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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.

12 Travel Tips For Your Next Holiday

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While we all know there’s nothing better than being on holiday, but sometimes, getting ready to head overseas can be a little stressful! We’ve put together a list of our most important tips to get ahead on your next holiday…

1. Book your flights – early!

You’ll get the best price on your flights if you book them in advance, with savings that can often add up very quickly. Usually, you can book your trip up to 10 months out from departure – plus, if you book with accommodation you often get the best rate on flights available.

If you have your eye on flights and want to know when to buy, Hopper is the perfect tool! Plug in your travel dates and destinations, and the app will notify you whether you should buy now or wait.

2. Best time to go on holiday

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Really, it depends what you’re looking for:

  • For those looking to escape the crowds, avoid school holiday periods, especially the Christmas break! Airports and popular destinations can get extremely busy, and prices often skyrocket during this period.

  • To ski, head to the Northern Hemisphere in January to March for the best snow, or April for some incredible spring skiing.

  • If you’d prefer to avoid the wet season in tropical Asia, travel to Thailand between December and April, and to Malaysia and Indonesia between May and October.

  • Check the national holidays of the country you’re visiting before you book to make sure everything will be open. Keep an eye out for Chinese New Year, Bastille Day, Easter and other similar holidays.

 3. Planning your trip

  • Be sure to visit TripAdvisor before choosing your accommodation or tours, to read peer reviews or have your questions answered.

  • Google Trips is an app that will keep track of your bookings as you make them. No need to trawl through your emails! Too easy.

  • Have a look online for any 360 videos to get the full holiday experience, or use Google Street View to get a virtual tour of the destination.

4. Check your passport!

Probably the most important point on this list! It is absolutely essential that you make sure you have at least six months on your passport before leaving the country, otherwise your dream holiday may become just that – a dream. Acquiring a passport last minute is a stressful process, and can’t always promise results, so check your validity well before you jet off!

While we’re on this topic, make sure to look up visa requirements for the country you’re heading to. Australians can travel visa-free to plenty of countries, but it’s always better to triple check.

5. Where to exchange your money

  • Exchange some money before you go. While the rates may not be as promising, the language barrier overseas may make it difficult to exchange currency.

  • Check with your bank if you can get a travel card, or go to the local post office and grab one. It’s much easier than paying by credit card, plus you don’t pay currency conversion fees.

  • Don’t exchange money at the airport, and especially not after you clear security. Kiosks at international airports have notoriously poor exchange rates.

  • Be sure to notify your bank that you’re overseas, to avoid having issues with your card. Banks like ING allow you to notify them of travel in their online banking app.

6. How to pack

Forget folding! To save as much space as possible, roll all of your clothing inside your suitcase. Also, keep your luggage as light as possible to make sure your transit is as easy as possible- if in doubt, leave it out!.

7. Learn some basic phrases

Consider learning some basic language skills of the country you’re visiting as a courtesy to those you’re speaking to. Learn phrases such as “excuse me,” “may I please have…” and “no, thank you.” If you have any serious allergies, learn to articulate these too!

Apps like Duolingo are great to give you a rundown of the basics, and Google Translate will always come in handy while overseas.

8. Ditch the camera

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Let’s be honest: in today’s world, your smartphone is more than adequate to chronicle your travels. While your DSLR can take some incredible shots, you’ll also have to lug it around, including extra batteries for when it inevitably runs out of charge. If you want to travel light, invest in some add-ons for your smartphone to boost the quality of your images.

9. Pack some earplugs, or noise-cancelling headphones!

Whether you’re staying in a lavish resort or a hostel in the big smoke, you’ll want to bring some earplugs to safeguard your shut-eye. They’re invaluable on flights - especially if you’ve got the screaming child seated behind you! For frequent travellers, consider investing in a great pair of noise-cancelling headphones – Bose’s Quietcomfort series is a favourite amongst travellers.

10. Check if you need vaccinations before you go!

Check what vaccinations you need on Travel Doctor after you book your holiday. Some vaccines can take up to eight weeks to come into full effect, so get organised early. Plus, in many resorts like Club Med Bali, children require vaccination certificates for the Kids Clubs, so make sure you bring those along.

11. Travel insurance is essential

Travel insurance is an absolute must-have when travelling abroad, especially with children or on a ski holiday. Insurance can cover medical emergencies, travel costs incurred from some cancellations and will compensate you if your belongings go missing. Be sure to document your claim fully to make sure you get compensated.

Again, some holiday packages (including Club Med) offer travel insurance in the package – make sure to check before spending extra!

12. Travelling with kids?

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Travelling with young children is a different game all together. Consider these tips before you jet off:

  • Pre-order children’s meals on-board your flight.

  • The air pressure changes inside a plane’s cabin is more intense for young children. Make sure you bring something for the little ones to suck on to alleviate the pain.

  • Travel somewhere with a Kids Club. Not only will they have a ball, but you’ll get a break!

Discover more about Club Med all inclusive holidays by clicking here.

All You Need to Know About Holidays in Cancun

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With its picture-perfect white-sand beaches, vibrant dining and nightlife scene, and proximity to fascinating cultural sites, Cancun is a delightful Mexican holiday destination.  Perhaps best-known for hosting spring break festivities, Cancun has much more to offer if you scratch the surface. Here's everything you need to know to plan your Cancun holiday…

Best time to go to Cancun

December-April are the peak months with clear skies and balmy temperatures, while May-August offers hotter temperatures and fewer crowds. If you're not a hard-partying student, it's best to avoid mid-March to early April – that's when spring break is in full swing.

How to get to Cancun

Cancun is around 20 hours flight time from Sydney. You can fly from all major airports in Australia to Los Angeles flying Virgin Australia, with connections to Cancun flying with either Virgin America or Delta Airlines.

Visas and Vaccinations

Australians don't require a visa for holidays to Cancun. However, if you are traveling via USA, you will need an ESTA visa. And while it's not required, it's recommended you check up on your shots: Tetanus and Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and B. It’s important to note that some Club Med Kids Clubs will ask for proof of immunisation for the little ones!

Your guide on what to do and see in Cancun

Explore ancient Mayan sites

  • A day-trip to Chichen Itza is a must-do when you visit Cancun. Amid the pyramids, arcades and columns of the ancient city, Chichen Itza's most notable landmark is El Castilo, a beautiful and imposing 355-step pyramid.

  • Tulum is another popular excursion from Cancun, with a spectacular location overlooking the Carribean Sea. The ancient walled city offers Mayan ruins set above a gorgeous beach.

  • El Ray is home to ancient stone structures and a population of friendly iguanas.

  • Coba is the only site where you can actually still climb the ruins and explore the area on a pushbike.

Discover the exotic Mexican wildlife

  • ☼ A half hour boat ride from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a tropical island offering a low-key alternative to the mainland. The Isla Mujeres Turtle Farm, charged with repopulating the waters with turtle hatchlings, is a must-visit.

  • Holbox is a sleepy island north of Cancun home to a large population of whale sharks. Swimming with these gentle giants of the ocean is possible from June to August.

  • ☼ The Island of Contoy is a nature reserve home to coral reefs and amazing birdlife. The waters surrounding the island contain whale sharks, tropical fish and manta rays.

  • ☼ For a truly spectacular experience, swim in the natural holes and mysterious rivers of Cenotes.

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Have fun with various sports and activities

  • ✔️ With all that turquoise water, it's no surprise watersports are one of the main drawcards in Cancun. Think about choosing an all inclusive resort: Sailing, scuba-diving, and snorkeling are all available with Club Med, for example.

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  • ✔️ With their spectacular backdrops, the golf courses of Cancun lure players from all over the world. With courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, the challenging layouts are sure to delight.

A few tips in "Survival Spanish"

  • Good morning: Buenos días

  • Good afternoon: Buenas tardes

  • Good evening: Buenas noches

  • How are you? ¿Cómo estás?

  • I’m from Australia: Soy de Australia

  • Please: Por favor

  • Thank you: Gracias

A few more helpful tips

  • ✔️ Beware when walking through Cancun's narrow streets! Cars and motorcyles often pass very close to pedestrians.

  • ✔️ Tipping is customary in Cancun: 10-15% at restaurants and one or two dollars per suitcase carried. However, if you’re at Club Med don’t sweat it – everything is included!

The beauty of Cancun represents a once in a lifetime holiday destination. Whether for a honeymoon, a family holiday or an indulgent solo getaway, Cancun is Mexico's ultimate playground.

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

All You Need to Know About Skiing in the Italian Alps

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Ciao Bella! Villages with cobblestones covered in white, mountains blanketed in fresh powder snow and even bigger mountains of pasta… what more could you want on a holiday? The Italian Alps are truly something all skiers and boarders have to experience, and we have the lowdown on all you need to know for your ski holiday here.

Best time to go to Italy

The best snow on the Italian Alps is between January and February, when skiers can expect consistently fresh snowfall and cold temperatures. If you really can’t wait to hit the slopes, December is still a good time to visit, especially as you’ll get to experience some Christmas charm.

Remember to book well in advance for trips around Christmas and New Year, and for February (French, Belgian and Swiss school holidays).

How to get there

Flights to Italy are around 26 hours from Sydney, depending on your stopover. For a ski trip, we recommend Emirates, Singapore Airlines or Qantas – you’ll need the luggage allowance for all your ski gear! Consider flying into Turin with an airline such as Air Italia when booking a trip to the Italian Alps, as transfers to the slopes are less than 2 hours. If not, Milan is your next best bet.

Visas for Australians heading to Italy

You won’t need a visa to travel to Italy, unless you’re planning on spending over 90 days in the Schengen area.

An out of this world ski holiday: The Milky Way

There’s nothing more authentically Italian than a romantic snow-covered valley…it’s truly bellissimo! Home to the 2006 Winter Olympics, Pragelato Via Lattea is a ski area of champions.

  • There are runs for skiers of all levels, with 42 black runs, 118 red runs, 54 blue runs and 30 green runs – it’s Europe’s second largest ski domain so you’ll never get bored!

  • Follow the tracks of champions, and ski Olympic courses at your own pace.

  • Convenience is key! At Pragelato, you can take a gondola from the ski room at Club Med straight to the heart of the mountain.

  • Stay in private cosy chalets in a protected valley, with romantic cobblestone streets amongst snow-covered fir trees.

Ski on the edge… literally!

Breuil-Cervinia-Valtournenche-Zermatt…it’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s one heck of a ski area! Located on the very edge of Italy, you’ll be able to ski the pistes between Cervinia (Italy) and Zermatt (Switzerland) with ease!

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  • The Australian Alps have nothing on these ranges! Get some serious altitude, as this mountain soars up to 3920m.

  • Take the challenge of ‘Nero Cervino’, a black run with a 65 degree drop. This one’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure…

  • There are ski areas dedicated for the little ones. Valtournenche has jumping castles and a wild west snow play area!

  • Don’t forget to take a pic with the Matterhorn!

Italian cuisine after a day on the slopes

Pizza, pasta, prosciutto, risotto, minestrone, gelato, cannoli…really, the list of incredible Italian foods could go on forever. Italians are known for their extraordinary cuisine and where better to enjoy the art of Italian food than in the Alps?

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While you’ll get the classics such as Spaghetti Bolognese and Pasta alla Carbonara everywhere, indulge in a local specialty, Pasta al Tartufo (pasta with truffles), at Club Med Pragelato. What’s more, there are freshly sliced Italian cured meats at every meal, and of course - vino!

Apres-ski aplenty in the Italian Alps

There’s a certain charm about the Italian Alps that has captured the hearts of so many, but not just for the skiing. Europeans invented apres-ski, so it’s no surprise that there are plenty of things to do if you need a break from the slopes:

  • Take a stroll through the snow-covered cobblestone roads of Via Lattea or Cervinia, and don’t forget to stop for an Italian espresso!

  • Get active and explore the mountain on snowshoes with a guide

  • Looking for romance? Take a sleigh ride through the snowy glades

  • After a long day on the slopes, warm up in a Turkish Bath.

Other spots to visit on a holiday to Italy

Make the most of your ski trip to Italy by taking some time to see some of this beautiful country. Here are our top picks:

  • ✔️ They do say all roads lead to Rome! Discover culture and history at The Colosseum, the Forum, the Trevi Fountain and St Peter’s Basilica

  • ✔️ Explore the lost city of Pompeii, only a short train trip from Naples

  • ✔️ Shop ‘til you drop for the world’s finest high-fashion in Milan

  • ✔️ Take a food tour of Florence…your tastebuds will thank us!

Bella Italia!

There’s no doubt about it: the skiing in Italy is some of the best in the world. While you’re at it, indulge in Italian tradition; whether it be food, art or history.

Learn more about Club Med’s Italian ski resorts here and discover Club Med Pragelato Vialattea in the video below.

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

All You Need To Know About A Holiday to Phuket

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What's the ideal spot for a quick getaway from home? An island brimming with beautiful beaches, kind-hearted people to meet and a vibrant cultural history to discover, also known as Phuket. Phuket is the ultimate hub for exploring the customs, community, culture and the phenomenal beauty of Thailand… all while getting a sun tan. 

Best time to go to Phuket

How to go to Club Med Phuket

Phuket is warm all year round, but the dry season falls between December and March and is generally most popular. Don’t worry though, even in the wet season you’ll still see the sun.

Visas and Vaccinations

Unless you plan on staying for more than 30 days, Australian and New Zealand passport holders can travel to Thailand visa-free.

It’s recommended that travellers get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B before travelling to Thailand. Also, kids will need their immunisation history on arrival at the Kids Clubs, whether at Club Med or other resorts.

How to get there

How to go to Phuket

Jetstar is the only airline to fly direct to Phuket, with a flight time of 9 hours from Sydney. Alternatively, enjoy a stopover with Singapore Airlines, Qantas or Thai Airways, with flight times of around 12 hours.

Your guide on what to see and do in Phuket

When it comes to combining culture with sun-soaked fun, Phuket is the perfect spot. Discover Phuket through local flavours, activities, and excursions to beautiful shores…

More than just beautiful beaches

Club Med Phuket Thai Massage

✔️ Relax your body with a traditional Thai massage. ✔️ Take on the challenge of Muay Thai, Thailand’s favourite combat sport!

Club Med Phuket activities

✔️ Soar above vibrant gardens and frangipani trees on the flying trapeze. ✔️ Take a Thai cooking class and learn how to create Homok Talay and Tom Yam Goong – not just Pad Thai. ✔️ Calm your mind and body with yoga classes. ✔️ Take a Ruea Hang Yao (long-tail boat) to secret snorkeling spots, and discover untouched coral reef.

Explore it all in Phuket

Explore in Phuket

  • ✔️ Phang Nga Bay has unbelievable emerald waters, with towering cliffs rising from the sea.
  • ✔️ Get up close and personal at an Elephant Safari Park.
  • ✔️ Swim with colourful fish while diving or snorkelling at Racha Yai Island. If you’re lucky, you might see a few dolphins.
  • ✔️ Learn about Buddhism and spirituality at the Big Buddha, a landmark with 360-degree views of the island.
  • ✔️ A holiday to Phuket isn’t complete without a speedboat trip to Phi Phi Island… it’ll look great on your Instagram.

 Survival Thai Tips

  • 📝 Hi: sa-was-dee
  • 📝 Welcome: yin-dee-ton-rab
  • 📝 How are you?: sa-bai-dee-mai
  • 📝 Thank you: kob-kun-mak
  • 📝 Goodbye: la-kor
  • 📝 Excuse me: kor-tang-noi-ka 

A few more helpful tips

Tips Club Med Phuket

  • ✔️ To avoid getting sick on your holiday, make sure you always drink bottled water. Many hotels and resorts, like Club Med, will offer safe bottled drinking water in your room or at the bar. Also, don’t eat food cooked on the footpath.
  • ✔️ Don’t be afraid to barter with your taxi or tuk tuk driver. Feel free to negotiate a price to avoid getting overcharged. Your driver will often wait for you at your destination, so make sure you decide on a return-trip price.
  • ✔️ When visiting Buddhist temples, ditch the beach clothes and thongs, and opt for more modest clothing to respect local customs. 

There’s so much more to Thailand than Pad Thai and Satay Chicken – you really have to experience this incredible country and its beautiful people for yourself. Pack your bags and head for the seaside at Kata Bay.

Discover more about Club Med Phuket in the video below or by clicking here.

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All You Need to Know About a Holiday to Mauritius

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The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius is a tropical paradise, home to ancient volcanoes, lush green forests and a gorgeous coastline dotted with palm-fringed beaches. With a flat ocean for wakeboarders and waterskiers, and some of the most warm-hearted hosts you’ll ever come across, you’l never want to leave. Convinced? Yep, we thought so! Here's everything you need to know to plan your holiday to Mauritius.

Best time to go to Mauritius

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Diving and snorkelling is best from October to March, and from May to October, the surf is top-notch on pristine waters!

If you are really looking for the highest temperatures, you might want to go in December, January or February but keep in mind that it will be rainy season...

How to get to Mauritius

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It takes about 8 hours to fly from Perth to Mauritius. From Sydney and other Australian cities, you'll need to first catch a domestic flight through to Perth.

From Perth or Singapore, you can fly with Air Mauritius but if by any chance you find yourself in Kuala Lumpur, Air Asia can also provide you a direct flight!

Visas and Vaccinations

Australians don't require a visa for stays up to 3 months in Mauritius, as long as you have the appropriate travel documents and have an onward or return passage ticket.

Before you go, make sure to check up on your routine vaccinations. As with most island nations, your doctor will most likely also recommend Typhoid, Hepatitis, Rabies and Yellow Fever vaccinations. If in doubt, just check in with your GP before heading on holiday.

Your guide on what to do and see in Mauritius

Hit the water

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☼ Scuba divers from all over the world flock to Mauritius. On the island's south coast, Blue Bay offers ideal conditions for beginners. More experienced divers head to the north and east coasts for reefs, shipwrecks and amazing concentrations of tropical fish.

☼ The north western tip of the island (where Club Med La Pointe aux Canonniers is located) plays host to waterskiing and wakeboarding, thanks to smooth coastal waters formed by a natural lagoon.

☼ Trou aux Biches is family-friendly beach with a reef teeming with marine life – in other words, it’s the perfect spot for avid snorkelers!

☼ Still not wet enough? Tick off an experience on your bucket list and swim with dolphins in Bénitier Lagoon, kitesurf and windsurf at Le Morne, or parasail off Belle Mare.

Fun on dry land

☼ Hiking the island's hilly terrain is popular with the trek to the summit of Le Morne one of the most popular hikes.

Kids and grown-ups alike will love Casela Safari, a 14-hectare nature park home to elephants, rhinos and big cats. The popular Walking with Lions one-hour guided walking tour allows you to get astonishingly close to lions, tigers and cheetahs.

☼ The island boasts some breathtaking golf courses overlooking the sea. Most courses are located within the island's resorts, including near Club Med Albion Villas.

Discover an exotic melting-pot

☼ Port-Louis, that most people know as 'Por Lowee' is Mauritius capital and the first stop you should make on your cultural tour. The diverse cultures of Mauritius can be found everywhere, especially when you gaze over churches, mosques, and Indian temples from the citadel. Most of them are also open to visitors so feel free to step inside, while respecting the local customs!

☼ The Chamarel Village is also a local gem that you must visit. In the midst of the jungle, you will find one of the finest Mauritian Rhum distillery and local coffee plantations. The cherry on the cake? Iconic natural wonders like the Seven Colored Earths or the Chamarel Falls, are also located in this small village of 700.

Must-see local festivals. The Mauritian melting-pot also allows you to enjoy several celebrations, from different religions and influences all year round. If you have the opportunity to be there in November, you will see the Muslim celebration of the Goons, the Hindu's lights for Diwali and the rythmic Festival Kreol to name a few!

What to eat in Mauritius

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With influences from Africa, France, India and China, the cuisine of Mauritius is a delicious, spice-laden journey of unique flavours. Must-try dishes include:

🍜 Fish Vindaye: fish preserved with spices and served with rice, dhal and pickles.

🍜  Octopus Curry: Mauritian curries differ from their Indian counterparts by including unusual meat and seafoods - octopus is a favourite

🍜  Dholl Puris: the island's national dish of a flatbread topped with yellow split peas.

Before you plan your Mauritius getaway...

A few more helpful tips from locals

✔️  Unlike Oz, Mauritius is pleasingly free of venomous reptiles or dangerous animals. The only things to worry about are a few feisty sea creatures like stonefish – just mind where you are stepping.

✔️  Falling asleep under a coconut tree might be the quintessential tropical paradise activity – but beware, sometimes coconuts fall, and you don't want to be underneath when that happens!

✔️  If you want to take the extended family on a holiday in Mauritius, renting a villa will allow you and your loved ones the chance to soak up the sun for that little bit longer.

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Quite simply put, Mauritius equals tropical bliss. Whether for fun and adventure on land or on water, whether you want an adrenaline rush every day, or whether you want to simply lie back and relax in paradise, Mauritius literally has it all.

Discover all our Club Med resorts in Mauritius here, or start by watching a video of Club Med La Plantation d'Albion below:

All You Need to Know About a Holiday to Cherating Beach, Malaysia

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Craving an escape to nature? Cherating Beach ticks all the boxes with warm water, tropical rainforests and wildlife at every turn. Straddling Malaysia’s east coast, Cherating Beach’s lush jungles and secluded beaches make it the ideal holiday for couples and families.

So if you’re planning a holiday to Cherating Beach, here’s everything you need to get your Malaysian jungle experience underway…

Best time to visit Malaysia

Cherating Beach is hot, humid and sunny for the majority of the year, with temperatures ranging between 22 and a balmy 32 degrees. Monsoon season is between November and February, but Malaysia’s east coast is generally drier than the rest of the peninsula.

How to get there

Fly direct from Sydney to Singapore on Singapore Airlines and connect on Firefly to Kuantan, or fly Malaysia Airlines to Kuala Lumpur then connect on to Kuantan. From there, it’s an easy 45-minute drive to Cherating Beach.

If you’re the road-tripping type, Cherating Beach is less than three hours by road from Kuala Lumpur.

Visas and Vaccinations

Make sure everyone has had your routine vaccinations for Mumps, Measles and Rubella, as well as Diphtheria. While it’s not required, check with your doctor if you should also get shots for Typhoid and Hepatitis A.

Aside from that, just hop on the plane! Aussies and Kiwis can stay in Malaysia for up to 3 months without a visa, as long as your passport has at least 6 months validity.

Your guide on what to see and do in Cherating Beach

The Malaysian jungle is filled with endless adventures, and Cherating Beach is no exception! Explore this incredible part of the world in an almost endless number of ways…

Get back to nature

Visit the Turtle Sanctuary and release turtle hatchlings into the sea

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Go on a magical firefly excursion on the Cherating River, and learn how and why these mysterious glowing beetles communicate using light

Discover the Cherating Mangroves with an hour boat ride through this natural haven

Pick a sunbed and relax on one of the many private beaches! Three are located just outside Club Med Cherating Beach, and stretch over four kilometres

Get your hiking boots for a jungle adventure trek

Get your blood pumping

Get some height and climb the treetop adventure circuit in the jungle

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Soar with the monkeys on the flying trapeze in the heart of the forest

Grab a kayak or boat and venture out onto the clear waters of Cherating Beach

Learn from the locals

Visit Kuantan, the east coast’s largest city, located 30km south of Cherating Beach

Take a trip to the nearby traditional villages to experience the culture and meet the locals

A few more helpful tips before you go to Cherating Beach

✔️ The monkeys are adorable, but don’t get too comfortable! You’ll find monkeys at every corner of the jungle, and they’re a sneaky bunch. Leave your luggage unattended or your food lying out, and you can be assured before long you’ll have a group of monkey friends.

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✔️ The turtle sanctuary is closed on Mondays so plan ahead. The sanctuary is just 5 minutes from Cherating Beach, so it’s easy to get there – if you’re keen to release some hatchlings it’s always best to call ahead to ensure you get a spot.

✔️ Bring plenty of sunscreen and mozzie repellant. With such tropical temperatures, the sun can be a scorcher!

See you on the beach! ☀🌴

Discover more about Club Med Cherating Beach in the video below, or by clicking here.

All You Need To Know About A Holiday to Bintan Island

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Secluded beaches, raw nature and beautiful jungle… nope, you’re not dreaming. Bintan Island, just a short ferry ride from Singapore, has all of these things – and none of the crowds. Once a pirate’s island, Bintan Island is now a treasure trove of its own.

Best time to go to Bintan Island

For the best weather, venture to Bintan Island in the dry season from March – October.  We recommend sticking around for the Tanjung Pinang International Dragon Boat Festival in October!

How to get there

The easiest way to reach Bintan is via Singapore, which is only 8 hours from Sydney and 5 hours from Perth. Look for all-inclusive flights with Singapore Airlines and Qantas, or low-cost flights with Jetstar and Scoot. Once you’re in Singapore, Bintan Island is a short 50-minute ferry ride away. Too easy.

Visa and Vaccinations

Bintan Island is part of Indonesia, which means Aussie tourists won’t require a visa to visit Indonesia for less than 30 days.

Also, while it’s not a necessity, it’s a good idea to check up on your shots: Tetnus and Diptheria, Hepatitis A and B. At Club Med, Kids Clubs also require proof of immunisation for the little ones so make sure to get a certificate before heading off.

Your guide on what to do in Bintan Island

Whether you’re looking to rejuvenate, nourish, and refresh your body and mind, or to get active, Bintan Island literally has it all.

Here are our picks:

Rejuvenate and unwind

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☼ Lie alongside pristine sandy shores under the warmth of the tropical sun

☼ Enlighten your mind, body and spirit with sunset yoga by the ocean

☼ Refresh with a fresh juice bar, or daily selections of vibrant tropical fruits

☼ Enjoy a serene couple’s massage at a spa in the clifftops or a facial all to yourself.

Have an active experience under the sun

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☼ Tee-off at the Ria Bintan, Bintan Island’s award-winning golf course just five minutes away from Club Med Bintan Island. With panoramic ocean views and spectacular greens atop ocean cliffs, its no wonder Ria Bintan is one of Asia’s best golf courses

☼ Soar through the air on a flying trapeze by the ocean at twilight. Perfection!

☼ Paddle a kayak out to sea, or glide over the waves on a windsurf

☼ Strap on a snorkel and explore the vibrant life beneath the waves

Extend your trip with a stopover in Singapore

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Located only 50 minutes ferry from Singapore, we recommend anyone visiting Bintan Island spend a few days exploring this vibrant city. Lost in the wonder of the big smoke? Check out our top picks:

☼ Take the family on the ride o their life at Universal Studios on Sentosa Island

☼ Get up close and personal with the animals at Singapore Zoo

☼ Enjoy a drink and the evening laser show at the iconic Marina Bay Sands ☼ Enlighten yourself on a spiritual visit to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

☼ A visit to Gardens by the Bay is a botanical experience like no other. This one’s a must do!

A few helpful tips before your trip…

✔️ Check your passport. Since you’ll need to get off your plane in Singapore, make sure your passport has at least 6 months validity! ✔️ Bintan Island is one hour away from Singapore…and one hour behind. Make sure to set back your watches appropriately! ✔️ Construction on an international airport will begin from 2017, and the island will become more accessible from then – so make sure you get in now! ✔️ Ferry timetables are available online and most of them line up nicely with flight arrivals. Keep up-to-date online at the Tanah Merah Ferry website.

A pirate’s life for me?

Bintan Island truly is an ideal wellness escape just a stone’s throw from Singapore, and makes for the perfect place to restore and refresh your body and mind. Plus, it’s still one of Asia’s best-kept secrets,making it the perfect place to recharge your batteries – without the crowds.

Discover more about this amazing holiday destination on the Club Med website.

All You Need to Know About a Holiday to Bali, Indonesia

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Towering coconut palms and long, sandy beaches under the warm tropical sun… it’s no wonder Bali is one of Australia’s favourite holiday destinations. Bali has a rich cultural and spiritual history, with fragrant foods, temples and traditional festivals just waiting to be discovered.Sound like a dream? It definitely is. If you’re planning a holiday to Bali, here’s everything you need to know about this tropical paradise…

Best time to go to Bali

Depends on what you’re after! May – July are the peak months of dry season. If you’re a surfer, catch the best waves between April – October, and if you’re looking for culture, don’t miss the Nyepi Festival in March or the Galungan Festival in February.

How to get there

Bali is only a 6 hour flight from Sydney or a 4 hour flight from Perth. Virgin, Jetstar and Garuda all fly direct.

Visas and Vaccinations

We have some good news: Australian tourists no longer require a visa to visit Bali for less than 30 days. And while it’s not required, it’s recommended you check up on your shots: Tetnus and Diptheria, Hepatitis A and B. It’s important to note that some Club Med Kids Clubs will ask for proof of immunization for the little ones!

Your guide on what to do and see in Bali

One of the best things about a holiday to Bali is immersing yourself in the rich culture, and making the most of beautiful surroundings. From surfing the seas to savasana in yoga, we’ve got our top picks below.

Embrace local traditions

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✔️ Take a lesson in Bahasa, the official language of Indonesia

✔️ Participate in a traditional Balinese tea ceremony

✔️ Learn how to create delectable delicacies such as lawar or bebek betutu at a Balinese cooking class.

Chase your adrenaline

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✔️ Soar through the air on a flying trapeze amongst the palms!

✔️ Enjoy a competitive match of beach volleyball on the sandy shores of Nusa Dua.

✔️ Try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding or windsurfing alongside pristine shores

✔️ Venture to UIuwatu or Padang Padang to experience the very best swells Bali has to offer – surf on waves of up to 12 ft!

Embark on an adventure

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✔️ Escape to the Uluwatu Temple to uncover beautifully crafted Balinese architecture and spirituality, or watch the sun set from a cliff towering above the seas

✔️ Visit world-heritage listed Borobudur and experience Buddhist spirituality and history first-hand ✔️ Take the plunge and feel the thrill of white water rafting down the Ayung River and through the dense Balinese jungle.

A few more helpful tips before your trip to Bali…

  • Wild animals look cute, but be wary! Not only will wild monkeys try to steal your food, but they might get in to your luggage too. Keep a lookout for these little critters and take photos, but keep your distance.

  • Rainy season doesn’t mean constant downpours. While the weather is out of anyone’s control, often rain is limited to a few brief spells rather than a constant downpour.

  • Haggling is okay for products and services but save it for markets and stores. Most international resorts and hotels in Bali, including Club Med Bali, have fixed rates within the resort.

Survival Bahasa – Basic words you need to know

Good morning: selamat pagi Good afternoon: selamat sore Good evening: selamat malam Hi, how are you? Hi, apa kabar? I’m from Australia. Saya dari Australia. Thank you! Terima kasih Please: tolong

Really, there’s something for everyone in Bali. Whether you’re looking for exhilarating experiences, a cultural awakening, or simply somewhere to laze by the pool, you really can’t go wrong.

Take the kids, take a partner, or bring all your friends; you’ll have a ball under the Balinese sun!

Discover more about Club Med Bali in the video below, or by clicking here.