Volume 2 Issue 4
Twice a month travel news from Charting Memories Travel
All-Inclusive Resort – No Passport required!
I get a lot of questions about all-inclusive resorts in the US. The selection is very limited with only a couple truly in existence. If you are shopping on-line be careful. Many of the “all-inclusive” resorts that get pulled into searches are not what you think. Some places are using the term to let you know that all the major things that a person would want on their vacation are available on the property, but that does not mean that those things are included in the price. Be sure to contact your favorite travel planner so that you get what you are looking for.
I recently spent several days at Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port Saint Lucie Florida. This is one of the most all-inclusive resorts that you will find in the States.
Club Med had been around for many years but is not very well known by Americans even though it is one of the most popular vendors for Europeans. Sand Piper is an older resort and is not as glitzy as the many of the resorts that you may be familiar with in the Caribbean and Mexico, but it has a very homey feel. Some of the people that I was with were not impressed by their first impressions but quickly grew to like the resort. There was some construction going on, the front desk got hit with about 70 individuals checking in together and there were a lot of people who just checked out waiting for a bus to the airport. Once we made it through check-in and got into the actual resort facilities, we all started to quickly feel like we were at home.
The resort has an international feel. There were a lot of guests from Canada, Europe as well as the states. Club Med is a French company so most of the announcements were made in both English and French but everyone working there spoke fluent English. Many sounded fluent in French as well, but my French is bad enough that I could not really tell.
The rooms are large and comfortable but rather basic. The beds were comfortable, the WIFI was easy to access and the climate control worked well. There is plenty of closet space for an extended stay. There are room categories that sleep up to 7 people so this can be a very family-friendly option.
So what does all-inclusive mean at Club Med Sandpiper? Great question! The rates are per person but include nearly everything that you need. On the basic level think: room, breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverages, parking and tips. To go a little further you also get to use the facilities such as: volleyball, tennis, pickleball, golf and non-motorized water sports like kayaks, SUP boards, and sailing. To make it even better you also get to use the trainers and instructors. Guests get to take advantage of sailing lessons, guided kayak tours, golf lessons, tennis instruction and if you are daring enough you can even learn to swing on the trapeze. We saw kids as young as 4 and adults as old as 72 taking their turn on the trapeze. Some of these people ended up in one of the evening shows! This is a great place if you want to get active or if you just want to sit on a big beach chair and enjoy the views sun setting over the river.
The food is very good but the dining options are a little more limited than some all-inclusives or cruise ships. Breakfast lunch and dinner are all served buffet style. There is traditional sit-down dining for dinner but you need to make reservations at lunch of the day that you wish to dine. The restaurant was reserved for a private party one of our nights but I was still able to get reservations for two nights during a five-night stay. I probably could have gotten more, but I wanted to experience all the dining options. Both inside and outside seating was available. Inside there was general seating, a reserved dining area for groups and an adults-only room.
Even in the buffet, there were people pouring wine and taking dirty dishes away. There tap for self serve beer as well as a refrigerator stocked full of wine that you could pour yourself at every meal.
There was entertainment each night. It varied from a casino night to a talent show, to the hosts doing lipsync to acrobatics. The shows were not huge broadway-style productions, but they were a lot of fun.
The bars were pouring generously. People were enjoying themselves but there were very few who were drinking excessively – present company excluded 🙁 )
There are activities for the kids. Most are included but there are charges for the younger ones.
If you are looking for an all-inclusive option where you would feel comfortable as a couple or as a family and you don’t have a passport or want to spend time flying internationally, this just might be the place for you. Send me a message, I’ll be happy to share some of my pictures and stories.
Keep Charting Memories
Join me as I Celebrate my “I’m still in my 40’s” birthday next year. Click on the picture below for more information and contact me for the most up to date details.
Have an Idea for a future topic? Send me an email.