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Club Med Punta Cana has that European flair.
Club Med

Club Med Punta Cana Hits That Teen/Tween Sweet Spot

They can even practice their Francais.

Club Med is a name that instantly conjures up “all-inclusive resort” for us Gen Xers (and probably even Millennials), a place where people can go to relax on the beach and eat plentiful food and be entertained. For a certain kind of ‘80s kid, there is a level of chic attached to the idea of staying at a Club Med, simply because of the name. One can’t help but picture Lacoste polo shirts and slicked back hair and Ray-Bans on beautiful people.

But before a recent trip to Club Med Punta Cana, I had to admit I didn’t really know what to expect — particularly as a Mom. I quickly realized this resort ticked every box for kids. Especially tweens and teens.

Club Med Punta Cana hits a sweet spot for kids and adults.

Let’s get real, little kids are pretty easy to please at an all-inclusive resort. As long as there is a pool, a playground, and chicken nuggets, they’ll be fine. But older kids — let’s say 10 years and up — they can be trickier. If they’re going to drag themselves out of their favorite place (a.k.a. their own bedroom), there needs to be an extra special something for them. And Club Med Punta Cana has that intangible air of sophistication that will have tweens and teens whipping out their phones to post photos.

Club Med brings that European flair.

Most of the staff members speak English, Spanish, and French, and many of the visitors are from French-speaking countries, so when they hit that long stretch of gorgeous beach on the resort grounds, which is a bit of a rarity for Punta Cana, they might meet friends from Europe as they sip mocktails from their lounge chairs underneath umbrellas.

Circus School at Club Med Punta Cana.

For kids who aren’t interested in that certain je ne sais quoi of their new European pals, perhaps they’ll want to sign up for Circus School by Club Med. A state-of-the-art school in the middle of the sprawling resort where they can learn to juggle, try their hand at climbing silks, or even fly above the palm trees on the flying trapeze. There’s also archery, baking workshops, pool parties, canoeing, fitness classes like beach sunrise yoga (which they will not do but you absolutely should — it’s incredible), and a Mini Club Show where kids can perform and then enjoy a Mini Club Cocktail Bar after the fact. Like little Mad Men, it’s adorable.

In true Club Med fashion, there are dance classes lead by “G.O’s” or gracious organizers, who are always wandering the resort to make sure everyone is having a good time.

Need a break from the kids? Check out the Zen Oasis.

Check out Zen Oasis at Club Med Punta Cana.

Club Med Punta Cana has a total of three pools along with its unparalleled private beach. There is the main pool, where people of all ages can hang out and have snacks and swim all day. Then there is a pool specifically for young kids, which is shallow and has water features and toys. And finally, the piece de resistance, the adults-only Zen Oasis area. Tucked away at the edge of the resort, the Zen Oasis has a lovely little bar and a long, quiet pool where no kids are allowed.

Never fear: There is childcare at the resort for children from four months and up, as well as organized kids’ activities to keep your little ones occupied. Take advantage of the Club Med L’Occitane Spa, located down a fragrant, garden path beside the Zen Oasis pool. If you can, book yourself a massage on the beach. I had my first-ever outdoor massage here, and it was an experience I’ll never forget.

Check out the Zen Oasis spa at Club Med Punta Cana.

Best of all, for single parents like myself, there is a Pajamas Club on site for a fee. You know your kids will have fun in this G.O.-lead group care event, so you can head on over to Zen Oasis in the evening from 7-9 p.m. for a singles mixer. A great way to have a snack, listen to some music, and meet fellow solo travelers.

Family rooms and dining options galore.

Family rooms at Club Med Punta Cana are super comfortable.

Club Med Punta Cana is all about options. There are 80 all-new two-bedroom family rooms that come with balconies overlooking the tropical grounds and (most importantly) two televisions with full streaming capabilities. These suites are available throughout the property, either close to the Zen Oasis or in the main resort area.

Hispaniola buffet dining at Club Med Punta Cana.

The dining options are also plentiful. Buffet dining in Hispaniola and Indigo changes daily and is perfect for older kids who want to choose their own meals (and probably eat separately from you). I highly recommend eating breakfast at Indigo, where you can snack on croissants and cheese and fruit while sipping your coffee and looking out over the ocean. There is one full-service menu restaurant on the property, Samana, also looking over the ocean and just the right level of cool to impress those impossible to impress teens. You need reservations, and people tend to dress up a little bit, which makes it feel extra special.

Best of all? It’s a whole lot less expensive for a family to go to Club Med Punta Cana than it is to head across the Atlantic. Right now there are several air inclusive deals starting at around $1,500 per adult, depending on where you are flying from. Kids under 4 stay for free, prices include transfers to and from the resort, and here’s an amazing bonus for single parents; no single supplement if you book before May 1 and plan to travel after Sept. 1.

Which sounds just about perfect to us.