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Reviewed 29 July 2010

Great 10 day stay at Palmiye, with only a few little niggles.

Firstly, as one reviewer said, the behaviour of the waterski team is appalling. As beginners, we were handed off to a GO (Charlotte) who clearly thought she had something better to do. Extremely patronising behaviour (I haven't been treated like that since primary school), coupled with a VERY brief introduction, and being made to feel extremely stupid for asking for clarification meant the activity did not start off well. I had a decent go at waterskiing (although a bit more help would have been nice!) but another member of my group was only given one attempt after falling off the first time despite asking for another try (I got three attempts and stopped when I'd had enough) which was not impressive. We got the impression that they just wanted to leave, which after queueing for about an hour before the closing time, was not very nice. We were made to feel really stupid for not having experience in waterskiing, which was really surprising given the general atmosphere of the Club. A suggestion would be to add Beginner Lessons (if they existed, they were not advertised anywhere) if it is really such a problem! However, that was really the behaviour of one or two GOs, as most of them were the nicest people I've met - this was a very big surprise.

The other niggle was the overzealous behaviour of the nightclub staff in checking for under 18s. There was a list of all GMs under 18 which was pulled out if someone was thought to be under 18, and if they were not on this list they were (depending on the GO/bartender) either served or checked on another list of 18-25 year olds. While this is a good idea in principle, due to how we booked the two members of our party (19 and 20) were on neither list, meaning ID had to be carried which was a little annoying. On one occasion, the 19 year old got a drink for herself and a soft drink for a 15 year old, but as she gave it to him the drink was grabbed by a GO because he thought it was alchol. After being told it was only Coke he then took a sip to confirm this and gave it back which was really not on!

But these were really the only two things I can find to complain about! Everything else was up to the usual Club Med standard, although being a larger resort it was less personal than Clubs such as Gregolimano. GOs (apart from the forementioned ones) were really nice, with the brilliant Bimbo providing a laugh a minute (and backing me up to get Alex the DJ to play Lady Gaga!). Jean-Benoit was a really hands-on Chief du Village and we would always see him around the resort checking up on GMs (and yes, I know who slapped your bum in the club the other night!). Matt the musican was incredibly friendly and talented and we would always see him at the club beyond the time he had to be there!

The food was definitley of Club Med standards, with some real characters amoung the servers. I was a big fan of the 4 o'clock crepes by the Villagio pool and the man who made them was really nice and always gave me extra, so big plus points there!

Worth doing was the horse-riding - I've done lots of riding on holiday and the stables endorsed by the hotels can be really dodgy, but this was a very modern set up - riding hats required and fitted correctly - and very accomodating of experience, so very good recommendation on the part of Club Med!

One thing worth noting about Palmiye as opposed to other Clubs is the amount of random entertainment! There would always be something amusing going on at lunchtime, from a game of imaginary tennis in the restaurant to a 'spoon game'. Bimbo's quiz is worth doing for a bit of a laugh in the afternoons - you need a bit of French knowledge as sometimes the translations can be pretty funny (although this is true of most of the resort) but it's all very good natured!

As a rule, by having more facilities due to the large resort you trade up on personal touches to an extent, but this is nothing serious so I would definitley put Palmiye second to Gregolimano, but leaps and bounds above Cancun Yucatan. Certainly worth the money.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank pinkalarmclock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2010

I have just spent a second 10 day holiday at this resort in two years. Excellent facilities and service. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves once again. Very good quality resort, excellent food, very good facilties and rooms. Would recommend this to families and to couples. Need to be able to willing to enjoy the club med experience, however, including being entertained by their staff in their shows etc. Excellent for families. We just wish that we had brought the children when they were younger. A good resort for English visitors as large numbers of the staff speak good English. Very international re its clientele, rather than just being a predominantly French resort.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank bladesman77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2010

The above statement by my teenage daughter fairly accurately describes this paradise on earth. What differentiates a Club Med holiday from other all-inclusives are the GO's, the fun-loving, staff with endless energy whose only job it seems is to make your time there the most fun of your life. Their day job is to teach you to windsurf, or to sail but at night they entertain and befriend you. They come from diverse, interesting backgrounds, from all over the world. This was my fourth Club Med (after the Bahamas, Mexico and the Maldives. So the Club Med concept was not new to us.

While going through some of the reviews on this website, there seemed to be two concerns. That the cleanliness of the rooms was less than desirable, and that non French speaking persons are 'ignored'. Both could not be further from the truth. Here are some of my experiences:

The Rooms: Our interconnecting rooms in the villagio looked brand new. The bathrooms were clean, did not have a smell, though the toilet cubicles really ought to have had some ventilation. The rooms were reasonably large. They were will lit (when we opened the wooden shutters outside our frosted windows), had large walk-in closets a tiny TV that we never watched and a huge safe. If you want a fancy view, sure take a suite, but you wont spend much time in it.

Hotel or Villagio: If you want to be close to the action, stick with the villagio. If you want to have a quiet time, stay in the hotel. We never felt the need to go to the hotel, except to check in and check out.

English or French: Our French is pass-able at best. But it was not a problem. All the GO's were fluent in English. It seems that speaking English and French is now a requirement to work at Club Med.

The Kids Club: Regardless of how old your kids are, encourage them to go the Kids Club. Once there, they wont want to leave. The GO's are awesome with them.

Watch out for the beach: It is not great! It is basically a pebble beach. But the water sports facilities more than make up for this minor irritant. But do get beach footwear that wont come off in the water. Remember, the pebbles hurt as you enter and leave the water. The good news is that you dont have sand all over when you leave the beach.

Water Sports: Good equipment all around. They have Hobie 15 catamarans, a range of windsurfers with sails for beginners to advanced. The water skiing school instruction is adequate and will have you up and skiing even if you've never skied. But while we were there, the winds were fairly high a couple of days and they had to close all water sport activities.

Snorkelling: A pleasant way of spending an afternoon. A 30 minute boat ride, along the coast, past some caves takes you to the snorkelling site. But there isn't much coral, few fish and limited visibility. So you can skip this if you have something better to do. There seemed to be more fish around the jetty at the Club. I only wished they would allow us to borrow equipment to snorkel right there.

Scuba Diving: If you are into diving and have Advanced PADI certification, you must dive on the World War I French shipwreck, the Paris II. This wreck lies in 30 meters of water only 150 metres from the shore and is just incredible! The entire ship is lying upright and looks like it is ready to sail. Do Google it and get some information on it before you dive as it will make it more interesting. I went for four dives and my kids one each. The rest of the dives were pretty average, with visibility being around 15 to 20 metres and little sea life. Water temps were 25 C on the surface and 23 C at 30 metres. I was comfortable in a 5 mm wetsuit.

Other water activities, not included in the package: We went parasailing, (spectacular) and jet skiing (a ripoff). But the kids enjoyed both. The only nuisance was that this facility only accepted cash. So had to walk back to my room to get my wallet in order to pay for this.

The Food: Dont plan on dieting. You wont be able to. With almost a hundred items to choose from, each one cooked to perfection, you'll find that you are over eating. The only problem is that your brain gets paralysed with the choices. And you find yourself wandering around the buffet, trying to decide what to eat. We solved that problem by tasting everything!

Crazy Signs: This Club Med tradition of dancing at every opportunity may seem juvenile, but it is difficult to resist. You will find your hands and feet seemingly moving on their own. So dont fight it. Just join in. And enjoy it 'cause everybody else is. Just sit back and relax ........... as this is going to be your best vacation of your life!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank daaktur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2010

I have never written a review before but use this site a lot before making decisions about hotels/resorts and they are usually spot on.
I have never been so disappointed as I was on arrival at this Club Med Resort. We paid for an upgraded room which I understood to be quiet and on 2/3/4 th floor with sea view. We were given one on the 1st floor right above restaurant and opposite bar/entertainment area - lots of noise and sea view mostly blocked - as I am writing this yet another trolley is noisily wheeled past. Despite requests to be moved I have been told that no other rooms are available and I am still waiting for an explanation as to how we were sold a room they didn't have.
I haven't yet mentioned the bathroom which is the smallest known to man! You can't open the door fully to get inside and my husband hits his elbows on the wall when brushing his teeth! - So if this room is an upgrade I dread to think what the standard room is.
We were told that the ratio of British kids to French was 50/50 - RUBBISH! If you add all the non-french together with the Brits it probably amounts to around 15% of total children. Not enough for the kids to make friends at club.
Watersports - really rubbish. Arrogant staff with almost non-existant teaching and really old equipment. Windsurfing sail had tear, no dagger board and board was so old that the surfaces were coming off it....and you have to carry it to the water yourself - anyone having liked water sports at Mark Warner this is not for you. Also very small water sports area so sailing/windsurfing/kayaking compete for space.
Food is not bad though and bed is comfortable.
Would I come here again? Absolutely not and unfortunately we still have 10 days left here.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank SealeLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2010

We have been at the Club Med for over 45 years (started with my parents). The Club Med has evolved over time for the better and some time for the worse.
If you choose the resort in Palmiye, you won't be disappointed as it is a 4 Trident resort.
FYI, we are Silver member.

I stayed here for a week with our youngest daughter (20 years old).
The hotel infrastructure is very nice and colorful. We were told that they invest over € 6 million a year in the resort !

Our room was not very large but with very good beds, a fridge (bottled water added every day). The resort has free Wi-fi. If you don't have your laptop with you, you have to pay to access the web on a desktop.

The food is fabulous with obviously a lot of fish. You have a large choice and of high quality.
The gardens are splendid as maintained every day by some 40 gardeners.
When we stayed here the resort was a bit more than 60% full (1000 Gentil Membres or guests versus the 1700 at full capacity).

The staff is very friendly and with a smile.

Yes, there were a lot of children but we were not bothered by them.

On the negative side: 1) the beach is not of sand but of stones so it hurts your feet to go into the water or you use plastic shoes. Alternatively you can use the 3 pontons but as said your children will not build any sand castles.
2) the hammam is very nice but there a terrible odor.

A TIP: if you take a room facing the sea, it will be very hot as the sun is backing your room. Take one facing the mountain as it will be cooler during the day and at night.

Anyway, if you choose this Clud Med resort, you will enjoy it.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Nono_Minou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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