These all-inclusive resorts have amazing kids club programs that are included with your stay
Thinking of heading to the Dominican Republic with your family? You definitely should! It’s a quick flight from the East Coast and offers some of the most gorgeous beaches, welcoming people, and delicious food in the Caribbean. Club Med is an easy choice for families as it is truly all-inclusive. You can have them book everything from your flights to your airport transfers and excursions so you don’t even have to think about anything beyond packing your suitcase.
Club Med offers two properties in the Dominican Republic: Club Med Punta Cana and Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda. Which of these all-inclusive properties is best for families? We have the full scoop on both and a tip on how you can even enjoy both on the same vacation!
Club Med Punta Cana
Club Med Punta Cana is the brand’s flagship family property and you can see the focus on kids before you even arrive. Once your reservation is booked and paid in full, you can sign your kids up for the Mini Club program that offers a full-day kids club experience. Activities like crafts, tennis, archery, circus school, and so much more are included for ages 4 and up at Club Med. For kids under age 4, on-demand care is available for an additional fee. You can even get care for your kids during dinner hours so they can head off with their friends while you enjoy a quiet meal with your partner.
The property’s Mini Club facilities were quite impressive. There’s a zero-entry splash zone for cooling off when the temps creep up. Rooms for dining and activities along with playground equipment are also available. While we were on the property, we saw tons of kids participating in everything from water games to a pirate scavenger hunt!
Accommodations at Club Med Punta Cana
We stayed in the two-bedroom family room while at Club Med Punta Cana and it was very well-appointed for families of up to five people. There’s a parent room with a king-size bed and bathroom, along with a couch that can be arranged as a bed for a child if needed. A separate bedroom with two twin beds for the kids has plenty of storage area and a door that closes. There’s also a second bathroom in the hallway and a balcony. The family rooms are conveniently located in the middle of the property with easy access to Mini Club and the main restaurant, Hispaniola.
If you have a baby coming along with you, the Club Med Baby Welcome Kit can be reserved in advance without additional cost and it comes with a baby bathtub, bottle warmer, changing table, umbrella bed, and stroller (this is also available at Michès).
In addition to the family accommodations, you can upgrade your stay to the Exclusive Collection space where you’ll have even more room to spread out. This part of the resort offers room service for breakfast, as well as a private pool and bar.
Head to the Zen Oasis when the kids are at Mini Club for some time in the adults-only pool. Accommodations are also available in this more secluded area of the property if you are traveling without little ones.
Dining at Club Med Punta Cana
Club Med Punta Cana has three restaurants available as part of the all-inclusive package. Hispaniola is your go-to spot for buffet dining which kids really love. Breakfast is our favorite with the omelette station taking top marks, but the dinner buffet with the chocolate fountain is a kid favorite. Hispaniola offers a gorgeous oceanfront view and is open for all three meals.
For a la carte service with ocean views, Indigo is your spot. We especially enjoyed our dinner at Indigo with perfectly grilled meats and delicious sides. The Dominican offerings like the curry plate were also quite tasty. Samana Restaurant was closed for yearly maintenance during our stay but it offers a variety of cuisines including Caribbean, French, Italian, Asian, and more.
Things to Do at Club Med Punta Cana
If you want a full day of activities, Club Med Punta Cana is ready to provide. The Club Med app will lay out all the activities available for the day from organized beach volleyball games to power walking. Nightly performances while we were there included a Grease show and a Michael Jackson performance.
Before you arrive, check out the themes for the nights you’ll be there. This ranges from white night to black/gold or floral. We were surprised how much the guests got into this while we were there! It’s not mandatory of course but most people would dress up in that night’s theme before they headed to dinner. It brings a festive vibe to the dining and nightly activities.
During the day, you can head to the beach for some time on the lounge chairs or watersports like snorkeling and sailing. Gear is available to check out but if your kids have their own goggles or floaties they like, you might want to bring them with you. We did find that the lobby shops were quite well stocked with anything we might have forgotten to bring with us.
Adults should definitely plan to spend some time at the onsite spa while you are there. Services like massages and facials are available for an additional cost but we think it’s definitely worth it for access to the gorgeous indoor/outdoor spa space. You can even book a couple’s massage with a view of the ocean.
Getting to Club Med Punta Cana
If you are looking for convenience, this is the spot for you. Fly into Punta Cana International Airport and then grab your shuttle to the resort. The property is located just a 20-minute drive from the airport so you don’t have a long van ride after your flight. Couldn’t be easier!
Club Med Punta Cana @Club Med Punta Cana @ClubMed #clubmed #clubmedpuntacana #puntacana #dominican #dominicanrepublic
♬ LALA – Myke Towers
Club Med Michés Playa Esmeralda
Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda is an oasis in the Dominican jungle and you’re going to want to check it out. A 1.5-hour shuttle ride will get you from the airport to this Exclusive Collection property and you’ll be impressed by your gorgeous surroundings from the minute you walk through the open-air lobby and are treated to a refreshing drink.
At Michès, you’ll find the service to be elevated from access to a pre-arrival concierge to the superior room amenities. All rooms have access to breakfast room services which is very convenient when traveling with kids.
Club Med Michès is focused on sustainability and they even have a water bottling facility on-site, eliminating the need for single-use plastic bottles. You will find glass bottles available in your room and they replace them as you use them throughout your stay. You can also find bottle-filling stations around the property.
Accommodations at Club Med Michès
Four villages make up the accommodations and you’ll find a different vibe in each. Explorer Cove is where we stayed and it had good access to the main area of the resort with pool, as well as the Mini Club and beach. Families will enjoy the Deluxe Family Room which has an adult room with a bathroom, a separate room with two twin beds for the kids, plus a second bathroom. Limited snacks and beverages are available in the in-room fridge and you’ll have a Nespresso machine as well.
Other areas of the property include Caribbean Paradise (a colorful area for families), Zen Oasis (a relaxing area for everyone), and Archipelago (an adult-exclusive area with a private pool). No matter where you stay, adults have access to the Zen Pool (pictured above). Believe us when we say that you won’t want to leave this area once you’ve seen it! This gorgeous green pool has lots of spots for sunbathing or reading in the shade, as well as a swim-up bar where you can get fresh-made smoothies or cocktails as you like. Claim one of the hammocks and you’ll be in heaven.
Mini Club at Club Med Michès
Just like at the Punta Cana property, kids ages 4 and up have access to the Mini Club program at Michès with similar offerings like circus school, water play, crafts, theater, and more. Infants from 4 months and up can have booked care for an additional price. The splash pad in the Mini Club area is available to families even if you aren’t using Mini Club that day. The dump bucket was a huge hit as you can imagine!
Dining at Club Med Michès
The gourmet food offerings at Michès really shine and you can see that from the moment you wake up. Head over to the coffee shop where you can find hot and cold coffee drinks, frozen yogurt, pastries, and small sandwiches.
The buffet at Cayuco had pretty much everything you could want from fresh fruit to Asian bowls to fresh-made pancakes. Adults dining without their kids can enjoy their meals in the adults-only area if they wish. Don’t miss Club Med’s signature white chocolate bread while you are there! Be sure you check the schedule for nights when they offer the Secret Chocolate Room experience. The kids will go wild when they learn that they can have as much chocolate as they can fit on their plates.
Coco Plum focuses on local specialties with many different seafood options as well as non-meat options. Try the fish tacos while you enjoy the waves crashing nearby.
Coal & Copper is the resort’s steakhouse that welcomes guests for an additional fee. We had an amazing meal here and the staff was very attentive. The portions are massive so make sure you are hungry when you arrive!
Things to Do at Club Med Michès
Take advantage of all the activities offered at Club Med Michès as there really is something for everyone. The treetop palapa is a lovely venue for morning yoga before you head to the nearby Zen Pool. Tennis lessons, fitness classes, watersports, circus lessons, and so much more are on the agenda. The tough part—balancing the relaxing with all the activities.
Club Med Michès has an excellent spa that we got to visit during our stay. Enjoy your time before or after your treatment trying out the three plunge pools that go from refreshingly cold to hot. Any way you like to relax is available here.
Nighttime brings all sorts of performances like traditional Dominican dancers and circus acts. Be sure to check the Club Med app for the schedule for the day so you know what to expect.
Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda #clubmed #clubmedmiches #clubmedmichesplayaesmeralda #dominicanrepublic #travel
♬ Paradise – Bazzi
Things to Know about Visiting Club Med in the Dominican Republic
- You can arrange a day trip to Club Med Punta Cana from Michès if you want to check out the other property. Some people even split their visit between the two properties if they want a little variety.
- The mosquitos come out at dusk in Michès. The resort provides bug spray and sprays the property as well but keep that in mind if you are sensitive.
- Mini Club can book up so if you are sure you want to use it during your stay, book it as soon as you arrive at the resort or in advance if possible.
- Many families bring strollers or foldable wagons with them. Floaties for the swimming pool are also allowed (and sold at the gift shop at both locations).
Club Med does a great job welcoming families, setting space aside for parents to relax without their kids, and bringing visitors together for shows and parties. It really is quite the fun all-inclusive family vacation!
—images by the author except where noted.
Editor’s note: This trip was hosted by Club Med but all the opinions belong to the writer.