Before having kids, my usual travel style was to stay in a combination of self-catering apartments (longer term stays so we could do our own cooking), hostels (for short stays in expensive cities), hotels (from budget type to luxury, depending on the country) and beach bungalows (without hot water!) Not that I had never experienced an all-inclusive resort because I had been to a few over the years, but those were few and far between, and never with my hubby. He was just not the “all inclusive type”.
All that changed when we were both back at work full time, dealing with daycare drops offs and pick ups and all the usual craziness of running a house hold with a baby. Having to cram in dinner, bath time, bedtime, dishes, laundry, prepping lunches for the next day and a little adult time together before falling into bed exhausted. Just to get up early to do it all again the next day.
We needed a vacation, a nice holiday away from the November rain. One where we could re-charge, relax, have fun with our son as well as some couple time and most of all, where we didn’t have to worry about a thing.
We chose to spend a week at Club Med in Ixtapa, Mexico, chosen because it had a Baby Club and also because I had enough Airmiles to cover most of the costs of our stay there.
From the moment we arrived, where they greeted us with cool towels and drinks, to the moment we left, where they literally fed us chocolate truffles as we were getting into the taxi for the airport, we were in Paradise.
As part of the Baby Club welcome, our 15 month old received a complimentary stroller for use during our stay, the baby bed was set up in our room, a baby bathtub was provided and we had access to baby food and bottle warming facilities 24 hours per day.
The childcare services cost extra for kids under 4 but are included for the 4 – 10 year olds. There are also lots of activities for 11 to 17 year olds that are included and led by the GO’s (GO stands for Gentils Organisateurs (Genteel Organizers), which is what the Club Med staff are called). The Baby Club is open from 9:00am to 5:30pm.
All Club Meds include all meals, snacks, drinks (even the alcoholic ones!), tons of activities and shows. The only show we made it to was the circus show, but they offer different types of shows every evening, as well as babysitting in the evenings for an additional charge.
A typical day for us was spent having breakfast as a family and then doing an activity like visiting the playground, pool or beach. Then we would drop Dante off at the Baby Club as nap time approached and have several hours as a couple to enjoy together before picking him up again. It felt like the best of both worlds as we had quality couple time and quality family time together. Dante napped at Baby Club so we weren’t stuck in our room during those hours, but instead got to sip margaritas by the pool, enjoy a quiet lunch, play tennis, learn how to sail and even try out the flying trapeze (scary but fun!).
The food at Club Med Ixtapa was amazing. Normally I’m not a big fan of buffet style dining, but here, the food was a cut above. They had a wide variety of different options from seafood to Indian to Mexican, freshly baked breads and croissants that could rival a Parisian café, lots of fresh fruit, meats, veggies and pastas.
One morning the chef visited our table and asked how we were enjoying the food and if we had any requests. I raved about the pain au chocolate (chocolate croissants) that were served one morning but that hadn’t appeared since. The next day at breakfasts, there were chocolate croissants.
It was really nice to dine out with our 15 month old and not have to worry if he was messy or loud. Practically everyone else there either had kids or grandkids (definitely not a place you would want to go to as a childless couple). There are other Club Meds better suited to adults only. One grandmother I met had been to Club Med fifteen times because she enjoyed it so much.
If you are looking for an easy, nothing to worry about kind of getaway, I highly recommend Club Med Ixtapa. They have 15 Club Meds with Baby Clubs around the world, so there are many destinations options to choose from.