November 24, 2022 – 21:28 GMT
A review of a Club Med family summer holiday at La Palmyre, France – details on the resort’s activities, kids’ clubs, food and more
I’ve always wanted to try a Club Med holiday; I’d heard so much about them… the amazing food, brilliant choice of activities, non-stop fun, and of course, the all-important kids’ club.
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Club Med is known for offering top-level all-inclusive getaways that also give parents a break with their excellent childcare provision on site, so I was keen to see this myself. We chose France’s La Palmyre resort for its proximity to the UK, as well as its picturesque beachside location on the Atlantic – known for great waves!
We had the best family holiday at Club Med
Found on the west coast of France between La Rochelle and Bordeaux, the resort is easily drivable from the UK with a ferry or channel tunnel crossing, although we opted to fly this time, travelling from London Heathrow to Bordeaux and getting a transfer to La Palmyre.
Arriving at the stunning resort nestled in the pretty La Coubre pine forest, we received a warm welcome from the Club Med staff, who quickly offered us a delicious mocktail and showed us around. All guests are given a wristband to wear during their stay which cleverly opens various gates around the resort.
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The main pool at La Palmyre
Walking into the buzzing pool area we were met by a happy scene of both adults and children swimming, music playing in the background and the chilled vibe of guests lazing around on sun loungers. Yes, I thought, I belong here. Our two children, Brandon and Zara, couldn’t wait to jump in the pool and explore the resort.
We stayed in one of La Palmyre’s fantastic Golf Villas, which has three bedrooms, a kitchen, lounge and its own private garden – so spacious for holiday accommodation. The décor was chic and modern, and our kids loved having their own bathroom (we loved this too!).
The downstairs of our villa
Housekeeping came every day – such a treat – so we were always met with a clean and tidy villa when we returned in the afternoon.
There is a selection of different sized villas in the resort to suit various family sizes and budgets. You can either be near the action at the centre of the resort or a little further out if quiet is more your thing.
Despite our villa being wonderful, we found we were only there to sleep and change as there was so much going on at the resort, we didn’t want to miss out!
One of the bedrooms
Where do I start? Activities ARE Club Med – we were honestly amazed how much there was to do and how fun and dedicated the staff were, they really made the holiday. The team clearly love what they do and it shows.
When you arrive at the resort you’re given access to an activity timetable on the Club Med app on your phone. It’s brilliant being able to plan your day.
There’s something for everyone: tennis lessons, cycling tours, sailing courses, ping pong competitions, volleyball, water polo, archery, power walks, aquagym in the pool, an array of workout classes in the fitness studio.
My husband and son had a blast playing bubble soccer
Our son, who’s 11, went from sport to sport all day long – we barely saw him! It was great seeing him so enthralled with the activities though, and there’s a real feeling of safety within the resort which is all gated.
We all had a go at tennis and archery; my husband loved the sailing at the nearby water sports centre, while I laughed so much attempting the HIIT workout session on a floating board in the pool. Of course, the kids swam by taking photos of me falling off!
There are also plenty of excursions on offer to the local area should you fancy a day out – the kids will love a visit to the nearby La Palmyre Zoo.
The Spa at Palmyre
Remember to make time to visit the resort’s Payot Spa. I had an ultra-relaxing body brushing treatment to exfoliate my skin, followed by a massage and facial and can highly recommend them. The best bit… when you come out of the salon you are still on holiday.
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The kids’ club
We loved spending family time together at La Palmyre – from beach days (the golden sand is stunning and long beach strolls are a must) to fun at the pool and trying various activities together.
But as all parents know, sometimes you need a break, so into the kids’ club our two went, and off we went to the adults-only pool for a peaceful few hours. Total bliss!
The adults-only pool
The kids’ clubs are divided into three age groups: Baby Club Med (age four to 23 months), Petit Club Med (aged two and three), Mini Club Med (four to 10 years) and Junior Club Med (11-13 years and 14-17 years).
Baby Club Med and Petit Club Med can go on adventures in the pine groves and on the beach, learning about nature, while children at Mini Club Med can try new activities such as archery, tennis lessons or mountain biking in the forest or on the trails from eight years upwards.
The stunning beach at La Palmyre
Junior Club Med is all about action with a plethora of activities to try and new friends to make. Teens aged 11 and up can also use the resort’s spa.
A big draw of the kids’ club is that they offer an evening service between 7-9pm should you want to go for a kids-free dinner or drink as a couple or adult group. We didn’t book this as we found our children were happy running around with their new holiday friends but it’s definitely a big plus for guests with younger kids.
The food and drink
One word: wow! The food and drink at Club Med La Palmyre were out of this world. We definitely felt like we spent the whole holiday eating, as with such an amazing buffet three times a day – plus mid-afternoon cakes by the pool – it was hard to say no!
The resort has two restaurants: the main restaurant The Atlantic, which is divided into six areas with different ambiances, including the terrace area, and La Belle Epoque.
The delicious desserts
We really were spoilt for choice with the food on offer – everything from prawns, oysters and steak to delicious salads and cheese boards. The children were thrilled with the burgers, pizza, pasta bars and let’s just say the dessert section and ice cream station were impossible to ignore. House beer and wine were included in the holiday.
Halfway through our holiday, we made friends with another family who were great fun and we ate many of our meals with them, which we all loved and made happy memories together. Hello Alex, Rory, Elspeth, Rowan and Hamish!
Our kids with their new friends
The resort has a second restaurant called La Belle Epoque with a stunning view of the sea which is another option for your meals. It offers a smaller buffet but the quality of the food was sublime and the chic lounge vibe made for a relaxing visit. I could have stayed in there all day!
The Phare is the resort’s main bar which overlooks the pool area and was a regular stop for our cocktails and mocktails throughout our stay. The children loved wandering up to the bar ordering their mocktail with friends.
The Phare bar
First of all, I have to point out that La Palmyre has different dress codes for each evening of your holiday – and it’s so much fun. My daughter and I got VERY into this.
The themes were pretty easy and we had most of the clothes in our luggage already: sporty chic, boho, beach stripes, elegant. It was so great seeing everyone dress in the theme for dinner, a really fun atmosphere.
The four of us enjoying an early-evening drink
Early evening typically saw us and new friends having an aperitif on the bar terrace with a band playing in the background. Our son would be off playing ping pong and our daughter doing an activity like bracelet making nearby. Honestly, the place is so well organised.
Then we’d be off to dinner and eat until we could eat no more. The evening entertainment would start at 9pm in the theatre with fantastic shows featuring the resort’s staff doing everything from dancing and circus skills to magic and sketches.
I’d liken Club Med to Ibiza for families… as soon as the show had finished, the staff got everyone up and dancing and took the party outside where we’d all follow their dance routines to popular French songs (by the end of the holiday we knew the steps off by heart!).
Elspeth and Zara enjoying the evening show
Then the party would move to the bar for more dancing. We rarely went to bed before 11pm and for once in their lives our kids slept late in the mornings, hurrah. We visited the resort in the last week of August which meant the end of season pool party – and what a party.
There were bouncy castle slides into the pool, hundreds of plastic balls thrown into the pool, DJs and dancing by the sun loungers and a huge amount of fun had by everyone. Take us back!
Would we recommend a Club Med break? Without a doubt.
Prices for a seven-night all-inclusive stay at Club Med La Palmyre Atlantique throughout summer 2023 start from £1,199 per adult (based on double occupancy) without flights. To book, visit clubmed.co.uk or call 03453 676767