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Your guide to the most incredible Girls Trip

Happy Friendship Day! As today is the International Friendship Day, it’s time to prove to your friends how much you care about them… to express your gratefulness, why not suggest taking the most unforgettable girls trip EVER?

Planning a trip together is not an easy task, picking a date is the first step but then comes the hardest part: agree on a destination. We don’t want you to mess-up your friendship over holiday planning, especially during this special day, so we’re here to help you choose the right place depending on your holiday mood.

And don’t forget that whichever destination you choose, the most important thing is to have your friend(s) by your side and have lots of fun!

Life’s a beach

credits: @elle_fit

credits: @elle_fit

What’s better than having your best friend with you to go on a sea and sun holiday? You’ll share wonderful moments together tanning atop the whitest sand you’ve ever seen, having some relaxing massages under the palm-trees, discovering the underwater world equipped with your mask and snorkel. Come live your dream holiday with your BFF in Club Med Kani all-inclusive resort!

Memories with margaritas

credits: @paulienriemis

credits: @paulienriemis

If your idea of the ultimate girls trip includes loads of fun and a great vibe, you should select a place where festive atmosphere is part of the destination! At Club Med Cancun Yucatan in Mexico, you and your party mate(s) can enjoy the open bar during the night, part of the all-inclusive formula of the resort, and discover the wonders of the Mayan culture during the day : Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Tulum…

Nature getaway

credits: @thefrenchieescapes

credits: @thefrenchieescapes

Do you consider yourselves eco-warriors? Good news, you can experience an eco-friendly way of life in one of our Green Globe certified resorts, Club Med Cherating Beach in Malaysia. This jungle escape destination will be the perfect place to relax and have fun: boat-ride in the Mangrove, yoga class in a peaceful environment, sailing lessons to reach Pantai Beach… And it won’t keep you from doing good for the planet: you’ll have the opportunity to take part in the turtle conservation or cleaning the beaches of the region.

Fully Active

credits: @oliviayoga.paris

credits: @oliviayoga.paris

If you’re sporty people and are keen to try new activities like flying trapeze, one of our best resorts for acrobatic activities is Club Med Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Its partnership with the famous “Cirque du Soleil” will be the perfect place to test your friendship up in the air, and to forget about the gravity laws. If at some point you want to get back on the ground, you can still enjoy a lot of other land activities from a various range of choices: golf, archery, tennis, basketball, beach volleyball… And where to recover from the effort? Either in our Zen Oasis, by the zen pool, or by the quiet white sanded beaches.

Ready to fly into a new adventure with your favorite(s) companion(s)? Have a look on our website to discover our latest offers, and don’t hesitate to share pictures of your friendship moments with the hashtag #ClubMed.

Top 10 events to put in your diary for 2020

Already planning your 2020 holidays? Are you an art, sport, fashion or food lover? Why not combine your relaxing resort escape with an unforgettable cultural experience!

We get it, with so many amazing destinations on offer, it’s tough to pick just one! Throw into the mix trying to decide on dates and it all seems a bit too hard. Don’t fret: we’ve got you covered.

To help you plan your trip ahead, we selected our top 10 unmissable events to mark in your calendar and make the most of your precious holiday time.

#1 Bahamas Carnival

1st - 2nd - 3rd May

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On an island in the middle of the Caribbean sea, the Bahamas carnival is one of the most festive carnivals that you can do either with friends or family. You can expect to hear local bands playing, watch beautiful parades in multi-coloured disguises and dance shows.

Where to stay:

Save the date of Bahamas Carnival: May 1st/2nd/3rd 2020.

Our advice is to stay in the Bahamas a few days more to enjoy the island getaway in the Club Med Colombus Isle all-inclusive resort: resting on white sand beaches, scuba diving in the turquoise water, boat tour of San Salvador Island…

#2 Body & Soul , Club Med Bintan Island

11th May - 8th June

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Need to revitalize under the palm trees? We’re proud to announce that Club Med is hosting its own wellness journey in Club Med Bintan Island, Indonesia. This retreat, part of the all-inclusive package is the best way to revitalize your mind, body and soul thanks to international wellness instructors and special partners. In a tropical environment, Body & Soul is the best event to experience a healthy holistic lifestyle (it’s all about balance) around 4 themes : feel well, eat well, move well and play well.

Where to stay:

Body & Soul 2020 from the 11th May until the 8th June, inside Club Med Bintan Island. Simply book your holiday within those dates and let your health journey begin!

#3 Ubud Food Festival

26th - 27th - 28th May

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A gastronomic event with a special mission: showcase diverse Indonesian cuisine thanks to innovative chefs and extraordinary local products. The little extra that makes the difference? It’s a sustainable event!

Where to stay:

Continue your culinary journey from Club Med Bali with its many delicious dining options!

#4 Laguna Phuket Marathon

13th - 14th June

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During the 13th-14th June, join fellow sport-lovers in Phuket for the Laguna Marathon! This marathon offers many races for different runners and different distances. For an experience mixing amazing landscape and sport, the sunrise race is a must-do!

Where to stay:

Phuket is well-known for being the right place to dive into Thai culture : don’t miss discovering the cultural gems of Thailand through thrilling excursions, and all other activities proposed by our Club Med Phuket all-inclusive resort.

#5 Taomoda, Sicily

13th - 20th July

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Taomoda is the place to be next July in Sicily: an international fashion event happening in Sicily, in the authentic city of Taormina. You’ll spend your evenings watching spectacular fashion shows on the catwalks and attending cultural events. The week ends with the Tao Awards in the splendid Greek-Roman ancient theater.

Where to stay:

Come live the Italian Dolce Vita and spend your amazing holiday in Club Med Cefalu, Sicily.

#6 Tokyo Olympics

24th July - 9th August

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This year, it’s time to fulfill your dream and attend the biggest sport event in the world! Be part of history and see the world’s best athletes up close.

Where to stay:

After a few days in the buzzing energy of Tokyo, head to Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido and finish your trip amongst nature and relaxation.

#7 Art Marbella

30th July - 3rd August

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Calling all art-lovers! There’s an art event happening on the Spanish coast under the Andalusian sun that you don’t want to miss! From the 30th July until 3rd August, the first major international art fair in Marbella is the place to see the best exhibitions of Modern & Contemporary Art. Escape the heat and wander through the galleries to contemplate the beautiful artwork.

Where to stay:

In the south of Andalusia, the wonderful all-inclusive Club Med Marbella resort will be your perfect hideaway to tan by the pool and enjoy the Spanish sun.

#8 Kite Festival , Bali

July-August

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If you’re thinking about family holidays in Bali, the Kite Festival is the perfect event to be reunited and have lots of fun all together! This religious festival happening during July and August is ideal to experience an authentic Indonesian celebration. In beautiful rice paddies, you’ll admire the traditional giant kites flying in a multi-coloured sky. Balinese are making figures with these 10 meter kites with such ability, it’ll blow your mind. The Gamelan orchestra playing local music with percussive instruments will turn the place into a festive atmosphere.

Where to stay:

We highly recommend Bali Kite festival, happening all over the island. A stay in our Club Med Bali all-inclusive resort will offer the opportunity to participate in your own kite competition thanks to our New Amazing Family Program.

#9 Mexican Independence Day

16th September

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The ultimate cultural experience in Mexico is celebrating the Independence Day on the 16th September! Between fireworks, dance music, Mexican food, flags and flowers all over the city, the celebration is impressive and will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Where to stay:

Keep the festive atmosphere alive and choose between both of our all-inclusive resorts in Mexico: Club Med Ixtapa Pacific and Club Med Cancun Yucatan.

#10 Sapporo Autumn Fest

19th October

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If you love gourmet food and you are planing to travel this summer make sure to go to Hokkaido in Japan.

With its own unique atmosphere, the Autumn fest is all about amazing tastes and delicious food that will simply make you happy. You’ll experience the flavors of dishes made from local products of Hokkaido, straight out of the oven, with a glass of Japanese wine or Sake. This giant gastronomical outdoor picnic in the city center is the best excuse to go on a summer mountain vacation.

Where to stay:

The perfect summer mountain holiday awaits you: combine Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido with its all-inclusive mountain activities (excursions, trapeze…) and the Sapporo Autumn Fest.

Feeling inspired? Visit the event section of our website to discover more events and get the right inspiration to choose your perfect summer holidays!

The hottest destinations to travel to in 2019

Looking for inspiration about the hottest destination to travel to in 2019?

Look no further, the beloved younger generation voted for their top travel destinations for 2019 from Portugal to the Philippines and it’s giving us a lot of wanderlust feelings right now. After all, who knows better than the travel-addicted Millenial generation?

Bali in Indonesia, Hokkaido in Japan, Yucatan in Mexico and Guilin in China also made it in the top 30 destinations so we’ve summed up below why you should also visit these destinations with Club Med.

Destination ranked number 2: Bali

Why also love Club Med Bali?

  • Cultural activities: you can learn how to cook, taste delicious local dishes and learn the basics of the Bahasa Indonesia language. A lot of discoveries are also waiting: don’t miss the rice fields, visit of nearby temples, and experience a cultural ceremony.

  • Thrilling activities: it’s pure Bali bliss with various activities such as Paddle boarding, kayaking, surf, tennis, gym, yoga, trapeze and more…

  • Natural landscape: the Adults-only Zen Pool is surrounded by immaculate gardens and palm trees, the perfect place to relax and soak in the Bali Zen vibes.

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Key discoveries around the resort

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  • Tanah Lot Temple, perched at the peak of a rock face hanging over the ocean , this temple is dedicated to the god of sea.

  • Ayung River, a 12 km rafting descent to discover sculpted rocks and stunning waterfalls.

  • Gianyar traditional market, a festival of sense where you have to try babi guling, a local speciality of suckling pig cooked on a spit-roast.

  • Jatiluwih rice paddy, the most famous rice paddies of Bali was recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

  • Jemeluk Bay, climb on board a jukung and discover ghost fish and mimic octopus.

  • Lake Bratan, along the shores, get the chance to discover the majestic Pura Ulun Danu Buddhist temple.

  • Mount Batur, rising to over 1700m, this volcano is the best spot to admire the rising sun.

  • Tegallalang Rice paddies, enchanted promenades to discover terraced landscape, rampant palm trees and straw hat-wearing locals.

  • Ubud, city where you can stroll in the Monkey Forest or opt for relaxation by the sacred Tirta Empul water sources.

Destination ranked number 13: Hokkaido

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Why also love Club Med Tomamu and Club Med Sahoro?

  • Cultural discoveries: Plunge into Japanese culinary traditions like whisky and sake tasting, as well as an authentic Yakiniku Barbecue.

  • Japan Powder: 145 hectares of playground to play in, click in and ride Japan’s renowned slopes.

  • Relaxing activities: After a good day on the slopes, enjoy Mina Mina Beach, Japan’s largest indoor pool or relax at the Japanese public bath Kirin-no Yu.

  • Nightlife: Sparkling nights are waiting for you at nearby Ice Village, where cool evenings meet heart-warming moments with ice fishing, ice skating, ice bar and dining.

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Key discoveries around the resort

  • Daisetsuzan National Park, Hokkaido's largest national park, paradise for hikers, outdoor lovers, deer and brown bears.

  • Kasumi waterfall, accessible by doing a trek through snow covered woods.

  • Shakotan Peninsula, mountainous peninsula which projects some 30 kilometres into the Sea of Japan.

  • Shikisai-no-oka flower fields, a spectacular view across fifteen hectares of land where you can enjoy the fragrance of the blossoms.

Destination ranked number 22: Yucatan

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Why also love Club Med Cancun Yucatan?

  • Cultural discoveries: Discover one of the seven wonders of the world: Chichen Itza and vibrant Mexican Culture through activities, food and excursions.

  • Food: Savour delicious Mexican flavours while facing the oceans from the Brand new Taco Arte Beach Lounge or drink a margarita from the Maya Lounge all-Inclusive open-bar

  • Thrilling activities: Enjoy various activities such as paddle-boarding, waterskiing, kayaking, snorkelling, flyboarding and many more !

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Key discoveries around the resort

  • Chichen Itza, a complex of Mayan ruin and Valladolid, charming and colonial town.

  • Whale Sharks, in the north of Isla Mujeres, over the summer months, a large number of them come to visit the region.

  • Tulum,pre-Columbian Mayan walled city and Playa del Carmen, known for its palm-lined beaches and coral reefs.

  • Ancient Kingdom of Ek Balam, Yucatec-Maya archaeological site to soak in the Mexican Culture.

  • Coba Ruins, an archaeological site from the top of an ancient pyramid.

Destination ranked number 24: Guilin

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Why also love Club Med Guilin?

  • Cultural aspect: the resort is an outdoor museum in itself, 100 contemporary sculptures made by international artists are located in this vast park, ranked as the leading modern art collection in Asia.

  • Sensation activities in the nature rock climbing, mountain biking, archery, tennis are an example of activities you can experience there.

  • Heritage: Guilin is a UNESCO protected region.

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Key discoveries around the resort

  • The River Li, a place with dramatic karst peaks and dense vegetation.

  • The Ping'an Zhuang Village Terraced Fields, fields stretch from the bottom to the top of the mountains, creating a grand and magnificent view.

  • The Pagodas, sun and moon twin pagodas around Guilin’s two central lakes.

  • Karst Hills Caves and Mountains, eroded limestone terrain characterised by caves, sinkholes, rocky ground,…

Curious to discover the full top 30 destinations? Discover it all in the Insider article here.

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 !

Top Snow Resorts to get you Pumped for the Games...No Matter your Ability

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An opportunity to gather nationalities, live the spirit of sport and follow incredible extreme sports achieved by high-level athletes...who doesn't love the Winter Games?! This year, the 2018 Winter Games kicked off on 9th February and will run up until 25th February, 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, serving up a healthy dose of adrenaline to the athletes, and motivation for viewers to dust off the old skis or learn the skill of snow sports. Whether you're a just starting out or consider yourself a 'pro', Club Med has pulled together a list of the best ski resorts to get you snow-loving like an athlete.

Learning to ski - beginner skiers

Just starting out and still a little shaky? With fluffy powder snow, runs for all ability and world-class instructors, Japan is for you!

Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido

Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido, the trendiest new ski resort where you can experience the incredible mountains of the Hokkaido region, offers access to over 145 hectares of snow to explore. Perfect for all abilities and ages with ski lessons liked to the Kids Club, there's truly something for everyone on and off the slopes. Ski made easy thanks to free ski lift pass, small group lesson included for all levels with English-speaking and professional ski instructors, plus an indoor wave pool just 2 minutes from the resort - Club Med Tomamu is a winter wonderland!

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Club Med Sahoro

Don't forget the sensational Club Med Sahoro, awarded as one of the best travel destinations in Asia, Hokkaido promises a fun-filled family experience! This is the perfect setting for family snow holidays and to discover a little-known area of this fascinating country. Enjoy hassle-free skiing on powder snow without the crowds in a peaceful setting, perfect for beginners! Free ski lift pass for Sahoro domain is also included with ski lesson, ski from 4 years old and snow from 8 years old.

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Intermediate skiers

Club Med Grand Massif

Club Med Grand Massif located in the French Alps, is one of Club Med's new ski resorts opened in December 2017. This resort is the perfect destination to soak up the 360 view of the valley designed to blend in with the mountain top. You can also ski between two domains, among pine trees on the Massif side or with open views of Mont Blanc on the Flaine side. What could be better than skiing with a view? Slide non stop on the 14 kilometre long slope taking you from the mountain top to the Valley of Giffre. Combine there, amazing skiing experience and amazing views!

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Advanced skiers

Club Med Arcs Extreme (for adults-only)

Arcs Extreme located in the French Alps, is the only Club Med snow resort dedicated only to adults. For the very best in winter sports and festive fun, Club Med Arcs Extrême is the place to be! A ski-in-ski-out resort with more than 200kms of slopes available and at 2000 metres altitude, it's the ideal resort for those looking for the ultimate thrill!

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Club Med Val Thorens Sensations

Club Med Val Thorens Sensations, located in the ski station voted best in the world, offers ski-in-ski-out access to the 3 Vallees domain. Perfect for expert skier with the largest and possibly best ski areas on earth! Moreover, the resort stands at an altitude of 2,300 metres which guarantees snow until April.

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Ready to hit the slopes? Learn more about Club Med's 20+ snow resorts here!

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

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.

Club Med Celebrates 50 Years of Kids Club: A winning concept backed by a string of awards

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Club Med is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its iconic Kids Club. That’s 50 years of offering children of all ages, holidays that allow them to explore and be creative in a fun, safe, informal atmosphere.

In that 50 years, Club Med Kids Clubs have set the standard for what a relaxing, inclusive family holiday should be. It’s not just about keeping the children amused so the adults can relax, Club Med Kids Clubs focus on fun, discovery and creativity so children also have a holiday to remember.

It is a winning formula. Club Med Resorts around the world were consistently voted in the top 10 family resorts by voters of the Readers’ Choice Awards 2017 held by Holidays With Kids, specialists in family travel.

One of the main reasons Club Med rates so highly with families is the wide variety of activities for children and the adaptation of activities for each age bracket – from 4 months to 17 years - so every member of the family is able to relax and enjoy a holiday while discovering new things about themselves, as well as the country they’re visiting.

Each child can learn new skills, uncover talents they did not know they had and share experiences with new friends as well as family. Children as young as 3 years old are encouraged to participate in activities such as golf and tennis, overcome fear with the flying trapeze or circus activities, and gain confidence in performing on stage for resort guests including professional (but fun!) rehearsal, lights,  costumes and make up.

Behind all the amazing services and activities at Kids Club are the highly trained and passionate G.Os (Gentil Organisateurs) who staff the resorts, and are why visitors return year after year.

 “One of the most rewarding things is having families extend their stay because of the Kids Clubs – we have had three this season!” says Tamarra van der Zweep, an Australian Petit Club Manager at Club Med Phuket. Tamara has an Advanced Diploma in Child Care and Community Services, as well as over 11 years’ experience in child care.

Kids Club G.Os are focused on ensuring each child feels unique yet included and comfortable with a range of activities suitable for all personalities, big and small. Kids Club also provides a chance to meet kids from other countries, learn their language and culture with help from the G.Os, many of which speak multiple languages, including English.

Dario Latuary, Mini Club Manager at Club Med Bintan Island, says one of the reasons children love Kids Clubs is because each carer takes time to bond with the children when they arrive at the club. “That’s why there’s many repeat visitors and why they remember us, even when they grow up."

Being a Mini Club G.O and working with the kids is the most important job. And it’s not just a job it’s your life. My personal motto is: Live the life you love, and love the life you live. In this case, it’s my job.

As well as the different Kids’ Clubs, many Club Med resorts feature a kids’ only pool, and Mini Club kids also have the opportunity to eat early meals in a special section of the restaurant in most resorts.

Club Med resorts also offer babysitting services and evening Pyjama Club for children aged 2 to 10 years.

The different Club Med Kids Clubs are:

▪️ Baby Club Med: For children aged from 4 to 23 months. Baby Club Med focuses on senses and feelings, with engaging play areas and a staff ratio that ensures each baby receives special attention.

▪️ Petite Club Med: For children aged 2 to 3 years. Petite Club Med focuses on discovery and socialising with activities such as face painting, pyjama parties, and puppet shows.

▪️ Mini Club Med: For children aged 4 to 10. Mini Club Med focuses on energy and fun activities such as Club Med’s famous Circus School programme, arts and crafts and sports.

▪️ Club Med Passworld and Junior's Club Med: For older kids, aged 11 to 17. Club Med Passworld and Junior's Club Med are dedicated teen spaces offering everything from creative activities to movie and disco nights, as well as sports and technical arts.

For further information visit our website.

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 


Interview: The Sporty Family Holiday Of Pip Edwards At Club Med Cancun

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In July, the P.E Nation Co-founder Pip Edwards (@pip_edwards1) ventured to Club Med Cancun with her family. We asked her some questions on how to have an active family trip to Cancun.

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

Why did you choose Club Med Cancun Yucatan for your holiday?

We spent time in LA either side of our week in Cancun so it was the perfect choice for a little downtime. It was very easy to get to and nothing beats the Caribbean blue waters of Cancun!

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What are your must-haves when travelling to an adventure-meets-relaxation location like Club Med Cancun Yucatan?

👟 Make sure you pack your training gear and trainers as there are soooooo many activities to tick off!!

😎 Sunglasses...

👒 Cap...

☀️ Sunscreen...

👙 Swimsuits...

🏃‍ And activewear are all must haves for a holiday like this.

What was your typical day in Club Med Cancun Yucatan?

Breakfast was always spent sizing up which activities to tackle for the day. Stand up paddle boarding, snorkelling, flying fox, pool basketball, ping pong and tennis were all regular favourites which kept our days very full. It's amazing how many activities you can jam into one day!!!

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What was your highlight from the trip?

Watching my son receive all of his Club Med Medals on awards night. He was so pumped and excited. It really made the holiday.

What did your son like the best about Club Med Cancun Yucatan?

EVERY SINGLE ACTIVITY!!! From tennis to snorkelling, basketball to tennis. He made a whole heap of new friends and was addicted to pool basketball. He never wanted to leave.

What is your top tip for enjoying a romantic getaway while also travelling with a child?

Go to Club Med because it's so focused on the kids and the staff are so incredible with them, that you can actually get some time off to enjoy one on one time with your partner!!!! Basically, everybody is happy !!!!!

Want a dream family holiday like Pip Edwards? Discover our Cancun freshly renovated resorthere.

7 Incredible Zen Pools

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Whether it is in the wild or next to the sea, there are so many ways to relax in a Zen Pool at Club Med! Exclusively for adults, our Zen Pools are designed for people looking for peace and well-being. Here is our selection of 7 incredible zen pools you'll want to dive in.

#1 Surrounded by palm trees in Bali, Indonesia

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Overlooking a lush field of palm trees, the design of this incredible Zen Pool of Club Med Bali is inspired by the local culture.

#2 Alongside turquoise lagoon in Punta Cana

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Located in the Dominican Republic, Club Med Punta Cana offers a brand new Zen Oasis Space for adults only. This luxurious Zen Pool is the perfect hideaway for peace, harmony and relaxation.

#3 Dedicated to peace in Phuket, Thailand

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Enhanced by lawn and teak, this Zen Pool in Club Med Phuket is dedicated to peace and relaxation.

#4 Natural Pool in Da Balaia, Portugal

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In Portugal, perched on a red clifftop in the south of the country, Club Med Da Balaia offers a Zen Natural Pool with pristine water naturally cleaned by plants.

#5 Into the wild in Cherating Beach

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Perched on the edge of Malaysia and in the middle of the jungle, the Zen Pool of Club Med Cherating Beach also offers an incredible view over the water.

#6 Revitalize with nature in Rio Das Pedras

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Beautifully located in the Mata Atlantica nature reserve, this Zen Pool of Club Med Rio Das Pedras in Brazil is between the forest and a fine sandy beach.

#7 Over water in Cancun Yucatan, Mexico

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Alongside the world's second largest coral reef, indulge in this brand new Zen Pool of the Jade 5 Trident Luxury Space. Between the Caribbean Sea and the lagoon, Club Med Cancun Yucatan offers a luxurious and exclusive retreat.

Plan your holiday to dive into all these incredible Zen Pools here.

New Resort: Club Med Ceylon will be Sri Lanka’s hidden gem

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31 August 2017 – With 17 per cent growth in Australians travelling to Sri Lanka*, Club Med, the pioneer of the Premium All-Inclusive holiday concept, has announced its plans to open Club Med Ceylon, its first resort in the tropical country. The all-inclusive resort will be located in Sri Lanka’s South West Province in the small town of Beruwela, only a 90 minute drive from Colombo International Airport, and is scheduled to open in August 2019. Positioned as a 4 Trident resort, Club Med Ceylon will offer Australian guests a slice of upscale refinement and active rejuvenation amidst its lush vegetation and sun-kissed beach.

We are very excited to venture into a new market with such potential – Sri Lanka is a beautiful and mystical country with rich history and culture. I am delighted to welcome Club Med Ceylon into the Club Med family. Together with our partner LOLC, we are very excited at the prospect of our resort in Sri Lanka growing into the region’s premium holiday destination in time to come,” commented Henri Giscard d’Estaing, President of Club Med.

The Deputy Chairman of LOLC, Ishara Nanayakkara said the historic venture would be a mutually-rewarding partnership that would add immense value to Sri Lanka tourism.

As a destination, Sri Lanka has a diverse culture offering spanning nature, culture, religion, adventure and eco-tourism, and we are confident that it will ascend in popularity and profitability to become one of Club Med’s premier properties,” he said.

Club Med Ceylon – a tropical jewel in Sri Lanka

Club Med Ceylon will aim to provide all Australian guests – from families to couples – an unprecedented wholesome Sri Lankan experience, complemented by the resort’s eco-chic and vivid aesthetic that will feature wide airy spaces. Keeping in line with Club Med’s sustainability and green initiatives, the resort will be built to the standards of the Green Globe certification. As an organisation devoted to green causes, Club Med has successfully undertaken a string of green initiatives this year, including its ongoing efforts to preserve the natural conditions of the beautiful locations its resorts are located in.

Club Med Ceylon will be tucked away from the hustle-bustle along the aptly named Golden Beach, a 1.5km-long pristine beach, sheltered by palm groves that spread along the direction of the ocean. The resort will offers guests a plethora of sea and land activities including the Club Med signature Flying Trapeze as well as tennis, football, archery and more. The resort will reflect Sri Lanka’s unique culture and cuisine, vibrant traditional colours, bustling lifestyle for guests to experience and will be the starting point for Australian guests to discover the surrounding breath-taking landscapes, rich wildlife and brilliant heritage sites of Sri Lanka.

Guests to the new eco-chic resort will enjoy:

✔️ 372 rooms across a wide range of categories for all types for travellers, from deluxe to suites

✔️ Restaurants serving gourmet international cuisine or a la carte menus

✔️ Bars serving a range of drinks and alcoholic beverages

✔️ Kid’s Club facilities and dedicated for services for children

✔️ MICE facilities for companies seeking a professional yet unconventional and exceptional retreat for their employees

✔️ Over 20 activities within the resort, including opportunities to discover the uniqueness of Club Med Ceylon

Partnership with Lanka Orix Leasing Company (LOLC)

Historically, Club Med has shown a flair for leading the way in discovering and developing resorts in undiscovered idyllic locations such as Cancun, Punta Cana and Phuket among many others. In Sri Lanka, Club Med is working in partnership with LOLC, Sri Lanka’s largest non-banking financial institution with a diverse portfolio that includes leisure, health care, plantations, agri-inputs, renewable energy, construction, manufacturing and trading. The strategic partnership will help promote tourism to the island while creating jobs to boost and grow local tourism industry.

Discover the other 70 Club Med resorts around the world here.

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. ☀️

The Maldives: Photo Diary from Guy and Jules Sebastian

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The best thing about memories is making them. In January, famous Australian singer Guy Sebastian (@guysebastian) and his wife Jules (@julessebastian), Australian blogger, ventured to paradise at Club Med Kani and came back with incredible memories to share!

Note: All images below are courtesy of Guy and Jules Sebastian, and have been shared with permission. 

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Kani Overwater Suites with a panoramic view

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Exclusive Manta Lounge, over the turquoise waters

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Enjoying this pristine paradise with a fresh drink

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Magical sunset from the beach bar over Kani, Maldives

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No better way to end up the day in the Maldives

Want to know more about this slice of paradise? Read this blog article from @julessebastian

Absolute Family Heaven in Mauritius

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This article was reposted from Where's Sharon. Read the original story here. Note: All images below are courtesy of Sharon Gourlay, and have been shared with permission.

Absolute Family Heaven at Club Med La Plantation d’Albion Mauritius

I needed a holiday.

With my own business and three young kids, life is crazy. I’m constantly busy, exhausted and dying for a break.

When we booked our trip to Mauritius it seemed like the perfect time to book ourselves an actual break. One where things wouldn’t be crazy, we wouldn’t feel like we were herding our kids around attractions constantly and Josh and I could actually have some quality time together and by ourselves.

When I started researching the perfect place to do this, the answer popped up immediately.

Club Med.

I have always wanted to stay at Club Med because they always sound luxurious and easy. Since having kids, I absolutely love all inclusive and how easy that makes everything and I had heard that Club Med had the best kids club of anywhere.

There’s also plenty to do at Club Med. Since we get bored easily and are definitely not the type to be happy just lying on a beach, it sounded perfect for us.

Mauritius has two Club Meds and we decided to give it a go.

We are so happy we did!

What is Club Med?

A small part of the coastal areas around our resort

A small part of the coastal areas around our resort

Club Med is the perfect solution if you are looking for a Mauritius all inclusive (or for an all inclusive experience in the other countries where they operate). Everything is included from meals to activities to cocktails to entertainment to kids club.

We have stayed at a few all inclusive resorts and, honestly, none have measured up to Club Med. They definitely take all-inclusive holidays to Mauritius to another level with fabulous food, all day dining, generosity with drinks and an amazing activities program.

The only things you pay extra for is premium alcohol (like if you want to pick your bottle of wine), purchases from the shop, room service, excursions and the day spa.

Enjoying a room service breakfast on our balcony. It is included for breakfast for our room type as well

For those of us with kids, Club Med has a real focus on families and all kids are welcome. There is an outstanding kids club (all the details below!). The general rule is kids 4+, but many Club Meds have a toddler program and some a baby program which are at an extra cost.

Club Med also distinguishes itself with top rate staff. Everyone I came into contact with was at least bilingual and all were friendly. Club Med staff are called G.O.s (Great Organisers) and go out of their way to get to know you and make you feel welcome and included.

Club Med Albion review

The beach first thing in the morning

The beach first thing in the morning

The beach first thing in the morning

Club Med La Plantation d’Albion is simply fantastic. If you are looking for resorts in Mauritius, you cannot go wrong with this option. From arrival to check out, everything was smooth and easy.

Below, I step through all the different aspects of a stay here including transfers, our room, activities, entertainment and Mini Club.

Transfers

Our Club Med experience started the second after we walked through customs at the airport before we entered the public area. We saw a sign for the resort and were given cold water and whisked out a side exit into a waiting van which was complete with a baby car seat and booster seat for the kids.

The driver answered our questions and was soon driving us the 50 minutes to the resort. It is perhaps the easiest arrival experience I have ever had!

Our room

We stayed in connecting Club and Suite rooms with a sea view. They were both great!

You can see the inside and outside of the rooms here:

Both rooms were clean, comfortable and well furnished with fun extras – like towel animals! The kids loved seeing the different animals every day.

The Club Room is the cheapest room type but is still lovely and a good size. There’s plenty of cupboard space, day bed, couch, TV, desk, and a fabulous bath tub.

Inside the Club Med room

Inside the Club Med room

Inside the Club Room

The suite is amazing with a separate living area with day bed, couches and a big coffee table. There’s a separate toilet off the living area as well as a big cupboard which was perfect for our baby gear.

The bedroom has a desk area, king size bed, lots of cupboards and a huge bathroom with twin vanities, massive bath tub and candles. There’s also a door that leads to an outdoor shower.

This crab was waiting for us one day when we returned!

This crab was waiting for us one day when we returned!

Both rooms have mini bars and, thanks to having a suite, these were full and replenished daily included in the price. We also had fruit delivered to the room every afternoon.

Our rooms from the beach

Our rooms from the beach

The best part, however, was definitely the furnished terraces which were right on the beach. We loved having this outdoor space right by the ocean. It was also surprisingly private thanks to it not being a swimming beach. I spent a lot of time sitting out on the terrace and I highly recommend paying the extra to get a room with this feature especially if you have a kid that naps.

Club Med Albion Villas

The backyard of one of the villas

The backyard of one of the villas

Club Med La Plantation d’Albion also has a separate section of villas (called Club Med Albion on their site). There’s the option to do a tour of one of the villas and I did this.

The villas are just amazing. They come in 2, 3 and 4 bedroom configurations. Each bedroom has its own bathroom with outside access so they are quite private.

Each villa has a large living area in the middle with a kitchen to the side (with fully stocked fridge) where a private butler cooks your breakfast and prepares tea in the late afternoon.

The best part, however, is definitely the beautiful yard which is complete with private swimming pool and an amazing outdoor living area with dining and lounging space. If you have young kids, they even set up a pool fence.

Guests use all the facilities of the main resort and also have a private butler for two periods twice a day who take care of everything for them.

Food

A small part of the main buffet

A small part of the main buffet

The only thing that concerned me about booking a week in Club Med was the food.

Since living in Penang, we have become really fussy about good quality food and when I think about all inclusive resorts and buffets, good quality is not what comes to mind. Quite the opposite.

Thankfully, Club Med Plantation d’Albion proved me wrong. Buffets can be fabulous! We ate at the main buffet restaurant for most meals and everything I ate was superb.

Yummm dessert. Not what you expect from a buffet

Yummm dessert. Not what you expect from a buffet

There’s great variety and there are chefs working at the different sections making sure the food is always fresh. There are options which are made to order and some dishes are already plated and taste extra fantastic. There’s a good range of western food with some Asian options. There’s also a section of Mauritian food which is mostly Indian and I loved it.

There are eating options all day long, but the best food options are at meal times.

There are two main restaurants. We mostly ate at the main one, Restaurant La Distillerie, as the other one, Restaurant Le Phare, is adults only except at dinner time and it wasn’t open all nights when we visited.

Restaurant La Phare is just gorgeous though. We had dinner here one night right by the ocean and the scenery and sounds of the ocean made for a special experience. The food was also great and it was nice to be served.

A special dinner at Restaurant La Phare

A special dinner at Restaurant La Phare

The service was great in both restaurants. Even at the buffet, the attendants get drinks, help carry plates and help with entertaining Baby J. We had a waitress in the main restaurant who became quite attached to Baby J and would be brilliant with getting him food and making sure we were happy. She would also set up the table ready for us in her section so she got to serve us.

You can order special wine with your meals (for extra cost) or have the house drinks which come out by the bottle if you want.

The snacks during the day are quite simple. We loved the bar by the pool as they would have fruit and bakery items so Baby J could have some fruit while we had a cocktail. It was lovely.

Dinner time usually had a theme – like “white” or “blue and white”. Nothing difficult and you don’t have to do it. We usually didn’t and we didn’t feel weird.

All in all, I am very impressed by the food at Club Med La Plantation d’Albion. I never got bored of it, as I feared, quite the opposite. I really enjoyed meal time.

Facilities

S takes aim at Archery

S takes aim at Archery

Club Med La Plantation d’Albion is full of facilities.

The resort is basically split into two areas – one is the Zen area which is focused on peace and tranquility and one is the main village area.

Hanging out at the pool with Baby J

Each of the areas has a main focal point where there is a pool, a restaurant and some other things. The main pool and dining area is also home to reception, a shop, a tour desk and a theatre. It’s also the entry to the swimming beach.

In the Zen area, there is another pool (with absolutely superb views at sunset), restaurant, gym and day spa. Kids are only allowed in this area to go to the restaurant at dinner time.

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Zen area pool.

Across the middle of the resort are various sporting facilities. There’s tennis, golf, trapeze, archery and soccer.

On the beach, there are water sports. There’s also a dive centre, fitness centre and table tennis near the main pool.

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The main beach

There are so many things, in fact, that I have no doubt left many things off this list.

The resort itself is quite big, not that you would realise it initially. It’s been very well constructed to blend into the surroundings.

There are electric golf carts to get around and we found one at our door within minutes of ringing for them. It’s also very nice to walk around with beautiful landscaping and many paths.

Of course, there is also the beach. It’s a lovely stretch of coastline which is nice and calm and worked well with our kids. There are many lounge chairs and day beds to relax on as well.

There are also many nice touches – like a stand by the beach with drinks and towels where you can help yourself. Towels are also sitting on many of the lounge chairs that line the beach areas.

There is also an infirmary which is staffed 24 hours by knowledgable nurses and they have a doctor on call. We tried out this facility as I brought a chest infection with me to Mauritius.

It is incredibly well run and professional and they had a doctor to see me within an hour and a half. The doctor brought all medications with him and it was all very easy and a good price.

Activities

Watching the sunset at the Zen pool is a must do experience

Watching the sunset at the Zen pool is a must do experience

There are so many activities at Club Med La Plantation d’Albion. You really can be as busy or quiet as you want to be.

There are schedules around the place but I recommend downloading the Club Med app for your phone and then you can see it all including the opening hours of the restaurants.

It’s a great place for kayaking – nice and calm!

It’s a great place for kayaking – nice and calm!

There are classes for basically all the sporting facilities mentioned above. You can have tennis/golf/sailing/etc lessons. There are fitness classes all day long. You can even learn how to fly on a trapeze!

There’s live music, games, tournaments, pilates, many things.

We tried archery, tennis, kayaking and some other water sports. There are plenty of people to help and make sure you learn and have a great time.

There’s also the option to book many day tours from the tour excursion desk and a taxi stand just outside the hotel if you would prefer to organise it yourself. Mauritius is a beautiful country to explore and it’s definitely worth making the effort to get out and see more.

You can read our list of things to do in Mauritius here.

Mini Club and Club Med with kids

S flying through the air on a trapeze while Z jumps on the trampoline. All part of a day in Mini Club!

S flying through the air on a trapeze while Z jumps on the trampoline. All part of a day in Mini Club!

It’s not just the adults that have activities all day long, so do the kids with their own activity program through the Mini Club (Club Med for kids’ club).

Mini Club deserves its own section as it’s amazing.

Seriously, amazing.

Our kids never wanted to leave.

One of the biggest reasons I first started looking at booking a Club Med vacation is that I had heard such good things about their kids club.

It’s all true.

This is no run of the mill kids club. The kids get to do tons of cool stuff and learn new things too. It’s an incredibly engaging and fun activity schedule and the kids never wanted to leave.

The staff are also top rate, multilingual and do their best to accommodate everyone’s needs. I was impressed by the feedback and questions they asked.

There is a Mini Club area but the kids are also taken to the facilities around the resort and do such awesome things as archery, flying on a trapeze, going on boat rides and paddling on kayaks.

Z plays soccer at one of the Mini Club activities

Z plays soccer at one of the Mini Club activities

Of course, the exact activities depend on the kids’ ages and preferences. 7 year old S did everything, 5 year old Z is more hesitant and stuck to soccer over archery and trapeze.

Kids under 4 have their own area of the Mini Club. 12 month old Baby J was able to join in with this when we paid for a baby sitter which was a reasonable price, professional and incredibly easy to organise. 2 and 3 year olds have their own special (paid) program.

S and Z absolutely loved all the choices at the buffets

Around the resort, kids are also very welcome (except in the Zen pool area). Baby J was treated like a rock star. Many people must work at this Club Med and it felt like the majority of them were calling him by name after a couple of days.

You can also arrange a “Baby Welcome” pack which includes a whole lot of baby equipment in your room. We had a cot, sleeping bag, baby bath, change mat, bottle warmer and nappy bin.

I often find buffets quite difficult with kids. It’s hard to help them, carry everything and get a moment to actually eat and enjoy the experience. This was very easy at Club Med as the staff are around all the time to help and are very proactive in doing so.

Entertainment

Amazing circus performance over the pool

Amazing circus performance over the pool

There is some fabulous entertainment at Club Med La Plantation D’Albion. Every night there was some type of show or event to attend as well as live music at different times of the day by the pool.

The nightly dinner was sometimes set up around the show. For example, for the circus performance pictured above, dinner was outside around the pool with tables arranged all around. Everything was stunningly presented and stuck to the white theme of the night.

Another night, there was a Las Vegas theme where dinner was served in the theatre so you could eat and drink while watching the show.

The staff are very friendly and often around to help you with anything or join in. The idea is that the G.O.s’ sit, eat, play, perform and do everything with and for you. It’s a nice set up.

Our verdict

Club Med La Plantation d’Albion totally exceeded all our expectations – and our expectations were very high.

I expected an easy, fun holiday, what I didn’t expect was just how top rate everything would be, primarily because I have never experienced anything as good before.

Everything was superb from the room to the food to the staff to the facilities, grounds, entertainment, everything.

We loved meal time at Club Med

The attention to every single detail in this Mauritius accommodation is amazing and it leads to an amazing experience.

We have travelled a lot and stayed in many fabulous places but Club Med La Plantation d’Albion wins. Holidays don’t get easier, more quality and better than this.

The kids absolutely loved it. They wanted to be in Mini Club all the time. They were able to try so many things and have new experiences in a safe environment while Josh and I had a chance to relax and have a break.

It was perfect.

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We visited this resort in June. This is winter in Mauritius and I worried that it was going to be too cold for us.

This wasn’t the case and actually the weather was perfect. I found 22 degrees here felt much warmer than it does back in Melbourne. We were shorts, t shirts and dresses during the day with a light jacket or cardigan in the evening.

I think June is a great time to visit as there aren’t as many other people and it was nice to have plenty of privacy and most things to ourselves. There were still enough people to give the place atmosphere when we wanted this though.

Baby Z’s first time in the water at the beach. It was perfect!

If I have to complain about something, it is the meal times. They do start half an hour earlier for families but 7pm is a bit late for us – usually the kids are in bed by then.

It wasn’t too much of a problem for the big kids. We would get them to have a nap and then they were ok. It was harder with Baby J though who we couldn’t get to sleep extra in the day to make up for it.

Definitely one of the biggest positives of Club Med are the staff. Everyone we came into contact with was friendly, helpful and just brilliant. As I mentioned above, we had a favourite attendant at meals who just made things so easy for us.

The ladies who would clean our room were brilliant. Not just because they made our rooms look amazing but because they would help out if we were in there. One day, I was there alone with Baby J and Z and struggling to get them out of the door. She helped.

These are just two examples of what every staff member was like.

If you are considering family holidays to Mauritius, you would be crazy not to consider staying here.

We loved the Club Med experience and we can’t wait to do it again. I’ve already been checking out the ones in Asia and working out when we can next visit one. I can see a lot more Club Meds in our future! And I can see us returning to La Plantation d’Albion.

It is the most beautiful, wonderful holiday I have ever had.

You can read our full guide for Mauritius here.

Disclaimer: We were guests of Club Med. As always, all views are my own.

Have you stayed in Club Med? Would you like to?

Interview: Justine Cullen, Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Australia, shares her Maldives holiday tips

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Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Australia, Justine Cullen (@justine_cullen) recently discovered Club Med Kani with her family. We asked her some questions about her favourite moments and her top tips for a trip to the Maldives.

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

Why did you choose Club Med Kani for your holiday? 

We had wanted to go the Maldives for ages and when we saw how much fun the island looked and heard how great the set up was for kids of all ages, it was hard to resist the call. My husband and I both work really hard and wanted a holiday that involved no thinking and lots of solid family time - we couldn't have picked a better place.

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What was your typical day in Club Med Kani? 

💤 Roll out of bed to breakfast - eat way too much food (can we talk about that chocolate bread?)

🌊 Swim in the lagoon - it was so quiet on that side it almost felt like our own private beach

👌 Do some yoga - or go for a walk.

🍴 Lunch time - Before you know it, it's lunch. Eat way too much food again.

🐠 Activities - we all went parasailing and snorkelling and the boys did the FlyJet, which they absolutely loved, and the Kids Club always had something fun organised where everyone could get involved.

🍝 Dinner - and I don't know how or why but we always had room for more...

What is your top tip for enjoying a romantic getaway while the kids are in tow?

Pop the kids into Kids Club in the late afternoon so you get in some alone time for a glass or two of rosé before dinner. It's a beautiful time of day on the island and if you find the right spot it almost feels like you have the whole place to yourselves.

What did your kids love most about their time in the Maldives?

It really is a place where you can completely relax and give your family your undivided attention, so I think they appreciated having unstressed parents who weren't running around like maniacs the way we do at home. To not even have to think about what to do for dinner was a dream. The older boys also loved having 'boys nights' with my husband - after I went to bed after dinner each night, they would go to the bar and drink mocktails and talk guy stuff. They felt so grown up and it was amazing bonding time the like of which you could never have at home. Although if you ask my youngest I'm pretty sure he would say the part he loved most was the dessert bar. (That might have been my favourite spot too.)

Anything else you’d like to add?

I wasn't sure what to expect from Club Med - if it would feel like a total party atmosphere or be too crowded and hard to relax. I was so pleasantly surprised. The resort was beautifully maintained and had the most engaging and lovely staff. Kani has struck an amazing balance between always having something happening alongside lots of spots that are peaceful and purely relaxing - and I've never seen water such a perfect shade of blue. All five of us felt that it was the perfect family holiday.

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Looking for perfect family holidays as well? Discover Club Med Kani here.

How to prepare your hair for a beach holiday

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This post was created in partnership with TONI&GUY Australia.

Sunshine, swimming and having fun on your holidays can play havoc with your hair and your usual routines. Even a few days of sun, sea or pool can deteriorate even the most healthy, glossy hair.

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When your hair is subjected to the elements with little or no protection it becomes dehydrated and susceptible to damage and breakage, so what can we do to prepare our tresses?

To prepare your hair for the holiday’s it’s a good idea to apply regular treatments and to have a trim. This will ensure your hair is in top condition prior. Whilst away you may not want to continue treatments so as a “top up” take a leave-in conditioner for extra moisture. We recommend:Label M Leave in Conditioner

If you're planning to have your hair coloured before you go on holiday, think about how the sun will naturally lift your hair colour those extra shades. You need to use a good quality shampoo & conditioner to care for coloured hair in the sun. We recommend: Wella SP Aftersun Shampoo & Conditioner

Of course, the best thing you can do is to keep your hair covered up as much as possible when you are out in the sun. The sun's UV rays can damage your hair when exposed especially if it is coloured or highlighted.

If you are swimming or without cover over your hair, then use a protective product especially for the sun. These products have UV filters in to protect your hair and scalp from becoming scorched and ingredients for colour protection to fight against colour fade. We recommend: Wella SP Sun Spray

Never leave chlorine on your hair overnight, chlorine not only removes any natural oils from your hair making it dull and lifeless, it can also get between the hair shaft and cause damage which makes it more prone to splitting. Always wash & condition your hair after swimming.

Don’t fight the curls on holiday, get a good frizz controlling product and work with the waves. After applying the product just leave your hair to dry naturally or create a curl by twisting individual stands of hair. Alternatively, you can use a sea salt spray for a more tousled curl. We recommend: either Label M Therapy Oil or Label M Sea Salt spray

For amazing holiday hair, you need some “hair up” tricks.

Braiding hair is an always a good way to simply and efficiently tame your hair into a secure shape. Either using a simple plait or a fishtail braid you can create a cool and effortless shape.

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Loose messy top knots and buns are also another great way to wear your hair on holidays. You can leave your hair to dry naturally then wrap the ends up into a loose shape, leaving tendrils down for a boho feel.

Products shown:

Sea Salt Spray  -  Rejuvenating Radiance Oil  -  Leave-in Conditioner  -  After Sun Conditioner  -  Sun Concentrate  -  After Sun Shampoo

To find out more about preparing your hair for your upcoming holidays, visit TONI&GUY Australia's website here.

All You Need To Know About A Holiday To The Maldives

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Crystal clear oceans, beautiful white sand, and seas teeming with marine life…we’re pretty sure the Maldives is high up on everyone’s bucket list, and why wouldn’t it be? Also known as paradise on earth, this small nation of islands is the ultimate escape for those seeking luxury, romance and relaxation.

If you’re planning your dream Maldives getaway, we’ve put together all you need to know for your holiday to paradise.

Best time to go to the Maldives

In terms of weather, the best time to head to the Maldives is the dry season, between December and April, where you’ll enjoy beautiful blue skies and little rain. However, keen divers and surfers should head to the Maldives between May to November.

How to get there

While there are no direct flights available from Australia’s capital cities, the Maldives is quite easy to reach. Expect a travel time of around 14 hours from Sydney, transiting through Singapore to Male; alternatively, take Etihad Airways and transit in Abu Dhabi. Once you reach Male Airport, speedboats await to take you to your final destination.

Visas and Vaccinations

Upon arrival at Male Airport, you’ll be issued a free thirty-day tourist visa. There are no additional required vaccinations to enter the Maldives at this stage.

What to do and see in the Maldives

Play and paddle in paradise

The Maldives is an endless turquoise paradise, where warm waters are brimming with coral and sea life. You can do as much, or as little, as you like…consider it your playground, where you can swim, relax, surf or dive; spending your days by the water.

• The reefs are abundant with sea life, so the adventurous can take a dive trip! The Maldives has some of the best diving spots in the world, and you’ll swim amongst manta rays, as well as explore underwater caverns. • Stand-up paddleboarding is a fun way to stay fit while on holidays, especially when you have beautiful calm oceans. • Explore the coral reefs beneath the tropical lagoons, and snorkel amongst lionfish and baby reef sharks. • Make a lasting impact and give back to this wonderful island nation by helping with coral rebuilding.

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Catch a break with incredible surf breaks

For the surfers out there, the Maldives boasts some of the best reef breaks in the word. Catch the best waves from April through to October, and get in early to avoid drop-ins!

Chickens is considered one of the best waves in the world, especially on big swell days. Intermediate and advanced surfers can expect to ride these spectacular barrels for over 500m. This is certainly one to tick off the bucket list! • Named after the local Coca-Cola factory, Cokes is awesome for good swell and a long ride. • If you’re a beginner, consider riding a wave at You’ll find smaller breaks, perfect for cruising over the turquoise waters.

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Rejuvenate your body and treat your tastebuds

There’s nothing better than to relax and disconnect when you’re on an island and far, far away from the daily grind. Use your trip to the Maldives as a great opportunity to treat your body and soul, and to indulge in fresh food.

• Enjoy a massage on the tranquil beaches, and let the sound of the waves lapping at the ocean lull you into bliss. • Begin your morning with yoga on the beach. You’ll find no better way to kick start your day! • Savour incredible fresh produce – we’re talking about fruit cut from the tree in the morning and served in the afternoon. • Enjoy your seafood caught fresh from the ocean. Sashimi has never tasted better!

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Our best travel tips

• The Maldives is not just for honeymooners! It’s also a great destination for families, considering the private islands, shallow beaches and calm, clear waters.

• For the ultimate romantic escape, couples simply can’t go past the overwater villas at Club Med Kani or the Finolhu Villas. Think privacy, luxury and romance – plus, you’ll have a staircase or ladder that descends straight into the ocean.

• The national currency of the Maldives is the Rufiyaa, however it’s more useful to have US Dollars handy. Many resorts, including Club Med, accept credit cards, which minimises the need to change your money.

• The Maldives is an Islamic nation, and as such visitors aren’t allowed to bring liquor into the country. If you do have liquor with you, often it will be confiscated or held at the airport, so we’d recommend leaving your duty free shopping for when you return to Australia.

Discover Club Med’s Indian Ocean holidays here.