Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle

Fall 2017

Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine

Issue link: http://read.dreamscapes.ca/i/873989

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Page 53 of 63

A lthough the property has a 4.5 Tri- dent-rating, it should really be rated a luxury 5 Trident accom- modation as are the Club Meds in Mauritius; Cancun, Mexico; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Originally called Méditerranée SA, they are now all known worldwide as Club Med. A UNIQUE JOURNEY Never having travelled to San Salvador or experienced a Club Med "village" (as Club Meds are referred to), I had no preconceived ideas of what I should expect. Started 67 years ago by Gérard Blitz, a Bel- gian, and Gilbert Trigano, an Italian tent maker, the first village opened as a simple property with rudimentary huts and tents in the Balearic Islands. After some growth and some added luxury, thanks to Baron Edmund de Rothschild, who enjoyed his stay so much that he invested in the com- pany, the Club Med concept grew widely and was soon recognized worldwide. Today, there are 68 "villages" internationally. While the original nature-dedicated camp was a far cry from the glamour of Paris, its all-inclusiveness was well received. The French are loyal to their brands and constitute 50 per cent of the guests at Columbus Isle, which boasts the largest return client rate of all Club Meds. Ninety per cent of the company was sold a few years ago to a Chinese behemoth com- pany, Fosum International Ltd., with no plans to change the successful formula but to enhance it and build more "villages" worldwide. FIRST IMPRESSIONS After landing at the San Salvador Airport, just five minutes from the "village," we learned about all the activities available, both at sea and on land, where staff and guests partake equally in the games and evening events. BY BARBARA KINGSTONE ON THE SMALL ISLAND OF SAN SALVADOR, BAHAMAS, ABOUT AN HOUR'S FLIGHT FROM NASSAU, THE BAHAMAS CAPITAL, SITS A HIDDEN SURPRISE: CLUB MED'S COLUMBUS ISLE. Club Med's BAHAMIAN GEM DREAMSCAPES FALL 2017 54

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