I recently had the opportunity to participate in a FAM (aka a travel agent familiarization trip) to the French Alps with Club Med. But, there was homework! To prepare for the trip, I attended extensive training on Club Med’s properties and, more importantly to me, their philosophies regarding how they interact with their respective environments.

As most of you know, I am more of an adventure traveler than I am a leisure traveler. I rarely sit still when traveling, instead thirsting to get out to explore, to understand a destination’s history and culture, and to gain a sense of community. The more I travel, the more immersive I want the next experience to be. I seek to achieve that feeling of place through the varying landscapes, cultures, history and food that I experience. That being said, you can appreciate my apprehensiveness about all-inclusive holidays where you tend to stay in one spot and have less interaction with the local community.  

However, as I went through my training on the sustainable practices employed at all Club Med properties, I began to feel more comfortable with the brand. Here’s what I learned … 

Club Med’s Pride of Place 

Club Med was practicing sustainability long before some of today’s eco-conscious resorts. For more than 60 years, their development has been based on values and practices that reflect what hotels and resorts are coming around to in the past decade. Club Med has always sought to build resorts that blend in harmoniously in exceptional sites, allowing guests to rejuvenate through contact with nature, being vigilant with energy and water savings, promoting renewable energy sources, controlling the water treatment and recycling techniques, and also engaging in local support and employee satisfaction. 

Since 2005, Club Med’s mission has been to integrate responsible action into all business lines through an in-depth approach. And in 2019, Club Med launched “Happy to Care,” a program based on three pillars: preserving exceptional natural heritage, sharing value locally, and offering more jobs.

My Experience at La Rosiere in the French Alps

Undeniably dreamy, La Rosiere’s enviable perch 1,950 meters above sea level takes in the entire Tarentaise valley. The stone- and wood-clad resort was built with careful consideration for the inhabitants of Montvalezan, ensuring that local lore is shared and celebrated (you can learn the story of the mythical Petit St. Bernard pass in the Savoyard interior design). 

Here’s a brief look at my recent stay: 


As with many Club Meds, the room styles and set-up are family-focused, with separate rooms for children (finally, parents need not go to bed at their kiddos’ early bedtime!). The rooms are functional and contemporary - superior rooms are the entry-level accommodations, while premium rooms offer a bit more space and more upscale amenities. Each is delightfully adorned with Alps-style touches, from wood-paneled walls and wooden sliding doors, to floral motifs, bells and an edelweiss. The resort is in the process of building an “exclusive space” that provides an added touch of luxury and exclusive areas only for use by those staying in the exclusive space. Think of it as a more upscale resort within the resort.


The central dining area has a le marché concept, where diners approach different stations for their choice of plated food. Think pasta, pizza, seafood, grilled meats and much more. The cuisine was interesting and diverse every day of our stay (no leftovers re-rendered into the next day’s lunch!). Unlike with a buffet-style approach, I never tired of the food and enjoyed the variety, which included several local specialties such as raclette and tartiflette. 

The eating area is divided into different sections so that you have a space for adults only, while another space is focused on younger families. Everyone dines on the same food, no matter which space they choose to sit in. There is also an a la carte restaurant at which you can eat once during your stay. 

The Skiing 

Incroyable! The Alps ski experience at La Rosiere was over the top! I skied just one day, but in that time we covered about 40 kilometers and skied into the Italian Alps, seeing both Mont Blanc up close and the Matterhorn. 

As someone who hadn’t skied in 13 years, I was happy to be able to ski on just blue and red slopes, with nary a black diamond challenge, and still have access to such incredible terrain and views. We took 22 chairlifts and 2 poma lifts, never riding the same one twice. Lunch was in a little chalet in Italy, where we were able to dine outside in the sun. What’s more, there was not any skate-skiing (cat tracks) required when getting from one lift to another. The slopes are brilliantly connected in such a way that we could get from one to the other without having to “walk” up the hill. 

Club Med ski resorts have nailed down the ski-in/ski-out concept, providing guests with a locker so that they can access everything from the same building in which they sleep and eat. I simply had to walk outside to the slopes; returning was just as easy. 

Group ski lessons and lift tickets are included in the resort’s all-inclusive rate; equipment rentals are not. We hired a guide to bring us through to the Italian Alps, which I strongly recommend (you are not able to do it on your own). 


Club Med speaks of “disconnecting to reconnect,” an ethos that encourages a nice blend of personal and family time. Most facilities have children’s programs, which start as early as 4 months old. Adults may have the morning free while their children enjoy ski lessons or activities, then share in a family activity in the afternoon. 

At non-ski facilities, you’ll see a plethora of activity choices, too, such as tennis, pickleball, snorkeling, windsurfing, archery and even circus arts. Activities such as scuba diving and golf are available for a fee. Each Club Med resort has different options. 

Throughout the day, you’ll find that common spaces serve different purposes, so you’ll never need to move to another venue to enjoy what is going on. Lounge with friends over drinks and listen to the evening entertainment in the background, or move over 15 meters and be in front of the stage, depending on your mood. 


The Club Med staff goes above and beyond to ensure that all guests feel like “club members.” I felt the hospitality to be akin to a Silversea small-ship cruise. The staff was engaged with their members (guests) and you’d see them in multiple roles, wearing several hats, and doing whatever it took to make things enjoyable. I spoke with several of the staff members, many of whom had been with Club Med for more than 16 years and had worked at resorts all over the world - reflective of how much Club Med cares about staff development and satisfaction. 

My Take-Away

For a family-focused, active vacation, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Club Med. With our first grandchild as part of our family now, I am considering multigenerational trips to some of their well-located properties around the world. I can envision my husband and me choosing a Club Med resort to relax - and I can see us there with our whole family. 

Club Med has managed to offer it all - successfully. I appreciate their philosophies grounded in community, their food-management policies and their ban on single-use-plastics. I like that they only build on 10% of the land they occupy and preserve the local features of that land. Given that they pioneered “all-inclusives,” Club Med properties are still located in some of the most beautiful and pristine places in the world - and they’re committed to keeping those areas that way. 

I’m thrilled to have discovered a new product that speaks to me on so many levels and look forward to sharing it with you as we arrange your own Club Med experience.  

Please reach out to me if you’d like to explore a vacation at Club Med. You can find my contact details here: card.penguins2polarbears.com

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