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“Paradise Found”

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Club Med Columbus Isle
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Salvador
Certificate of Excellence
Level 5 Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Paradise Found”
Reviewed 26 May 2014

We have been going to Club Med for 25 years, and whenever we ask the G.O's & G.M's where to go snorkeling next, they all say Coulmbus Isle. Now we know why! The crystal clear water of the carribbean is hard to beat in regards all the varities of sea life you will encounter. The reefs are in great shape, the abundance of sea fans of all colors, astounding. We have never seen bigger Parrotfish than here in the Bahamas, and we have snorkeled Club Med all over the world.
The snorkel/dive boat leaves twice a day, once at 10:30 & again at 3:00. They always take you to a different site, Coral Gardens was my favorite, and I knew that when we went to Jacksons Paradise, we were going to work for the spotted rays, but the currant was not out of control. Because of the focus of the trtip was snorkeling , we stayed down towards the dive center in room 415. If you can, spend the extra to be on the second floor, the views are really great and it's a bit more quiet than if you were at the other end of the resort. I did walk one day to the other side and the views are awesome, and again if your focus was tennis/windsurfing you might want to be down at that end.
So many of the reviews before we left talked about the condition of the resort, and that is was in need of a refresh. We found this not to be the case. Our room could have not been more beautiful, everything was spotless due to the diligence of Nathalee & Diane who came and gave us fresh towels in the evenig and bid us a good night. While we did not go on many of the excursions, we did go on the one to Hay Cay. A brilliant day, and can not recomend enough. Make sure to book a reservation at the specialty restaurant, very romantic out on the balcony

Room Tip: Go for the second floor rooms Rooms down by the dive center are quieter
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank WorldTicos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (284)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 May 2014

The stay was very nice , so as most reviews say, nice beach , good food ,

We came for tennis and that was indeed very good !!! thanks Go's .
The rooms needed some paint and restyling, be ware of sandflies.

If you book your holyday is Europe with club med, be sure to check your flight, if your are booked
with XL airways ,thats is crap , no legspace !!! no Tv in front a few on the wall

Al by all was it a great trip

Room Tip: best is first floor and sea sight, see also that you are near your sports
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Eddymusic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joliet, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 May 2014

columbus island was awesome, food was great we were in a great room, transfer took two minutes. my wife loved water skiing, also snorkeling and especially sailing. she also had a great massage. great place to walk around the resort which is gorgeous. only thing did not like was someone asking her why she came to a french resort when she is an american. my wife replied this is a club med not a french club.air conditioning in room could be better.

Room Tip: room 517 was awesome. great view close to everything yet not too loud.air could be better for sleepi...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bgill1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2014

Club Med San Salvador offers excellent value for the price point (including airfare). Food is quality and delicious with a touch of French cuisine, activities are endless (numerous tennis courts and catamarans, water skiing, soccer, table tennis etc), ton of fun diving with a lot of sites to see and joyous staff. Rooms are adequate. Water is blue and beautiful. I am not an entertainment person but club med has really fun stuff at night including shows and dance clubs etc. Very few drawbacks - one biggie is the tiny flies that bite everybody. people literally have hundreds of bug bites all over their legs and feet. skin lotion helps as a deterrent and pure vodka takes away the itch instantaneously.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank t-dev-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandusky, Ohio, United States
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 May 2014

This was our first time to Club Med Columbus Isle but our second trip to a Club Med (Turquoise). we travelled the last week of April after spring break and it was a great trip. We are experienced AI travelers and did our homework before this trip. I dive so I knew about the diving but was hesitant about the rest of the activities and the caliber of the resort( I am well aware they are due for an upgrade this year).

Travel- Everyone has to fly through Fort Lauderdale to get the charter, through Spirit, to get to Columbus Isle. Fort Lauderdale airport is old and depressing and the Spirit counter help is pathetic as well. Club Med had a representative waiting for us and she was very helpful and had a great smile and attitude. The charter flight was delayed but we eventually made it to San Salvador. The airport is smaller than most houses but suffices for what it does. We chose to walk to the resort (5 min) and somehow we managed on our own to find our room and our luggage was already there.

Rooms- The rooms are old and in need of a remodel but I thought the room was much more pleasant than Turquoise. The room was large, clean, and the air worked! The bed was comfortable, shower worked fine and we were close to the dive shop (#306). The room was spotless every day and made up quickly and mopped every day as well. Kudos on the maid staff. It is a battle to get soft drinks in your room as no one says it is there job or wants to help you out. We don't drink coffee so a morning diet Coke is important. It would be nice if they would stock the fridge a little bit. We did tip the every so confident bartender Todd and he did arrange for a six pack of diet Coke in our room. After that, the second request went unanswered. Daily we would go to the bar by the dive shop, ask for two sodas for the next day, not a huge deal but an unnecessary hassle. The rooms are showing their age but remember you are on an island where supplies are only brought every two weeks. Overall the room was fine.

Grounds- Not the best kept grounds but are well appointed. The beach is the best beach I have ever been on and is free from rocks. Beautiful beach! The beach chairs are newer and it was comfortable to be out all day. As far as the sand fleas, we brought Repel 100 and it worked o.k. We did suffer some bites but not too bad. You can walk for a ways on the beach and not see another soul. Can't say enough how beautiful the beach is!

Food- Again, we are well travelled visiting many AIs and BY FAR, that was the best food we have ever had! We never went to the speciality restaurant as the buffet was different every night and the food quality was supurb! Hats off to the chef and his crew!

Drinks- I will take this from another review that the drink quality should match the food quality. Drink quality is fair at best as they use Bahamain liquors unless you ask for something a little better. It would be nice if they would get one American beer.

Diving- Seafari is the company that Club Med uses and I want to give my hats off to all the dive staff, instructors, Jean Paul, Stuart, and the rest. It is comforting knowing there is a Dive doctor on board all times and a chamber at the resort if necessary. I felt ill after the first dive and the doctor kept checking up on me making sure I was o.k. I skipped the second dive of the day and continued the second day and the rest of the week. The diving was incredible and the wall was beautiful. I came to see the Hammerheads and they were elusive all week not seeing one. I did see plenty of reef sharks though! Again, a great experience diving.

GOs- Here's where I will knock Club Med. I understand why they are there and they didn't push themselves on us like they did at Turquoise as my wife and I want to be left alone. If I want to talk to someone I will initiate the conversation. My theory of the GOs is that it is a big party for them. They eat very well, drink well, and party. I am under the feeling that guests should come first and not the GOs. Most AIs you will not see the staff eat or drink. The GOs are big fish in a little pond and that's about it. The real thanks and compliments should go to the locals that work at the hotel. They are hard workers and don't have the bloated GO attitude.

Overall, we will definitely go back. We did rent a scooter to see the Christopher Columbus Memorial but there is nothing else on the island. Great trip.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank Eric S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014

My husband, daughter, & I travelled to Columbus Isle the week before Easter. We had semi-low expectations of this resort because we knew it was older and we are used to nicer, more modern rooms, etc... We realized that since we were on the weekly charter flight from FLL, the people that were at the airport were the ones that we were going to be with the entire week and fly back to FLL the following Saturday.

We arrived @ Columbus Isle, walked out of the airport, got our wrist bands and keys, and saw the big yellow school bus we were about to board. Expectations got a little lower. Then we took the 2 minute ride (next time we'll walk!) to the resort. As we arrived in the theatre, the GO's were all clapping and welcoming us. They broke us off into groups to walk to our rooms. As we walked through the property, all we could think was 'let's just get through this week'. The buildings look old and the grounds are not kept up the way we are used to seeing on other islands we've been to. We kept saying to ourselves - we're gonna have FUN! (fingers crossed)

This was the 2nd Club Med we've been to (Punta Cana was the first) and when we were in PC, everyone kept talking about Columbus Isle, so we knew we wanted to check it out. The good news - we knew that Club Med had great food (even though there are only 2 restaurants). We thought we'd end up eating at the a la Carte restaurant more, but we only ate there once and realized that we liked the buffet much better. There is so much to choose from and the food really is AMAZING!

We also knew that the Club Med is set up so that you meet other people and the GO's. We met SO many great people in our week there and it truly does feel like you're one big happy family.

By the 2nd day, we were overlooking the outdated buildings and unmanicured grounds and focusing on the GORGEOUS beach, Beautiful water, delicious food, and great people! It ended up being such a GREAT VACATION and we will definitely be back!

Please take time to get to know the GO's! They really work so hard and are awesome! A few to mention (please forgive me if I forget you on this list):

Christian - FANTASTIC! He's JC's (Chief of Village) assistant. He won't be there long - he's leaving for Indonesia soon, so be sure to wish him luck. He deserves to be promoted to Chief, and when he does, we'll be sure to go to his resort to celebrate w/ him!

Pierce & Amanda (Water Sports) - Pierce taught my (10 yr old) daughter how to sail and she took us out sailing every day! He even came out to help us once when we were having a little bit of trouble getting back in, but instead of "rescuing" us, he just walked her through what to do. He was AWESOME!

Phillip - THE BREAD MAN! Love this guy! Always has a smile on his face and makes his bread w/ "music & love".

Steph - She is in charge of ordering all the food & drinks for the resort. Great personality and so sweet!

Marco - AWESOME CHEF!

Stuart - Dive shop...Texas guy w/ lots of tips and so nice!

Gabrielle & Catherine - Bartenders, they bust their butts and make amazing mojito's!

Aldo - Go to the beach bar at 2:15 each day for trivia! He is a riot and so much fun!

There are so many others, but every one of the GO's work so hard and you see them from the moment you get up and have breakfast w/ them until late at night working or in the shows, and then having fun at the beach bar/disco. They get 1 day off.

Some advice for Club Med:
- There really does need to be another towel stand to exchange towels closer to the pool or beach bar.
- The food is so good, but the bar has VERY low quality alcohol. Aristocrat - yuck! For the price you pay for all inclusive, it would be nice to have better quality w/out having to pay for it. You can get Grey Goose, however it's addt'l $.
- PLEASE renovate the rooms - I want to come back!
- And please take a little time to get rid of the dead palm trees and trim some of the bushes that are blocking walkways.

We rented a car one day so that we could check out the light house and the Christopher Columbus monument. Very easy to rent, just call the front desk and arrange it. We also took the High Cay excursion. This was so much fun and we had grilled lobsters on the most picturesque, beautiful beach I've ever seen...white sand, blue water, red umbrellas w/ our table so close to the water. It was amazing and SO good!!

Lastly, you'll see that the people at this resort are mostly either French Canadian, French, or American. Some of the French can be a bit rude - we experienced several rude ones - to the point where they won't even move to the side when you walk by them on the little sidewalk (and ran me off!) and taking over a chair or cabana that you are already sitting in.

So if you can overlook this and focus on the beauty and fun of this resort, you will have a GREAT time!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LuvProvo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014

First of all I have to say that it's my third time to this Club Med and that again I had a blast, back in the days I use to love this place as there was no Internet or Cell phone signal, it was the best way to disconnect. I now choose to shut down the cell phone and not use the Internet even if the resort now has access to wireless.
The place is simply amazing, the location, the beach everything is just perfect...even if the resort has aged over the years (note that they will renovate this resort in August) everything you need is there to have a good time.
The rooms are simple but clean (anyway we spend most of our times outside) the food is simply amazing, great buffet and the A La Carte restaurant is also a great experience, you could eat at the buffet all week and still be very satisfied with the menu.
I've been to this Club, with my parents, they loved it...went alone to relax and still manage to have a good time. Friendly staff will make your stay great.
I like the mix of Canadians, French and Americans on the resort...you meet great people over there!
If you have a chance go outside the Club and visit the island and the people, you'll find great people that will show you the little piece of paradise where they live.
Go see Géraldine at the Excursion desk right next to the pool, she will recommend you some of the great things to do...she's knows the island very well and the locals...it's always a must to discover the life outside of the resort...Géraldine knows the island and will be able to recommend something you will enjoy for sure!
Personally I strongly recommend the High Cay Excursion, great time including a meal of seafood on the beach on a private island...it's a full day thing and totally worth it.
Another thing you can buy is an hour or more of a jet ski rental, riding in these cristal clear water and visit the Iguana Island was super fun or you can experience your first gospel mass...no matter what you decide you'll have a great time.
Speak with locals, ask them about the island, they love it so much and will tell you everything about it...I Made great friends on the island over the years, there are just great.
I will definitely go back and hope you'll appreciate as much as I did everytime I went.
Please note that I like to travel worldwide and not especially in Club Med's or all inclusive resorts but there's a little something about this resort that makes me want to come back once in a while.
It's all about the view and location!

Room Tip: If you want a quiet spot, ask for a room close to the scuba diving center...the closer you are to th...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Benny_worldwide
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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