luxury

Have a sneak peek at the new Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda

Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda is a brand-new resort situated along the Dominican Republic’s pristine north shore in an area with limited tourist development. The capital, Santo Domingo, UNESCO World Heritage Site is 200 kms from Club Med and La Romana is 90 kms from Club Med.

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Michès is a pristine ecological haven in a lush Dominican palm Grove. Local wonders provide various opportunities for you to discover new breathtaking sights and activities, such as: Laguna Limon, a natural reserve with stunning waterfalls; Samaná Bay, a group of protected islands with native flora and wildlife, well-known for humpback whale watching; as well as Montaña Redonda, a rounded mountain with 360-degree views of the surrounding flourishing landscape, known for its photo-famous swing.

An unspoiled world

With this new resort, Club Med invites you to more personalised, customisable and intimate experience.

Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda is one resort featuring four boutique villages. Each of the four boutique villages will present its own unique environment, activities and accommodations. The boutique villages include Explorer Cove, Emerald Jungle, Archipelago and Caribbean Paradise.

Explorer Cove is where the young and the young-at-heart come together to celebrate. Play with your kids all day or let them meet new friends at the nearby children’s clubs. Breathe a sigh of relief  in a yellow sunny shade inspiration.

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Emerald Jungle is a calm oasis environment. Located in the Dominican groves, this area is an adult-exclusive Zen Oasis steps away from the spa.

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Archipelago rooms immerse you in an endless hue of blue. From your own private pool to a personal outdoor shower : this is a perfect hideaway.

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Caribbean Paradise is full of festive colors. Choose your path: poolside activities, nightly shows and flavors from all four corners of the world await. Enjoy the Caribbean vibes back in your room with décor inspired by local exotic flora.

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An unmatched All-inclusive Luxury

Being part of the Exclusive Collection guarantee a personalized paradise where you can live intimate moments, gourmet experiences tailor made by world renowned designers.

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In a word…

This strikingly beautiful property balances nature preservation efforts with exclusive experiences. It’s a stunning, eco-chic resort featuring four boutique villages that rewards romantics, adventurers and wellness seekers with personalized attention and an unparalleled escape from the everyday.

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Curious to discover more ? Get more information of Club Med Michès here. Opening in December 2019 !

Club Med to Open First Resort in the Seychelles

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Club Med is proud to announce its continued international expansion with the opening Club Med’s first resort in the Seychelles, due to open in 2020. This announcement follows recent news of three more new Club Med destinations– Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Canada/Québec, all to open within the next four years. The new 5 Trident Exclusive Collection Resort on Sainte-Anne Island in the Seychelles archipelago will be open all year round to offer families and active couples an exceptional destination at the heart of the Sainte-Anne Marine National Park.

Just 30 minutes from Mahé International Airport, the new resort will boast 295 rooms – from Club to Suite – and offer its family guests the full range of childcare facilities – from Petit Club (2 – 3 years old) to Junior’s Club (11 – 17 years old).

Seamlessly integrated into its natural environment between tropical gardens, the Indian Ocean and bordered by three white sandy beaches, Club Med Seychelles will offer couples and families an exceptional natural setting and a diverse palette of onshore and offshore sports, including diving, snorkelling, sailing, tennis, flying trapeze and archery.

On the announcement, Henri Giscard d'Estaing, President of Club Med says, “I’m particularly happy to see Club Med secure a base in the Seychelles, one of the three most luxurious destinations, alongside the Maldives and Mauritius. In association with New Mauritius Hotels, our prestigious partner and respected luxury hotel operator, we will be able to offer our guests a new premium destination that fulfils all their expectations from 2020 onwards.”

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A major project for Club Med and the Seychelles

The opening of this future Club Med is an integral part of the group’s commitment to open three to five resorts worldwide every year between now and 2020.

For this new project, Club Med is working alongside NMH (New Mauritius Hotels), the largest and longest-established hotel group in Mauritius, where it operates all the Beachcomber hotels on the island.

Beachcomber Hotels also operates the Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne Resort and Spa hotel, which currently has 87 rooms. Club Med’s proposal to take over the hotel under a new leasing arrangement with NMH will see the capacity of the hotel infrastructure significantly expanded.

The opening of the new Club Med Resort will represent a total investment of around €70 million (approximately $109,410,000AUD) for NMH – an investment that will boost its capacity to around 300 rooms, and make a valuable contribution to local economic development through the creation of several hundred direct jobs and an equal number of indirect jobs.

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Luxury Travel in the Maldives by Eryn Krouse

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This article was reposted from Eryn Krouse(@erynkrouse). Read the original story here. Note: All images below are courtesy of Eryn Krouse and her photographer Trent Mitchell, and have been shared with permission.

Luxury Travel in the Maldives

After nine days of all-inclusive gourmet food and drinks, staying in two different overwater villa suites, having a personal boat to go to epic surf, and a whole lot of rest and relaxation, you can bet I got a taste of the good life.

Here is what a luxury surf trip in the Maldives looks like.

After a disorienting period of time where I reached the point where I felt as if I had spent my entire life confined to the cramped insides of an airplane, I finally began to spot the infamous atolls that make up the Maldives out the window. Bright, circular, marble-looking blobs surrounded by rings of different shades of blue that looked more like giant eyeballs than little islands, just floating on the surface of the Earth. I touch down on Malé and hear the pilot say, “Welcome to the Maldives”. Finally, I made it to paradise.

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CLUB MED KANI

So, picture this. You wake up on a king-size canopy bed with the sunrise peeking through white curtains lightly blowing from the sea breeze. You climb out of bed and step out on to the deck to admire the vibrant blue sheen of the water below you. You might even see a school of fish, or an occasional ray or reef shark swim by. The water looks inviting, so you jump in. Taking a few strokes before turning over on to your back to float, you close your eyes and relax. You hear your significant other calling out your name to let you know that room service has arrived, so you swim back to your dock, rinse off in the outdoor shower, and don a robe from the bathroom. A server is carrying two trays of breakfast items, and he asks you, “Where would you like to eat your breakfast today?” to which you respond “On the front deck, please”. You take a seat outside and uncover the lids to reveal plates of fresh croissants, steaming eggs, crisp bacon, maybe even some warm crepes, and it all smells so good that your mouth waters in anticipation as you pour yourself a hot cup of coffee…

It’s 7:30 am and the day has just begun.

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 Every day in the Maldives brought a new adventure. With the sun out, the water would shine as a bright, turquoise blue, and I’d eagerly admire the view as I waxed up my board. I’d walk the path from the overwater villa down to the dock with my surfboard in one hand, and my boyfriend’s hand in the other. Once in the boat, we’d speed away into the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. It was a common sight to see spotted, lone manta rays cruising by, or a pod of jumping dolphins. Every moment was a different adventure out at sea.

Surfing in the Maldives is a magical experience. The water is so clear that you can see fish swimming under you as you ride a wave of almost transparent looking water. It’s pure stoke. For a complete guide on surfing in the Maldives, click here.

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Salty, happy, and surfed out, I take a moment to soak in the sun. It feels so good to lay on the sand, feeling the warm rays on my skin while listening to the soft lapping of the waves onto the coquina shore. I close my eyes in absolute contentment, the kind of content I get only after spending blissful hours in the ocean.  This stretch of beach is quiet. The only visible signs of life are the little sand crabs bustling around, bumping into each other.

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Back at the villa… my body is sore and a bit sunburnt from surfing all morning. I run the water in the tub for an afternoon of rest and relaxation. On the walk back from the beach, I picked plumeria and hibiscus flowers to put in the bath to create a personal spa in the privacy of my villa. To really pamper myself, I open my brand new products from Malie Organics, including a plumeria scented body scrub and body polish moisturizer… the ultimate pampering experience.

CLUB MED FINOLHU

After spending a week at Club Med KaniClub Med Finolhu was just a short boat hop away; a continuation of our experience of luxury travel. Our new overwater villa was equipped with a personal pool, an outdoor shower and spa-inspired bath tub, a butler, and a chauffeur to take us to the various all-inclusive restaurants and amenities located at the resort.

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Tea time at Club Med Finolhu is an event in itself. Originally established in England in the 1800s by aristocratic British society, the concept of afternoon tea is the very embodiment of comforting luxury, every detail from the china to the atmosphere to the finger food, all adding to the overall experience of mid-afternoon pleasantry.

Wrapped up in soft, white robes, my boyfriend and I sat on the couch in the front room; floor-length doors opened up to the outside deck and the expanse of crystal blue ocean, smooth jazz softly playing through the speakers. Tropical rain quietly fell outside as our butler brought in a selection of Ceylon tea, specially packed in nearby Sri Lanka. Names such as Darjeeling Black, English Breakfast and Moroccan Mint labeled the cloth tea bags, all neatly stacked together in a wooden box. I chose English Breakfast, my personal favorite tea, and Michael chose Darjeeling black, carefully stirring in sugar crystals and organic milk until the tea was a rich, chocolate brown liquid. Bringing the cup of tea up to my mouth, a warm sensation runs through my body as the deep aroma slowly creeps up my nose, traceable hints of spices of the orient. The tea serves as a palette cleanser; the perfect balance of sweet and savory to go with the finger sandwiches, cookies, and tropical fruits.

One could argue that tea is just tea, but there is something special when it transforms into a whole experience; the feeling of being in your own world with no land for as far as you can see; just a muted turquoise ocean blending into the soft grey of the rainy sky. It became an emotional experience that transported me into a state of euphoria that comes only when I feel completely free, without a worry in the world.

It’s amazing the power tea can have, isn’t it? (;

Interview: Samantha Wills' girls trip at the Zen Oasis of Club Med Punta Cana

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Last July, jewellery creator Samantha Wills (@samanthawills), discovered the new Zen Oasis space of Club Med Punta Cana, alongside a fabulous turquoise lagoon in the Dominican Republic. We asked her some questions for a perfect relaxed girls' trip in Punta Cana.

Note: All images below are courtesy of Samantha Wills, and have been shared with permission. 

What was it about Club Med Punta Cana that made you want to visit the resort?

Being based in NYC, the Caribbean is so close! I had never visited the Dominican republic before, and when I saw the Zen Oasis private beach, my ticket was booked!

What was your typical day in the Zen Oasis?

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I would like to tell you I was up with the sun to join the 5:30am yoga class! But I don’t want to lie to you!

🍳🍊 About 9am, we would walk along the beach to the restaurant at the end of the property & get some fresh scrambled eggs prepared by the chef & freshly squeezed juice.

☕🌊Grab a take away coffee to go and follow our footsteps back along the beach, to the private Zen Oasis beach beds. That is were you would find me most of the day. I loved the thatched umbrellas, and the beach team where never too far away with a cocktail or sparkling water! I packed my bag with a few good beach reads, so between those & ocean dips – it was the ultimate relaxation holiday!

🍤🍴 Lunch was always local seafood…and dinner we would go to the champagne bar, pop a bottle of our favorite bubbles (which grants you access to the private dining area!)  where the waves literally lap in underneath the deck. It was perfect.

🍸🎶 We stopped by the beach parties, and live music, but in the full relaxation mode we were in, we took our sun kissed bodies to bed before midnight each night.

It was definitely a holiday we returned from feeling refreshed & rejuvenated.

What was your highlight from the trip?

The Club Med Spa was INCREDIBLE. The massages transcended you to an out of body experience. Thatched huts with billowing white cheese cloth & just the sound of the ocean drifting thru. It was truly incredible.

What did you enjoy the most in the brand new Zen Oasis Space?

Access to the private beach. The gardens in the Zen Oasis where also really beautiful.

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What is your top tip for a girls’ trip in Punta Cana?

I think its great, if some of your girlfriends have families with young kids. There is so much stuff for kids to do, but also very separate from the private adult areas of the resort.

While there is buffet style catering for lunch & dinner, you can also choose to eat a la carte, which means there is always on option, because with groups not everyone runs on the same schedule.

What are your must-dos for a holiday to Club Med Punta Cana?

The Champagne Bar is the perfect dinner (and lunch!) spot. The massage in the Club Med Spa is also a must do, (daily if you can!)

Which Club Med resort would you love to go to next?

Morocco looks incredible, but Finolhu in the Maldives will always have my heart!

Are you craving for a peaceful hideaway in Punta Cana like Samantha Willis? Book now to discover the new Zen Oasis space, exclusively for adults.

Interview: Australian Photographer Trent Mitchell Captures the Beauty of the Maldives

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Surrounded by endless ocean, colourful coral and epic surf breaks. Its no surprise Australian photographer Trent Mitchell (@trent_mitchell_) produced some serious wanderlust-inducing photographs from his recent Maldives trip at the Manta Exclusive Spacewith model Eryn Krouse (@erynkrouse). Trent's deep love for the ocean and the Maldives settings made the perfect backdrop for his snaps. We asked him some questions about his experience as a photographer.

Note: All images below are courtesy of Trent Mitchell, and have been shared with permission. 

What makes the Maldives so 'photographable'?

As a passionate water-based lifestyle and travel photographer I’d have to say the water’s colour, clarity and diversity in colour! I’ve never seen so many different blues. I can’t wait to head back and explore and shoot more in the waters and on the islands of the Maldives. It’s just incredible.

What makes Club Med Kani in particular, so great to photograph?

The single best attribute islands have for photography is the flexibility of having a 360 degree field of view to work with. Putting a resort of Club Med Kani’s standards on an Island gives a photographer an unlimited canvas for creating beautiful images all day. There’s always somewhere incredible to shoot no matter what the day brings.

What separates the Maldive beaches from others?

I’d have to say the pure whites of the sand and the vibrant water colour. Everything just pops. Simply put, some days it feels like your living inside a postcard. It’s overwhelmingly beautiful.

What were your favourite activities at Club Med Kani when you weren’t shooting?

I was staying in the Manta overwater suites at Club Med Kani and I’m a morning person so my favourite thing was quite possibly the simplest thing given the seemingly unlimited activities available. Waking to the sun rising over the water, throwing on my board shorts and going for my morning swim in the crystal clear waters was without a doubt my favourite thing to do. Most people sleep in, so some days it felt like I had the resort to myself! I actually can’t think of a better way to start a day, anywhere.

Share with us your favourite shot – what makes it great?

I couldn’t select just one from my shoot so I picked a single image from three different perspectives of the resort. Eye level, above and below the water. The photos are all of Eryn Krouse enjoying her time in Kani.

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📷 The first shot reminds me of how beautiful and relaxing it is to live over the water for a week.

📷 The second photo is Eryn paddling out to the surf break named Ninja’s located on the outside reef behind the resort. I like the feel of the crisp blue waters.

📷 Lastly, the final shot is taken under the waves at Ninja’s. It’s a beautiful moment of Eryn gracefully navigating through the surf between waves.

Which Club Med resort would you like to photograph next, and why?

I’d love to revisit the Maldives to be perfectly honest! It’s a bucket list location for me and I’d love to indulge in the Club Med Finolhu Villas experience for the extreme luxury and the waters surrounding the resort offer endless photographic opportunities. If I had to choose a different country it seems so hard to choose but I’d have to go with snowboarding in Japan. I’ve never been to Japan and I can’t think of a better culture to experience, things to do and photograph! Let’s go!

Want to see more about the Maldives? Jump on to Trent Mitchell's official website.

A Guide To Surfing In The Maldives By Eryn Krouse

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This article was reposted from Eryn Krouse(@erynkrouse). Read the original story here. Note: All images below are courtesy of Eryn Krouse and her photographer Trent Mitchell, and have been shared with permission.

A Guide To Surfing In The Maldives

Last August, I discovered a surfing paradise in the Indian Ocean, known as the Maldives. I had such an amazing time, that I spent the entire year daydreaming about returning, up until the day I finally found myself back again.  Thanks to Club Med, my boyfriend and I packed our bags in anticipation of scoring epic waves in an epic place…

For those who have never been to the Maldives, it can seem like a fantasy location, somewhere far away on the other side of the world. It’s certainly not an easy journey from Los Angeles; consisting of a 16 hour flight to Dubai, a 7 hour layover, a 4 hour flight to Malé, and then a boat ride to whichever atoll you’re resort is situated in. However, the journey is doable and highly recommended for those seeking the ultimate ocean paradise in an exotic destination.

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Guide to Surfing in the Maldives

The Maldives is a special place. Made up of more than 1000 islands, there are endless surf breaks to score long, perfect, head-high waves to your heart’s desire. On the rare chance that is is too flat to surf, the Maldives is home to incredible marine life, making free diving a favorable alternative.

The archipelago is made up of three main areas: Malé Atolls, Central Atolls, and South Atolls.

Club Med Kaniis located within the Malé Atolls, and there’s a helpful, on-site Excursions team that will take you (and your group) on a chartered motorboat to any surf or dive spot you wish to go to. All you need to do is set up a time and then meet your boat at the dock. Once on board, you can ask your driver to check a few spots before deciding where to surf. Most of the spots located in the Malé Atolls are very close to each other, so hopping from spot to spot is easy. Unfortunately, the Malé Atolls can be quite crowded, especially between May and August. However, with access to a boat and with some patience, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a great surf session.

Surf Spots in the Malé Atolls

Chickens This wave is known to hold swell size from 3ft -10ft+ and provides for a long, left-hand wave with 2 sections where getting barreled is possible on the last section of the wave. When wind conditions line up perfectly with a big swell, this is a stellar wave for experienced surfers. However, the wave breaks near a wall of rocks that can look intimidating. I thought this spot was called Chickens because of a surfer’s reactions to the rocks, but it’s actually due to a nearby poultry farm on the island.

Cokes This is a hollow, right-handed wave recommended for experienced surfers when the swell is on the larger side. It breaks over a shallow reef and is known for its tubular waves. The wave’s name comes from a nearby Coca-Cola factory.

Guru’s This left-hand wave picks up plenty of swell and is a popular spot within locals because it is accessible from the shore. It is an easy ride recommended to all surf levels.

Honky’s This wave is a long, left-hand wave with two sections. If nearby Sultans is crowded, this spot can be a good alternative.

Jailbreaks This right-hand wave is located right across the national jail. It is known for being a fast wave with 3 tube sections.

Lohi’s A consistent left-hand wave with two sections, this is a goofy footer’s paradise. Named after the island resort Lohifushi, it is also considered to be a “private wave”, and those not staying at the resort may be discouraged to surf.

Ninjas A slow right-hander with both an outside and inside break, it is good for beginners and long-boarders. This spot doesn’t hold big swell and becomes too walled off. This spot is accessible from the Club Med Kani resort, though walking through the reef on low tide may cut up your feet. It’s not fun to walk to the spot, but it’s possible to surf it without a boat.

Sultans A quick right-hand wave that works better with bigger swell. It is one of the most consistent waves and there will always be something to surf.

… and after a long day of being out in the ocean, there is no better remedy for that surfed-out feeling than filling up a bath tub with warm water, soaking your tired body, and overlook the fish swimming below. Talk about a surfer’s paradise!

Surf photography by Trent Mitchell 


Zoe And Benji Marshall's Top Tips For A Couple Getaway In The Maldives

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Recently, rugby league legend Benji Marshall, and his wife Zoe Marshall (@zoebmarshall) escaped for a romantic getaway in the Maldives. Together, the couple discovered paradise at Club Med Kani and Club Med FinolhuWe asked Zoe some questions about her experience and her best tips for a seamless trip to the Maldives.

Note: All images below are courtesy of Benji and Zoe Marshall, and have been shared with permission.

Why did you choose Club Med Kani and Club Med Finolhu for your holiday?

Benji and I had never been on a Club Med Holiday, let alone to the Maldives, and it has been on my bucket list for years. I had seen friends and even celebrities have the most incredible time and I knew when we found some time off, it was the first place we wanted to go. Kani is all about the Club Med Culture and I wanted to experience that first hand. Finolhu is pure luxury and apart of Club Meds Exclusive range. I wanted to experience the difference between the two.

What are your must-haves when travelling to an island destination like Club Med Kani and Club Med Finolhu?

👙 A Bikini. You can pretty much make do with everything else but you need your Bikini!

📖 I also love a great book…

💑 Oh and my husband... He is a definite "Must have".

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What was your typical day in Club Med Kani? 

At Kani we woke up early each morning to catch the sunrise in our room- we ordered breakfast at 7:30am in the Villa and had a glorious time eating and watching the sea life pass our Villa. We then went down to the beach for a few hours, swam, read and would only realise it was lunch when our tummys started rumbling. We would feast at lunch and then head back to our room for a little nap before we would get ready for dinner. We would stop for cocktails and canapés at 7pm each night before our dinner booking.

What about Club Med Finolhu Villas?

In Finolhu the days are almost similar. Early start to catch the sunrise, breakfast in the room and then down to the main pool bar/lounge area. We would swim, paddle board in the ocean and read our books, we popped back to the room for lunch and swam in our own private pool overlooking the water for the rest of the afternoon. We did pop out for the most incredible crepes at the main pool at 4pm.

Dinner was in our room so we dined in our bathrobes, sun kissed and blissful.

What was your highlight from the trip?

I would say watching the sunrise every morning over the most exquisite backdrop your eyes have ever seen. It’s almost too much beauty to take in. Whether you are at Kani or Finolhu it's just as mesmerizing.

Your recommendation for a bucket list to tick off in the Maldives?

There is nowhere in the world like Finolhu. Benji and I have stayed at some of the most exquisite places in the world and Finohlu takes the cake.

Which resort would you recommend for a romantic getaway from the stress of city living?

I would say Finolhu as it's pure luxury but Kani meets your needs if you want romance-staying in the over water Villas are a great option to be away from families and partying.

What is your top tip for enjoying a romantic getaway?

Phones off! Be present with your loved one. These trips don’t come around that often. Soak it all in.

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Anything else you’d like to add?

Club Med looks after everything. There are no hidden costs so you feel free to indulge on your holiday. Life is expensive so I think it’s nice to feel looked after and that there's no terrifying bill when you check out.

Want to discover more? Jump on Zoe Marshall's blog to know more about Club Med Kani and Finolhu. ☀️

Planning a Last-Minute Summer Holiday? Here Are The Best Spots to Go.

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Where has the year gone?! There are less than 9 Fridays to go until Christmas (bring it on!), and it’s the time of year when our minds start drifting to dreams of time away with the family or your loved ones. With the average cost of hotels skyrocketing to $500 per night, and Airbnb houses in Bondi reaching $1100 a night over this period, often it’s better to skip the domestic holidays and jetset off on an international adventure.

If you’re dreaming of a last-minute international adventure over the Christmas and New Year break, we’ve put together a list of holidays that are still available – and that won’t break the bank.

Take the whole family to beautiful Indonesia

As one of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations, Indonesia is the perfect blend of sun, sand, sea, and culture. Accessible via direct flight from Australia’s capital cities, Bali and Bintan Island are perfect for short Christmas breaks that’ll give you maximum R&R for your precious annual leave.

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If you’re heading to Bali, make sure to check out a traditional Balinese dance, learn Bahasa, and hit the surf breaks in Nusa Dua. A trip to Kintamani and the Temple of Tanah Lot are also must-sees. Meanwhile, avid golfers will be in heaven at Bintan Island, while yogis and health enthusiasts will fall in love with the beautiful beach, spa, fresh produce, and juice bar.

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Cool down with skiing in China

If you ever want a story to tell and to be ahead of the curve, go and ski in China! An up-and-coming ski destination, China will host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games – and the country is definitely gearing up to grow the local ski scene.

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Ski resorts like Yabuli have been graced by the likes of Shaun White – plus you can head to the neighbouring city of Harbin and tick the Ice and Snow Festival off your bucket list. Alternatively, China’s latest ski resorts, including Club Med Beidahu, are ideal for skiing in January, with runs that snake through forests.

Adventure in the Malaysian jungle

Hello Malaysia! Head to Cherating Beach, and enjoy a holiday which combines jungle adventures with beautiful secluded beaches. Kids will have a blast meeting the locals, from monkeys scampering around to lizards roaming about – plus, the neighbouring turtle sanctuary is a must-see. For adults, yoga and treetop adventure circuits are perfect to help burn off Christmas dinner. Winner!

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And for the ultimate end to the year… head to the Maldives

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Okay, we’re being a bit cheeky here but hear us out: 2016 is officially Visit Maldives Year, so there really is no better way to finish off the year than a trip to heaven on Earth. You’ve worked hard this year, and now’s the time to treat yourself with a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to the beautiful Maldives.

Indulge with an overwater suite in Kani, or get the ultimate luxury experience in the Finolhu Villas. Go on, you deserve it.

Now that you hold the key to enjoy amazing last minute holidays, discover the best Club Med Offers here and start packing!

Nikki Phillips fell in love with the Indian Ocean

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This article was reposted from bynikkiphillips.com. Read the original story here. Note: All images below are courtesy of Nikki Phillips, and have been shared with permission.Nikki Phillips, model and blogger, relates her romantic gateway at Club Med Kani with her husband.

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A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

In winter we all crave those tropical escapes every year. Somewhere we can relax and take some time away from our hectic schedules whilst basking in the sunshine under those lush green swinging palm trees. But where to go, options are endless. Fiji, Noumea, Vanuatu, Miami, Bali all these places incredible and offer the above, however it’s hard to compete with the place that offers whiter-than-white powder sand and luminous cyan-blue water!

I first came to the Maldives with no idea how different it was to the rest of the world, it’s a place that draws in over a million people a year to it’s tiny, remote and otherwise little-known Indian Ocean paradise. I have fallen so madly in love with this place, it’s drawn me back three times now and as my trip comes to an end I can confidently say, I’ll be back for many years to come. Each time I have visited the Maldives, I’ve left with even greater memories of the islands paradise then before and not only is it because of the islands drop dead beauty, but due to the accommodations and experience we have endured while in this place that represents paradise.

Every resort in the Maldives is it’s own private island, and with over 100 to choose from the only problem is selecting where you want to stay. But let me solve that problem! Welcome to Club Med.

Club Med has two resorts on separate islands, located a short 30min boat ride from Male. Both offering separate options for that “ultimate holiday”.

Club Med Finolhu is Club Med’s luxury Maldives Resort. From a butler that caters discreetly to all your needs to a personal plunge pool and a staircase that descends straight into what feels like your own piece of ocean. Nestled in beautiful natural surroundings, the award-winning [Club Med] Finolhu Villas are an oasis of peace and privacy. I had the opportunity to stay here last year and it was magical ( Read all about it here ) Eager to see if it had changed within a year and eager to be apart of such a resort again we added on a few extra nights. Happy to report, it had changed… the garden’s greener and more mature, the villa’s even more incredible then I remembered and the food was first class along with the service. It truly is an exquisite place.

But I’m getting off track, so as I said earlier Club Med has two resorts in the Maldives, even though I could talk about Finolhu till the cows come home, let me introduce you to an equally fantastic, beautiful and magical place. Now if you’re looking for something that offers a luxury holiday but with different price points, so you can fit within your budget without maxing out the old trusty credit cards. If you enjoy a holiday with the options of constant daily activities and entertainment, then Club Med Kani is for you! Club Med Kani is the island over from Finolhu, only a five-minute speedboat. Club Med Kani offers a Kids Club also, so perfect for families wanting to enjoy a trip together while sneaking in some one on one time occasionally. There’s a good reason why the Club Med Kani Maldives Resort is known as Heaven on Earth. The pristine cyan-blue waters stretch out to the horizon, palm trees sway in the breeze, and there are so many fun ways to enjoy this idyllic scenery. Whether it’s snorkelling with colorful fish, paddling through crystal clear waters, diving, surfing this place offers some of the world’s finest breaks; every day will be a perfect day in the Maldives. Accommodation is also available in the 5 Trident Luxury Space Overwater Suites, for the ultimate indulgence – dive straight from your Suite into the ocean, or have the alpine sand at your doorstep. Life doesn’t get better than this! Oh but it does on this little island. Premium open bar set on the beach offering the most memorizing sunsets. Fresh all day dining that features local and international cuisines available from three restaurants.

Club med Kani offers the opportunity to divulge yourself into the holiday of your dreams for the perfect price, as it’s all-inclusive. Enjoy a holiday rid of stress, drink those cocktails, eat to your hearts content while not being worried of the end bill.

Some activities and the Club Med spa come at an extra cost, but that’s what spoiling yourself is all about, you're on holiday after all. I do recommend a one-hour Balinese massage, at the start of your trip, it left me feeling automatically relaxed, unwound and ready to enjoy my break in paradise.  It will be your match made in heaven just watch the video below to see what I mean.

Discover more about Club Med Kani here or in the video below:

Eryn Krouse's Top Tips For A Holiday In The Maldives

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In August, model and surfing enthusiast Eryn Krouse (@erynkrouse) visited Club Med Kani with Reef Girls. We asked her some questions to get the best tips for a trip in the Maldives.Note: All images below are courtesy of Eryn Krouse and Chris Delorenzo, and have been shared with permission.

What are your must-haves when travelling to an island destination like Club Med Kani?

  • 🏄 Surfboard: The Maldives is the prefect surfing holiday destination. There are amazing spots to surf empty waves.

  • 🐠 Snorkel mask and fins: I have never seen a water that clear. The Indian Ocean is the paradise for tropical fishes and giant sting rays.

  • 📷 Gopro and camera: Pictures and videos are the best souvenirs you can bring from the Maldives… It is the only way to remind you that it was not a dream!

  • ☀ Sunscreen: With such tropical temperatures and sunny weather, I make sure to protect my skin.

  • 👙 Swimsuits: Probably the most important part of my outfit at Club Med Kani. I could dive straight from my premium suite to the ocean!

  • 👗 Summer clothe:Reef Girls sandals, a few pairs of shorts, tshirts and tank tops.

  • 📖 Abook: I love reading a book in the plane, time goes so fast! So, all the time I saved looking for a flight (it's included with Club Med), I spent it looking for the perfect book.

What was your typical day in Club Med Kani?

Since I was pretty jetlagged, I'd be up from 3 or 4 am which I didn't mind too much. I'd take a relaxing bath while listening to music and watch the sunrise. I'd usually dive in with my snorkel gear and explore around before showering back in my room and walking over to the breakfast buffet with my photographer, Chris Delorenzo. We would spend some time in the buffet, eating the different cuisines and talked about what we wanted to do that day.

Usually it involved some fun adventure such as going on a seaplane and chartering a boat to go surf or dive somewhere. We spent most of the day roaming the beautiful resort and swimming in the ocean, and would stop our adventuring only to go to the buffets (which we enjoyed immensely).

What were your favourite surf breaks in the Maldives?

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My favorite surf break was right outside the resort, a right breaking wave called Ninja. I didn't get to surf it as much as I wanted to because it involved a boat to get around the shallow reef, but the two times I did get to surf the spot were amazing. I had the waves to myself for about half an hour before some other surfers would join me in the line-up.

Absolutely nothing can beat surfing in the Maldives.

It's a perfect, glassy wave and the size of the wave was perfect for me... just a little over head high. It was amazing to take off a wave and see all the way to the bottom while surfing because the water was so clear. My homebreak is Malibu, CA which is probably one of the most crowded surf spots in the world, so it was such a treat to have a perfect wave to share with only a handful of friendly surfers.

What was your highlight from the trip?

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The highlight of my trip was the day we chartered a boat to go explore the various islands outside of Club Med Kani. That day we swam with hundreds of dolphins, and even spotted a lone manta ray majestically floating close to the surface. The best part of this day, however was going to a dive spot right next to a tunafish factory where I swam with a whole school of gigantic sting rays.

Your recommendation for a bucket list to tick off in the Maldives?

✔️ Stay in an overwater bungalow ✔️ Ride in a seaplane ✔️ Explore the various dive spots and swim with dolphins, manta rays, and stingrays ✔️ Explore a local Maldivian village

See you soon for my next traveling adventure...

Want to tick off the Maldives from your own bucket list?

Discover Club Med's resorts in the Maldives here and From beginners to advanced, get the best Maldives surfing experience while enjoying Club Med Kani's all-inclusive package and postcard-perfect facilities. Discover Club Med’s surfing packages here!

Samantha Wills tells us about her ski trip to the French Alps

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This article was reposted from samanthawills.com. Read the original story here. All photos below are courtesy of Samantha Wills.  Samantha Wills is the driving force behind her namesake Australian jewellery brand, Samantha Wills. Here, she shares her snow holiday experience from the luxurious Club Med Valmorel Chalets in the French Alps.

Destination: French Alps

Les Chalets Club Med de Valmorel

I am thrilled to be partnering with Club Med again, showcasing all of my favorite things in their Exclusive Collection of Villas & Chalets, in some of the most beautiful locations in the world.

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Last year, I showed you all my favorite things from paradise at the The Finolhu Villas in the Maldives and this year I am beyond excited to take you to a true winter wonderland at The Valmorel Chalets, in the stunning French Alps.

I grew up in a small beach town in Australia, and now living in NYC, I get to experience snow (still a novelty to me!) every winter… But nothing prepares you for the breathtaking beauty of the Alps. It. Is. Truly. Breathtaking.

Luxury

At Club Med Valmorel, there are accommodation options spanning all budgets. The Chalets are the ultimate luxury option & sit at the top of the property…. Annnnnnnd when you check into your Chalet, you get your very own butler. I’m not talking about a virtual-butler-app-push-a-button-to-get-room-service type of butler. I am talking about a real life butler, who will unpack your bags when you arrive so you instantly feel at home, will be upstairs in your Chalet’s kitchen when you wake up, with the open fire place roaring & cooking your whatever you would like for breakfast, and have your favorite type of Nespresso coffee steaming hot for you to enjoy before heading out for the day.

That same butler will also be back at your chalet at your specified time in the afternoon to prepare you the most delicious afternoon tea, a different delicious every day from a local patisserie, that you enjoy by your fire place after your day of alpine adventuring (or spa treatments!). Then when you are out at dinner, your chalet will be magically turned into a haven of relaxation ready for slumber, with nothing left for you to do but to slip into your turned down bed, enjoy the gourmet chocolate on your pillow, and dream away on your bed that feels like a cloud, so you are rested to do it all over again the next day. THAT type of butler.*

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Cuisine + Cocktails

Club Med is known for its all inclusive holidays. The Chalets at Valmorel are obviously included in this, however their location on the property sits at the top of the resort, where your private balcony looks down over all the happenings. Like the butler privilege, there is also a driver on call, to whizz you back & fourth from the village, where you enjoy an open bar & all dining, inclusive in your experience. In full disclosure, the word ‘buffet’ scares me. To me, it is reminiscent of primary school birthday parties at Pizza Hut… Trays of cold pizza, wilted salad & as much soft serve ice-cream you could physically whip into your bowl….

So I am going to refrain from using the dreaded ‘B’ word, and try to explain to you the luxury that is Club Med Valmorels all inclusive dining; Imagine a collective little gourmet restaurants… Italian, Japanese, Seafood, Home Style Roast, French, a salad & juice bar… A bakery, a patisserie & a locally, hand made ice-cream parlour. Now imagine all these little gourmet restaurants where in a large room, like individual pop-up spaces, each with their own team of chefs, preparing the food there in front you, fresh fish going from grill to you plate, the cheese on the pizza’s bubbling as they are taken straight out of the oven, French baguettes at the bakery so addictive you are convinced they must contain something illegal, and a patisserie offering that is more like edible art…. And no soft serve here; choose from 8 flavors & the hand made ice-cream is served to you parlor style, by an ice cream connoisseur…. What you CAN do for yourself (I mean, word from the wise; it is VERY hard to get back into normal life after spending a week in this heavenly experience!) is scoop your own warm chocolate from the fondue fountain (it alternates between milk & white chocolate) to drizzle over your ice cream…. Me? I’m a Mint-Choc-Chip-with-warm-milk-chocolate-topping kinda gal.

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So that gives you an idea of the type of luxury you will experience by checking into the Club Med Valmorel Chalets, but I have two things that I love even more that I want to share with you. If you’re like me – you have a bucket list. My current bucket list is made up of incredible experiences, Scuba dive with manta rays, wake up in one of those bungalows that stretch out over aqua waters, like the ones I had seen on pinterest a million times over, learn to snowboard, have lunch on the top of a snow covered mountain in the French Alps, with views to mountain tops in Italy….You get the drift. Sometimes you don’t know where to start with your bucket list items, and find yourself wishing you had someone just to tell you where to go, what to do, and how to do it. The experience of Club Med is that for me, and should you wish to do it in a 5 star way; Their Exclusive Collection of Villas & Chalets, allow you to do so in the utmost luxury.

Customer Experience

The second thing, is how truly, genuinely warm & lovely the Club Med team are. I am lucky enough to travel a lot for work & pleasure, and from all my travels, the hospitality & focus on people is incomparable to how the team at Club Med treats their guests. Bear with me as I jump out of vacation-mode & quickly defer to business mode. I have a business, I am involved in a few businesses, I love learning about business. One of my favorite areas to learn more about how other businesses do things, is in their customer engagement focus, strategy & above all, mindset. On this trip, in speaking with some of the Club Med team, I learnt that everyone who works for Club Med signs a contract that states that they will do everything they can to ensure the guests are having an awesome time, to make sure the guests are smiling. How incredible is that?

The second thing I thought was very cool, was how the company structures their reporting pyramid… From the majority of their team (and it’s a big one!), to their managers, to senior management who report into the executive manager of the entire resort….

Then at the top of the pyramid; Us. The Customers. With that focus on customer experience, in addition to having experienced 5 star luxury, having enjoyed some amazing cuisines, wine & cocktails, ticking some breath taking stuff off my bucket list (snowboarding down from over 2000ft in the French Alps!? Tick!) You leave with a full heart & new friends, both other guests at the resort, & also members the Club Med team. It’s hard to explain – But when you experience it, you will know exactly what I mean… And if you are Les Chalets Club Med de Valmorel bound, be sure to say hello to my new friends there; Laura & Thibault – Who made our stay so spectacularly incredible.

Bucket List

Not a skier or snowboarder…. Neither was I! But I wanted to be! Snowboarding was one of those things I’d always said I wanted to do, and what cooler place to learn the sport then in the French Alps?! So with 5 private lessons booked, the fear of god, and determination to be able to at the very least snowboard down a kiddies slope, I put my big girl snow pants on, and met my instructor Laurent (picture; a French Justin Timberlake. I know, poor me!) for him to impart his 16 years of ski / snow board instructor knowledge to me.

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My first lesson started on the kids slope; The Piou Piou (meaning tiny bird).  There is NOTHING tiny about this bird, I am 5’10” in the shade, and if the fear on my face was not an indicator, my finger nails digging into his arm where. Laurent assured me, that in the coming days we would be up there *points to French Alps glacial sized mountain. I said he was kind to say such lies, and we got to work.

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And guess what, by day 3 we were up 2000ft on the mountain! My dismounts from certain chair lifts required just as much work as my fledging Olympic snowboarding career, but it was INCREDIBLE! Flying (sometimes falling) down the mountain, surfing on snow, with pine tree branches with white dustings, and the world famous Mont Blanc mountain in view. It was so surreal. No words I find will do it justice.

On my last lesson on day 5, Laurent had me speeding down the mountain, and on the final run, pointed over to what now looked like a flat plateau of snow, the Piou Piou. It was an incredible feeling, to think on five days before that was my starting ground. Like all graduates of the Piou Piou, admittedly most of them where aged under 5 years old, Laurent gave me my own Piou Piou medal as a symbol of how far I had come in only a few days. I pinned on the inside of my jacket, and while going up in the lift solo the next day, I took a glance at and felt pretty damn good.

While I may not make the next Olympic team, I definitely will now be snowboarding at any chance I get, plus its one more thing I can tick off my bucket list. With the gratitude to Laurent for his patience, & empathy… And for not laughing (on the outside) when I stacked it off the chair lift.

Take the adventure

So there are my favorite things & recommendations from my time at Les Chalets Club Med de Valmorel.  If you are wanting a winter wonderland adventure, and granted there are many places in the world where snow falls, but at Club Med Valmorel you get to experience all these things in the French Alps (And as the ancient French proverb goes, Snowboard & Ski instructors in the French Alps are all French Gods of the snow (read; Really Hot).

So whether you want to tick some alpine adventuring off your bucket list, experience pure luxury by the fire place as the snow falls outside, eat gourmet cheese & the best breads you will ever taste with every meal, enjoy wine on a snowy mountain top whilst overlooking the Mont Blanc (You can do this even if you are not a skier / snowboarder), or if you simply want to road test a new treatment on the spa menu daily & have the best seat in the house to watch the final runs of the day; the outdoor Jacuzzi…. Then The Valmorel Chalets, in the stunning French Alps are waiting for you. – SWx

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*Since publishing this post, Club Med has evolved the services offered at the Club Med Valmorel Chalets to include a 24 hour concierge service and a butler available at extra cost.

Want to discover more? Watch this video below, or jump on our website to learn more about the Club Med Valmorel Chalets. ✳ ⛄ 

Want to discover our Facebook Snow Squad Group? Join us here!

Club Med announces new resort in 2019: Club Med Lombok, Indonesia

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Club Med, the pioneer of the Premium All-Inclusive holiday concept, has announced plans to open Club Med Lombok, the third resort in Indonesia following Club Med Bali and Club Med Bintan Island. Situated in the tranquil waters and abundant nature of Lombok, the new island resort offers families, couples, and corporate groups an exotic and eventful holiday experience filled with authentic and rich discoveries.

Club Med Lombok Announcement Ceremony

Creating growth opportunities in Mandalika Lombok

Club Med expects to cultivate and drive a huge impact to the region with the opening of the brand new resort.

“In present day, Club Med has received over 80,000 guests on an annual basis, from more than 30 nationalities to Club Med Bali and Bintan Island,” shared Mr. Henri Giscard d’Estaing, CEO of Club Med.

“We foresee Club Med Lombok to receive a high volume of international attention and clients, and raise global awareness for Lombok as a premium holiday destination. The opening of this resort will also directly create over 350 jobs locally, contributing to the growth of the tourism industry.”

Partnership with Indonesian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC)

Working in partnership with ITDC, Club Med commits to managing and operating the upscale resort as part of a concentrated effort to bring in more visitors to Indonesia. Taking into account various qualities such as diverse and unique cultures, exceptional nature and a keen sense of hospitality, Indonesia’s tourism industry exhibits vast growth potential, having grown at an average of 7% per year since 2010 and targeted to surpass 10 million visitors in 2016.

Historically, Club Med has actively sought and developed resorts in then undiscovered gems, such as Cancun, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, and more. Having worked with the government for 30 years since the launches of the first two resorts in Indonesia, Club Med is the first international operator to recognize the possibilities in Indonesian destinations.

The beautiful island of Lombok is part of a development plan, the Mandalika project, an initiative launched by the Indonesian government and ITDC to groom and cultivate the Mandalika into a new world class luxury ecotourism destination.

With over 40 years of experience in managing and developing a world-class tourism destination that is Nusa Dua, ITDC has already started delivering on the next prestigious development in the Mandalika with the aim of recreating the same global success that all the visitors are continuing to enjoy in Bali, Nusa Dua. The new destination will offer a unique experience that is different from other locations around the world. Located in the southern part of Lombok Island with more than 16 km of sparkling white sandy beach, the Mandalika has been designed as an ecotourism destination from the offset, incorporating Clean Solar Cell Energy, Water Desalination Plants, and keeping over 51% of the resort as an open ‘Green Space’, which will not only maintain and protect the natural beauty of the Mandalika scenery but also enhance the life and culture of the local people.

Contemporary nature-inspired resort with lively atmosphere

Spanning over a preserved site of 15 hectares with 650 metres of pristine aquamarine waters with powdery white sand, the new Club Med Lombok offers guests a plethora of sea activities, such as snorkelling, surfing*, diving* and more. *at extra cost

Guests to the new eco-chic designed resort will be able to enjoy:

✔️  350 rooms across a wide range of categories for all types of travelers, from superior to suite, ✔️ A refined 5 Trident Luxury Space offering dedicated concierge and personalized services for suite guests, ✔️  Restaurants serving international cuisine or offering “a la carte” menus with unparalleled view of the ocean, ✔️  Bars serving free-flow drinks and alcoholic beverages, ✔️Children’s Club facilities and dedicated services for ages 2 – 12. ✔️MICE facilities for companies seeking a professional yet unconventional & exceptional retreat for their employees, ✔️  And over 50 activities within the resort, including opportunities to discover the beauteous culture and nature of Lombok Island.

Highly accessible with direct flights to the newly constructed Lombok International Airport for international and domestic guests, Club Med Lombok is a mere 30 minute drive away.

Lombok, the undiscovered gem of Indonesia

Lombok is a well-preserved island located east of Bali with fine destinations in the south, such as Mandalika. Blessed with over 16 kilometres of stunning natural landscapes and the rich culture of Indonesia, it is the ideal retreat for weary city dwellers and worldly travellers who seek an escape from the hectic schedule of city life. Guests at Club Med Lombok can look forward to reclining on the serene shores, or immersing themselves into the traditions and ways of exotic Indonesia.

Discover Club Med current resorts in Indonesia here and more on our Asian resorts below:

Finolhu Villas Voted Best Beach Hotel

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Perched upon the shimmering Indian Ocean in the Maldives, it is little wonder the Club Med Finolhu Villas won the Beach Hotel Global Category of the 2015 International Hotel & Property Awards.

Choose between beach or overwater villas

Club Med Finolhu

Combining eco-friendly chic with opulent design features, Club Med Finolhu Villas was creatively conceived to create poignant moments for guests that linger in the memory for a lifetime. Featuring individual private terraces, gleaming pools, as well as the on-call service of personalized Villa Hosts, the luxury solar-powered Villas exude an ambiance of exclusivity and supreme comfort.

The International Hotel & Property Awards recognize superior design that inspires the senses and pushes the boundaries of what is possible.

Enjoy a luxury design in line with nature

Meriem Hall

Meriem Hall, designer of the Resort, explains it as a harmonisation of relaxed luxury, nature and worldwide culture, “fun and happiness were the elements of Club Med that I sought to inject in the design concept while also highlighting the Resort’s magnificent natural surroundings with luxurious textures, refined details and plush surfaces to create a premier establishment. Our design was deeply authentic and expertly crafted to reflect the natural wonders of the surrounding islands and create a distinct atmosphere for guests that is unforgettable.”

Club Med Finolhu

Club Med Finolhu Villas won the award ahead of some of the world’s top architects and hospitality operators, with voting open to industry professionals and readers of design et al, a leading UK interior design magazine.

Trip AdvisorTrip Advisor August 2015: "An unforgettable experience in paradiseWe highly recommend this place to anyone looking for a relaxing and peaceful vacation in the most beautiful and exotic place in the world. We would like to give a big shout-out to our amazing Villa Host, Vikash. Your professional, kind and friendly service made us feel at home and at ease."

Discover Club Med Finolhu Villas in video:

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