Just Back: Club Med Yucatan's Major Renovation

Family-friendly Club Med Cancun Yucatan occupies a private peninsula with three beaches.
Family-friendly Club Med Cancun Yucatan occupies a private peninsula with three beaches.

Club Med was one of the first resorts in Cancun when it opened in the 1970s, and over the ensuing years the Club Med Cancun Yucatan has broadened its scope to bring in distinct demographics—most notably, the upscale family market. The resort recently emerged from a major renovation that saw the addition of a new all-suite building with accommodations just for families as well as a new club for toddlers. Beyond this one property, Club Med is boosting its adventure and activity presence to bring in the next generation of sports-minded guests.

Aquamarina

Aquamarina is a 60-room building right by the shore (and, not coincidentally, right by the resort’s new playground) with 30 deluxe rooms and 30 club rooms. The deluxe rooms have two bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms for up to six people; the club rooms have two bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathroom and can accommodate five people. (The children’s rooms each have two twin beds.) The main bathroom area has a rainforest shower and a toilet divided by a glass wall, while the kids’ bathrooms in the deluxe suites have a combination shower and soaking tub.

Outside, the balconies and terraces all look out over the ocean and have huge chairs and even outdoor showers for cleaning sand off of feet. (The outdoor showers are not private, however, so bathing suits should be kept on.) Even better: Rather than railings, the balconies are lined with glass, so nothing blocks the view of the sea.

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Club Med Cancun Yucatan’s new Aquamarina building has 30 deluxe rooms (pictured) and 30 club rooms.
Club Med Cancun Yucatan’s new Aquamarina building has 30 deluxe rooms (pictured) and 30 club rooms.

The building, which was completed in July, has plenty of nods to modern travel tastes and needs. Both bedrooms have wall-mounted TVs, and the one in the living room/master bedroom pivots to face different directions, as needed. USB ports are built into the walls by the desks and the nightstands, making charging devices very easy, and the electrical outlets are easily visible around the room.

Kids Clubs And Dining Options

Other recent additions for families include Petit Club Med, a dedicated space for two- and three-year-olds. (The resort already had clubs for children aged four to 17.) The space has toys (including multi-ethnic dolls for an international clientele) and activities as well as dedicated nap areas for kids needing a break. Nice touch: The club is deep-cleaned every Saturday, so it is only open six days per week. For late nights, the resort has a “pajama club” that lets kids sleep while the parents go to one of the resort’s parties.

Since the existing restaurant area was across the resort from the new family rooms, Club Med added a closer dining facility that serves buffet for breakfast and lunch, but becomes an à la carte restaurant for dinner. Las Cazuelas sits right on the beach and, with the windows open, has a very airy and relaxed vibe.

And by the main reception area, La Estancia is an Argentinian-style steakhouse that serves late breakfasts (good for those who want eggs at 11 a.m.) and an à la carte dinner. Good to know: Reservations are required 24 hours in advance for dinner. The restaurant’s wine cellar is also open for inspection, so oenophiles can make their pick in advance and have their preferred bottle ready when they arrive.

Right behind the reception area, the new Maya Lounge can serve as a theater, meeting space (for more than 300 people seated for a presentation), a nightclub and bar when necessary. The meeting rooms at the Cancun resort are set to be renovated by December this year, and a larger-scale renovation and expansion of the conference facilities is in the works.

Sports and Wellness

It is hardly a revelation to say that wellness travel is a booming industry—according to Forbes magazine, nearly 15 percent of the tourism market focuses on wellness, and that number is expected to grow by an additional 10 percent in the next few years. Club Med has emphasized active vacations for decades, but as latest trends become the normal, the brand is finding new ways to keep up with demands.

The Flying Trapeze School at the resort offers group classes for all levels.
The Flying Trapeze School at the resort offers group classes for all levels.

At Club Med Cancun Yucatan’s Fitness School, each student, whether beginners or confirmed, enjoy optimum conditions to practice their sport. Group lessons for all levels are available six days a week to give each person the time and resources to progress. Specialized and certified GOs are on hand to initiate beginners and improve the confirmed level, and equipment is adapted to each age group and skill level. To unwind, guests can visit the Club Med Spa by Comfort Zone.

Earlier this year, the Club Med Sandpiper Bay, FL, launched a new program, the 360° Active Wellness Boost, that includes professional coaching for running, triathlons, tennis, golf or fitness, as needed. Each package includes an evaluation of performance goals, fitness training, treatments at L’Occitane spa, nutritional guidance and (of course) activities. Bonus: Guests will also get tips on what to eat (and what to avoid) at the buffet restaurants, and families traveling together can add different wellness elements to their vacation as they see fit.

The resort also recently debuted the Club Med Volleyball Academy in partnership with the National Volleyball League, which moved its official Training Center to Florida to be close to the Academy. This is, so far, the only beach volleyball academy in the world and the first academy team sport to be incorporated into a vacation element. The enhanced all-inclusive program offers professional coaching and specialized training programs. Top tip: Junior camps and special programs for groups are also available for an additional cost.

Not a beach fan? No problem. Club Med has 23 ski resorts and is set to get a new flagship property in December. The upcoming Val Thorens Sensations resort will have direct access to The Three Valleys, the largest ski domain in the world, with 372 miles of pistes. Ski season will run from November through May. Novices and experienced skiers alike will be able to take lessons from the Ecole du Ski Francais while on property, and beyond Alpine and Nordic skiing, guests can also try snowboarding.

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