The first time we stayed at Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port St. Lucie, FL, our oldest daughter was 18 months old. Eleven years and seven or eight visits later (we lost count!), we found during a recent trip that our loyalty to Club Med Sandpiper is not unique, with many families returning year-after-year for a similar reason we do: it’s all about the kids. The fact that it is an all-inclusive resort 60 minutes from Palm Beach International Airport, also is a big draw for families seeking a stress-free vacation.
The 216-acre resort recently completed a $28 million renovation and became the flagship of Club Med’s Premium Sports resorts with academies in tennis, golf and fitness. The superior children’s programs that made it so attractive to families are still in place, but now there are even more reasons for adults to want to come for a stay, too, including an outstanding spa, trapeze high-jinks and lots of time for getting fit and eating lightly (or not).
getting fit + the spa
Getting fit at Club Med Sandpiper Bay is—dare we say it—actually fun. We were happy to start every morning of our stay with an outdoor yoga class facing the St. Lucie River. Even our 12-year-old joined us to stretch her own young limbs. Other fitness classes were equally excellent, challenging us with toning classes indoors or water aerobics classes that definitely were not designed for grandma. The Fitness Academy offers personalized integrated nutrition/fitness plans for guests who seek to take their exercise to another level for an additional charge. There is also a new 2,511-sq.-ft. fitness center.
Additionally, the property has four swimming pools, allowing guests to find the one for their mood of the moment. One of our favorites is the adults-only infinity pool and jacuzzi facing the lake. Guests will have ample time to spend many relaxing hours there with a good book in the covered cabanas, far from the littlest guests. The other pools include the lap/exercise pool; kiddie pool; and activities pool area. Complimentary catamaran sailings and paddle boards on the St. Lucie River are also a part of the water fun.
If clients wants to get serious about their tennis or golf game, there are academies for juniors and adults that feature intensive lessons for an extra charge, as well as tennis and golf clinics at no charge. There are 21 tennis courts and a newly renovated 18-hole golf course, a Tom Fazio II-designed practice facility including a putting green and a driving range. Golf lessons are given by the Golf Channel’s Brad Brewer. Another way for adults to stay fit during their vacation, and also share a unique experience with their kids, is to experience the Flying Trapeze. Just like their children, moms and dads can learn how to “fly” with a set adult, tween and teen time available each day.
As part of the renovation, the resort created the first L’OCCITANE-branded spa in North America. The 5,000-sq.-ft. enclave, which opened last December—so sadly yes, we missed its pampering delights— features seven treatment rooms, including one designed for couples, a mani/pedi area, Zen lounge and a L’OCCITANE boutique. Treatments run the gamut from anti-aging facials to massages, wraps and body treatments. There are even teen and junior treatments available for guests ages 8 to 17, including the TOEtally About Me pedicures and Cheeks facials.
it’s a kid’s world
Indeed, as we mentioned earlier, this resort is a wonderland for kids. The Kidz Village, for example, with its splash park, is where guests as young as four months will want to spend most of their time. The kid’s program, divided into age groups—there’s an additional charge for ages 4 and under—offers such activities as Le Petit Sports with tennis, golf, soccer, hockey, basketball, sailing, and the circus school as well as Le Petit Chef cooking lessons. There’s also a Pyjamas Club available daily for an extra charge that allows parents to enjoy a night “out.”
For kids who do not go to the children’s program, the Britto Arts Studio is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for any guests’ use. Families will truly enjoy the Latitude 27 degrees lounge with pulsating music, ping pong and other games for tweens and teens.