Club Med Cherating – where nature meets hospitality
Club Med is such a well-known name among holiday resorts that most people already know what to expect even if they have never been there before. Apart from all-you-can-eat buffets, resort-style accommodation and a wide range of activities in an idyllic setting, guests can be sure that everything else will also be taken care of from the moment they arrive.
There is only one Club Med in Malaysia, which is in Cherating. A coastal town, Cherating is surrounded by gorgeous sandy beaches of the South China Sea. The town is only a one-hour flight or a three-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. With approximately 80 hectares of luscious forestland, Club Med Cherating is certified as an Eco Nature Village, making it one of the most popular resorts in the area.
It was almost enough for me to enjoy the vast greenery of the indigenous trees, flamboyant birds, monitor lizards and monkeys that roam freely around the resort. I never got tired of watching the glorious gibbons swing from tree to tree, that made their appearance at least once a day. One afternoon, we even found a few monkeys loitering outside our room, completely unperturbed by us. There is something very restorative about living in harmony with nature, and Club Med Cherating definitely provides enough of that.
If nature isn’t all you want to be enthralled with, the resort provides you with plenty more to do. Included in the list of daily activities are nature walks, rock climbing, tree-top activities, sailing, kayaking, beach volleyball, yoga, Zumba, pool games, football, basketball, gym, squash, family games, batik painting, archery, trapeze lessons and more!
And talking about plenty, you will never go hungry at any of the Club Med allinclusive resorts. At Cherating, there are two restaurants (Mutira and Rembulan) and a noodle bar that is open till late at night. I found the food to be truly 5-star with authentic dishes prepared by talented chefs from Italy, France, India, China, Korea, Japan, and Malaysia. To finish off every meal, a table of French and local pastries and desserts awaits the diners. Needless to say, it is a popular hangout point for all the kids.
Kids at the resort were rather inconspicuous during the day and would be seen mostly around mealtimes. Many parents took full advantage of the kids club, which provides various activities suitable for children of different age groups. The Baby Club (4 to 23 months), Petite Club (2 to 3 years) and Mini Club (4 to 10 years) keeps children busy through the day. It allows parents to have some time to themselves, till the evening
when the kids are ready to be picked up again. The Kids Club is located close enough to the other main areas of the resort, so parents know they are within a safe distance from their kids and can truly relax. But also far enough that I didn’t find myself escaping to the Zen Space and Quiet Pool (open to guests 18 or above).
Staff members at every Club Med are known as ‘GOs’, or Gentil Organisateurs (Gracious/Nice Organisers). They come from all over the world and move around the various resorts adding to the wonderful diversity, which is part of the Club Med experience. They are also a very talented group of people who morph from kayaking instructors during the day to acrobats, dancers and magicians at night. After dinner every night the ‘GOs’ would put on an incredible show comprising of singing, dancing, mimicking and literally flying through the air. It was like watching a mini-Cirque du Soleil.
My family and I would finish the evenings at the main bar, enjoying cocktails made by a team of international mixologists. Always busy with people milling around, the bar there has a great vibe. It, of course, helps that the ‘all-day’, ‘free-flowing’ alcohol is included in the package! From here we inevitably gravitated to the dance floor to join a group of uncoordinated and intoxicated tourists in a Club Med ritual of “crazy signs”, screaming the words to “I like to move it, move it”.
Though I am usually sceptical of holiday resorts, Club Med really does offer something for everyone and is a wonderful choice for a family holiday. After all, where else can you go to revel in nature, eat like a queen, have a vast array of activities to choose from, relax by the pool and dance like no one is watching.