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“awesome value and superb food!”

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Club Med Columbus Isle
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Salvador
Certificate of Excellence
petd0c
Level Contributor
53 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“awesome value and superb food!”
Reviewed 5 May 2014

I'll preface this review by saying this was our first time at any Club Med so I won't be able to compare to other Club Meds. If you are a Club Med newbie like me, let me say this: you'll need to "drink the kool aid" to get into it- but do it! We had a ball! Club Med is a bit of a meld between an 80's adult summer camp experience and all inclusive resort. What impressed us about this experience was how hard-working the GO's are (these guys are the best part of the experience!), how friendly everyone is, how much they love their group activities and parties and how silly/hokie/charming and surprisingly addicting the evening shows are. Once we figured out that sitting at tables for more than 2 (it was just my husband and myself on this trip) created opportunities to meet people and talk with GOs, we felt like part of the family. 3/4ths of the guests are french-speaking at this resort so the staff communicates mostly in French and while they do translate some of what they are saying into English at the shows and while announcing games etc, they don't translate all of it. Dont worry, you'll figure it all out.

Highlights of this resort: 1)The food!! Wow! Ive never had better food at an all inclusive! Ive been to all-inclusives where there are 5 or 6 restaurants. Here there are 2. Believe me, you won't miss having 5 restaurants when the variety and quality of the food is so excellent. A special shout out to Phillipe, the pastry chef. The breads and pastries are amazing. Philippe also loves to sing at the evening shows. Gotta say its fun to see him up there in his chef's hat rocking the house...and so endearing. I overheard him saying that he feels like his gift to give all of the guests is his cooking and his voice. So sweet! 2) the water sports: hats off to the sailing crew (thanks Pierce, Amanda and the rest), the snorkeling (2 excursions a day,plenty of variety of places to go), the water skiing, etc. Amazing amount of things to do that are included at this resort. 3) The beach: beautiful water, sand etc. 4) the excursion to High Cay. Worth it! I'll write a separate review under "Things to do" but that was a lot of fun and the lobster picnic was great. 5) the friendliness and personal touch every guest feels. This resort makes you feel like you are part of their family. You are greeted before you get on the plane at the airport, when you step off at the Bahamas (Pokine's famous "welcome to home" statement to every guest as they check through customs) and when you get off the plane at the end of your vacation at the Fort Lauderdale airport to help you connect to your next flight. At every step, they make you feel like one of them. The organization was impressive. If all Club Meds are this way, I see why people keep coming back.

I do want to comment on some things that desperately need improvement: 1) the grounds and facilities. They REALLY, REALLY need to renovate. This place looks like nothing has changed much since the 80's. You can overlook most of this because you're having a great time, but its going to need a major overhaul. They say a renovation is occurring this fall but they are only closing for 6 weeks and to do it right they probably need to close for a year and really renovate. 2) The rooms: Everything is getting pretty dang old. Specifically the bathrooms. We had the deluxe sea view, second floor room (highest quality room type possible at this resort) and the shower was pretty moldy and bad..shower curtain, old tiles, old tired fixtures. The furniture on the deck is cheap and old. The bed was comfortable but the daybed was very tired and stained from many wet bathing suit clad bottoms sitting on it and who knows what else. It just needs major updating. Things are kind of just falling apart. Having said that our housekeeper did a great job keeping everything clean and refreshed. They say you don't come to Club Med for the rooms- this is true.

Summary:
We had a really good time. Met lovely people, enjoyed this resort. The value is tremendous. I've been to comparably priced all inclusives with nicer pools, MUCH nicer rooms and facilities. But where this resort really shines is its people, its personal touch, its food, the water sports, the location, the beach and feeling like you are part of the family. We would definitely consider coming back. I would book again EVERY year if I knew they were renovating the rooms!!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank petd0c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Belgium
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 May 2014

Together with my parents I went to Columbus Isle in the beginning of April. We already have done a few Club Meds, but this was our first stay in Columbus Isle.

The first days the weather wasn't that nice, luckily this turned and at the end of our stay (when we almost had to leave) sun was shining every day.
The LOCATION is great: the beach is very nice and the sea and nature are just beautiful. The domain is also very big, so it was always very quiet and calm.
The ROOMS were fantastic: we booked for a normal club med room but we got a deluxe room with sea sight, which was of course, great. (: So I don’t have any bad words about the room that was very large, clean and nice.
When dieting, I recommend you not to go to the Columbus isle because the FOOD is just delicious. There was a great variety and the theme-evenings were amazing.
Like in every Club Med there were a lot of SPORTS you could practice. I mostly went sailing or wind surfing (wherefore I thank the GO’s Mamadou and Bouba who were great teachers!). I also practiced Pilates and yoga (at sunset: FANTASTIC) whit the very friendly GO Lola. The snorkeling was also great. We already did a lot of snorkeling around the world, but this was the best place so fair. The only thing I kind of disliked was the lack of an archery centre. It was the first time of all the clubs we did, we couldn’t practice it. But if you don’t have any intentions to do archery, it’s not a disadvantage.

However this was a great Club, it certainly wasn’t the best one we did. The excursions left us a bit disappointed because we had expected more from them and like some already said: the club is aging and definitely need some renovations.
Because we went in a period when the French children are still on school (period: Springs breaks for the USA, Easter holidays for Belgium), there weren’t a lot of teenagers, just some from the USA. I am seventeen and felt a bit lonely during this holiday. There wasn’t any animation for us and there was just no initiative from the GO’s to bring us together. I also had –for the first- the feeling that there wasn’t any cohesion between most of GO’s. I don’t know if this is a fact or if it was just my feeling…

Would I come back? No, but it still is a great Club with and I had –on my own – a lot of fun there.

P.S. Just watch out for sand fleas. There was a warning on the room but we did not take it very serious. Finally, four days later and two legs full of sand flea bites: we did.

Room Tip: If you look for silence and serenity, ask for rooms nearby the diving centre!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Pauline D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Rafael, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 April 2014

I stayed at this Club Med Columbus Isle 20 years ago. It was spectacular in every way then. I returned, with my husband and 11 year old son, for the week before Easter, April 12-19.
The club is showing its age, but I am still giving it 5 stars because there is no where else in the Bahamas that you will find such a beautiful beach, great food, tons of sports and comfortable rooms right on the beach without paying at least twice the price.

We especially enjoyed the water sports and say thank you to Pierce, Amanda, Amadou, and Bouba for all their help. The snorkeling was fantastic and Seafari did a great job. A special thanks also to Terrell, Anton, and Tamaro at Seafari.

As far as the sand fleas, I got a few bites, but they could have been from mosquitos. I do think they need more locations for exchanging your beach towel. They only have one location, behind the restaurant, which is a long way from the beach. They should add towel exchanges at the Sailing Center and near the Beach Bar. We spent a lot of time dragging around wet, sandy towels.

Also, I wish there had been more organized activities for kids. It is not a Family club and does not have any mini clubs for kids. But I was told when I booked our trip, that over Easter vacation when there are lots of kids, that they would have a teen club for 11 years and older. During the summer, there is a teen club.

The club is planning renovations in the Fall and is adding 120 luxury suites, 3 stories tall, that will be large enough for families. I hope they are able to maintain that character of the resort with its colorful, Bahamian architecture. I wish the resort would stay the same but some big changes are coming.

Room Tip: Get the upstairs Ocean-view club rooms. They are worth every extra dollar. Don't get the Classic...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Carolyn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ny
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2014

Love, love Columbus' beach! 2nd visit and still beautiful. Go if you love crystal clear beach water and soft sand. I love the privacy at the beach and intimacy of club. This is one of the last clubs that still has the we are all equal feel and you see people you have met often during your stay. The GO's were attentive and doing their jobs. Glad to see they were not looking at their phones constantly as has been my experience at other clubs.

Food was good, typical fare for Club Med. The salads were yummy and a special shout out to the pizza guy, YUM! I don't go to Club Med to eat pizza but being a New Yorker this was good pizza. They didn't have a good assortment of cheeses like other clubs and they changed to coffee pods so no fresh espresso here. : (

All of the activities were good and well run. I took it easy this vacation but I enjoyed the paddling everyday as long as the currents weren't too strong, yoga and aqua gym were also fun. I heard the tennis GO's were great too.

The club needs some renovating but it was clean. I don't go to club med to hang out in my room.

It was great seeing Christian there from Ixtapa. That was a nice surprise he has great energy and knows how to get a party started! Hoping our paths cross again.

Room Tip: If you like tennis then ask for a room in 500's. It is near courts.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank evriv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manalapan, New Jersey
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014

Just spent a week at Columbus Isle with my family. @ adults and three children ages 17,14,10. The beach at the resort is probably the best you will ever see. What makes this resort great is the Go's that are there. They are all fantastic Say hello to Pierce on the sailing team along with Gary who works in finance. The interaction with the guests with all the GO's are amazing. My kids were so interested in their stories and experiences. The beach and food at the resort are top shelf. You don't have to fight for a spot on the beach plenty of room. The Chef of the village JC mainly speaks French but does make an effort to speak with the English speaking guests. This guy is everywhere and works hard at making sure all are satisfied. The resort is literally walking distance form the airport so when you get there don't wait for the bus just walk there.

We did have an issue with the room situation. We were supposed to have two rooms next to each other but this was not the case. Upon arrival we went to the front desk to rectify the issue but it was difficult. They had no record of this even though I checked several times before we left that the rooms would be next to each other. After several trips to the front desk to explain the story it still was not fixed. They kept writing notes on scrap paper, not sure why they don't have a better system. They could have easily put us next to each other since the resort empties and fills at the same time since planes come once per week. Finally they wore us out and I gave up. The last time they gave me some excuse why we could not be put together which made no sense. The classic rooms we had were much like a college dorm room very basic with a 13" TV that barely works and AC that does not work that great. Club med is doing a huge renovation which is much needed here.

Luckily during Easter break there are a lot of kids there usually this resort has very few kids. My children made many friends and had a great time. They do however need more activities going on during the day. If you want a laid back vacation this is the place a little boring though. Take the snorkeling trip it is great you will see all sorts of fish and sea turtles.

I would probably choose somewhere else not sure if the price of the resort is really worth it but we did mange to have a great vacation despite the room situation which could have been fixed. The beach is amazing!!

Room Tip: Get your rooms details in writing before you arrive, they seem to blame problems on the Club Med tra...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mvc249005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
191 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2014

We have been to many Club Meds (we go once a year) and Colombus Isle was the best experience so far. Better than Punta Cana and Cancun and much better than Florida.
Though we have 2 kids (13 and 10) and though there is no Kids Club, we all enjoyed it very much.
Beach: spectacular in all key rspects. Magnificent beach, white sand, turkoise blue water. Probably the best possible beach area that you can find. Some people mentionned insects on the beach, well we did not see any.
Food: excellent and varied. Slightly better than Punta Cana which is very good as well.
Snorkling: also very good and well organized. We did see many colorful fishes at various sites. Trip to sites is included (via boats).
Excursions: mediocre. We rented bikes for 3 hours and there is not much to see around. Some people were not pleased with another excursion on the island so we did not do it.
Rooms: we had a non renovated room. It was OK but not spectacular. Size was good though.
Pool area: nice though the pool is not heated. The restaurant close to the pool is great in terms of location.
Tennis: excellent. There are 8 or 9 courts. Lots of availability at all times.
Bars: very good.
Sailing: excelent. They have lots of boats (free) and the sailing site isnextensive and great.

Overall, a great experience. Magnificent beach and fantastic sailing and very good snorkling.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the beach are great and second floor is better for the view.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 367PierreA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Evanston, Illinois, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2014

I'm trying to figure out who writes the glowing 4-5 star reviews. Maybe they get a good rate on return-trips? First, I've never tried Club Med before, so maybe it's just the whole concept that isn't for my family. Beyond the whole Club Med philosophy, here are a few basic problems. The staff was not friendly or helpful. One young man, out of everyone, helped us with an issue. Otherwise, I'd go so far as to say reception and gift shop workers were downright rude. Since this is a beach resort, meaning guests trail sand into their rooms, I assumed there would be linen service but no, the beds were simply remade every morning, so we came back to our old sandy sheets. That struck me as odd especially with the sand-flea problem. Our room actually smelled like urine, the screen door to patio was broken, and the floor was slimy. Also we walked FAR to get to food, drinks, pool, reception. Not like a walk is a "bad" thing - but there's no snack/drink area nearby, so when we went to the beach, all we had was a complimentary bottle of water (that for the record did not taste like bottled water, if you get my hint). The food tasted great - buffet style. However it's a little weird to see the same coconut macaroons, fruit salad, cheese & turkey, to name just a few, re-appear meal after meal. The clientele is 80-90% French or French Canadian. The shows are in French, staff addressed us in French, and the ring-leader made no effort to communicate anything in "understandable" English. When the weather was bad (which it was) there was nothing to do but hang out in our room, which had a teeny TV (I get it, we're supposed to stay out of our room and enjoy Club Med!) or for another $50 PER PERSON we could sign up for internet use. I have in fact, traveled all over the world, and while this was a pretty good deal, I thought of the cliche, "you get what you pay for" and realized we definitely got what we paid for...Not Much.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Marfrank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Med Columbus Isle

Property: Club Med Columbus Isle
Address: Cockburn Town, San Salvador
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > Out Islands > San Salvador
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Salvador
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Club Med Columbus Isle 4*
Number of rooms: 216
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the refinement of the Bahamas during your stay at Columbus Isle. The heavenly all-inclusive resort of Columbus Isle is a paradise for diving and honeymoon vacations. Travel to Club Med Columbus Isle as a couple and enjoy a carefree all-inclusive vacation in this secluded resort on the Caribbean Sea. Indulge in a massage* by the ocean or relax by the pristine beach. As one of the top 5 wall diving destinations in the Caribbean, this luxurious hideaway is also the best luxury resort for couples. This environmentally-friendly resort also offers a wide range of activities and sports for adults. No matter what your travel expectations are, you'll find the amenities at Columbus Isle to be more refined than anywhere else: premium oceanfront accommodations, oceanfront massage* palapas, and scuba diving* in one of the best diving spot worldwide. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Med Columbus Isle Hotel San Salvador
Club Med San Salvador
San Salvador Club Med
Columbus Isle Club Med
Club Med Columbus Isle Bahamas/San Salvador

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