Club Med, which pioneered the all-inclusive resort concept in the 1950s, is on a construction binge, set to open 17 new resorts in the US, Europe and Asia by 2024, including Club Med Utah. Plus, they are upgrading 13 others.
Club Med also opened four new resorts and upgraded four others in 2021 despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s an incredible vote of confidence in the lure of travel for all of us, and the future of the travel industry, which has been battered by two years of shut downs and ever-changing rules about re-opening borders to international visitors.
Club Med Utah
Since I’m a devoted skier, for me the top opening will be the new Club Med Utah, at Snowbasin, scheduled to open for the 2024-2025 ski season.
It’s the first Club Med in the US in more than 20 years (when the one in Steamboat, Colorado, closed) and will be its first-ever five-star Exclusive Collection mountain resort in North America, and open year-round.
Located 35 miles from Salt Lake City, Snowbasin resort is one of the most accessible and oldest operating ski resorts in North America, and was one of the sites for downhill races in the 2002 Utah Olympics.
I love Snowbasin for its open and sunny snowfields, especially Strawberry Bowl, served by its own gondola. I usually spend much of the day there.
Club Med Utah will feature 320 rooms, including two-bedroom and family suites, plus facilities for groups and meetings.
Since this is an all-inclusive resort, here’s what it includes:
- Children’s clubs from four months to 17 years old for families seeking a more tailored, family-fun experience.
- All-day dining available at the resort’s restaurants and lounges
- Group ski and snowboard lessons
- Ski-in/ski-out access,
- Lift tickets,
- Heated swimming pool during the ski season.
During non-skiing months, there will be opportunities to explore more than 3,000 acres of surrounding mountains and valleys through guided activities like hiking programs, mountain biking, and Club Med’s trademark circus activities.
No pricing has been announced yet for stays at Club Med Utah, so stay tuned.
Club Med Openings and Renovations in 2021
These four resorts opened –
- Club Med Seychelles (Africa),
- Club Med Lijiang (China),
- Club Med Québec (Canada) and
- Club Med La Rosière (French Alps).
These four resorts were renovated –
- Club Med Albion (Mauritius),
- Club Med Peisey-Vallandry (French Alps),
- Club Med Pragelato-Sestriere (Italian Alps), and
- Club Med Marrakech (Morocco).
New Club Med Resorts in 2022
Club Med Magna Marbella, Spain
Set to open in May 2022, in the Andalusia region, one of Spain’s most popular and vacation mythic destinations. With a focus on the cultural and natural richness of southern Spain, the resort will mix tradition and modernity to offer an experience focused on wellness, nature, family experiences, and discovery of the destination.
The 485 room resort is just 45 minutes from the Malaga International Airport, and features a family fun zone, garden parties, 14 hectares of Andalusian gardens, a Club Med Spa by Cinq Mondes, and five different swimming areas.
Club Med Tignes, French Alps
Set to open in December 2022, this historic destination that has been home to Club Med since 1958. Tignes Val Claret is a natural sports paradise located at an altitude of 2,150 meters.
The new Club Med Tignes resort will be located in the center of the liveliest part of town, making it a hotspot for winter sports and nightlife.
The resort will feature 430 rooms, including 25 Exclusive Collection (five-star) suites, two restaurants, a full spa and wellness salt wall, the largest Club Med pool in the Alps, a full childcare program, and a ski domain suitable for every level.
Club Med Val d’Isère, French Alps
Set to open in December 2022, this property is located in the Tarentaise Valley at an altitude of 1,850 meters. It is home to an internationally-recognized ski mecca – skiing legend Jean Claude Killy is from here.
This is an existing resort being renovated and upgraded to the luxury Exclusive Collection designation. As such, it will be the brand’s first entirely five-star mountain resort, with a total of 216 rooms available for booking in both winter and summer.
As well as offering fabulous skiing, gourmet dining, childcare starting at age 4, and spa and yoga program, the resort will redefine luxury by combining intimacy, conviviality and relaxation.
New Club Med Resorts in 2023 and 2024
Club Med San Sicario, Italian Alps
Set to open in December 2024, this new addition to Club Med’s mountain portfolio in the Italian Alps will feature 200 rooms located on a prime ski location from the 2006 Turin Olympics.
Club Med Pragelato-Sestriere, Italian Alps
This expanded property, located in the Piedmont region of Italy, consists of a hamlet of wooden chalets. The expansion plan will include 17 new chalets housing 105 new rooms. Construction will be completed this year following the architectural style of the region.
Club Med Gregolimano, Greece
One of the brand’s flagship summer resorts in the Mediterranean Basin, located on the Greek Island of Evia, this property will undergo both a renovation and extension in 2023, including newly renovated beachfront bungalows.
Club Med Phuket, Thailand:
Located on Kata Beach, this destination is being refreshed with an eco-chic, modern and upscale twist, the refreshed resort spaces will include a redesign of the main restaurant, meetings & events center, pool and sun deck, and more—all to be completed by late 2023 and into 2024.
Club Med Hokkaido, Japan
Set to debut in 2023, and following the success of its two other mountain resorts in Japan, this property is located on the northern island of Hokkaido.
Known as one of Asia’s top travel destinations, Hokkaido offers a fun-filled family experience, featuring perfectly powdered snow for skiing and trekking, natural landscapes and local culinary delights.
Club Med Borneo Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia:
Set to open in 2024, this new resort will be located on the Malaysian side of the island of Borneo.
The destination is known for its beaches, biodiverse rainforest, Mount Kinabalu (Southeast Asia’s highest peak), famed dive site Sipadan Island, and native species such as orangutans and clouded leopards. This property embodies Club Med’s pioneering spirit, since it will bring a brand-new resort to a secluded destination.
Club Med Sustainability Programs
Since its inception, Club Med says it has held a firm belief that memorable experiences cannot be lived at the expense of others or of nature, which is why the brand has firm eco-friendly practices, including the Happy to Care program, founded in 2019, with a range of commitments to enhance sustainable tourism.
For example, the two newest resorts in North America, Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda and Club Med Québec, were designed from the ground-up with sustainability in mind, including guest experiences.
Some of the sustainability programs company-wide are –
- phased elimination of single-use plastics, including water bottles;
- eco-certifications from the best in the industry;
- BREEAM certification ensuring responsible construction and
- Green Globe certification ensuring a responsible hotel operation;
- construction of new resorts in harmony with nature, with built-up surfaces covering less than 10 percent of the total site surface;
- reduction of energy consumption and introduction of green energy sources;
- responsible, local, and ethical sourcing of food products and materials;
- employee uniforms created out of recycled plastic bottles; since 2019, 2.3 million bottles have been recycled for this initiative in North America, with 1.2 million more expected to be recycled by 2023;
- sponsorship of rural farming development projects to increase the efficiency, quality, and demand for local farmers; promotion of animal welfare by prohibiting experiences involving captive cetaceans, large cats, and elephants;
- food waste and hazardous waste management; community outreach via the Club Med Foundation, founded in 1978; partnerships with organizations focused on environmental preservation.
Club Med also makes employee uniforms out of recycled plastic bottles.
Since 2019, 2.3 million bottles have been recycled for this initiative in North America, with 1.2 million more expected to be recycled by 2023.
Looking ahead, Club Med’s North American resorts will see more ecological menu options featuring plant-based proteins and an increase in both local and organic products.
Club Med North America has also set an objective to source 100 percent fair trade coffee by 2023 and 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2025.
New Family Programs, Dining & Spa Experiences
As family travel evolves, Club Med is enhancing its existing teen programming (Club Med Passworld for teens ages 11-17). The new teen program will feature unique activities and social-forward events that give teens the opportunity to have exciting vacation moments and experiential content to share online. As part of this new programming, teens will also be able to take part in Club Med’s Happy To Care CSR mission. The pilot program is launching this spring in Club Med Punta Cana and Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda.
Over the past year, numerous studies have shown that travelers are eager to get outdoors in destinations that offer plenty of room to roam, are prioritizing health and wellness, and are interested in vacation options that cater to the entire family. With this market research in mind, Club Med enhanced its existing resort experiences, including:
Circus School by Club Med, an acrobatic playground with activities like flying trapeze, tightrope walking, and aerial silk in Club Med Punta Cana; new and/or upgraded pickleball courts in all resorts in Florida, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Coast of Mexico; Club Med Amazing Family Program, a fun-filled agenda of weekly activities designed to help families bond and reconnect, launched in all resorts across Florida, the Caribbean, and Mexico;
Club Med Spa by Sothys opened in three resorts including Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Club Med Québec, and Club Med Ixtapa Pacific; wing foil watersport activity in Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda; all-day yoga programming in Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda and Club Med Québec, with planned expansion to other North American resorts; the “sunset ritual,” a weekly lifestyle experience on the beach in Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, with planned expansion to Club Med Cancun and Club Med Ixtapa Pacific.
New dining concepts in existing resorts include: “Lucky Lime,” an all-day Mexican taqueria at Club Med Sandpiper Bay; “From Jungle to Table,” a sustainable dining concept at the Coco Plum Beach Lounge in Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda; “Altamar,” a premium seafood restaurant in Club Med Punta Cana; “Le Chalet,” a gourmet lounge in Club Med Québec featuring locally-sourced, family-style dinners “a la bonne franquette,” meaning cozy, friendly, and without any fuss.
To ensure guests feel well prepared and taken care of before and during their vacation, Club Med continues to enhance its digital, touch-free offerings. In 2021, Club Med’sEasy Arrival contactless check-in/check-out service, which prepares guests to get vacation-ready before vacation begins, was deployed in all Club Med resorts in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Through the app, guests can sign their children up for childcare services or book ski equipment before they arrive to their respective Club Med resort. TheMy Club Medapp features options to create a personalized itinerary, preview the daily activity schedules and even book spa appointments at Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Club Med Québec and Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda.
In 2021, the “room ready” feature was also deployed in North America, so guests can be informed upon check-in when their room is ready. For more information, call 800-258-2633 or visit www.clubmed.us.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter is a journalist with 20+ years of experience as a newspaper and magazine writer, radio & TV news producer & reporter, and author of guidebooks and smartphone apps – all focusing on travel, automotive, the environment and your rights as a consumer.
ecoXplorer Evelyn Kanter currently serves as President of the International Motor Press Assn. (IMPA) and is a former Board Member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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