For our latest family-adventure it was just my boys Ed (12), Raph (10) and Sonny (9) and I, due to my husband’s work commitments. The destination? Club Med Bintan Island, located on a secluded Indonesian island accessible via a 55-minute ferry ride from the vibrant city of Singapore.
Despite having travelled extensively with the boys, I did have some anxiety about managing them solo – navigating customs and herding three boys around an unfamiliar destination will do that to you. If we all returned home alive, I would consider the trip a success, but it was so much more than that.
Our first Club Med experience got off to a heart-warming start, greeted by a group of G.Os (Club Med’s name for employees), waving at us while Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ played in the background.
Stepping into the resort’s lobby I was struck by the incredible view overlooking the expansive pools, manicured gardens and beyond to the South China Sea. Breathtaking.
We stayed in adjoining ‘Club’ rooms with landscape views. The rooms are comfortable, clean and made homely by loving Indonesian touches – each day our towels were shaped into different animals. Speaking of, observing the monkeys from our balcony became a favoured pastime of my boys – they are adorable but be sure to lock your doors, because they will gladly come inside in search of food and fun! It quickly became apparent our room would merely become a place to collapse of an evening because Club Med offering is so vast.
We spent the first evening poolside, relaxing after our Singapore Airlines flight.As a first timer, I was keen to get a better feel for the Club Med product. Observing the guests I was interested to see that there were both families and couples. I’d always thought that Club Med was strictly a family-centric offering, but I quickly discovered that it is nimble enough to mould into just about anyone’s dream holiday.
For kid’s it is utopia. It was a challenge to pry my boys from the plethora of kid’s club activities. From the foam party, to snorkelling, to futsal, to circus trapeze and more, they were so well entertained.
But more than that, they were nourished by new friendships formed with other guests and G.O’s. They made friends with kids from Singapore, Canberra, Germany, South Africa and more. The Kid’s Club G.O’s possess boundless energy and charm and somehow manage to coordinate a structured experience for the kids. I watched on in awe and with enormous gratitude for the incredible experience they were providing my boys.
In some ways I imagined this part of the Club Med way but what took me by surprise is the wellness element the product provides for guests – this is a resort committed to offering the opportunity to rejuvenate (if you can resist the temptation of the premium all included bar!) From yoga overlooking the ocean, to the hilltop spa, to the freshly squeezed juices available from the The Matahari bar every morning – I actually had the opportunity to recharge while single-parenting three boys – amazing!
The all-inclusive element of Club Med is an outstanding benefit. Clearly the premium bar and all-day dining is pretty fabulous – the food is abundant and delicious. I just loved that we could eat, drink and participate in activities freely and not once did we have to do our sums to make sure we were within our holiday budget. This only added to the stress-free element of our dream family holiday.
The Club Med G.O’s represent just about every nationality. I asked a few how they ended up working for Club Med and many of them answered they used to travel to Club Med resorts as a child and it was always their dream to work for the brand. I found this fascinating. So good is the Club Med experience that in some people it plant’s a seed as a child that will one day grow to become a part of their destiny in the form of their work.
Our days spent on Club Med Bintan Island were some of the happiest times I have spent with my boys. I’m grateful for the boundless fun, the relaxation, the people we met, the delicious food, the new experiences and the luxury of slowing down long enough to forget what day it is and to just be together in paradise. Priceless.
Economy Class flights from Adelaide + Club Room + All-Inclusive Package:
From $2,040pp and $1,340 per child