Club Med Opens Flagship Property in Cancun

The Club Med Village Cancun made its reputation as an around-the-clock resort catering to young singles. After a $24 million renovation, the 384-room property has been reborn as a family-friendly resort with an up-market edge, reopening under the name Club Med Cancun Yucatan. Exterior of the Club Med Cancun Yucatan

The original Club Med was one of the two first resorts to open in Cancun in 1976. "In Cancun, after the hurricane of 2005, we had to reinvent the village, but it gave us the opportunity to create something more in line with customer satisfaction," says Henri Giscard d'Estaing, chairman and CEO of Club Med. The company is calling its new product "friendly upscale," multicultural and family-centric.

Concierge Level Rooms

The new Jade Villa wing is a highlight of the new up-market direction for the company. The Jade Villa wing functions as a resort within a resort, with oceanview suites, concierge service and amenity upgrades, such as butler service, free Internet access, fresh flowers, morning newspapers, laundry service, in-room dining and stocked mini-fridges. Guests booked into the Jade Villa wing are met with a private car from the airport. On the Horizon for Club Med

The resort will see the opening of a Children's Club by December 15, and Club Med Passworld, a facility exclusively for teenagers, is scheduled to open in summer 2007. Club Med's Baby Welcome Program alleviates some of the stress parents experience when traveling with infants. On arrival, parents will find amenities such as high chairs, bottle warmers, and playpens in their room. Another thoughtful feature is the option for parents to make their own baby food in the resort's main restaurant, La Hacienda, utilizing food processors set aside expressly for this purpose.

The resort has a full complement of sports programs that Club Med is famous for, including circus trapeze, water skiing and snorkeling. In fact, other Cancun resorts and operators bring groups to snorkel in the reef that Club Med's guests can access from shore. The resort is bordered on one side by the sea, and the other by a picturesque lagoon complete with a resident crocodile, which adds an interesting wrinkle to wiping out on water skis.

More than half of the rooms have been expanded, and the 18 suites have been enlarged to 691 square feet. Balconies throughout the resort have been expanded to 75 feet. Forty rooms are connecting rooms. At Cancun Club Med Yucatan, the current upscale price is $160 a night, a 25 percent increase over previous rates. Rooms with the best views are oceanview rooms in the Jade Villa Wing.

The resort has three restaurants: La Hacienda for buffet dining, lots of demonstration cooking, and a selection of dining rooms, each decorated in a different theme reflecting various rooms in a traditional Mexican hacienda. La Cazuelas features an à la carte Mexican cuisine with a French influence. La Pergola, which has sea views, will feature something new for Club Med, a Mediterranean tapas menu at night.

Cedric Gobilliard, CEO of Club Med North America, notes that Club Med is the only all-inclusive company that includes an excursion in the all-inclusive price. Guests who book a seven-night vacation receive a complimentary excursion to the archaeological site of El Meco, where they can climb the main temple. The resort's DiscoveryCenter also provides 17 tour options, with an emphasis on ecotourism. "We are also in the process of organizing one-day volunteer projects for our guests," says Gobilliard.

Paula Hayes, senior vice president of sales, advises agents to direct specific requests and questions to Club Med's inside sales team at 800-248-5463.

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