ski

6 reasons a European Alps ski holiday needs to be on your list

Hundreds of kilometers to ski and snowboard on, charming historical villages, high peaks and blue skies… there are so many reasons to choose the European Alps for your next holidays and experience what a white winter is really about. Whether you want to try skiing for the first time, enjoy the mountain feel or discover a new experience – here’s our top reasons why you should make your European ski trip a reality.  

#1 - Surround yourself with the most beautiful mountains in the world

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There’s nothing quite like the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. Ask anyone who has been and they’ll tell you the view is quite literally breathtaking. With mountains peaking through the clouds from 4,800m high – you’ll feel on top of the world.

#2 - Indulge in authentic European food & wine

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Cheese fondue, fresh crispy bread, al dente pasta, local cheeses and more local fresh produce from France, Italy and Switzerland… it doesn’t get any better than this! Plus, with a choice of French and Italian wines to taste, your holiday will be a full food feast.

#3 - Ski down the biggest ski domains in the world

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#1 - Les 3 Vallées domain, France:  600km of slopes / 335 ski runs / Club Med Val Thorens

#2 -
Paradiski domain, France: 425km of slopes / 253 ski runs / Club Med Arcs Extreme, Club Med Peisey-Vallandry, Club Med La Plagne 2100, Club Med Aime La Plage

#3 - Via Lattea domain, Italy: with 400km of slopes / 240 ski runs / Club Med Pragelato Vialattea

Now THAT’S something to brag to your friends about!

#4 - Wander through charming local villages

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Experience a whole new world, local cultures, traditions and languages from charming snowy and sleepy villages. Stay in authentic wooden chalets, discover the unique charm of the valley you are staying in and learn about the thousands of years of history and age-old architecture.

#5 - Maximum slope-time, minimum wait-time

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For any passionate skier and snowboarder – great conditions and maximising time on the slopes is super important. With fast-speed gondolas designed to deal with crowds and all weather conditions, queuing time is reduced and you can get to the top in no time. Qualified instructors will also give any beginner, intermediate or advanced snow sport lover an amazing experience - they’re your key to the mountain!

#6 - Experience the thrills of spring skiing

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Have you ever heard of spring skiing? From the end of March till the end of April – you can still ski in many of our resorts and experience beautiful weather with great snow conditions, minus the crowds!

Bonus: We recently launched flexible stays in our European snow resorts for 2020 departures. This means you can just pop in our resorts for just a few days of snow experience even if part of a bigger European trip! No excuses to not book that dream European ski holiday.

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.

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

Ski where Olympians do

Do you wonder where snow Olympians go train? Some of them might be at Club Med - just like you! Discover more below and ski or snowboard where Olympians do!

Club Med is happy to be an official partner of the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA). The OWIA takes care of the training of athletes and the coaching in sports involved in the winter Olympics.

This partnership means Aussie snow Olympians can perform at their best by staying, training, and recovering in Club Med’s ski resorts worldwide. And also have fun in the process!

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Curious to know in which resorts our Aussie Olympians have been?

Here’s how it works: ski cross champions practice at Club Med Val Thorens Sensations in France, snowboard cross shredders also enjoy the French Alps slopes from Club Med Valmorel, and aerial ski stars rise in the air at Club Med Beidahu in China.

So here’s your chance chance to ski beside Australia’s elite winter athletes, and even pick up a tip or two!

Discover below Sami Kennedy-Sim’s experience on Club Med slopes with a series of four videos. The Australian freestyle skier made her second Olympic appearance at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games.

Sami tells the story of her ski cross memories, failures and successes: from her best memory (first podium on world cup) to her aspirations to see more and more people to join the team and the Olympics.

Balancing olympian ski life and personal life is not always easy as Sami explains here. She shows how lucky she is to have been for 15 years on the road now and also 7 years of marriage. The ambition and drive to be at her best keeps her going in life.

The importance of having a team which is a kind of family on the road is a necessity to be successful together. Sami is happy to share these incredible experiences with her team.

Club Med brought all the support to the athletes for their training, eating and recovering needs. Sami highlighted the importance of the environment where you evolve in and all the necessity Club Med could offer such as excellent nutrition, gym, direct access to the hills - all in one spot.

Interested in knowing more about Club Med snow resorts? Discover more information about perfect ski holidays here.

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!

24 hours in Club Med Tomamu

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If you had one day at the new Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido, Japan, what would it look like? Recently opened in December 2017, Tomamu is the trendiest ski resort you can experience in the incredible Japan Mountains of the Hokkaido region. Surrounding by perfect powder snow and apres-ski options aplenty, there’s so much to do at the resort in just a day!

Discover your perfect day in Club Med Tomamu and get ready to ride a different wave…

8am – Good morning magnificent landscape!

Right from your spacious bedroom, say hello to a snow-capped mountain view and the beauty of what the Hokkaido landscape has to offer. And breath-in the pure mountain air!

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9am – Hit the Hokkaido slopes

Are you ready to shred the Japanese slopes? Put on your ski boots and fly down the powder snow without crowds. Sprawled across over 145 hectares, the Tomamu ski domain is the perfect thrilling snow escape where every turn is a new discovery. You can also pre-arrange your ski gear using the Easy Arrival service, meaning everything is ready in your heated locker awaiting your arriveal, so you can really maximise your time on the slopes!

1pm – Lunch with a view

Savour a variety of international and Japanese delights from the main restaurant. Discover four distinct spaces, each inspired by Hokkaido regions with a unique gastronomic adventure to share. The setting will surely surprise you and so will the view!

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3pm – Relaxing family time in the largest indoor wave pool in Japan!

Located outside of Club Med's doorsteps, relax and play in the family-friendly Mina Mina Beach, the largest indoor wave pool in Japan! With a traditional Japanese onsen also attached to the facility, sample a piece of local culture during your visit.

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5pm – Re-energise in a cosy environment

After a day full of fun activities, there’s nothing better than curling up by the fire in a cosy and relaxing space. Come take a seat around the fireplace in Club Med Tomamu, grab a hot cocoa and snack from the nearby crepe station and dream away while you watch the snowflakes fall…

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7 pm – Discover traditional Japanese food with a specialty dinner at Haku

A culinary journey awaits you! The perfect place to taste the freshest seafood, premium Wagyu beef, and award-winning locally brewed spirits... After the specialty restaurant, wander next door to the Nest Bar for a sake and whisky tasting from the local produces.

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9pm - Discover new sensations

The fun continues after the sun sets in Tomamu! Head to the Ice Village and uncover all the activities on offer: ice bar, ice skating or just walking around before heading back to the resort for another drink at The Unkai Bar. Every night is magical in Tomamu!

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In just one day, you've experienced amazing new activities and sensations! But one day isn't enough, right? If you'd like explore more unique offering in and around Club Med Tomamu book your stay here!

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

Get a sneak peek at Les Arcs Panorama in pictures!

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Modern architecture, wide-open views, and the biggest ski area in the world… what else could we ask for?

Opening December 2018, Les Arcs Panorama pledges to be one of the best snow resorts to experience in the French Alps! Whether you like cross-country, downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or just embracing the pure mountain air, there will be something to enjoy for everyone.

Plus with the après-ski services, there will never be a dull moment: a wellness area with Cinq Mondes Spa, a heated indoor and outdoor pool with views, hot tubs, Turkish bath, fitness, cardio facilities and more… Relaxation will be part of the holidays!

And don’t even mention the food! From a family-dedicated restaurant to a gourmet lounge restaurant and a main restaurant with all sorts of international foods and specialties with fresh local produces, we can’t wait to taste every single dish!

Finally, we’ve also heard the outstanding 5T space will be nestled at the top of the resort with even more magnificent views of the endless forest with snow-capped mountains.

Didn’t get enough teasing yet? Discover in pictures a first sneak peek at what Club Med Les Arcs Panorama will look like. Stay tuned for more information coming up on this resort soon!

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A view of Club Med Les Arcs Panorama, French Alps.

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Le Chalet restaurant in Les Arcs Panorama.

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The gourmet lounge in Les Arcs Panorama.

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The main restaurant in Les Arcs Panorama.

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The wellness area in Les Arcs Panorama with a heated indoor pool.

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The lounge part of the main restaurant in Les Arcs Panorama.

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A cosy lounge with views in Les Arcs Panorama.

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A deluxe room with a view in les Arcs Panorama.

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A stylish and light-filled Club Room in Les Arcs Panorama.

Want to learn more about snow holidays? Discover the ultimate snow experience with Club Med.

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

Club Med announces its first Canada resort to open in Le Massif, Charlevoix Ski Region

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The renowned pioneer of all-inclusive resorts announced the much-anticipated return of its world-famous ski offering to North America through the creation of its first-ever Canadian resort.

November, 2017 – Club Med brings its unique all-inclusive mountain holiday offering to the heart of an already renowned ski region situated at the highest point in Eastern Canada, including a unique ski experience with spectacular waterfront views overlooking the Saint Laurence River. Club Med and Groupe Le Massif plan to open this new resort by the end of 2020.

Daniel Gauthier, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Groupe Le Massif, and Xavier Mufraggi, President and CEO, Club Med North America, have officially announced the opening of the first Club Med resort in Canada.

“It’s often said that you’ll only ever find a Club Med resort in the most beautiful places in the world. Charlevoix doesn’t need to have a Club Med to be included on this select list. That said, it is an honour and privilege to be amongst those creating worldwide awareness for this spectacular part of the country,” states Xavier Mufraggi. “Club Med is the world leader in all-inclusive mountain hotels and resorts. With more than 20 sites already established in France, Italy, Switzerland, Japan and China counting for more than 6000 rooms, we’re excited to add Canada (and specifically Quebec) to the list. Each season will reveal the wonders of this natural site, offering an international clientele a place of beauty to discover. Also, this project serves as a strategic symbol of rapid growth around the world for Club Med, with fifteen openings taking place through 2019, representing one to two mountain resorts openings per year.”

“The announcement is in direct alignment with the continued development of this significant project that will position Le Massif, Charlevoix, among one of the greatest international destinations,” comments Daniel Gauthier, the initiator of the project. “Club Med is a world-recognized symbol, promoting an active lifestyle, family and well-being. With shared values, the partnership between Club Med and Le Massif, Charlevoix, is one of authenticity.”

The project represents a $120 million investment with the objective of developing 300 rooms including 4-Trident Club and Deluxe-level rooms with a 5-Trident luxury space. The future resort promises to be a haven for family and couple getaways as well as ideal for groups, with spaces provided to accommodate seminars and events.

Investment and positive economic impact

While this recreational tourism project is born of a great vision, it is based on a solid economic outcome. Partners, including the governments of Quebec and Canada, Guy Laliberté and Lune Rouge, Investissement Québec, Pierre Thabet, Groupe Germain all have confirmed their investment, while Desjardins and the National Bank of Canada have established their support. The project also counts on Bell a long standing major sponsor of the Massif de Charlevoix.

Groupe Le Massif and Club Med aim to offer a four-season product that emphasizes Quebec’s strongest touristic features of the region from Quebec to Tadoussac. The announcement of these plans will also stimulate real estate development within the region and on the mountain.

This project forecasts the creation of 325 direct jobs and 400 indirect jobs. The construction of the hotel will generate near 700 jobs. The agreement with partners guarantees a mutually profitable endeavour for all.

This much-anticipated project will benefit several major players within the regions of Quebec and Charlevoix, including the Quebec airport, which forecasts a 6% increase in flights directly connected to this project. From day one Club Med plans to develop partnerships with a variety of local suppliers. The resort will be easily accessible; a mere 90 minutes from the International Airport of Quebec.

About Club Med

Club Med FIRST CANADA RESORT TO OPEN IN LE MASSIF, CHARLEVOIX SKI REGION

Club Med, founded in 1950, is recognized as the pioneer of the all-inclusive market, offering nearly 70 premium resorts in stunning locations around the world including North and South America, Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean.

Club Med operates more than 70 resorts. Established in 26 countries across five continents, the group employs more than 23,000 employees comprised of 110 varied nationalities. Club Med has had a corporate presence in Canada for over 40 years and employs a staff of more than 50 team members in their Montreal head office.

Club Med Le Massif will reinforce the link between Quebec residents with the Club Med concept. More than 40,000 Canadians stay at a Club Med resort each year, with the biggest majority coming from Quebec. Every year, close to 300 Canadian G.O.s are recruited (“Gentil Organizers” - an internal, endearing term used for all Club Med employees), again with the majority coming from the province of Quebec. “In many ways, Quebec has been at the heart of Club Med. Now, finally, Club Med will be at the heart of Quebec,” states Mr. Mufraggi.

About Groupe Le Massif

The Massif de Charlevoix project was launched in 2002 by Quebec developer, Daniel Gauthier. Mr. Gauthier is a recognized co-founder of the world-leading Quebec sensation known worldwide: Cirque du Soleil.

As the first Club Med mountain resort in North America, and by virtue of the symbiosis between creativity, authenticity, an appreciation for culture, society and tourism, Le Massif, Charlevoix, promises to be awe-inspiring with a picturesque setting, an outstanding line-up of activities, excellent food and unsurpassed reputation for service.

This magnificent project is built on a foundation of three pillars with the objective to provide an experience that is deeply personal, emotional, original, and environmental, while focusing on the development of sustainable tourism within one of Quebec’s most popular regions, and designated as a world biosphere reserve in 1989 by Unesco.

For more information, visit https://www.clubmed.ca/l/le-massif-resort

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

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!

#MeetOurG.O.s - Lauren at Club Med Sahoro

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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 Lauren, Australian G.O at Club Med Sahoro, for the lowdown on being a G.O. at Club Med as well as his insider tips for a holiday to Japan.

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

"5 months so far. I have just finished my first snow season with club med in Sahoro resort and will be starting my next season in Phuket."

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

"As it is an all-inclusive resort, everything at the resort is made so easy from the bar to the mini club and all the resorts around the world are conveniently placed to enjoy each season. There are so many activities within the resort you really don't even need to leave and always guaranteed fun."

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

"Stay at least 10 days. 1 week isn't enough to enjoy every activity. Also, participate in every activity! Even if you don't know how to do something, just try. It's always fun and always a good opportunity to meet new people."

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

"My favourite part of the day is greeting new families and kids. I love giving that first happy fun welcome to introduce club med and show what we are about."

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

"In Sahoro my favourite part was skiing on the slopes and then relaxing in the Japanese onsen and outdoor hot tub."

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

"My favourite thing about club med is the feeling of always being a part of a family with the people that I work with and also with the guests. Coming from a close family myself, I never have the feeling of being homesick because there was either a GO that reminded me of my sisters or brother or guests that can relate to my mum and dad."

Discover Club Med Sahoro in the video below or by clicking here.

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

Interview: Jean-Philippe Nuel, Designer of Club Med Tomamu

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Jean-Philippe Nuel is the designer and architect behind the new Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido snow resort in Japan. Passionate about creativity, and with a particular desire to work on projects of all scales, from architecture to design, Jean-Philippe Nuel sees each project as a human adventure, rich in encounters and exchange. Very quickly, before turning 30, he had designed a hotel in Paris, its architecture and interior decoration, which would orientate his work towards this sector of activity.

#1. What was the overall concept that you had in mind when designing Club Med Tomamu?

I tried to create a unique signature for this project: the decor is directly inspired by the Japanese culture and especially the Hokkaïdo island, where mountains are the natural environment of the site. Plus, of course, [I tried to bring to life] the Club Med spirit, as it is a brand with a very strong DNA.

#2. Part of what you bring to your design is a sense of place. Can you tell us a bit about what inspired you most about Tomamu’s natural and cultural surroundings, and how this translated into your design?

I love Japanese culture and I already had the chance to work in projects in Tokyo and Osaka - one has even been awarded by the Japanese Society of Commercial Space Designer. This culture blends both refinement and simplicity, and it inspires me a lot. Mother Nature also inspired me. It is always present both in the traditional and modern Japan.

#3. What is your favourite part of the resort in Tomamu, and why?

I really like the [Resort] center with its bar. This place is home to the peppy and lively spirit that expresses the Club Med’s identity. My design tries to bring this peppy and very friendly atmosphere to life through architecture.

#4. What experience are you hoping people will have when they stay at Club Med Tomamu?

I do hope that guests will live a unique experience focused on nature, sports and also with a human touch.

#5. You also designed the cozy Club Med Peisey-Vallandry in the French Alps. What are the main differences and similarities you experienced when designing the modern resort of Tomamu, compared to designing the chalet-style resort of Peisey-Vallandry?

For each project, I do think that focusing on the specificities of the site is essential. By site, I mean the country, the region, but also the architecture of the premises. For Peisey-Vallandry, we were in the French Alps, and more precisely in the Tarentaise Valley, and in the Alps, each valley has its own architectural tradition. I have made some research not to copy or reproduce this particular architectural style, but to find the spirit of the place through its materials and their implementation.

#6. What’s your favourite part of a resort to create and why?

I really care of the arrival area, because it immediately plunges the guests in the atmosphere of the resort. We could compare this to the very first cuts of a movie, that carry us to another reality. And for a resort, thanks to the experience the guest will live during his stay, they will continue to write the story of its own movie.

#7. And finally, which is your favourite Club Med resort to stay at?

I really like the Club Med Gregolimano in Greece (that I have refurbished). The site is so outstanding, especially when you arrive there by boat: there is all the magic in the holidays spent in the Mediterranean countries.

Discover our Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido resort here.

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

Exquisite Design at Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido

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Perfect ski conditions meet world-class design at the brand new Club Med Tomamu. Get ready to ride a different wave at Hokkaido’s newest and most exciting ski resort opening this December.

Club Med Tomamu - Snow Village

Zip down ice slides, go ice skating, or enjoy a drink in the ice bar at the neighbouring ice village.

Nestled among a perfectly scenic winter wonderland in Hokkaido, Japan, the brand new Tomamu ski resort has been designed with en vogue style and traditional Japanese culture in mind.

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Surrounding nature influences the interior décor including this magnificent cherry blossom tree.

Jean Phillippe Nuel is the man behind the designs of some of the world’s most glamourous resorts in Dubai, India and France, and now he employs his design expertise to bring the magnificent Club Med Tomamu resort to life. The award-winning French designer provides a twist to traditional Japanese style with a modern, contemporary take on the interiors of the resort.

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Nuel employs a modern take on traditional architecture in his designs.

Inspired by Hokkaido’s four distinct seasons, Nuel captures the wonders of the beautiful surrounding nature indoors, like cherry blossoms in spring to décor lighting setting the mood for some winter magic. The four seasons are brought to life with vivid colours, shapes and textures resulting in a unique clash of Japan’s natural wonder and Nuel’s contemporary architectural flair.

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A different season sets the tone for the design of each room.

Clean, modern décor and spacious interiors are a theme throughout the rooms, offering scenic views of Tomamu and the surrounding wilderness. Every detail of design has been thoroughly thought through, ensuring a memorable snow getaway in a resort that oozes warmth and Japanese sophistication.

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Traditional Japan meets contemporary design throughout the whole resort.

Be one of the first to experience the brand new chic resort opening this December and discover Club Med Tomamu here.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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!

New Ski Resort Opening in 2017: Club Med Tomamu, Japan

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A Bountiful Ski Resort with Modern Chic Design

A continuous business expansion in Asia positions Club Med as the global leader of ski resorts.

Tomamu new resort signing

Club Med, the pioneer of the Premium All-Inclusive holiday concept, has announced plans to open a ski resort in Tomamu, Hokkaido in a joint signing ceremony in Shanghai today by Mr. Henri Giscard d’Estaing, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Club Med and Guo Guangchang, Chairman of Fosun International Limited. With China-based ski resort Club Med Beidahu slated to open in December this year, the expansion of ski resorts in Asia signifies a marked move by Club Med to become the global leader in ski resorts and the premium ski holiday experience.

Growth Opportunities in Hokkaido and Asia

Hokkaido

The opening of Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido is an ambitious move in response to the consistent growth of international tourism to Hokkaido over the past few years. Due to varying factors such as easier visa processes, new international flights into Hokkaido and more, markets such as Taiwan, Thailand, China, and South Korea are experiencing heavier travel trends into Hokkaido.

“We see an increasing number of people visiting Hokkaido, and recognize the opportunity to provide a truly premium holiday experience to our guests in Japan,” shared Mr. Henri Giscard d’Estaing, CEO of Club Med. “Young affluent families and couples enjoy resorts with bountiful sports and activities, and Club Med is the foremost leader in providing a hassle-free holiday experience.”

Faced with an increasing demand for quality ski holidays in Asia, Club Med has announced plans to develop more ski resorts in the near future. The group will continue to employ a consistently upscale and premium product strategy to attract more travellers.

Vibrant Ski Resort in Japan with inexhaustible activities

Snowboarder Hokkaido Ski holidays

Designed for families and couples who are adrenaline loving ski holiday-goers, Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido spans across 145 hectares of ski slopes.

Guests to the newly constructed resort will enjoy:

  • ✔️ A wide range of categories for all types of travellers, from superior to suite

  • ✔️ Free ski lessons for all guests and access to 28 ski slopes of varying difficulty levels and brand new ski facilities such as ski lifts and gondolas

  • ✔️ Children’s Club facilities to enjoy the beauty of Hokkaido nature

  • ✔️ International and local cuisine, free-flow drinks and alcoholic beverages at the Gourmet Lounge, main restaurant and bar

  • ✔️ Exciting spaces such as the Ofuro, Fitness Centre, Lounge, Mina Mina Beach* etc

  • ✔️ Meetings & Events facilities for MICE*

  • ✔️ Romantic Wedding Chapel* designed by Ando Tadao

The second ski resort in Japan, guests at Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido will be spoilt for choice over the plethora of activities. Set in the breathtakingly picturesque backdrop of Northern Japan, the resort is only 30 minutes away from existing Club Med Sahoro Hokkaido, but offers a wholly different experience. Club Med Tomamu is highly accessible, with direct flights to New Chitose Airport, where a mere 90 minute bus ride or 50 minute JR express train ride will whisk guests to the new resort.

Mountain Golf - Summer Ski Resort

In summer, the resort offers endless fun with land sports activities such as golf* on a sprawling course, as well as cultural and nature discoveries. Guests can visit the Unkai Terrace* for an ethereal and magnificent panoramic view of clouds, or head to Furano* for the famous fields of blooms. Guests to the resort can also expect brand new facilities with a nature-inspired modern chic design, including meeting venues* for a fun and productive business retreat, as well as an exceptional water chapel* for the perfect winter wedding.

*at extra cost

Discover the first Club Med Japan ski resort here and more on Club Med ski holidays below:

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

Want to ski in the French Alps? Here are the best ski fields.

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They say that once you ski in France, you’re spoiled for life. ‘Spectacular’ doesn’t even come close to describing the French Alps – it’s no wonder that the Alps are one of the world’s top skiing destinations.

Apart from its incredibly beautiful powder peaks and world-class après-ski scene, the appealing thing about the French Alps is its broad range of skiing opportunities. From kids hopping on skis for the first time to advanced cross-country trails, there’s something for everyone.

So, which ski spot is perfect for your snow holiday to the French Alps? Strap on your skis and hop on – we’ve got the lowdown on this incredible part of the world.

Getting to the French Alps

While the French Alps are particularly well connected to the rest of France, it’s actually easier to get to the mountains from Geneva in Switzerland rather than Paris.

The easiest route to Geneva from Australia is via Dubai or Doha flying either Qatar Airways or Emirates. Once in Geneva, the best way to get to the ski resorts is via car or bus transfer. It’s also the most scenic and enjoyable way to witness the breathtaking countryside!

Which French Alps ski area is best for me?

With countless ski fields, it can be hard to know where to go. Below, we give you a rundown on the top picks in the area.

Espace Killy

Named after famed French skier Jean-Claude Killy, the Espace Killy is renowned as one of the best ski areas in the world and for good reason. With a ski season that lasts from November until May, over 300km of slopes and a maximum altitude of 3450m, you’ll reach the height of ski holidays here.

Number of runs: 20 green runs, 67 blue runs, 41 red runs, 26 black runs Altitude: between 1,550m and 3,450m

Ski fields in Espace Killy:

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  • Val d’Isere sits at 1850m at the foot of the slopes, and is perfect for its ski-in ski-out access to the mountain. Ideal for couples or friends, Val d’Isere has plenty of authentic chalet charm and is also home to the awesome La Folie Douce, a bar in the mountains. Download the piste map here

  • Tignes Val Claret is higher than Val d’Isere at 2,100m, and is perfect for the thrill-seeker. In addition to incredible skiing and snowboarding conditions, the enthusiastic can also take on ice-diving or climb a frozen waterfall. Download the piste map here

Paradiski 

When a ski area has the name ‘paradise’ in it, you can bet that it’s going to be a great spot for skiing. Comprised of three resorts and boasting 425km of downhill skiing, Paradiski is literally a dream for beginner and expert skiers.

Number of runs: 12 green runs, 132 blue runs, 65 red runs, 37 black runs Altitude: between 1,250m to 3,250m

Ski fields in Paradiski:

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  • Peisey-Vallandry sits at 1,600m and oozes charm, from log fireplaces to stone and wood bars. With ski-in ski-out access and incredible snow-covered pine trees, Peisey-Vallandry is literally a winter wonderland and perfect for families. For brownie points, the neighbouring Vanoise Express is also the world’s fastest cable car. Download the piste map here

  • La Plagne is perched on the mountainside, and from the slopes you can literally see the Mont-Blanc rising in the distance. At 2,100m, these high-altitude runs are the perfect answer to any skiers dream. Download the piste map here

  • Accessible from Peisey-Vallandry, Les Arcs is one of the first “mega resorts” with its large and varied network of open runs and wooded ski runs around the Peisey-Vallandry and Villaroger area. Sitting at 2,000m, Les Arcs is home to the Robert Blanc black run; plus, with 53 blue runs and 32 red runs available, intermediate skiers will fall in love with this area. Download the piste map here

Les 3 Vallees 

As the largest linked ski area in the world, Les 3 Vallees (or The Three Valleys) are home to a whopping 600km of slopes. The ski area covers eight resorts, including Meribel, Val Thorens, Orelle, Courchevel, Les Menuires, Saint Martin de Belleville, La Tania, and Brides-les-Bains.

Number of runs: 68 green runs, 104 blue runs, 110 red runs, 35 black runs Altitude: between 1,300m to 3,200m

Top ski fields in Les 3 Vallees:

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  • Val Thorens was voted the best French skiing resort and, at 2,300m, is Europe’s highest station. With a variety of open runs, Michelin-starred chefs and an incredible apres-ski scene, Val Thorens is the epitome of what skiing in France is all about. Download the piste map here

  • Meribel is known as the heart of the 3 valleys, and is the perfect place to experience French chalet culture. After a day of skiing, Meribel is the perfect town to stroll around in and soak up the French chic style.

Discover Club Med’s French Alps resorts in the video below or by clicking here!




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

All You Need to Know About Skiing in the Italian Alps

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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!

Best Places To Go For Easter Holidays

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Easter can be the perfect time to travel, both to get away from crowds and also get that last hit of sunshine before winter comes.As the weather warms up, it’s not just summer that has us all dreaming of holidays overseas. The Christmas break can be extremely busy for international travel, with thousands of holidaymakers trying to make the most of the holiday season. If you'd rather skip the crowds and rather plan ahead for your Easter holiday break, we’ve got some spots that are perfect for April!

Spring skiing in Europe

Club Med Val Thorens

You’d be amazed at the quality of snow on offer on the European peaks over Easter! April is considered low season, so you’ll avoid the queues and have the pistes all to yourself. At Val Thorens, Europe’s highest ski resort, it still snows well into Easter week, and the ski season often lasts until May.

Alternatively, other ski fields that are perfect over Easter include Les Deux Alpes and Tignes Val Claret, where glaciers keep temperatures relatively low up in the mountain.

Temperatures are warmer in spring, so resist the urge to pack your earmuffs! With days sitting at above 10 degrees Celsius, you might even find it a bit warm on the mountain – especially if you’re working up a sweat. Don’t forget to bring your swimmers too: resorts like Club Med Peisey-Vallandry have outdoor heated pools that are perfect to soak up the spring sun.

Travel Tip: If you’re travelling to Europe to ski, make sure to make the most of it and transit through Paris or Rome. Flowers bloom across the gardens in Paris in springtime, while the masses gather in St Peter’s Square for Easter in Rome.

Head to Malaysia for Easter sunshine

Looking to get that last burst of sunshine before the winter? Malaysia is a great holiday destination – plus, it’s just an 8 hour flight away. Experience a cultural immersion in Kuala Lumpur with Malay, Chinese and Indian influences creating a bustling, vibrant city.

Club Med Cherating

For a break from the densely packed cities, don’t miss Cherating Beach’s secluded shores, surrounded by lush Malaysian jungle. April falls between monsoon seasons, so you’re sure to have clear skies and warm waters. If you’re an avid surfer, you’ll find great waves over the Easter period as well.

Travel Tip: One of the best way to make the most of the jungle experience in Cherating Beach over Easter break is to spend a few days at Club Med Cherating and embark with your kids and the specialized staff in a treasure hunt in the surroundings of the resort...

Discover ancient Mayan relics and sunshine in Mexico

Club Med Cancun

Home to pristine beaches and one of the world’s seven wonders, Cancun is an ideal holiday destination for Easter. It’s always sunny, and you’ll be able to visit the Mayan ruins of the Chichen Itza, as well as snorkel in beautiful clear oceans.

While April is the time for Spring Break, the Yucatan Peninsula (where Club Med Cancun is located) is secluded, so you can enjoy your beach in peace!  What’s more, some of Mexico’s best snorkelling lies in the warm waters just beyond the shores…

Discover paradise on Earth in the Maldives

Club Med Finolhu Maldives

Let’s be honest: when isn’t it a good time to visit the Maldives? With unmistakable turquoise waters and magnificent white sands, it’s the ideal holiday destination. In April you can expect perfect bluebird days, where the warm waters see vibrant sea life to flock to the coral reefs. Easter is considered the best time for scuba diving, so take a dip with the reef sharks and manta rays!

A short and sweet escape to Singapore

Singapore is less than eight hours direct flight from Sydney, so it’s perfect for a short Easter break! In April you’ll avoid the monsoons and it’s (a little bit) less humid, making it the perfect conditions to spend a few days exploring Singapore. Enjoy a meal on the Marina Bay, watch the Singapore Open Badminton tournament, spend a day at Universal Studios, or head to the Singapore Zoo…kids and adults alike will love it!

Club Med Bintan Island

Travel Tip: When you’re ready to hit the beach, skip Sentosa and take a short ferry to Bintan Island. Lie under the tropical sun by the warm waters of the South China Sea and relax…snorkel, swim, kayak, or practice your swing at the infamous Ria Bintan Golf Course.

🐇 Happy Easter Holiday! 🐣

What Every Beginner Skier Needs to Know Before A First Ski Trip

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Do you still think ‘goofy’ is a Disney character? Don't know how to pizza down the mountain? Don't even know what to do with a lift ticket (or why you even need one)? For the uninitiated, whether you're a ski beginner or embarking on your first family ski holiday, it can all be a bit bewildering. Here's everything you need to know for your first ski trip.

The lowdown on the lingo

Club Med All Inclusive Ski Holidays

First things first, you'll need to brush up on the basics of snow lingo:

❅ Lift passes are tickets that allow you to ride the ski lifts up to the top of the mountain to ski down. There are plenty of options, from day passes to annual passes (for the super enthusiastic beginner!)

A run (or piste in Europe) is any marked trail, slope or course designed for skiing.

When snowboarding, riders use either a regular or goofy: The regular stance is with your left foot in front and goofy is with your right foot at the front.

❅ Apres-ski refers to the activities undertaken after a day of skiing, and can include swimming, massages at the spa, or an Aussie’s favourite past-time: enjoying drinks with friends.

What to bring

Club Med All Inclusive Ski Holidays

You will need to pack:

✔️ Thermals

✔️ Insulated clothing

✔️ A ski jacket and ski pants

✔️ Gloves

✔️ Beanies

✔️ Super thick socks

✔️ Warm boots

✔️ Protective eyewear.

☼ It seems silly, but you'll also need sunscreen and lip balm – sunburn and chapped lips are common gripes on the slopes.

Skiing or snowboarding?

Club Med Ski & Snow holidays

The next thing to decide on is skiing or snowboarding.

The general rule is that skiing is easier to pick up at first but harder in the long run to master; on the other hand, snowboarding can take a good couple of days to pick up, but after that you can become quite competent quickly on your snowboard.

Tips to keep in mind for your first ski trip

Club Med All Inclusive Ski Holidays

✔️ Beginners heading on a ski holiday should allow plenty of time on the slopes (at least a couple of days) – first-timers make take a while to get the hang of it.

✔️ It’s not essential, but we highly recommend you sign up for some ski lessons. Instructors will guide you through how to start and then demonstrate correct techniques – plus they’ll take you to runs on the mountain that suit your ability level. Club Med snow resorts offer snow schools with qualified instructors included in the package, and also many offer kids ski classes.

✔️ The view from the top will be steep... and intimidating for beginners. Whenever in doubt, don’t forget you can 'pizza' (point your skis together at the front to slow you down) to gradually make your way down to the bottom.

✔️ Don't forget to reward yourself after day's skiing by indulging in a sauna, Turkish bath, massage or yoga. Trust us: your muscles will thank you!

Best international ski fields for beginners

Club Med Ski Hokkaido Japan

While skiing in Australia and New Zealand are viable options, the best part about heading overseas to ski is that you can discover a completely new country and experience some of the best powder in the world. Here’s our pick for the best international ski fields:

✔️ Sahoro, Japan: The skiing mecca of Hokkaido offers soft snow perfect for beginners. Resorts in the region contain traditional Japanese rooms, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and snow gardens for the kids.

✔️ Valmorel, France: with a family-friendly atmosphere, this resort area of the French Alps offers plenty of gentle runs and a host of activities for the little ones.

✔️ Via Lattea, Italy: Nestled on the border with France, the second largest ski field in Europe is popular with families who come to relax in cosy chalets.

✔️ Aspen Snowmass, USA: spread over four mountains, this field features an amazing array of runs from beginner to advanced.

✔️ Big White, Canada: has a huge number of lifts, runs to suit all ages and a popular skiing school for kids.

And finally...

Whether you're hitting the slopes for the first time or taking the kids on their first skiing holiday, good luck, and remember…everybody had to learn once!

See you out on the slopes. ⛄ ❄️ 🎿

Learn more about Club Med’s all-inclusive ski holidays in the video below, or on the Club Med website here.

Want to discover our Facebook Snow Squad Group? Join us 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

Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets

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.

Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets

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.

Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets

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.*

Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets

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.

Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets

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.

Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets

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.

Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets

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.

Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets

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.

Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets

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.

Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets

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.

Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets

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

Samantha Wills at Club Med Valmorel Chalets

*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!

An Alpine Experience with Chic Euro Style

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This article was reposted from journalist Dan Avila’s post on justluxe.com. All photos below are courtesy of Dan Avila Photography.  Read the original story here. Dan Avilais a frequent traveler across the globe, camera in hand - shooting unique people and places. He relates below his great experience of spending a week during the snow season at Club Med in Valmorel.

To many, the Alps are the prime locations for snow sport excellence. Endless runs in pristine conditions, fabulous infrastructures and picturesque villages with a chic Euro style; it is ski heaven. The tiny Alpine town of Valmorel, set high in the French Alps, is transformed in the winter. Valmorel village may be small, but it punches above its weight in premium offerings. Some of the finest French cheese, wine and produce are from this region and the skiing is simply sublime.

Club Med Valmorel Chalets

Set above this town is Club Med Valmorel's latest resort village. No expense has been spared ($113 million was spent) to create a truly stunning alpine experience which, in addition to the main resort village, includes a few stand-alone chalets. Club Med Valmorel has direct access to over 93 miles of ski runs reaching an altitude of over 9,800 feet. From the highest ski lift, views extend across three countries and even the most committed skier must pause in appreciation of these unforgettable vistas.

Club Med Valmorel Chalets

The property’s chalets are removed from the main hotel in a secluded area above the resort village. The accommodations are built to the highest-certified environmental standards and are designed in an authentic alpine style. Exclusive to chalets are in-house meals. Each morning, breakfast is prepared by your butler who gets to know you so they can tailor the service to your exact preference. On returning to the chalet after a solid day of carving up the slopes, our butler had prepared a decadent afternoon tea including the finest local produce and a special daily pastry from Maryan, awarded as one of the finest pastry chefs in France. The chalets also have exclusive access to a range of premium features including The Welcome Lounge. The club is beautifully constructed and features a fireplace and premium wine and spirits. A chauffeur is also available any time of day for those wanting to explore the area.

Club Med Valmorel Chalets

Club Med’s holiday experience is seamless, and allows guests more time to do what they go there to do. Group ski classes are part of the package and are highly recommended. The Valmorel ski fields are so expansive that just getting familiar with the runs can take days. The nationally-accredited instructors also double as guides, as small groups of similarly skilled skiers or snow-boarders are expertly instructed and guided throughout the reaches of this expansive region. From a very beginner seeing snow for the first time to competitive experts looking to hone their off-piste ability, all skill levels are catered to with group or one-on-one lessons.

Club Med Valmorel Chalets

After a glorious morning on the slopes, ski in and kick off your skis at the exclusive chalet ski room, near the restaurant while a smiling waiter offers fresh juice or Champagne even before you step inside. The chefs ensure a luxuriant spread for lunch before satisfied guests again succumb to the call of the mountains. Being on the slopes is a great way of experiencing a view of the Alps. Low altitude flying above them is even better, and there are a couple of options to get airborne, which include parasailing or flying in a microlight at 80 mph before setting down on the slopes to ski onto the next thrill.

Club Med Valmorel Chalets

Club Med controls a substantial portion of the European Alpine vacation market and this dominance has provided opportunity to refine their craft into what has culminated into the Valmorel experience. It is a total package of carefree fun that leaves guests satisfied and yearning to return.

Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Club Med Valmorel Chalets
Club Med Valmorel Chalets

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

Japan or Europe: Which Is Better for Skiers?

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Club Med Val Thorens

Are you a powder-hound? Or perhaps a professional après skier? Whether you like to hit the parks or the piste, we’re sure you’re dreaming of fresh tracks – especially now that the Australian ski season is winding down to a close.

To find the world’s best snow you’ll have to venture north from the Australian Alps, where incredible powder peaks come to life between December to May, in Japan and Europe. The Northern hemisphere is a playground for skiers, but it can be hard to decide which slopes to take on. Luckily, we’ve done all the research for you! Read on to see which region is best for skiers…

Chase soft powder and cultural discovery in Japan

Japan is renowned for its incredible powder snow, with promises of over 15 meters in some prefectures! Regardless of where you ski, you’re guaranteed the world’s driest, lightest and deepest powder snow. Be sure to take in the beautiful mountain landscapes and the wonderfully unique culture that makes Japan one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Club Med Hokkaido

Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, is peppered with phenomenal ski slopes that promise reliable snowfall, which makes it a popular destination for tourists. Ski fields like Niseko are often crowded, meaning queues for lifts; for a quieter ski field, head to Sahoro and enjoy mountains all to yourself – literally!

Club Med Hokkaido

With a flight times of less than 13 hours from Sydney, the Japanese slopes are ideal for those travelling with young families. What’s more, parents can make the most of the mountains while the little ones are having a ball in professional ski lessons.

Club Med Hokkaido

Japan is also the perfect place to combine skiing with a longer holiday. You could easily spend days in the shrines and temples of Kyoto, or head to Tokyo and Osaka to soak in bright lights and unique cityscapes.

Get serious altitude in the French, Italian and Swiss Alps

There’s no mistaking it, the French, Swiss and Italian Alps offer some of the best skiing in the world. Paired with enchanting European charm, delicious mountain food (tartiflette, anyone?) and a long season with reliable snowfall, a ski holiday to Europe is one you’ll never forget.

Club Med Pragelato

Europe has an incredibly diverse range ski fields for skiing and snowboarding holidays, and includes: ❅ The world’s biggest ski area, Les Trois Vallees in the French Alps, featuring over 600km of terrain and 335 runs.. ❅ A natural glacier at Paradiski in the French Alps, where there are 425km of slopes with 139 runs, suited for every level. ❅ Another one of Europe’s largest ski areas, the Via Lattea in the Italian Alps, is home to over 400km of ski slopes and 92 runs. ❅ Beautiful alpine skiing trails in Haute-Engadine in the Swiss Alps, with over 570km of slopes and 56 runs.

Club Med Ski Resorts

Given the sheer size of the European Alps, it’s hard to know where to start. Make the most by booking in professional lessons with the ESF National Ski School – they know the ski conditions and can take you to the best locations, as well as give you the best tips.

The best thing about skiing in Europe is that… well, it’s not all about the skiing! Europeans invented après ski, after all, so it’s no surprise that the world’s best après ski can be found here.

Club Med Val d'Isere

From hearty dishes including tartiflette and raclette, to restaurants and bars on the mountains and outdoor heated pools, there’s no shortage of things to do. Mountain clubs such as the iconic La Folie Douce are definitely not to be missed! A European ski trip is the ideal escape for people who want world class ski fields… and world class après-ski.

AnnaliseBraackensiek

So between Europe and Japan, which is better?

It really depends on what you’re after! Located so close to home, the Japanese ski fields are ideal for families and friends who want to discover unique culture and incredible powder. But if you’re seeking the ultimate ski experience, there’s nothing quite like the iconic European Alps. Trust us – it’s worth it.

See you on the slopes! ⛄ ❄️ 🎿 Learn more about Club Med’s all-inclusive ski holidays in the video below, or on the Club Med website here.

 

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

The Best Places To Go For Christmas and January Holidays

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The weather is warming up and summer is on the horizon… and that means it’s the perfect time to start dreaming of blissful end-of-year holidays. From January school holidays to snowy Christmas holidays, we have the best spots for you.

Have a White Christmas in the French Alps

For those chasing a warm climate closer to home, you can’t go past a Singapore holiday over the Christmas break. Bring your partner or the kids and head down to Orchard Road to admire the beautiful Christmas decorations, then celebrate the New Year in style at the Marina Bay Sands.

Afterwards, recover from the festivities with a stay at Club Med Bintan Island, where sun, sand and sea are aplenty. New Year’s Resolution to treat your body and soul… Check!

The ultimate Christmas present: a trip to the Maldives

While the bright blue waters of Western Australia and white sand beaches of Jervis Bay are incredible, nothing quite compares to a Maldives holiday. With azure waters, palm trees swaying in the breeze, and fresh seafood and fruit, you’d struggle to find somewhere quite as idyllic as the Maldives.

Ring in the New Year with champagne*, and celebrate with exciting evening entertainment – then recover the next day on the balcony of your overwater suite. Paradise in 2016? Yep, it’s here.

Tip: Club Med Kani is perfect for a summer holiday with kids, while The Finolhu Villas are the ideal romantic holiday destination and couples getaway.

*only available in the Manta Lounge

Celebrate Christmas with a family holiday to Bali


Rally the troops and head off on a family holiday to Club Med Bali over the summer break! With endless festivities, a visit from Santa, and beautiful cultural discoveries including tea ceremonies and Bahasa lessons, Bali is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a year of hard work. Cheers!

Celebrate Christmas on China’s best ski slopes

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Christmas, ski… and China? Yes, you read that correctly. As hosts of the 2022 Olympics, the recent years have seen China develop their ski fields to a world-class level. Beidahu, located in the Jilin province north of Beijing, is a winter wonderland over Christmas and January holidays. Home to the 2007 Winter Olympic Games, the ski runs snake through a beautiful national forest – and in the evenings, Club Med Beidahu offers local Northern hotpot, noodle, and dim sim dining.

Plus, if you’ve ever wanted to go to China, Christmas is great: the majority of Chinese cities are bustling over the Christmas and New Year break and don’t close until Chinese New Year.