As I stood on the bright blue tennis courts of Club Med Sandpiper Bay, the hot Florida sun shining down and memories of high school gym class haunting me, I didn’t have any hope of winning my first match. But when I successfully swung my first forehand shot, then my second and my third, it seemed like I’d finally discovered the game I was made for.
Before I could convince myself that I was the next Serena Williams, I realized the origin of my new-found athletic abilities. Of course I’d be able to swing the shots over the net – I was, after all, having semi-private lessons at one of the top tennis schools in the United States.
Club Med Sandpiper Bay
This was just one of the many perks of vacationing at the only all-inclusive Club Med in Canada and the United States. Located in Florida’s quaint coastal community of St. Lucie County, north of West Palm Beach and a two-hour drive from Orlando and Miami, Sandpiper Bay is nestled on the lush tropical banks of the majestic St. Lucie River.
The multitude of free activities offered at this 216-acre premium sports resort makes you feel like a kid at camp. From soccer and basketball to paddleboarding and yoga, Club Med Sandpiper Bay ensures that your days will be filled with carefree play again.
More than just an idyllic vacation destination, Club Med Sandpiper Bay is also home to intensive tennis and golf training academies. A number of promising young athletes live on the property while training to become the world’s best. Luckily, you’re able to learn from the same instructors.
From the moment you step onto the resort, you’re treated to top-notch service, which makes the transition to holiday mode seamless. Guests are welcomed with a refreshing towel and a fresh tropical mocktail. Before you can finish your fruity drink, you’ll be escorted to your room. The wristband you’re given at check-in is also the key to your room – just one of the smart ways that the resort is designed to make relaxation easy.
With 337 rooms, Club Med Sandpiper Bay has the facilities of a large-scale resort, but the resort’s multiple walking paths and sensible layout make it easy to navigate. And with three restaurants, two bars, four swimming pools, a renovated 2,500-square-foot gym and various other amenities, there’s always something to see and do.
You can even brush up on your golf game at the resort’s 18-hole course, equipped with an outdoor driving range. One of the benefits of golfing at Sandpiper Bay is that you don’t have to worry about packing your favourite set of clubs; everything you need to play golf is included.
Food For Thought
Whether you’re grabbing a freshly made cold-pressed juice at The Marketplace, the resort’s buffet-style restaurant, or enjoying Atlantic salmon at the Riverside Grill, the adults-only restaurant, this resort will cater to all your gastronomical whims. Thanks to the resort’s selection of tropical fruit, salad bar and fresh grilled chicken and fish, eating healthy on your vacation is easy.
This is definitely a good thing because any trip to a Club Med resort is incomplete without at least a taste of its iconic White Chocolate Bread.
Best described as a freshly made baguette, this delicious homemade bread is crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. You’ll be glad to know that the dessert is made with a generous amount of white chocolate chips and available at every meal.
I was happy that my new-found discovery of White Chocolate Bread coincided with Club Med’s Body & Mind Weeks. Each year, the resort designs programming focused on sports, nutrition and wellness.
Whether it’s a Q&A period with a nutritionist or a healthy cooking seminar with the resort’s sous-chefs, you’ll go home with ideas on how to kick-start healthier habits. What a perfect way to keep your holiday going, long after you leave the warm embrace of Florida’s sunny ways.
Massage Away Stress
After a long day of enjoying the Florida sunshine, there’s no better way to cool down than at the resort’s bright and spacious yoga and Pilates studio.
Although it’s been a while since I practised yoga, I felt right at home in the beginner’s 30-minute restorative yoga class. The instructor was easy to follow, and she even gave me tips on how to deepen my stretch. The class was the epitome of relaxation, and I loved how it wrapped up with a soothing, guided meditation. When the class was finished, it felt like I’d had a full eight hours of sleep. Long after we stepped off our mats, my friends and I couldn’t stop raving about how good we felt.
For even more R&R, be sure to treat yourself to a treatment at L’Occitane Spa. I opted for the Relaxing Aromachologie Massage. My massage began with a calming lavender footbath, and my masseuse used a variety of lavender, tea tree and geranium essential oils throughout my hour-long massage.
In addition to the Swedish and Balinese massage techniques, the aromatherapy melted away any stress. The spa also offers an assortment of anti-aging and detoxifying facials.
Another noteworthy treatment is the spa’s Florida Orange Body Scrub, where the juice and peels of local oranges are used for their deep-cleansing properties.