Club Med is the original all-inclusive resort and no one does it better.
My husband, 12-year-old daughter and I spent three action-packed days at the newly renovated Club Med Ixtapa Pacific on the Pacific coast of Mexico. We easily could have stayed for a full week—the standard Club Med deal—without running out of interesting things to do.
We swam, played in the surf, ate, walked, learned yogalates and got sunburned. If we’d had the time, we also could have practiced archery, sailed, kayaked, played tennis, soccer or mini golf or taken a cardio class. It’s all included in the price, which starts at $1,400 for adults, $700 for kids ages 4-15 and $420 for kids 2-3 for seven days. The only extras are airfare from Chicago, spa services, bottles of wine, excursions and care for the under 4 set.
Other resorts offer kids clubs that keep children inside a dark room playing on computers and doing kiddie crafts. But Club Med is a sports resort. The kids swim, play games, learn circus tricks and spend time outside, heading indoors for lunch at their own special restaurant. Babies and toddlers have their own "Mini Club Med" (for an additional fee) and parents get 24-hour access to a stock of baby food, diapers and other baby needs.
The staff is ceaselessly friendly and helpful, if not always quick. The G.O.s (it translates roughly to "Gracious Organizers" of your vacation) speak at least two languages and spend their on-duty and off-duty hours taking care of and schmoozing the guests. They all feel like friends by the end of the week, which makes it that much more fun to see them perform in the 1980s show on Wednesday night.
The only downside to Club Med Ixtapa is getting there. There are no direct flights from Chicago to Ixtapa, which makes for a long day of traveling when you factor in a layover in Mexico City.
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