After a family vacation, here is a video blog post review of our stay at Club Med Sandpiper Bay Florida.
Club Med Sandpiper Bay Review in Florida – An All Inclusive Family Resort Destination in the United States
My family and I just returned from a 6-day, 5-night stay at the Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port St. Lucie, Florida. This is is an all-inclusive family resort in the United States. My husband and I stayed at the resort along with our two kids (ages 7 and 9) and my mother-in-law. This Club Med is an all-inclusive family sports resort in Florida. Before we left I searched for Club Med Sandpiper Bay Review and did not find many reviews. So, I put together a blog post and video review of the Club Med Florida resort.
Family Vacation at Club Med Florida
My mother-in-law booked (and paid for) the trip. She knows our family loves sports and enjoys being outdoors. Online, on the Club Med Sandpiper Bay Website or Club Med Free App, they boast their (mostly free of charge) fitness programs, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, golf course, multiple food options, pools, waterpark for kids, flying trapeze, kids club, sandy beach, and spa. Who could turn that down? It sounded like an amazing vacation.
Keep reading to learn more and watch a video review of Club Med Sandpiper Bay All Inclusive Resort Destination in the United States.
Watch the Club Med Sandpiper Bay Review Here:
Getting to the U.S. Club Med Sandpiper Bay
This Club Med resort is on the east coast of Florida on the St. Lucie River. It is a 30 minute drive from West Palm Beach and about an hour and a half drive from Fort Lauderdale. We flew into the Ft Lauderdale airport from Dallas since it was cheaper than flying to West Palm Beach and the flight times were better for us. We rented a car and drove to the resort from the airport. On the website and Club Med app, it sounds like transfers may be included in the package. But in fact, they are very expensive. My MIL looked into getting transportation from Club Med to the Ft. Lauderdale airport and it cost $210 one-way for one person! She ended up getting a ride from a friend.
The Front Desk – Check In and Check Out
Check in at Club Med Florida
We arrived at Club Med mid-afternoon on a Monday. First, we pulled up in front of the reception building. They set up the table with two types of drinks – citrus water and lemonade, though no one was outside greeting guests. There was one employee working the front desk and quite a few guests inside needed help. The check-in process seemed rushed. The employee answered two phone calls while she was helping us. Then, we were given a map that was highlighted with directions to our building. She handed us a pamphlet with dining hours that was mostly in the French language. We also got a schedule of the kid’s club. Then, we were sent on our way. Though we did not need it, no one offered to help with luggage.
Check out at Club Med Florida Review
Thankfully, we were able to get a late checkout of 12 noon. Normally check out is at 11 am. If available, guests may be able to use their rooms even later for a fee of $10/hour. The checkout process took around 15 minutes. I have no idea why it took them that long to get us checked out. We did not have a lot of extra fees or room charges. The only extra item we paid for was Wi-Fi (more about that later).
Club Med Sandpiper Bay Review of the Rooms at the Club Med in Florida
We had two connecting rooms on the second floor in building B. Our room had a King sized bed (really two twin beds pushed together) and two twin/couch beds. Fortunately, there was a huge closet and a bathroom with two sink areas. The room was clean, though pretty blandly decorated. Only one framed picture (a world map) hung on the wall. We had a nice, small balcony facing the bay.
Review of the Beds at Club Med
Our bed was pretty firm. Typically, I like my mattresses a little bit firm, but this one was pretty hard. The pillows were too thin. One was not enough and two was too much.
The room was quiet and the curtains did a great job of blocking out the light. On the first morning, we slept until 10 am.
Review Club Med Sandpiper Bay Pools
The resort has five pools. These include the main pool, lap pool, quiet (adults only) pool, “waterpark”, and “kids pool”. So, why the quotes on “waterpark” and “kids pool”? I will get to that in a minute.
How to get a pool towel at Club Med Sandpiper Bay
This is not as easy as you would think. There are no towels available within the pool area. There is one spot to get towels in the back corner of the resort near the ping pong tables. First, you must have a towel card for each towel. The front desk is supposed to give you these cards at check-in. Somehow, they did not give them to us and we had to go back to request them after asking someone how to get towels. When you return your towel you will get your towel card back for the next time you need a towel. What a pain!
Drinks at the Pool
Before heading to the resort we pictured ourselves sipping fancy drinks and smoothies by the pool. Isn’t that what most resorts are known for? At Club Med, there are no bars within the pool areas. You must leave the pool area and get drinks (in very small disposable plastic cups) from one of the bars or restaurants and carry them back to the pool area. There is no water available at the pool. They should at least put a cooler, jug, or something with drinking water in the pool areas.
The main pool
This is a very basic pool. It is a rectangular pool with shallow areas on both ends. One end is more shallow than the other. There are no pool toys available, no nets, no hoops, no slides. We saw some people with pool noodles and other water toys, but they had either brought or bought them.
Our kids became bored pretty quickly with that pool. There were many lounge chairs available, but only about 7 cabana type lounge areas. In addition, there was hardly any shade at that pool. Although there were small umbrellas by the chairs, they did not provide much shade. Also, the pool deck was extremely hot. It was surprising that they did not choose a better heat-resistant material. We were at the resort from June 8 – June 13, at the start of the summer season. Usually, we had a hard time finding two chairs together and were never able to score a cabana. People would just leave their towels there unattended all day to save their spot.
The lap pool
Next, this lap pool has a few lanes for swimmers and a little room for recreation swimming. This is the pool where the older kid’s club goes for aqua time.
The adults only quiet pool and hot tub
On the other side of the resort from the kid’s area are the quiet pool and hot tub. Club Med proudly states this is an infinity pool. I am not so sure about that. I would say it is an attempt at an infinity pool. You do not get the feeling that it blends into the ocean, though it is still a nice pool area. We enjoyed spending our little amounts of alone time here while enjoying bay views and dipping our feet in the hot tub. The club claims that the adult pool has its own private bar. I would not really say that. The Infinity Bar is located across the sidewalk, outside the fencing perimeter of the pool.
The Aqua Park / Waterpark at Club Med Sandpiper Bay
Unfortunately, the waterpark at Club Med Florida was disappointing. It was not what we expected. One the website, they wrote about a kids-only pool for ages 4-10 and “your smiling kids in the waterpark…”. We were very disappointed. My kids would not even enter this area. They thought it was way too babyish. Most of the waterpark had a depth of 6 inches. The area had a water mushroom and a playground that looked like it was built for pre-schools, not a 9-year-old! We mostly saw toddlers and their siblings playing in this pool area.
The Kid’s Pool
If you are looking for the baby pool, then you’ll want to head over to the kid’s pool. This pool is what most people would call a baby pool. It was small with a depth of maybe 12 inches. I don’t think I ever saw anyone in that pool. There was no shade and hardly any chairs around the pool.
Restaurants and Bars at Sandpiper Bay Club Med – All Inclusive Food and Drinks Resort in the United States
Next, is the Club Med Sandpiper Bay review of the restaurants and bars. There are three restaurants and two bars at this Club Med. Before arriving at Club Med we were under the assumption we would have multiple options on where to eat each day. On the website, it says, “Gourmet dining and premium beverages: a variety of dining options are at your fingertips for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anytime in between.” It also states that Soliel is “A waterfront restaurant featuring a gourmet menu. The outdoor restaurant with a view of the river is open all day long from 9.30am to 10.00pm.” This is not true. Each restaurant has set hours with breaks in between. When Marketplace is closed, Soliel is open. Unless you make a reservation at Riverside, you only have one dining option at a time.
Soliel Restaurant at Club Med
We only ate here once, the first morning we slept in and missed the breakfast at Marketplace. I would not call the menu gourmet. Basically, it has eggs, breakfast pastries, burgers, salads, sandwiches, fruit, and dessert. See the menu below.
Marketplace Buffet Restaurant at Club Med
Another option for dining, this is where we had most of our meals. It was very cafeteria like. It seemed like a step up from a college dorm cafeteria. There were tons of food and drink choices at each meal, but the food was mostly the same day-to-day. A few options changed at each meal. By the way, we never saw any dolphins or manatees (as suggested) while dining at the restaurant.
Riverside Grill and BBQ
For a fancier dining option, this is the reservation restaurant. Making reservations is strongly encouraged and a pain in the you-know-what. The only way to make a reservation for Riverside is to go inside the Marketplace during dining hours, speak to a host or manager, and have them make the reservation for you. In order to get the time we wanted (before 8:30 pm), we had to make reservations two days ahead of time. The food was no better than the food at the other restaurants. Many of the options on the menu have an additional fee as well. Below you can see the fancy (lit up – yes, the menu lit up when opened) menu from Riverside.
The Slice Bar
For pool drinks and late night drinks, check out the Slice Bar. This was our go-to place for pool drinks and drinks after the nightly shows.
We went to the Infinity Bar a couple of times while visiting the adult pool. Since we don’t drink very much alcohol, so I cannot really comment on the quality or variety of the drinks. We drank many non-alcoholic daiquiris that varied in consistency and temperature. Our kids really liked the Shirley Temples.
Club Med Sandpiper Bay Review of the Activities at Club Med Florida
There are many options for sports and other activities at the resort, but keep in mind many of these are on a schedule are only available at certain times. Our kids took part in the Kids Club, Mini Club Med a few times. My husband and I were not able to do many of the activities as most of the time the kids were with us. We did get to try the Stand Up Paddle Boards. My son and I did Aqua Gym a few times. He loved that! If you want to join any activities, then you can check the daily schedule of events on the Club Med app.
Mini Club Med Kids Club Club Med Sandpiper Bay Review
There are multiple options for childcare and kid’s activities. Since our kids are ages 7 and 9 the only one we tried was the Mini Club Med, offered for kids ages 4-10. Here are my thoughts and the Mini Club Med Sandpiper Bay Review. The kids are divided into two age groups, 4- 7 years old and 8-10 years old. Our kids wanted to be together, but Club Med would not allow it. They claimed the group activities were set up for the kids of a certain size and it would not be safe nor would the staff be prepared to work with kids outside that age range.
Mini Club Med Kids Club Activities
The activities and options offered in the Mini Club seemed interesting and fun, but since each group was large, the kids ended up waiting for a long time to do each activity. There were not many options for the kids waiting for their turns.
My son went to the sailing activity twice. Each time the group was large – about 20 kids. Each sailboat held 4 kids, so it took a long time for each child to have their turn. Then, there was not much to occupy the kids while they waited at the various activities. Some of the kids at sailing just floated around in the water in their life vests while others bugged the GO about when it would be their turn. The second time my son went to sailing, he was not able to actually get on a boat. There was not enough time for all of the kids to have a turn. Therefore, he waited 45 minutes for nothing.
My Kids’ Opinion of the Kids Club at Club Med
My 7-year-old was not happy about being with the little kids. There is a big difference physically and socially between a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old.
Our kids mostly found Mini Club Med boring and only went to a few activities. Thus, my husband and I have very little alone time.
The GOs working in the kids club were mostly friendly and seemed to enjoy interacting with the kids.
Club Med Sandpiper Bay Review of the Entertainment – Nightly Shows at Club Med
Although the shows were not of professional quality, most of them were fun and entertaining. Actually, the GOs dancing and performance were pretty impressive.
Club Med Sandpiper Bay Review Other notes:
Online, Club Med states that the whole resort is non-smoking (except for terraces and balconies). We did not find this true. The amount of smoking at this resort shocked us. On the first day at the pool, a guy was smoking a cigar next to us. On many other occasions, smoke inundated us after walking outside of the building, especially at night.
Wi-fi is not included at Club Med and it is expensive.
As a note, there is not free wi-fi. If you want to buy wi-fi, then it costs $50 a week and is super slow according to my husband.
Would I recommend Club Med Sandpiper Bay?
After reading this Club Med Sandpiper Bay Review you probably want to know if I would recommend this Club Med Florida resort. Yes (mostly), but under a few circumstances. For us, six days was way too long of a stay. I would recommend a long weekend maybe. We flew halfway across the country to get there. I would not recommend coming to this resort if it involves a long flight or drive. If you live close Port St. Lucie, then this Club Med All-Inclusive Resort would be a great getaway for a few days. Perhaps, if your kids are older than ours were at the time, you may be able to get more free time for adult activities. Those with young kids may want to wait for a few years before visiting this Club Med in Florida.
Looking for more family vacation ideas? Read our Monterey Bay Aquarium review.