I just returned from a lovely week at la palmyre with my wife and 3 kids and parents. it is a wonderful family oriented club with lots of activities, above average food and very pleasant rooms, all set in a very nice beach on the southern atlantic coast of france.
arrival: we arrived at Bordeaux airport about a 2hour drive away. club med does not provide any transportation, you can either take the train to royan and then go by a 30Eu taxi or take a taxi from Bordeaux, we did the latter although it cost a whopping 200Eu. upon arrival we were greeted very nicely but the staff and shown to our rooms.
rooms: the rooms are actually semi detached bungalos. like little houses. we stayed in the family rooms (200s) which have 2 single beds up front, a door(!) and then bathroom, shower and parents room in the back. behind the bungalow is a small terrace although we never used it for anything except drying clothes. the rooms were clean, had adequate towels and amenities, tvs with usb ports. no airconditioning in the rooms, but none was called for when we were there at the hottest time of the year. the main issue with the rooms is mosquitoes. we were all bitten and the kids has tens of bites, bug spray didn't help. I think bug screens may have helped, but they get in through the doors too.
food: wow, lots of food pretty much all the time. the main restaurant has a massive buffet 3 times a day with nice themes and plenty of space. thereis also a sit down restaurant (included in the price), it is a little hard to get a reservation, but it is doable if you are persistent. in addition there are always drinks about and croissants and appetizers going on too, so like I said, we were never hungry.
activities: plenty of stuff. the beach is nice although the water is a touch cold. although it is a public beach which seems quite popular, it was never crowded. the pool is the center of activities and has a nice shallow side area for kids to play in.the sports are typical for club med, tennis, archery, bocci ball, sailing, soccer and basketball. also lots of great running path on and off the beach.
kids club: here is where things started to fall apart for me slightly. the kids club is run in french and only French. don't buy the story that there are go's that speak English, there may be one but the activities are run only in French. all the songs are in French, the messages are in French and the shows are in french. for my daughter (5) this wasn't a big deal, she still had non verbal fun with the other girls, for my 8 y/o son this was effectively a deal breaker and he wound up spending a lot of time with us (which was fine). anyway if your kids don't speak French make sure to specifically mention this to the go's and make sure they keep them in the loop about what is going on. I should specifically mention the multitalented Nicolas who worked with the 4-5y/o who was better than amazing, he took special care of my girl but in general was also energetic, friendly and pleasant. some of the other kids club go's didn't seem so into it.
shows: the show were all performed by amateurs, some better than others. that being said they were fun and entertaining.
so to sum it all up:
pros: very family oriented. they have thought of everything from floaties at the pools to buckets and shovels for the beach. lots of good food. finally, you don't have to think of anything which makes the time very relaxing.
cons: well pretty much only the French issue. only about 40% of the go team speaks English and all the activities are pretty much run in English. it didn't really effect me as I speak French, but it did effect my kids
bottom line: well we had a really nice time. would it have been better if we went to a club med in Italy or Greece, who knows, when I go i'll let you all know.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Imagine a unique 26 hectare site in Charente-Maritime, a paradise for nature and water sports enthusiasts. This Club Med Village of bungalows was inspired by oystermens' cabins with decor selected to blend seamlessly with its natural setting, achieved with an interplay of lively colours and natural materials. Located in a revitalizing conservation environment featuring 30 km of beaches, 65 km of cycle tracks and 8000 hectares of forest, this is the ideal place to come. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Club Med La Palmyre Atlantique Hotel La Palmyre-Les Mathes
- Club Med La Palmyre-Les Mathes
- La Palmyre-Les Mathes Club Med
- La Palmyre Atlantique Club Med