By Bekah Wright


There’s a resort with a sign that proclaims it’s just for toddlers—Baby Club Med. The diminutive can be found marching in line down the beach singing, “Lo le, lo, le, lo!” at the top of their lungs, splashing up some fun in one of the many pools designated for their age group or learning circus moves for futures under the big top.

It should come as no surprise that all this and more awaits youth at Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Indeed, Club Med resorts have made an art of out entertaining kids for the past 41 years, since the organization founded their first children’s club. Club Med Punta Cana is no exception with its children’s programs for as young as four months up to 17 years. There are some pretty nifty things for their parents, too.


Perfect for families are Punta Cana’s 32 new family suites that seem more like private cottages on the beach. The luxury Tiara suites are painted cheery, tropical yellows, oranges, pinks and salmons accented by white, tin roofs. The porches overlook a lawn that trails to the Atlantic, where waves create a fun, spouting effect on a craggy outcropping that will delight young guests.

Each cottage’s living area has a flatscreen television, couch and lounge chair with ottoman. A mini-fridge is kept stacked with complimentary beverages requested from the concierge. In the main sleeping area is a king-sized bed with targeted lighting that will appeal to night readers. A favorite feature for those who like staying connected to the outside world is the computer with free Internet access on a desk footing the bed. The master bath has a double sink and romantic soaking tub just right for sailboats and sponge shapes, or parents looking to share a glass of champagne post baby’s bedtime.

A second bedroom has twin beds, a desk and flatscreen television. Its bathroom has a shower, but no tub. Ample closet space in both rooms makes for easy unpacking. Special baby equipment, from cribs to changing tables, can also be requested. Another perk—laundry service is available for a fee.

There are other classes of rooms on the property, including Club and Deluxe Rooms, but none beat the view and convenience of the Tiara with their VIP concierge service, special amenities and private, shorefront infinity pool that’s a lure to grown-ups.

Though the room service menu is not extensive, the resort’s two buffet-style restaurants are chockfull of healthy, international cuisine. Breakfast and lunch are served at the open-air Hispanola. La Samana is where guests convene at the dinner hour. Both venues have special “baby corners” equipped with high chairs and toys, along with mealtime necessities like milk, juice and food befitting young taste buds. Last, but not least, is Celeste Grill, which sits right on the beach and offers a casual menu.

The nightly applause outside Samana is not a pat on the back for guests who’ve eaten their vegetables. Instead, it harkens a different show each night inside the resort’s open-air theatre. Some fave performances are those from young guests showing off hip hop moves or vocals learned in the children’s program. Not to be outdone are staff members displaying their aerial skills

Afterwards, adult types in search of a nightcap can pop by Cielo, the main bar where an UN-worthy throng sips cocktails conversing in myriad languages that will have the adventurous twisting their tongues to learn.



Though nights at the resort are buzzing, daytime is full-throttle with activities for all ages that range from sailing and windsurfing to archery and dancing the merengue. The hot spots for tykes to teens—Baby Club Med, Petit Club, Mini Club and Passworld – with ages grouped by compatibility.

A cavalcade of strollers can be found at the entryway of Baby Club Med’s Cocos Room for ages four months to infants who’ve progressed to walking. Inside, instructors (many former certified teachers who’ve traded the typical classroom for a different teaching experience) play games and read to little ones. Across the hall are the Rascals, walkers through 24 months. A puppet theatre calls for unleashing small imaginations as does a table set for arts and crafts. In Petit Club Med two and three-year-olds are busy face painting, playing games, undertaking arts and crafts and holding pajama parties.

There are myriad toys and interactive playthings for engaging little ones, as well as Baby Gym sessions, nature walks and time in the pool. On tap for those up and walking are programs such as Lil’ Explorers Science Club and Petit Chef, where snack time is combined with cooking lessons. Parents wanting to get into the fun can accompany their offspring for a variety of workshops.

Outside the clubs are extensive play areas with equipment such as a Little Tykes Treehouse, pint-sized wooden train for boarding as well as various jungle gyms and basketball/tennis courts. A big hit are the swimming pools. Even toddlers can get wet in the dedicated children’s pool with its mini “water park” that includes a splash pad and buckets on levers for dousing instructors.

Older brothers and sisters can enjoy soccer matches, rollerblading and tennis lessons. Creative workshops such as Hip-Hop Kidz and Mini Magic are also on the schedule. Most kids, though, will be vying for time on the resort’s trapeze with lessons in flying high. Not to be left out are tweens (Juniors ages 11 to 13) and teens (14 to 17) who convene at Passworld, a universe unto itself set inside a giant skate ramp. The atmosphere is both groovy and creative with time for everything from hip hop classes to computer games. Getting teens in touch with nature are kayak, catamaran and snorkel outings. And, of course, daredevil moves can be performed on The Ramp or the nearby trapeze.

Where are Mom and Dad throughout the day? They’re relaxing under coconut palms on the beach. They’re also partaking in their own kind of fun, from exploring Punta Cana’s jungles on an eco-tour, scuba diving around a wrecked cargo ship, sailing the lagoon, golfing the 18-hole, Jack Nicklaus-designed fairways and playing footsie couples’ treatments at the spa. Kids might think Club Med Punta Cana was made just for them, but during these precious hours, parents know it’s the ideal place to reconnect not only as a family, but as a couple.

As the day draws to a close, kids waiting for their folks to collect them often spot said parents marching down the beach happily singing a familiar tune, “Lo le lo, le lo…” Yep, this resort’s for big kids, too.


Ready to plan your summer vacation? This resort makes an art out of entertaining kids.

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