My Review of Club Med Sandpiper Bay
I recently had the chance to spend 4 nights at Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port St. Lucie, Florida. This was my first time visiting a Club Med property. This property overlooks the St. Lucie River on the Atlantic coast of Florida. Club Med Resorts are European-style resorts that are extremely family friendly and all-inclusive. Sandpiper Bay is 113 miles from Miami and 130 miles from Orlando.
Club Med Resorts have been around since 1950 and created the “all inclusive” resort experience that is so popular today. Club Med has a different type of flavor than many of the other all inclusive resorts available to travelers today. The staff who are called G.O’s (Gentil Organisateurs) live on the resort grounds and are paid to eat and play with the guests who are referred to as G.M.’s (Gentil Membres). The Club Med Resort is known as a village and the resort manager is called the chef de village or Village Chief. The culture around Club Med is focused on happiness, simplicity, and fun. You can see these values in practice when you stay at Club Med.
- Only true All-Inclusive Resort located in the United States.
- You pay one price and you have unlimited food, drinks, entertainment & activities during your stay.
- Sandpiper Bay has an extensive Club Med Academies Program where you get free group lessons in Flying Trapeze, Sailing, Tennis, Fitness, Golf, and Beach Volleyball. These programs are of such high quality that there is even a boarding school at Sandpiper Bay where teen athletic hopefuls live part to full time so they can be coached by the expert sports coaches located at Sandpiper Bay. These programs are fun but serious. They also have summer camps, and shorter programs for adults and kids.
- Included in the all inclusive price are activities and sports including basketball, football, volleyball, water polo, gym, kayaking, and paddle board.
- A wide variety of cuisine choices in the buffet with both standard American food like burgers and french fries as well as specialty dishes from around the world.
- Extensive children’s programs for all ages and supplies on site like highchairs and homemade baby food to make vacationing easier on parents.
- Super friendly staff (G.O.s) really make you feel welcome. I had a G.O. come and sit with me during meals several times during my stay. It was really interesting learning about their lives and hearing about the different Club Med properties they had worked at. Two of the women I met, Chelsea and Rainy, were part of the Circus Staff and did the Flying Trapeze Show while we were there.
- 3 pools
- Nice Beach area on St. Lucie River.
- Can handle large groups, especially well suited for sports groups like golf, tennis, etc.
- Has conference rooms for events and training.
- Very minimalistic and basic accommodations – Because Club Med was created in Europe, each resort is very European in its style. Europeans typically have more basic hotel accommodations and are not as concerned with the luxury experience you may have at other all-inclusive resorts. I would say the accommodations at Club Med Sandpiper Bay would be comparable to a Holiday Inn room.
- Limited dining choices. There is one buffet that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner that closes between mealtimes. There is a snack type of restaurant that opens when the buffet is closed where you can get food to go or sit in their outdoor seating area, and there is one sit down restaurant that is adult only and is open for dinner. There is no room service and no food is available after 11 pm.
- Not on the ocean
- Far drive from the airport and shuttles are expensive. Parking at the resort is free, though.
- The shows are put on by the G.O.s and are not high-quality productions. They are really meant for fun and have lots of audience participation. But it could be a let down if you are expecting something like you would see on a cruise ship.
The Bottom Line:
Club Med’s Sandpiper Bay is the perfect resort for the right person. Not every resort is the right fit for everyone. If you go in with the right expectations and are looking for the type of experience that Club Med offers, you will be very satisfied with a vacation at Club Med Sandpiper Bay. It is especially inviting for active families who love sports and want to take advantage of the high-quality lessons offered. This resort isn’t for someone who wants ultra luxury or is into partying into all hours of the night. Sandpiper Bay is geared towards families so it wouldn’t be a top honeymoon choice to offer my clients. It does have a beautiful gazebo for destination weddings and would be a great place for a laid back multigeneration wedding.
Sandpiper Bay also shines as a great location to bring your group. If you have any type of an active hobby, Club Med can custom make an itinerary for your group that will make you look like a superstar. They also have lots of excursions to local Florida destinations and activities that may be of interest to you or your group.
If this sounds like a resort you would like to visit, contact me today to make it a reality.
Photos from my trip: