October with Friiends at Club Med, Turkoise

October 2016

The Set-up

We visited Club Med Turkoise in late October. This was something like the 17th or 18th visit to Turkoise so we know our way around pretty well. As we have done for the past several years, we timed our visit to coincide with our friends Bruce and Helene from Long Island, NY. As usual, Steve at Mill Travel made our arrangements in a friendly and efficient manner. Our Delta flights were on time and reasonably comfortable in both directions

Grace Bay with the Club Med village in the area where you don't see any buildings.

Around the village

Not much has changed in the village since our last visit in May. Some of the staff (GOs) had changed, as usual but we also found some familiar faces. The interim Chef de Village , Dan, was filling in between the departure of Jessie (to open a new ski village in China) and the arrival of Francis on the first of November. He did a credible job as CdV but he apparently liked to show off his language skills by making all announcements in five languages, which got to be a bit tedious.

Noon Crazy Signs" around the pool.

Really no significant physical changes around the village and we heard the usual complaints about non- working AC in rooms although our only problem was keeping our room warm enough as the thermostat was somewhat questionable. We had a standard "Club room" and it was fine for our purposes. There were a couple of the small (1 inch square) tiles missing in the shower (no big deal) but there was also more mold/mildew in the shower than we normally see. We paid the $50 fee for a week of WiFi although they were converting to free WiFi within a week of our departure. I have always gotten a good WiFi signal in our rooms, but not everyone is so lucky. There were no significant improvements or changes to any of the buildings or facilities and everyone assumes that Club Med is in a "holding pattern" to see just what happens to the village when the current lease is up in the next year or two.


The evening entertainment had not changed much with only the addition of a new music & dance show "Bollywood" which was OK, but needed a bit more practice. The other shows (including "Movie Factory", "Music Factory" and a couple of circus themed shows) were pretty standard. Some of the shows and activities were impacted by the weather which included some rain several days and nights.

Bruce, Helene, and Susan in the theater awaiting the show.

As usual, we made a hobby of finding and feeding the "Club Med Cats". We identified four different cats with "Little Miss Tortie" (named for her tortoise shell coloring) being the most friendly. She would hop up on the palapa of Bruce and Helene, get some attention, then sack out for the rest of the day.

Little Miss Tortie on the Palapa.

Food and Drinks

The food was decent, probably a little better than last October, but about the same as this past May when there were more guests (GMs) there. The wine was drinkable, but just barely. They still would be better off getting “Two Buck Chuck” from Trader Joes. They had done away with the “corkage fee” so you could now bring your own bottle of wine into the restaurant at no charge. We picked up a couple of bottles of wine at the local food store (Graceway Gourmet) and enjoyed them two evenings for about half the price that Club Med would have charged for those bottles. We did splurge on the last night and bought a couple of bottles of wine so as to get a table by the pool. (More on that later.)

The main dining room one evening.


Sea conditions made sailing and other water sports somewhat challenging most of the week. A northeast wind and fairly large northeast swells made for choppy water and launching the boats tended to be a bit exciting. They were able to run the regatta (sailing race) in which Susan and I again demonstrated our many years of sailing experience, but the conditions were just too rough to allow the Armada to Iguana Island. Unfortunately, but not unexpected, the only sailboats were still the Hobie Waves and Hobie Getaways whereas we keep looking for the higher performance boats that they used to have, such as Hobie 16s. Other watersports such as diving and snorkeling were also limited by the rough seas and poor visibility in the water.

There were 8 Waves and 2 Getaways (the larger ones).

The GO team seemed very good, especially the ones we were around the most, the sailing team. Nick (chief of sailing) was a very experienced sailor but had only been there a week or two and was still finding his way around Turkoise so he tended to lean quite a bit on Helen (AKA: Pineapple) who was still the “brains” of the operation. Both of the GOs that we knew from our May visit, Helen and Eric, were about to leave the village and I’m sure Nick will take care of things very well. Filling out the sailing team were “Big D” (Dan) and Aryton. Aryton was probably the youngest of the team and looked even younger than he is so he got quite a bit of ribbing and hassle from the other team members, but he seemed to be holding up pretty well. On our last night (which happened to be my birthday, but I sure did not tell them) we got the wine and a table by the pool and invited the sailing team to join us. We had a pleasant evening and I think even the GOs enjoyed it. Since both Helen and Eric were to be leaving in less than a week, I think it served as a bit of a “good-by dinner” for them also.

Sailing team at dinner: Aryton and Eric standing, Helen (Pineapple), Dan, and Nick with Susan.

One day when the weather was not good for sailing, we had fun by helping Helen disassemble two broken Getaways in order to use the good pieces to make one good boat. Might seem like a strange way to spend an afternoon, but we really enjoyed it.


All in all, it was a fun week but after 18 visits and the general decline in the condition of the village, the food/wine, and the sports equipment, we’re looking at other places to go some. We will probably be back, but I’m not sure Turkoise deserves two visits a year any more.

Contact me via mike@hammocktree.us