have".

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What was your typical day in Club Med Kani? 

At Kani we woke up early each morning to catch the sunrise in our room- we ordered breakfast at 7:30am in the Villa and had a glorious time eating and watching the sea life pass our Villa. We then went down to the beach for a few hours, swam, read and would only realise it was lunch when our tummys started rumbling. We would feast at lunch and then head back to our room for a little nap before we would get ready for dinner. We would stop for cocktails and canapés at 7pm each night before our dinner booking.

What about Club Med Finolhu Villas?

In Finolhu the days are almost similar. Early start to catch the sunrise, breakfast in the room and then down to the main pool bar/lounge area. We would swim, paddle board in the ocean and read our books, we popped back to the room for lunch and swam in our own private pool overlooking the water for the rest of the afternoon. We did pop out for the most incredible crepes at the main pool at 4pm.

Dinner was in our room so we dined in our bathrobes, sun kissed and blissful.

What was your highlight from the trip?

I would say watching the sunrise every morning over the most exquisite backdrop your eyes have ever seen. It’s almost too much beauty to take in. Whether you are at Kani or Finolhu it's just as mesmerizing.

Your recommendation for a bucket list to tick off in the Maldives?

There is nowhere in the world like Finolhu. Benji and I have stayed at some of the most exquisite places in the world and Finohlu takes the cake.

Which resort would you recommend for a romantic getaway from the stress of city living?

I would say Finolhu as it's pure luxury but Kani meets your needs if you want romance-staying in the over water Villas are a great option to be away from families and partying.

What is your top tip for enjoying a romantic getaway?

Phones off! Be present with your loved one. These trips don’t come around that often. Soak it all in.

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Anything else you’d like to add?

Club Med looks after everything. There are no hidden costs so you feel free to indulge on your holiday. Life is expensive so I think it’s nice to feel looked after and that there's no terrifying bill when you check out.

Want to discover more? Jump on Zoe Marshall's blog to know more about Club Med Kani and Finolhu. ☀️

The Maldives: Photo Diary from Guy and Jules Sebastian

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The best thing about memories is making them. In January, famous Australian singer Guy Sebastian (@guysebastian) and his wife Jules (@julessebastian), Australian blogger, ventured to paradise at Club Med Kani and came back with incredible memories to share!

Note: All images below are courtesy of Guy and Jules Sebastian, and have been shared with permission. 

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Kani Overwater Suites with a panoramic view

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Exclusive Manta Lounge, over the turquoise waters

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Enjoying this pristine paradise with a fresh drink

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Magical sunset over Kani, Maldives

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No better way to end up the day in the Maldives

Want to know more about this slice of paradise? Read this blog article from @julessebastian

#MeetOurG.O.s – Stephanie, G.O. at Club Med Sanya

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The heart of Club Med is in happiness, and part of that comes from the incredible people we bring together from around the world. The job of the G.O. was invented by Club Med 60 years ago, and it is still one of the best jobs in the world. G.Os travel around the world, meeting new people and injecting happiness into your holiday. They are, in short, what makes a Club Med holiday unforgettable. To get to know our Aussie G.O.s, we asked Stephanie, an Aussie working at Club Med Sanya, for the lowdown on being a G.O. at Club Med, as well as her insider tips for a holiday to Sanya.

#1: How long have you been a member of the Club Med family?

I’ve been a part of the Club Med family for 5 years!  I started my journey in Lindeman Island as Boutique G.O, then moved to Bali as Fitness G.O, Bintan Island as Fitness G.O, Guilin as Choreographer, Bali as Choreographer, Kani as Choreographer and now I feel so lucky to say I’m Animation Manager, here in beautiful Sanya.

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#2: What makes Club Med Sanya such a great place to holiday?

It's a perfect balance!  Club Med Sanya is a great place to welcome the whole family, as well as all couples and friends.  We have a really great range of activities, which can be done as a family.  So, during the day time you will feel a really positive happy family atmosphere.  Come night time though, it’s a completely different experience!  Our guests can come and watch our G.O Show, either in our Deer Bar Outdoor Theatre or our Ballroom Indoor Theatre, and after you will see the village come alive to party like crazy, with our super power G.O team...plus we are only one out of two resorts in China that has a beach!

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#3: What’s your one “insider’s tip” for someone visiting Club Med Sanya?

Make sure you go and visit our Discovery Centre, so you can explore the real Sanya.  I would absolutely recommend either the Side Car or Jeep Tour, to see some exquisite locations, exclusive to our excursions.  For a great day of family fun, the Romance Adventure Park is a must! It has everything, a Water Park, Frozen World and you cannot miss out on the Romance Show!  One of our most popular activities is our Biking Tour.  Make sure you get there early, as it will fill up!  You will go on a quick trip just outside the Resort and ride along the beautiful beach side.  After this activity, you will understand why they call Sanya “The Hawaii of China”.

#4: What is your favourite moment of the day?

Without a doubt sunset, around 5:30pm-6:00pm.  Either find yourself a seat at the Deer Bar and grab a cocktail with your friends or go straight down to the beach, sit right on the shore line and just watch the magic happen.

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#5: What is your favourite way to spend a day off in China?

I love exploring new areas of Sanya that I have never found before. On my last day off, I discovered a new beach called Dadonghai, really clean and with that beautiful blue tropical surf.  Plus there are a whole bunch of western bars and really laid back sandwich/burger shacks along the beach - it’s a really laid back place! If you’re keen to try local Hainanese cuisine, there are some great seafood restaurants around, with the fresh catch of the day!  Dadonghai is around 40 minutes by Taxi from the Resort.

#6: What’s your favourite thing about working at Club Med?

Every day is completely different from the day before!  When I wake up in the morning I have no idea who I’ll meet on that day, what I’ll learn from them, all the different experiences we’ll share together, and the memories that I’ll never forget.  I think that's what makes me love it so much still – the mystery!  Also, you never know what’s just around the corner, which village you will be going to next, and what opportunities will come with it.   But always, it's the people.  We work so closely together, that we truly do become like family...a crazy dysfunctional family!

I’ve always said, the G.O’s in Club Med are like all the misfits of the world, thrown into one place!  Come and join the crazy family!

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Experience Club Med Sanya with the 360 video below or by clicking here.

#MeetOurG.O.s – Adam, Bartender at Club Med La Plantation d'Albion

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The heart of Club Med is in happiness, and part of that comes from the incredible people we bring together from around the world. The job of the G.O. was invented by Club Med 60 years ago, and it is still one of the best jobs in the world. G.Os travel around the world, meeting new people and injecting happiness into your holiday. They are, in short, what makes a Club Med holiday unforgettable.To get to know our Aussie G.O.s, we asked Adam, Australian Bartender at Club Med La Plantation d'Albion and Club Med Sahoro, for the lowdown on being a G.O. at Club Med, as well as his insider tips for a holiday to Mauritius.

#1: How long have you been a member of the Club Med family?

I have worked at Club Med for 2 Years so far.  I stayed one year in Bali followed by one year in La Plantation d'Albion, both resorts as bartender.  Note: Adam is currently finishing up the ski season in Sahoro as a bartender!

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#2: What makes Club Med La Plantation d'Albion such a great place to holiday?

It’s a beautiful 5 Trident resort and the rooms are spacious and elegant.

There are 3 beaches set up with pool chairs and day beds for you to choose between, depending on if you want activities or a quiet day.  Having the two pools is great as if you’re with a family you can head to the main pool where you’ll get pulled into entertaining pool games.  If you’re a couple traveling and looking for somewhere to just relax in peace then head over to the Zen Pool which is stunning.

And as a foodie – the food is amazing!!  The village has a great ambience at all times of day and a great team working in it; you won’t be disappointed!

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#3: What’s your one “insider’s tip” for someone visiting Club Med La Plantation d'Albion?

Book 10 days, a week simply isn’t enough.  You can easily entertain yourself in the resort for a week which means you’ll never make it outside to try some of the excursions around the island.  Don’t miss the Blue Bay excursion and if you’re travelling as a family, make sure at least you drop the kids into the Mini Club one day so you can enjoy the zen area.

#4: What is your favourite moment of the day?

My favourite moment is the sunset at the Bar Alouda and zen pool area.

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#5: What is your favourite way to spend a day off in Mauritius?

My favourite way to spend a day off in Mauritius is to relax at the beach restaurants in the North with a cold beer. Just touring around with some of the locals you work with so you don’t miss anything is awesome!

#6: What’s your favourite thing about working at Club Med?

It’s almost like being adopted into different cultures as you travel around the world.  You have the opportunity to travel a lot and experience a lot of new things.  You meet some unique and amazing people, some that you’re working with and others that are just there for the week.  Club Med really is completely behind the work hard play hard mentality which makes for a good time everywhere you go!

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Discover Club Med La Plantation d'Albion in the video below or by clicking here.

#MeetOurG.O.s – Kelly, Fitness G.O. at Club Med Bintan Island

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The heart of Club Med is in happiness, and part of that comes from the incredible people we bring together from around the world. The job of the G.O. was invented by Club Med 60 years ago, and it is still one of the best jobs in the world. G.Os travel around the world, meeting new people and injecting happiness into your holiday. They are, in short, what makes a Club Med holiday unforgettable.To get to know our Aussie G.O.s, we asked Kelly, Australian fitness G.O at Club Med Bintan Island, for the lowdown on being a G.O. at Club Med, as well as her insider tips for a holiday to Bintan Island.

#1: How long have you been a member of the Club Med family?

I have been at Club Med Bintan Island for 8 months. This is my first village. I'm a sport polyvalent and mostly the fitness G.O.

#2: What makes Club Med Bintan Island such a great place to holiday?

Club Med Bintan Island is a perfect holiday for everyone. There is something to please everyone of all ages in a safe secure resort. If you want to relax, read a book and drink cocktails all day...you can. If you want to be crazy busy and active there is multiple sports and activities to choose from each hour.

#3: What’s your one “insider’s tip” for someone visiting Club Med Bintan Island?

When you're visiting Club Med Bintan Island, remember your sport shoes so you can enjoy all the fun land sport activities in the sports center!

#4: What is your favourite moment of the day?

My favourite moment of the day is aqua gym! It brings people from all over the world, all ages and any fitness ability, having fun exercising. That's rare!

#5: What is your favourite way to spend a day off in Indonesia?

My favorite thing to do on my day off in Indonesia is to hire a scooter and explore the island, pop into a local restaurant and enjoy local food.

#6: What’s your favourite thing about working at Club Med?

My favourite thing about working at Club Med is the people I meet. GOs from all around the world, and GMs - our beloved customers, also known as Gentle Members - of all ages, nationalities cultural and linguistic backgrounds. And I get paid to stay fit! Yay for being a fitness GO!

Meet our G.O.s in the video below or more about Club Med Bintan Island by clicking here.

Samantha Wills tells us about her ski trip to the French Alps

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This article was reposted from samanthawills.com. Read the original story here. All photos below are courtesy of Samantha Wills.  Samantha Wills is the driving force behind her namesake Australian jewellery brand, Samantha Wills. Here, she shares her snow holiday experience from the luxurious Club Med Valmorel Chalets in the French Alps.

Destination: French Alps

Les Chalets Club Med de Valmorel

I am thrilled to be partnering with Club Med again, showcasing all of my favorite things in their Exclusive Collection of Villas & Chalets, in some of the most beautiful locations in the world.

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Last year, I showed you all my favorite things from paradise at the The Finolhu Villas in the Maldives and this year I am beyond excited to take you to a true winter wonderland at The Valmorel Chalets, in the stunning French Alps.

I grew up in a small beach town in Australia, and now living in NYC, I get to experience snow (still a novelty to me!) every winter… But nothing prepares you for the breathtaking beauty of the Alps. It. Is. Truly. Breathtaking.

Luxury

At Club Med Valmorel, there are accommodation options spanning all budgets. The Chalets are the ultimate luxury option & sit at the top of the property…. Annnnnnnd when you check into your Chalet, you get your very own butler. I’m not talking about a virtual-butler-app-push-a-button-to-get-room-service type of butler. I am talking about a real life butler, who will unpack your bags when you arrive so you instantly feel at home, will be upstairs in your Chalet’s kitchen when you wake up, with the open fire place roaring & cooking your whatever you would like for breakfast, and have your favorite type of Nespresso coffee steaming hot for you to enjoy before heading out for the day.

That same butler will also be back at your chalet at your specified time in the afternoon to prepare you the most delicious afternoon tea, a different delicious every day from a local patisserie, that you enjoy by your fire place after your day of alpine adventuring (or spa treatments!). Then when you are out at dinner, your chalet will be magically turned into a haven of relaxation ready for slumber, with nothing left for you to do but to slip into your turned down bed, enjoy the gourmet chocolate on your pillow, and dream away on your bed that feels like a cloud, so you are rested to do it all over again the next day. THAT type of butler.*

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Cuisine + Cocktails

Club Med is known for its all inclusive holidays. The Chalets at Valmorel are obviously included in this, however their location on the property sits at the top of the resort, where your private balcony looks down over all the happenings. Like the butler privilege, there is also a driver on call, to whizz you back & fourth from the village, where you enjoy an open bar & all dining, inclusive in your experience. In full disclosure, the word ‘buffet’ scares me. To me, it is reminiscent of primary school birthday parties at Pizza Hut… Trays of cold pizza, wilted salad & as much soft serve ice-cream you could physically whip into your bowl….

So I am going to refrain from using the dreaded ‘B’ word, and try to explain to you the luxury that is Club Med Valmorels all inclusive dining; Imagine a collective little gourmet restaurants… Italian, Japanese, Seafood, Home Style Roast, French, a salad & juice bar… A bakery, a patisserie & a locally, hand made ice-cream parlour. Now imagine all these little gourmet restaurants where in a large room, like individual pop-up spaces, each with their own team of chefs, preparing the food there in front you, fresh fish going from grill to you plate, the cheese on the pizza’s bubbling as they are taken straight out of the oven, French baguettes at the bakery so addictive you are convinced they must contain something illegal, and a patisserie offering that is more like edible art…. And no soft serve here; choose from 8 flavors & the hand made ice-cream is served to you parlor style, by an ice cream connoisseur…. What you CAN do for yourself (I mean, word from the wise; it is VERY hard to get back into normal life after spending a week in this heavenly experience!) is scoop your own warm chocolate from the fondue fountain (it alternates between milk & white chocolate) to drizzle over your ice cream…. Me? I’m a Mint-Choc-Chip-with-warm-milk-chocolate-topping kinda gal.

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So that gives you an idea of the type of luxury you will experience by checking into the Club Med Valmorel Chalets, but I have two things that I love even more that I want to share with you. If you’re like me – you have a bucket list. My current bucket list is made up of incredible experiences, Scuba dive with manta rays, wake up in one of those bungalows that stretch out over aqua waters, like the ones I had seen on pinterest a million times over, learn to snowboard, have lunch on the top of a snow covered mountain in the French Alps, with views to mountain tops in Italy….You get the drift. Sometimes you don’t know where to start with your bucket list items, and find yourself wishing you had someone just to tell you where to go, what to do, and how to do it. The experience of Club Med is that for me, and should you wish to do it in a 5 star way; Their Exclusive Collection of Villas & Chalets, allow you to do so in the utmost luxury.

Customer Experience

The second thing, is how truly, genuinely warm & lovely the Club Med team are. I am lucky enough to travel a lot for work & pleasure, and from all my travels, the hospitality & focus on people is incomparable to how the team at Club Med treats their guests. Bear with me as I jump out of vacation-mode & quickly defer to business mode. I have a business, I am involved in a few businesses, I love learning about business. One of my favorite areas to learn more about how other businesses do things, is in their customer engagement focus, strategy & above all, mindset. On this trip, in speaking with some of the Club Med team, I learnt that everyone who works for Club Med signs a contract that states that they will do everything they can to ensure the guests are having an awesome time, to make sure the guests are smiling. How incredible is that?

The second thing I thought was very cool, was how the company structures their reporting pyramid… From the majority of their team (and it’s a big one!), to their managers, to senior management who report into the executive manager of the entire resort….

Then at the top of the pyramid; Us. The Customers. With that focus on customer experience, in addition to having experienced 5 star luxury, having enjoyed some amazing cuisines, wine & cocktails, ticking some breath taking stuff off my bucket list (snowboarding down from over 2000ft in the French Alps!? Tick!) You leave with a full heart & new friends, both other guests at the resort, & also members the Club Med team. It’s hard to explain – But when you experience it, you will know exactly what I mean… And if you are Les Chalets Club Med de Valmorel bound, be sure to say hello to my new friends there; Laura & Thibault – Who made our stay so spectacularly incredible.

Bucket List

Not a skier or snowboarder…. Neither was I! But I wanted to be! Snowboarding was one of those things I’d always said I wanted to do, and what cooler place to learn the sport then in the French Alps?! So with 5 private lessons booked, the fear of god, and determination to be able to at the very least snowboard down a kiddies slope, I put my big girl snow pants on, and met my instructor Laurent (picture; a French Justin Timberlake. I know, poor me!) for him to impart his 16 years of ski / snow board instructor knowledge to me.

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My first lesson started on the kids slope; The Piou Piou (meaning tiny bird).  There is NOTHING tiny about this bird, I am 5’10” in the shade, and if the fear on my face was not an indicator, my finger nails digging into his arm where. Laurent assured me, that in the coming days we would be up there *points to French Alps glacial sized mountain. I said he was kind to say such lies, and we got to work.

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And guess what, by day 3 we were up 2000ft on the mountain! My dismounts from certain chair lifts required just as much work as my fledging Olympic snowboarding career, but it was INCREDIBLE! Flying (sometimes falling) down the mountain, surfing on snow, with pine tree branches with white dustings, and the world famous Mont Blanc mountain in view. It was so surreal. No words I find will do it justice.

On my last lesson on day 5, Laurent had me speeding down the mountain, and on the final run, pointed over to what now looked like a flat plateau of snow, the Piou Piou. It was an incredible feeling, to think on five days before that was my starting ground. Like all graduates of the Piou Piou, admittedly most of them where aged under 5 years old, Laurent gave me my own Piou Piou medal as a symbol of how far I had come in only a few days. I pinned on the inside of my jacket, and while going up in the lift solo the next day, I took a glance at and felt pretty damn good.

While I may not make the next Olympic team, I definitely will now be snowboarding at any chance I get, plus its one more thing I can tick off my bucket list. With the gratitude to Laurent for his patience, & empathy… And for not laughing (on the outside) when I stacked it off the chair lift.

Take the adventure

So there are my favorite things & recommendations from my time at Les Chalets Club Med de Valmorel.  If you are wanting a winter wonderland adventure, and granted there are many places in the world where snow falls, but at Club Med Valmorel you get to experience all these things in the French Alps (And as the ancient French proverb goes, Snowboard & Ski instructors in the French Alps are all French Gods of the snow (read; Really Hot).

So whether you want to tick some alpine adventuring off your bucket list, experience pure luxury by the fire place as the snow falls outside, eat gourmet cheese & the best breads you will ever taste with every meal, enjoy wine on a snowy mountain top whilst overlooking the Mont Blanc (You can do this even if you are not a skier / snowboarder), or if you simply want to road test a new treatment on the spa menu daily & have the best seat in the house to watch the final runs of the day; the outdoor Jacuzzi…. Then The Valmorel Chalets, in the stunning French Alps are waiting for you. – SWx

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*Since publishing this post, Club Med has evolved the services offered at the Club Med Valmorel Chalets to include a 24 hour concierge service and a butler available at extra cost.

Want to discover more? Watch this video below, or jump on our website to learn more about the Club Med Valmorel Chalets. ✳ ⛄ 

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

How to Have the Perfect Wellness Holiday

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Want to feel relaxed and rejuvenated? The answer’s easy…go on holiday!When it comes to feeling refreshed, blissful, and totally Zen, there are few remedies that work as well as a wellness getaway. From doing yoga with kids on the beach to nourishing your body with fresh local produce, we’ve got the lowdown on how to turn your holiday into the perfect wellness retreat.

Fuel your body right on holiday

Holidays are often a time to splurge, leaving you with that heavy feeling on the flight back home. It’s easy to get carried away, especially when a buffet is awaiting you… but buffets are actually the perfect opportunity to load up on superfoods that your body will thank you for.

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Eating well on holiday all comes down to the ‘B’ word: balance. All-inclusive meals can actually be the perfect opportunity to indulge yourself in tons of salads and veggies, as well as lean protein. Help yourself to a plate of salad and meat before reaching for that pasta – trust us, your body will thank you! Resorts often also have tropical fruit in abundance, making it the perfect dessert option.

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If you’re the kind of person that prefers fresh-squeezed juices, resorts like Club Med Bintan also have DIY juice bars, so there’s no end to the variety of healthy, veggie and fruit-packed juices you can try.

Move your body!

They say as long as you’re having new experiences, you’re forever young. And really, there’s no better time to try new things than on holiday. The list is endless, but here are some of our favourite ideas:

✔️ Holiday yoga is truly something special. Stretching and strengthening your body on the beach can instill a sense of balance that you just can’t get anywhere else.

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✔️ Snorkel in new spots every day! Pick a destination with plenty of coral and sea life, such as the Maldives, and you’ll be swimming for hours every day!

✔️ Conquer the skies and soar on the flying trapeze. If you’re really in the mood to challenge yourself, head on to CREACTIVE and try your hand at a range of circus arts – there’s nothing like flying through the air to make you feel free!

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Our destination picks for the best wellness holiday

✔️ Bali: Long known as the ultimate wellness and retreat destination, the Balinese place a strong emphasis on yoga, relaxation, and meditation. Be sure to discover local temples as well while you’re there.

✔️ Guilin, China: A coveted destination due to its breathtaking landscape and scenery, Guilin is still to this day considered the most beautiful spot in China. With its famous River Li, terraced rice fields, caves and majestic mountains, Guilin as a region has a strong focus on wellness and Zen activities such as Tai Chi Chuan and reflexology.

✔️ Bintan Island: A short ferry ride from Singapore, Bintan Island has astounding raw natural beauty, and a wide array of opportunities to rejuvenate and restore. Relax with yoga at sunrise or adventure through the forest to a Spa on the clifftops.

✔️ French Alps: Who says wellness holidays need to be tropical? Ski holidays are the perfect time to get active. In the French Alps, there are incredible slopes to ski from Val Thorens to Chamonix Mont Blanc – plus, a spa treatment or a Turkish bath is perfect to soothe your body and soul.

Don’t forget…

✔️ Stay hydrated on the plane by avoiding alcohol and drinking plenty of water, especially if you want to get some shut-eye! ✔️ Start your wellness holiday early – many flights like Qantas allow you to pre-order your meal. Pick a light option with plenty of veggies, and try to request fruit for dessert whenever possible. ✔️ Bring your yoga mat on the plane, and stretch out into downward dog at regular intervals. Your body will thank us! ✔️ Sunscreen, a book to read, and hydrating beauty products. Moisturiser and lip balm go a long way, especially if you’re spending plenty of time in the sun or on the slopes.

Ready to embark on your own wellness holiday? Discover our top wellness destinations in the video below, or by clicking here.