Club Med - Paradise Island, Bahamas

Club Med - Paradise Island, Bahamas

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Club Med - Paradise Island, Bahamas

Nov 6, 2002
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Wonderful atmosphere, friendly staff, great beach, large dive/snorkel catamaran, intermingling opportunities

Cons:Must eat on a schedule due to timing of restaurant schedules

The Bottom Line: Wonderful place to relax, meet new people, play in the ocean, and enjoy good food. The staff is very friendly and fun and the atmosphere is festive.


Going to Club Med was not just a vacation, it was truly an experience! It was my first visit to a Club Med and I wasn't exactly sure what to expect.

This was also the first vacation I've taken without my husband. He was unable to take off work the week of my birthday, so he encouraged me to take a friend with me. One of my co-workers has been trying to go the Bahamas for months, so she agreed to go with me. I was about to turn 50 and off on a girls' trip to the Bahamas. Don't I have a wonderful husband?

Our Arrival

The grounds of the resort are really lovely, with lots of trees, flowers and shrubs. It is set off by itself at the end of the road and safely nestled behind the guard shack at the entry.

Upon entering the compound there are tennis courts on both sides of the street. The reception area, theatre, boutique, bar and restaurants are located next to the harbor. There are many beautiful flowering bushes around the main buildings.

Entering the open air lobby,we were greeted by tropically-clad clerk with a friendly smile and a Brazilian accent. We were quickly checked in and someone took us and our bags to our room.

The resort has several separate buildings, 2-story and 3-story. Our room was in the Hibiscus section on the second floor with an ocean view. The beach was about 30 yards from our door. Pretty awesome!

The Room

Our room had two twin beds, two sofa table/dressers, and a 25 inch television mounted on the wall in the corner. The beds were on either side of the room with a small night stand next to each.

The floor was white tile and the bedspreads were beige and white striped. Through the double doors was a fairly large bathroom with double vanity and hairdryer. The round shower was in the center of the bathroom and had both a wall-mounted and hand-held nozzle. This came in very handy for washing bathing suits and getting sand from places that aren't supposed to have sand!

There were two full closets. Each had a set of shelves for storage and a safe large enough to hold everything I needed to lock up. There was no charge for use of the safe. It was the create-your-own-combination type. Much better than keeping up with a key.

There was also a separate potty room with door.

Each of each had our own soap dish, with Club Med soap, shampoo and lotion.

I think the housekeeper mopped every day. I had to be careful coming back into the room sometimes because the floor was slippery until it dried.

The Beach

The beach at Club Med is actually public, but there were many people there who weren't staying at the resort. Occasionally someone would offer to braid my hair or sell me jewelry. They lock the gates after dark to ensure only guests are on the grounds.

There were always plenty of lounge chairs available at the beach. There is an activities center were you can go to take sailing lessons on a Hobie Cat or go windsurfing. We took sailing lessons and had a blast sailing a Hobie Cat on two afternoons.

There was also a bar further down the beach and there were daily activities organized at noon. Sometimes it was volleyball, water aerobics, or sand castle building.

Snorkeling and Diving

Club Med has two very nice catamarans that are used for diving and snorkeling trips. A boat leaves every day (except Sunday) at 3pm to go snorkeling. Snorkel gear is provided and there is no charge. We went out two different days and visited a different location each time. It was very nice being out on the boat and playing in the water. There was some pretty nice reefs that we visited, but it did get a bit crowded when lots of snorkelers bunched up in one are.

Dive trips were available from the dock each morning at a cost of $70 for two dives. Since my husband was nice enough to let me go to the Bahamas alone, I just didn't have the heart to dive without him.

They have a large pool that was being renovated while we were there (it was off-season). It was opening a few days after we left. We managed to sneak a peek and it was absolutely gorgeous. Very large, with several fountains and lush landscaping.

Dining

There are three restaurants at the resort. The main restaurant was undergoing restoration while I was there. It reopened the evening we left (of course!).

Breakfast and lunch buffets are served each day at The Greyleaf Restaurnat, overlooking the ocean. Breakfast hours at 7:30 - 10:30 am, then the restaurant reopens for lunch from 12:30 - 3:00 pm. Check-in time is 3:00 pm, so make sure you eat lunch before you go to the resort.

There was always a wide array of breakfasts foods being served. Lots of fruit, cheeses, a variety of breads, eggs, grits, hash browns, bacon and sausage were abundant. You could have made to order omelets, or select pancakes or waffles. There was also a selection of cereal, yogurt, different types of milk, including soy. Of course, there was coffee, tea, orange juice, soft drinks and water that you could access from a dispenser.

Lunchtime brought a variety of entrees. Three two four types of meats and vegetables were offered each day. You could also opt for burger, soy burger, hot dog or chicken breast sandwich.

Again, multiple varieties of wonderful breads, including white chocolate bread. Only three words describe that...to die for!

Caesar salad, tossed salad, pasta salad, fruit salad, tuna salad, more cheeses, and at least ten different dessert pastries. Then there was the soft-serve ice cream machine. In addition to the juice and soft drinks offered, there was Beck's beer on tap and your choice of red, white or rose house wines.

For dinner the Greyleaf offered a different buffet each night. There were oriental, French and Italian, to mention a few. The schedule continually rotates.

Reservations are required for dinner, which starts at 7:00 pm. There is a sign up sheet each day at noon. There were a selection of several different entrees in the main restaurant (which was temporarily being housed in a smaller building normally used for private parties). The filet mignon was outstanding! There was a different soup and appetizer offered each night, along with a choice of two different desserts. The table wine was kept restocked throughout the evening and service was prompt and polite.

Some people dressed up for dinner, other wore shorts and t-shirts. Just about anything is perfectly acceptable. The atmosphere was very relaxed and casual.

Prefer Steak and Lobster

There is another restaurant on the dock that features steak and lobster each night. We dined here our first evening. I wasn't very impressed with the quality of the steak and the lobster was just okay. It was rather loud and boisterous and my friend and I were seated at a table with two men.

One spoke only French -- his name was Francois. The other spoke only drunk. I will not mention his name. After I had exhausted the 27 words of French that I know, I began to feel really sorry for Francois. Our drunk friend thought that the louder he spoke, the more easily Francois would be able to comprehend what he was saying.

I felt like everyone in the room was staring at us. I asked a waiter who spoke French to ask Francois if he preferred to move to a table with French speaking guests. He looked relieved and grateful as he made his hasty exit.

The bread was very good, and I kept leaving the table to examine the salads, vegetables and desserts. (Who me, trying to escape the clutches of a drunken, semi-toothless man?) It was getting pretty warm in the open air restaurant, so I excused myself a couple of times to go outside and cool off.

Unlimited wine and beer are included with lunch and dinner as part of the room rate. If you wish to purchase liquor you can buy a book of drink tickets to use at the bar, or you can buy a bracelet for $169 that will allow you to drink yourself into a stupor all week. I passed on the stupor and enjoyed my wine at dinner each evening.

Entertainment

There was a show each night at 9:30 pm. The GO's would perform a variety of skits, musicals, and comedies. There were very energetic and really worked to get everyone involved and having a good time.

There were usually other activities going on at most any given time in the bar areas. Trivia contests, awards presentations for athletic feats throughout the week, or even a fashion show.

I managed to attend the Copa Cabana, which was very colorful and entertaining. I opted to go to the room the other nights and rest from the day's activities. My roommate caught most of the shows and related them to me in great detail the next morning. She greatly enjoyed them.

For those who could stay awake until midnight, the disco opened and a few brave souls would dance the rest of the night away (so I'm told)!

Miscellaneous

~ There is a nice workout area, aerobics classes, putting and chipping green, plenty of tennis courts, and massages were available.

~ Everyone is issued a beach towel card that you can exchange for fresh beach towels.

~ There is a shady area where you can sit and listen to classical music each day while looking over the harbor.

~ A water taxi runs to Nassau on the hour (except Sundays - everything is closed). It costs $5 for roundtrip fare.

~ The resort is about 40 minutes from the airport and it costs $28 for a taxi for two people. Transfers can be arranged in advanced for less money.

~ If you're offended by topless sunbathing, you should beware. The beach had a lot of topless ladies, not to mention old men in thongs!

What I Liked Best

Interaction with other guests during mealtimes

Everyone was seated randomly at large tables so I was always meeting new people. It was a lot of fun getting to know people and then bumping into them on the beach or the snorkel boat. There were people from all over the world. The GO's (Club Med employees) were from a variety of countries and all spoke multiple languages. They would stop by to say hello and chat with the guests. They were always hyping any upcoming activity. They were definitely the Club Med cheerleading squad - young, peppy, and cute.

The beach and ocean activties

Easy access to the beach, free use of Hobie Cats, windsurfing boards, and snorkeling. The water was gorgeous and warm. Some days I spent hours swimming and floating. There are also plenty of lounge chairs and ample shade for napping, reading or hiding from the sun.

Location

Club Med is set off by itself on several acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. It is a brisk 10-minute walk from the Atlantis Casino. (Okay, I lost all my money, but I got exercise every day!)

Recommendation

I would definitely go back to Club Med - Paradise Island, and this time I would take my husband.

~ It would be great for a honeymoon or just a romantic getaway for a couple. Although there were mostly couples there, there were some singles. Everyone mixed and mingled regardless of their status. It reminded me of Rush Week at college... lots of smiling and trying to remember people's names.

~ Don't go here if you're looking for wild nightlife and singles running rampant.

~ It also does not really cater to children. I would try one of the other Club Med locations that has a special children's club.


Recommend this product? Yes

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