Club Med Columbus Isle

Address: Cockburn Town, San Salvador, Out Islands, Bahamas | 4 star resort
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This 4 star resort is located on Cockburn Town, San Salvador.
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          Historical Traveler Reviews Club Med Columbus Isle San Salvador

          Columbus Isle Club Med February 2004


          We have been going to Club Med for over 20 years and had finally decided to go to Columbus Isle, which our travel agent had been suggesting for several years. In trying to check the weather beforehand, I ended up on this web site and then became a little apprehensive after reading the recent negative comments about Club Med Columbus Isle, the chef du village there, and the attitude of the GOs, etc. from the other posts on this site. Even though we actually considered trying to change our plans to another club, we decided to give it a try anyway, and would let member services know if there were any problems. I cannot say enough about what a wonderful time we had at this club last week (Feb. 7-14). The chef du village (Olivier) was not only personable and very visible, but he was entertaining (joined in the casual singing in the bar and in the shows) and he seemed to make a point of attending all daily events and meals and greeting everyone.

          They had this great family singing group (the Connies) that entertained several times daily with contemporary tunes. They'd be singing during lunch sometimes or for the sunset at the sea center's bar. It was so relaxed and personal - the singers just sitting there amonst the GMs taking requests and seeming to really enjoy themselves as they sang for people. The food was excellent (and we have been eating Club Med food for over 20 years as I said earlier). The service staff was especially cordial - including the dining hall servers and the room attendants.

          People greeted you and smiled. We were concerned about not speaking French and the posts that had said that the club ignored English/Americans, but we just did not find that to be the case. True - the majority of the shows and other entertainment events were initially presented in French, but everything was also translated into English.

          GOs were very friendly - even asked if they could join us at meals. We found the entire experience to be one of our best Club Med vacations ever - good food, company, involved, personal staff and accomodations.

          Of course, the fact that the location of the club is incredibly beautiful should also be mentioned. The beach is soft white sand that provides a nice even walk - about 50 minutes to the end and then back to the club. Everything is pristine and so tranquil. The snorkeling was also excellent. We saw turtles and swam with triggerfish surrounding us as we swam around an old frigate wreck. Disco yoga for an end-of-the-day wind-down with Daniel was so relaxing. What can I say?

          This was probably the nicest Club Med vacation we've had. I just wanted to give another opinion about this club because we simply did not find any of the problems reported earlier.

          Club Med Columbus Isle is wonderful!


          Jan 17 ? 23/04 - This was our fifth Club Med, and our experience at Columbus Isle was fantastic! Some caveats on an all-out endorsement ? 1) we wanted a max-relax holiday ? those expecting a hopping scene are advised to go to another island. 2) large weekly charter flights from Paris and a new one from Montreal mean there is more French spoken than English ? not Club Med?s fault, but good business dictates you look after the majority (my take, not the resorts!). The only real casualty of this is the humor during the evening shows, and humor seldom translates anyway. Now for the good stuff! The ?new? Total All-Inclusive was so much better than having to pay for and deal with the old drink ticket system. The GOs as a team were the best we?ve seen ? special thanks to Adam, Martina, Alicia, Dan, Veronica, Abby, Ziv, and Sanny and for making our trip so special. As for Chief Olivier, he was the first chief we?ve had that was at the greeting AND the send-off ? for our relatively small American Eagle charter. He was as visible and more professional and courteous than Paul was at Turks in ?02. The diving was great ? walls, rays, eagle rays, turtles, vibrant coral and a wide variety of fish (wanted to see Hammerheads, they eluded us ? this time!) For those newly-wed and planning on open-water certification diving ? leave your wedding band in the safe in your room ? no-one thought to tell me, and my C$1200 platinum band slipped off and was gone! The rooms are the best we?ve seen at a Club Med (Hilton it is not, but that?s not why you go to Club Med in the first place.) Last but not least ? white chocolate bread ? we miss you!PS ? there is pink Sand on San Salvador, out at East Beach and Rice Beach ? way out by the lighthouse, even more pink that at Harbour Island!

          Club Med needs to rethink


          We've been Club Med Fans for over 15 years now, having been to Turks, Paradise, Hualtulco, Punta Cana, Eleuthera (7 times!) and were really looking forward to Columbus Isle as a premium resort in the Club Med Family. Very Disappointing. I'll start by agreeing with the previous two reviews (we probably shared meals together) Olivier sucked the big one. Not only was he uninvolved, he was a patronizing, uninterested and unavailable - he should be sacked - particularly since one of Club Med's attractions is its staff involvement. So little surprise that the GOs lacked cohesiveness or life. And the French fact, rather than being a plus here, was a rude, disrespectful slap at those guests who didn't speak it. We are all bilingual in our family, however, there was no attempt to bring the two 'solitudes' to interact at all- on the contrary, Olivier pretty well set it up to alienate the english (ie american) guests and pandered exclusively to the Paris Charter guests - including shows that were all-french, awards ceremonies midweek that acknowledged and celebrated only the French guests.... The Land Sports were non-existant compared to other clubs, there was no animation at all, group participation non existant (unless you happen to have a Paris mailing address) and the GO's tended to grab the best chairs at the pool for themselves on off-time. Snorkling was ok, the sites were a little bare and deep, however the Scuba GO's rotated so there was little enthusiasm - as if the snorklers were the losers who didn't scuba. Only a few Gos were visible encouraging guests to participate in anything, the bar games were lame and uninvolving, shall I go on. . . .

          The accomodations were really nice, the grounds too, too bad the trees were all young - the site will be beautiful when they all fully grown.

          The Beach was a dissapointment - very steep both in and out of the water - not condusive to strolling or hanging out in the water. The food was ok but we've seen better presentations and quantity - the deserts were not up to French Club Med standards. There was no attempt to seat guests together to create opportunities for new meetings so it was not uncommon to see large empty tables with two or three people eating alone. So.... if you want to be alone and scuba dive, this is a good place, but as a premium vacation offering, Club Med blew it.

          Columbus Isle


          I agree with the previous reviewer. Olivier is definitely not the most dynamic chef de village. During my one week stay there I only saw him at the shows. I have been to Turks and Caicos Club Med where the chef Paul was involved in most activities. The club caters more to the French. It will really be interesting when the New York charter arrives. The food and accomodations were above average for Club Med standards. The major complaint is the mosquitos that come out after sunset. I got at least 20 bites.

          Second Time Around


          Just returned from our second visit to Columbus Isle. We visited the club for the first time December, 2003, when if had just re-opened after closing after 9/11. Our first Chief of the Village, Aziz, was great, and set the tone for the entire village. The new Chief, Olivier, is not very dynamic and it shows. But, we still had a great time and met alot of great people. The food was great--both of us gained five pounds--each. The pastry chef was our downfall. However, the two weeks that we were there Americans were definately the minority. However, a New York charter is starting right before Christmas. Most of the visitors are either from New York or the direct charter from Paris--interesting combination! The water and beach is picture-postcard beautiful and the Bahamian staff is great. The only negatives--this year's new chef of the village, Olivier, is not a great leader and definately favors the French and if you have bad weather, there's not alot to do. But, they do have alot of cable TV channels.

          Friendly, beautiful and relaxing!


          Stayed here two years ago...and that visit still brings a smile to my

          face and e-mails from people I met there!

          This is a lovely property. For singles, they have private rooms with an

          elegant shared bath. This place is quiet and relaxing...excellent food

          and lots of snorkeling trips. The coral is not in great shape....but

          after following a school of angel fish around the reef...who can


          This is not party-city...but if you're single or a couple and want to

          meet very interesting active people, if you want to snorkel, sail,

          water ski, do yoga, ect.....come here.

          If you're looking to party-hearty and a hook up...I don't think it's the place. My room mate complained about the lack of female/male action.

          If the horse riding farm is still an available it! Run

          by a wonderful couple and a great beach riding adventure. From our

          vantage point, we saw lots of sharks as we rode!

          Club Med Columbus Isle-Not as Advertised


          Club Med San Salvador Island NOT AS ADVERTISEDWhat a miserable vacation it turned out to be. The beach is lovely, and the facilities are very good, the food barely passed for mediocre, and the atmosphere was just awful! This was our third Club Med, the last two in Mexico, and we will never go to another Club Med again.We have two kids, 8 & 9 yrs old, and they did not get much use out of the Kids Clubs in the Mexico resorts, so it was no necessary we go to a Village with a Kids Club. The marketing material, along with representations made by their agents said that kids are welcome and Columbus Isle would be just great for families. To avoid the Christmas travel crowds, we pulled the kids from school for a week in February (both kids are great students). We were in for quite a shock when we went poolside; a good half of the women were topless. (While this may appeal to many people, it is not the kind of thing for kids from where we come from.) My wife was totally humiliated. I did complain while I was there, asked about getting off the island (not easy), and was shrugged off. Upon our return home I learned that nude bathing is against Club Med policy, (even the GOs were going topless), as well as it is against the laws of the Bahamas.I really dont care what they do at the Village; just dont promote it for kids. They had plenty of opportunity to warn us (or the travel agent). Their response concerning my complaint ha been very unsatisfactory.The food. While the food in the Mexican Villages was excellent, the food at Columbus Isle varied fro standard buffet mush to inedible. A person in the buffet line in front of me had to kill a bug crawling out of a dish. Then the server tried to put the platter back! Some of the fish dishes were above average, and the bread was decent, but we did not put on any extra weight because the meals were so great.If you like fresh air, forget it! The theater (where it is clearly posted No Smoking was a fog. In fact we had to walk out of shows because our eyes and throats were burning because of the thick cigarette smoke. But the smoking is everywhere. It may be a cultural thing with the large French contingent, but at meals, the pool, even in the ocean plumes of smoke always seemed to be in ones face.The bar bracelets are a good idea, but during popular times you had a good wait to get you drinks. They said they were short a bartender. Oh well.This was a huge disappointment. In the future we will not be going to Club Med.

          Gorgeous Property, Bad smelling bathrooms


          Stay 1/25/03 through 2/1/03.

          Beautifully decorated rooms and club house with antiques from Asia. The grounds are immaticulate, the beach is georgeous and the staff overall very friendly. Unfortunately there was a problem with the sewers in the bathrooms which made the rooms smell. We were given other rooms which were less malodorous, but still the smell was always present after flushing of the toilets. The food was excellent, but can vary depending on who the head chef is, ie: in the middle of the week, the Chef was replaced, and the food gradually became better. Beginner divers beware! Club Med changed their policy of Resort Certification to 2 lessons instead of 4. This means that you must have free diving experience or be very comfortable in the water to venture out for your first diving experience. Club Med will take you to depth of 60 feet on the first dive! I was fortunate to have a sensible instructor (ask for Sarah) who volunteered to accompany me on the snorkeling boat to calm my diving jeeters. Since the Club was closed for 14 months, some of the coral was allowed to grow and you will see beautiful brain and fan corals. Hammerheads, sting rays, bottle nose dolphins and turtles are also present and visibitily is very good. Besides Club Med, there is nothing to else on this small island to visit on the island. The French composed about 85% of the visitors since Club Med runs an unbelievable promotion for a direct flight from Paris. (It costs the same for an American to fly from Miami for a week stay). Wish the Americans would get as sweet of a deal.

          Excellent place to stay--I heard is up for sale though


          This is an excellent resort...If you like the blue ocean water, the white soft sand and luxury.

          It was by far the best place I have ever stayed at. I was lucky enough to have worked there, and lived there for 6 months.

          Whatever becomes of this bautiful resort..I will forever have fond memories from it and wish to come back to it someday.


          Columbus Isle


          It's absolutely gorgeous. The food is great, and the diving is divine. If you like hammerhead sharks, this is the place to dive.

          TripAdvisor Reviews Club Med Columbus Isle San Salvador

          4.50 of 5 stars Outstanding

          Travel Blogs from San Salvador

          Cruisin', snoozin' and a bit of boozin'

          A travel blog entry by sarahjr on Jan 12, 2014

          Today was our first full day at sea and we took the opportunity for a sleep in. The seas so far have been relatively smooth and the ride comfortable. We sailed down the Caribbean past the Bahamas islands which we will return to later in the week.

          We had breakfast in the buffet and learned it is also pretty hard to make healthy food choices unless you want omelettes and fruit each morning. There are lots of eggs, greasy American ...

          "I like it up the front."

          A travel blog entry by paradiselost on Jul 30, 2013

          19 photos

          Time is yet again going by far too fast and after two wonderful weeks with my Mama I bid her goodbye. While my mum was here we went out diving, I say we - I went diving while my mum sat talking to the instructor on the boat. As always it was utterly mesmerizing, I always find diving to be a relaxing experience. If I was stressed, it would be the ultimate de-stressor. While beneath the surface I mingled with some old acquaintances – sting rays, reef sharks, fishes of all size ...


          A travel blog entry by paradiselost on Jul 13, 2013


          So I had been in touch with a friend in Florida who had informed me earlier in the week via email that he was "keeping an eye on Chantal." Now I have to admit, on some occasions I will pretend to know what someone is talking about for the pure fact I can't be bothered to question it. This was one of those situations. I didn't have a scooby who "Chantal" was but neither did I feel compelled to ask. As it turned ...

          "So you got a boyfriend...?"

          A travel blog entry by paradiselost on Jul 13, 2013

          1 comment

          And in the news today... The week started with July 4th celebrations on behalf of my American buddies. You would think that by now I would have understood the workings of my body and realised that drinking on an empty stomach was only going to have dire consequences. And so, after a night of laughter, fireworks, and copious vodka diet cokes, I found myself in bed with the world spinning. Naturally this was shortly followed by a bout of sickness, ...

          "Sharing the love and charitable donations"

          A travel blog entry by paradiselost on Jun 30, 2013

          I aim to write one post a week but the weeks are coming around far too bloody fast I feel like I am writing all the time. This week has been very busy as I have been trying to get as much work done as possible as my darling mama is coming out on the 10th for 2 weeks and I want to spend some time with her. So on the whole the week days have been fairly quiet and work focused however the weekend approached and with it a leaving party for a woman named Rhonda. She worked in customs ...