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Club Med Palmiye Review

Club Med Palmiye has long been regarded as their ‘flagship’ resort, always enormously popular & usually full. Because of availability issues I’d never had the pleasure of seeing it for myself, so when the chance arose to visit in early May 2018, I jumped at it.

I wasn’t to be disappointed… We all hope for experiences that will surpass our expectations & Club Med Palmiye certainly did that. Here’s why:

This resort is unquestionably one of the finest in the Mediterranean, just perfect for families, couples, or singles & for those wanting non-stop activities & entertainment, or more laid-back souls who yearn for a quiet spot & a good book.

First of all, Palmiye is in a beautiful environment. A dedicated, small army of gardeners work magic to create & lovingly maintain manicured lawns & exquisite flower beds which are tended to perfection, with hedges & shrubs clipped into topiary fantasies & branches interwoven to create fascinating points of interest & beauty. Bizarrely, although a ‘French’ resort on a Turkish coastline, the effect could be compared to the gardens of an English country manor house (apart from the palm trees!). For anyone with botanical or horticultural, interests, there await many delights in this little paradise.

Club Med Palmiye is rated as Four Trident (the Club Med ‘star’ rating), but there is no doubt that it compares favourably with many five-star Med resorts.

Accommodation is either in the smart hotel building or in the ‘bungalows’, which are actually a series of three-storey buildings, set amongst tranquil pine groves. Prior to seeing the resort, I would have opted for the hotel accommodation, but the tranquil setting of the bungalows, set between the Taurus mountains & the beach, is just perfect, yet with everything within easy reach. One short, peaceful walk leads to one of the main pools, the amphitheatre & shops; another to the restaurants & Reception. Yet another path to the kids’ clubs, the beach, or the haven of one of the adults-only Zen pools. There are inter-connecting rooms for families on the ground floor of the bungalows, with more in the main hotel building, which also has some suites. Incidentally, some of the hotel singles have restricted views; this is reflected in the pricing & may be relevant, or not, dependant upon how much time you will spend in your room; but do ask when booking. Top tip for the hotel: the best sea views are on the higher floors of the right-hand wing (when facing the sea).

A refurbishment programme on the bungalows began some time ago. We were very happy in a standard, non-refurbished room, which was perfectly comfortable & spotlessly clean. Top tip for this type of accommodation would be to request one of the newer rooms, with balcony. Some top floor rooms looked out amongst the branches of pine trees, perfect for the early-morning dawn chorus & the scents of the evening. Blackbirds & sparrows scoured the lawns, with magpies & hooded crows competing for dominance, just a few of the astonishing 482 bird species found in Turkey.

A duck pond, near the speciality restaurants ((Topkapi & Bosphore) is home to various geese, plus a solitary golden-eye duck & swan. The duck was in the mood for romance & busily pursued the poor swan, who sought only peace. Talking of English country manor houses, the large duck ‘house’ would be the pride of any British MP! 

The Phaselis restaurant is in the main Club Med Palmiye Hotel, but most of our meals were taken in the superb Olympus restaurant, in the Villagio area. There is a mix of covered & al fresco space, with cascading bougainvillea adding to the glorious scene. It was wonderful to see such pride, dedication & sheer craftsmanship amongst the chefs & cooking staff, & it is no exaggeration to say that the incredible range of dishes produced would compete with the finest London restaurants. Gourmet dining is always a key feature of Club Med holidays & this is the perfect example.   

Late risers are catered for, with late breakfasts & ‘out-of-hours’ snacking.  

It was wonderful to see the excitement & happiness of young families around the pool enjoying wonderful, quality family time. I heard youngsters asking each other if they were going to the foam party. Rather late for them, I thought. Well no, it started late afternoon & it was amusing to see some dads sneaking in to enjoy the fun, maybe reliving memories of long-past single days in Ibiza? 

There are brilliant, professional kids’ clubs for all age groups, leaving parents free for some quality time of their own, either to relax, play tennis, do some sailing & watersports, or enjoy a spa & Hammam treatments. It is a big holiday cliché, but there really is something for everyone. Yoga, Pilates, fitness classes, archery, aqua-aerobics, gyms, Turkish baths, even circus classes & trapeze lessons! A delightful traditional Turkish boat, the Caroline, offers twice-daily complimentary snorkelling trips.  A chance to get out onto the ocean & see the coastline from another point of view, whether you want to swim or not.  There's plenty of shade too.

We met the tennis coach, Zico, & it was fascinating to watch his calm, paternal & professional method of encouraging the youngsters. Zico puts his teaching experience to good use so that the children are learning whilst they are playing, with no pressure & endless patience. Zico & the tennis facilities are so well regarded, that high-profile visitors have included Roger Federer!

The staff is one of the other secrets of Club Med. One of the charming G.O.s (Gentils Organisateurs) - Kevo - took us under his wing & often joined us for drinks & meals. The calm, yet super-efficient, Tanya oversees the Reception & back office.  

The resort is spread over many acres, with a wonderful feeling of space.  There’s never a problem to find a favourite sunbed or spot for relaxing, in or out of the sun.

 

Newcomers to Club Med might not know that many evenings are themed, with suggested (optional) clothing colours. One very special feature is the White Night. Please do enjoy this very special gala evening under the stars, something not to be missed and which you will remember forever.

Club Med Palmiye offers a very special holiday experience & I would happily recommend it to anyone.

Our staff are waiting to help you.  Please call free on 0800 707 6229, or email with any questions you might have: info@travelclubelite.com

  • 30th May 2018