Whether you’re a Club Med veteran or looking for a new experience and resort, this all-inclusive will NOT leave you cold. Club Med Sandpiper Bay is a one of a kind, truly unique active wellness resort experience in the heart of Florida. Read on to find out how you can vacation with the best of them, stay in shape, and be physically challenged, all at once.
Club Med Family Difference
Club Med is a collection of all-inclusive resorts all over the world with a different concept than you would find at other brands’ resorts. From the moment you check in, you’re treated as part of the family. Each resort is called a village and the staff are not just employees, they are GOs (gentils organizateurs, or gracious organizers) and behave very much like part of the village and family that you suddenly joined upon check in. Often you will find GOs sitting down with GMs (the guests of the village) during mealtimes, stopping to chat about their experience and, in general, acting like a part of their vacation, where by the end of the stay, most guests feel sad to say goodbye to their favorite GOs.
As an all-inclusive resort, it offers all of the same amenities you would find in similar resorts world wide; complimentary food, alcohol, drinks, activities, sports programs, and entertainment. But unlike most other all-inclusives, you will feel attached to the property and the staff by the time you are ready to go home.
Club Med’s Sandpiper Bay is one of the few all-inclusive resorts located in the United States, as the all-inclusive concept is not as common in the US. Situated on a lake in an ideally central location on the east coast of Florida, Sandpiper Bay offers quick access to Florida’s most wanted destinations and international airports: Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. So you have the convenience of a short ride from the airport and all the familiar amenities and stores within a few minutes from the property, however you feel like you’re on a separate secluded island when staying at the resort, never realizing that civilization is just a few minutes away.
Active Wellness vacations are a unique and emerging trend among resorts but it is nothing new to Sandpiper Bay. They have been doing it and perfecting the concept for years.
When other resorts offer a handful of fitness programs and a few amateur led sports games, Sandpiper staff take your interests seriously.
It is apparent the second you step foot into the resort. The difference is stark: instead of vacationers in bikinis and swimshorts with drinks in their hand, you see families dressed in activewear, with tennis rackets or balls in their hands, boys in triathlon suits, and girls wearing tennis skirts. It is truly invigorating to get this kind of vibe from your fellow travelers. It makes you want to go and get active, follow their lead and join a yoga class, get into a tennis clinic, or try yourself at beach volleyball. Don’t get us wrong: there is still a lot of drinking, swimming, and vacationing happening here, but the focus seems to be shifted from eating, drinking, and tanning to being active, having fun, and enjoying all the activities the resort has to offer.
Sandpiper Bay goes above and beyond with their sports activities, largely due to having Club Med Academies (read about the academies below) located on property. Every day you receive a schedule of activities and, without booking anything special, one could go from yoga to pilates to total body conditioning to a baseball game, soccer, group volleyball coaching, tennis lessons for beginners and intermediates to sailing, paddle boarding, water aerobics, trapeze and finally dancing – back to back physical activities, all day long. You can pick and chose what you want to participate in and, again, unlike most other resorts, the coaching and instruction are not done by miscellaneous staff members, but by real professional coaches and fitness experts.
Club Med Academies
At Club Med Sandpiper Bay, you do not only get exposed to an active wellness lifestyle during your stay, but you have the opportunity to tap into the expertise of world renowned coaches and support staff of Club Med Academies and further your game skills. As a separate entity that also offers its services to the Sandpiper Bay visitors, Club Med Academies train young and young at heart professional athletes in various disciplines, such as tennis, golf, triathlon, beach volleyball, as well as offering additional programs, such as fitness, swimming, cycling, running and nutrition.
As a visitor to the resort, you could book separate active packages that offer professional training and coaching or look into a full time professional training and boarding for your child. If you are interested in one of the sports that Club Med Academies offer and looking to further your game, 2 hour and 4 hour intensive sports packages are perfect for you. Club Med Academies do not only focus on the physical aspect of games, but pay close attention to mental preparedness, as well as proper nutrition as a means of achieving success.
Volleyball Active Package
One of the newest and most exciting additions to Club Med Academies has been a Volleyball Academy. This one of a kind US based training facility for volleyball players and those interested in the sport, is named the official “National Training Center” of the NVL, National Volleyball League. The Academy is staffed with the world’s top volleyball athletes and coaches with years of experience in competing, coaching and, of course, winning in the sport.
The Volleyball Active Package, like other sports packages, offers daily lessons with head coaches, Amanda Youell, Karolina Sowala and Piotr Marciniak, whose instructions are more valuable than years of playing the sport on your own. In addition to drills, technique lessons and daily tournaments, you receive nutrition, fitness lessons and mental coaching, all of which are important aspects of the game that are often overlooked. During your fitness lesson, you will go over the best exercises for your objective, warm up and stretches, as well as customized nutrition advice tailored to your activity level.
The Club Med director and mental coach, Scott Del Mastro, will go over the mental aspect of training and playing and devise a custom routine to help with focus, concentration and the success mindset of the player. Having spent a few hours discussing mental coaching and the process with Scott, we are convinced that no serious player of any sport can succeed without proper honing of his or her mind, which can successfully be achieved through this program.
Finally, after 3 days of training, as part of the package you get treated to a relaxing and healing massage at Club Med’s L’occitane spa.
This would be a 100 page book if we had to describe all the activities that Sandpiper Bay offers. So we’ll just give you a few!
Fitness and Sports
- Tennis Lessons
- Volleyball Lessons
- Fitness Lessons
- Golf Lessons
- Full Body Conditioning
- Bocce Ball
- Petit Hockey (for kids)
- Table Tennis
Water Sports and Activities
- Sailing School
- Water Polo
- Aqua Fitness
Just for fun
- Crazy Signs
- Flying Trapeze
- Circus School
- Dance Contests
- Cooking classes (for kids)
- Waterpark (for kids)
Optional extras marked with an *
The rooms at Sandpiper Bay are designed for families. Spacious suites with balconies and furnished patios provide plenty of room for even the largest gatherings. Each suite features a large living/sleeping area with a king size bed for the parents and a couch area and a smaller bedroom with two twin beds for the kids, with their own separate bathroom.
While the suites are spacious and comfortably appointed, with all the activities that the resort offers, the only time you’ll probably be in the room is for sleeping.
Aside from sports and activities being a strong part of Club Med, their Children’s Clubs blow every other resort out of the water. The Children’s Clubs at Sandpiper Bay are broken down into ages:
Baby Club Med (4-23 months old)
Wonderful caregivers and a stimulating environment make this baby club a must try for parents. Babies aren’t put into cribs or stationary seats and left to play on their own. There is one on one pool time, there are rides around the resort in a special multi baby stroller with a canopy to protect from the sun, activities, cuddle time and, of course, nap time.
Petit Club Med (2-3 years old)
A fabulous kid’s club with a maximum 1 to 6 caregiver to child ratio, but more than often it becomes 2:1 due to extra help available. Children at this age are taken around the resort holding onto a rope, participate in activities indoors and outdoors, swim in the pool (wearing life jackets) and enjoy the waterpark under constant supervision. They even have their own eating area, where GOs give them a choice of healthy food (vegetables, meats, and grains), and make sure they eat well before the children are allowed to enjoy the fun stuff like chicken nuggets, fries and treats. The GOs take great pride in providing quality childcare with safety and health in mind.
Mini Club Med (4-10 years old)
This age group is divided into smaller groups, each with its own locker room, activities and GOs.
Club Med Passworld (11-17 years old)
The Tween and Teen group is unique in a way that GOs plan organized activities for them, however no one is forced to participate and can simply hang out at Latitude, the teen club.
The staff at the Club Med’s Children Clubs are phenomenal. Not only do they have more than enough GOs for supervision of even the hardest age to supervise, 2-4 years olds, but each person is hand selected and is passionate about their job with kids.
Children can participate in a myriad of activities throughout the day, like the Petit Chef programs: Petit Circus, Petit Golf, Petit Hockey, Petit Soccer, Petit Tennis, Petit Basket, Mini Club Talent Show, Clean Art Planet, Zumbatomic, puppet making, contests, classes and other various sports and activities offered to adults.
Other child centered amenities offered at the resort are:
Baby Feeding Room – a 24/7 room that provides all the utensils necessary for preparing meals: mixer, sterilizer, microwaves, fridge, bottle warmer, mineral water, fruit, milk, yogurts and cereals.
Baby Corner – located in the main restaurant, it offers food specifically designed for little ones, along with utensils for meal prep.
Baby Restaurant – adapted to the nutritional needs of children, the meals are created by a team of specialist chefs.
Playground and Waterpark – designed specially for the little guests, both the playground and waterpark are available to all guests accompanied by their parents.
Art Studio – daily activities for children 2-17 years old are offered, as well as free play.
Baby Gym – created to promote movement in babies like crawling, climbing and sliding, this activity is run by GOs and available to kids ages 2-3.
Sandpiper Bay offers its guests 3 restaurants on property.
- Marketplace, the main buffet style restaurant, serves international food with a healthy focus. You can find healthy items like quinoa, alongside variously prepared vegetables, next to the hamburger/hotdog station and pizza area, 3 types of salads with numerous dressings and add-ons, pasta prepared in several different ways, cold salads, asian food, and of course dessert.
- When Marketplace is closed, Soleil opens up offering sandwich/salad type fare with enough options to satisfy even picky eaters.
- If you’re looking to get into nicer dining, Riverside, a reservation-only restaurant, will delight your inner foodie with lobster, steak, fish prepared to your taste, and an array of fine salads and appetizers.
Every night, you can expect to be entertained by a team of talented GOs, often the same ones you see during the day helping you at the front desk, lifeguarding or bringing you food. It’s a lot of fun to see familiar faces in different costumes and roles. One of the favorite shows is a medley of songs from all decades acted out by the GOs. Everyone in the audience is absolutely engaged into remembering songs from artists like Backstreet Boys, Destiny’s Child, Elton John, Journey, Miley Cyrus, Blink 182 and many others. After the show, you can expect a dance party, a live band, or even a dance contest at the Slice Bar.
Club Med Sandpiper Bay is THE place to be if an active vacation is right up your alley. Bring the whole family along and everyone can find their happy place, whether that’s on the golf course, in the swimming pool, or on the basketball course. A vacation where everyone is being active while having fun and being together in a beautiful atmosphere is just what a modern family of today needs!
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Photo Credits: Art of Making a Baby