The term "all-inclusive resort" has never really
screamed "family" to me -- I thought it was code for free drinks --
until I visited Club Med Sandpiper Bay.
The famous resort's only U.S. location underwent extensive
renovations last fall and its new look more than lives up to
Sandpiper Bay is populated mainly by families. Located
about an hour from Palm Beach, in Port St. Lucie, it's an easy trip
to make with little ones.
Kids sing the praises of the KidzVillage, where they can
practice sports and learn circus skills. At the end of the week, a
show lets them demonstrate their new talents.
A partnership with the public television show "Raggs"
brings characters to the resort to play.
Tweens and teens get their own hang-out spot with Latitude
27 degrees, a game-filled lounge exclusively for the 11-17
If you have an infant, you won't have to lug all that baby
paraphernalia, as guests 2 and under get VIP treatment with
complimentary high chairs and strollers, as well as milk and baby
While the kids play (the Pyjama Club offers child care
until 1 a.m.), mom and dad can too, with activities including a
spa, tennis, golf and fitness classes, an adult-only infinity pool
and drinks and dancing at the Slice Bar & Lounge. The
no-tipping policy means you don't have to tote your
But it wouldn't be a family vacation if families couldn't
enjoy it together. Boat excursions down the St. Lucie River offer
the chance to see dolphins, and with a bit of a drive, you can take
an airboat tour in the Everglades, where beady-eyed alligators size
For the more adventurous families, Club Med's famous
full-size trapeze gets the adrenaline pumping. And there's always
traditional fun like the pools and chowing down at the extensive
Marketplace buffet or outdoor Soleil restaurant. Evening events
like a '50s dance party add to the comfortable family
The international flair of Club Med makes it seem that
you've stepped into another universe. And when you consider that
the whole family is satisfied at Club Med Sandpiper Bay, it truly
is an out-of-this-world getaway.
Elizabeth Diffin is the senior editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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