To me, the highlight of the all-inclusive Club Med Paradise Island is the food. There is a more formal restaurant on-site (Grayleigh), but this section is focused on the main dining hall. There are large, air-conditioned non-smoking and smoking sections, with some spillover onto a few al fresco tables. The dining hall faces Nassau Harbour, so you can catch glimpses of downtown Nassau and the large cruise liners docked there. The tables have from four to eight seats, so there is ample opportunity to mingle with other GM's (Gentil Membres in French, or "congenial guests" in English) and GO's (Gentil Organisateurs, or "congenial hosts") from around the world. I ate every meal possible here, and it was fun to socialize and swap travel anecdotes with people. The GO's wear nametags with flags indicating what languages they speak, although with guests you have to guess if they are French or American.
The three daily buffets are amazingly diverse and delicious. There are stations for beverages, cold items (salads), hot items, soups, pizza, fruits, and desserts. The food is all self-serve except for a few carved meat items. The breakfast buffets are tasty but not adventurous, with the most unusual item being rice and raisin pudding (I had this during breakfast twice during my stay). The lunch menu is usually very diverse, including very good dessert selections. The impressive dinner buffets have different themes depending on the day of the week. I can honestly say that these dinner buffets are of an incredible value because of the variety and quality of the food. French Night featured delicacies like frog legs, rabbit, escargot, and onion soup. Italian Night featured osso buco, eggplant parmesan and polenta. Mediterranean Night starred paella, moussaka, souvlaki, calamari, and couscous. Asian Night had spring rolls, duck, noodles, sushi. Seafood night had a zillion kinds of seafood, but enough meat and veggie selections for landlubbers like me. Desserts can be a buffet in itself, with rotating selections like tiramisu, profiteroles, baklava, sacher torte, baked alaska, black forest cake, fruit pies. If these are too rich for you, there is always fresh fruit and self-serve soft ice cream.
The hours for breakfast are 7:30am to 10:00am. Lunch runs from 12:30pm to 2:00pm. Dinner is held from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.
An all-inclusive drink package is $179 per week, which may or may not be worth it depending on your penchant for drink. You can belly up to the main bar next to the theater or the beachside bar. I enjoyed selections ranging from Kalik (the most popular local beer) to Gatorade.
A word of thanks to all the friendly folks I met at the Club Med, including my favorite GO Roxanna!
Editor's Note: This property has closed.
Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
September 19, 2002
From journal Bill in the Bahamas - NASSAU and PARADISE ISLAND
Club Med is famous for loads of activities, and this Paradise Island property is no exception. This one is highly regarded for it's tennis facilities, with 20 courts and hands-on instruction. The pool was under renovation, but you can do your swimming in the strong currents of the Atlantic Ocean. Other activities include windsurfing, scuba diving, archery, ping-pong, spa treatments, volleyball, and basketball. Aerobics sessions are conducted in a renovated chapel building, and there is an air-conditioned workout room next door with a few pieces of exercise equipment. One can relax on the lengthy Paradise Beach, a public beach that is guarded day and night. You can walk to the western end past the yoga retreat, or check out the eastern end that butts up against the adjacent Atlantis property. Nudity on the beach is officially frowned upon, but there were a few topless women sunbathers, and even a couple of totally naked men in a secluded part of the beach.
There is a nightly variety show at the theater, usually consisting of amusing skits performed by the versatile GO's, although sometimes there is some memorable audience participation involving the GM's (Gentil Membres, or "congenial guests"). On the surface, lip-synch acts and relay races may seem a bit corny, but it's all professionally done and you'll usually end your evenings here with a smile or a few belly laughs. If you want to continue your night moves, you can dance away your sorrows in the intimate nightclub.
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The property has over 300 rooms scattered in several building clusters to create more of an open resort feel. My room faced the Atlantic Ocean, so I could hear the waves crashing along Paradise Beach. However, I had no view of the ocean since my room was on the first floor. My room was not fancy, but suitably comfortable with two European twin beds, a shower stall with just a few toiletries, hairdryer, and one closet and in-room safe per guest (sometimes single guests are matched up with a roommate, but I had the room all to myself). There is a small TV with plenty of stations (check out the Club Med channel for a great soundtrack of Caribbean music), a couple of small tables, and not much else. The philosophy is that you will not spend a whole lot of time in your room, so if you are ok with that you will enjoy your stay even more.
There is a shuttle boat service ($5 round trip) between the Club Med and the Nassau port. The excursions desk is very helpful if you would like to see a bit more of the Bahamas off-property. The boutique has a few items of mild interest, but it comes in handy if you need to buy a few stamps for your postcards. The reception area has a bulletin board which posts departure flights for all guests, so be sure to check that for your ride to the airport. The security patrol on property is visible but not overbearing. Gratuities are not necessary with the all-inclusive package.
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December 12, 2000
From journal Spring Break at Club Med Paradise Island