Have the PERFECT Family Vacation at ClubMed Sandpiper Bay explores all the amenities and benefits of having an incredible family vacation at the all inclusive family resort ClubMed Sandpiper Bay in Florida.
June 17-24 we went on the most perfect family vacation a mom could ask for. It was the kind where every day since we (and by ‘we’ I literally mean my entire family) have all said, “When can we go back?!” As a parent it’s rare to have vacations where it doesn’t just feel like you’re parenting in a different location, but this one? Well, this one achieved it all – the sense of togetherness, the fun, the magic, and the actual rest and relaxation every parent dreams of.
It would be easy for me to sit here and wax poetic about everything we loved about this vacation (and trust me, I will), but first a little bit about the actual location. Located in Port St. Lucie, Florida, ClubMed Sandpiper Bay isn’t your typical 30A vacation spot. It’s actually a riverside resort, as opposed to the ocean, which was something that was surprisingly wonderful in my opinion. ClubMed Sandpiper Bay is also about a 15 minute drive to several gorgeous beaches on the Atlantic, which makes it the best of both worlds. It’s a tropical paradise where you don’t have to worry about cooking for yourself in a condo, or fight over which restaurant everyone wants to go to. It’s a place where the activities are endless, kids and parents can have a great time, and there’s actual opportunity to relax.
Ready to learn more? Let’s take a deep dive into what you get when you seek out a perfect family vacation at ClubMed Sandpiper Bay!
Is it really all-inclusive?
YES! There are a few exceptions – top shelf liquor, excursions outside of the property, motor watercraft (i.e. wave runners, motor boats), and extra childcare in the evenings. Otherwise everything was included!
What all IS included?
I’m going to list it all out below with my (sort of) brief thoughts on everything!
- FOOD. There were several food options throughout the day, but the majority of the meals for the majority of people in the resort were at The Marketplace Restaurant. The food was fresh with TONS of options, most of which were changed for every meal. They always had a salad bar, pizza, and burger/hot dog area, but then you had a fantastic selection of foods from all over the world. Not to mention dessert, fresh-baked breads, fresh cut fruit, fresh squeezed juice, coffee, beer, wine, and more. They also did a great job of making sure everything was labeled with special diets in mind, so there was never any question about what was gluten- or dairy-free. There were also a good selection of dishes that were friendly for those diets as well!
- DRINKS. Open bar all day? Yep, you got it! I suppose if you wanted to spend your entire day plastered you could (although I really hope you don’t). Slice was the main bar next to the main pool, and it had some great indoor and outdoor lounge areas. You could also get beer and wine at The Marketplace Restaurant, and the Infinity Pool (only ages 18+ allowed) also had a poolside bar. I also loved that the kids could participate in the bar “experience” by ordering slushies – margaritas, strawberry daiquiris, and piña coladas without the alcohol. Every afternoon we would all go and get a little pre-dinner drink: wine or a cocktail for Nate and myself, and slushies for the boys!
- FINE DINING. They also had a fine dining restaurant – Riverside Restaurant – that had an incredible menu and experience as well. This was included, although it was first come first serve when it came to reservations. My parents celebrated an anniversary while we were there, so we put the kids in the evening childcare and had an adults-only dinner. The food was absolutely delicious, and we shut the place down!
- CHILDCARE. Yes, I said free (although I suppose not technically free) childcare! And not just people who sit on their phones while your kids play with other stuff – involved, caring, FUN childcare from babies all the way to 10 year olds. My boys had the absolute best time, still talk about their leaders and the friends they met, and ask me when they can go back and see them! They kept them busy with sports, trapeze lessons (<— YES you read that correctly!), swim time, kids-only lunches and dinners, movies, science experiments, pizza-making lessons, art studio time, snacks and more. My boys have never slept so hard! My sister and brother-in-law were also there with my niece, who is 18 months as I write this, and they had some fantastic childcare for littles – I was more than impressed with how much everyone in Mini ClubMed cared for our kiddos.
- SWIMMING POOLS. ClubMed Sandpiper Bay has 5 pools, and we visited ALL of them! There’s a baby pool (only goes to 1 foot and is covered), a splash pad (for big and little kids alike), a lap pool (felt so good to swim laps again!), the main pool (which boasted water aerobics and was my kids’ favorite pool), and the infinity pool (ages 18+ and so relaxing). The lifeguard staff was very attentive and professional, which is so important to me, and we felt really taken care of. Not to mention there are tons of ways to lounge around the pool, so when we wanted a break to lay down? We had plenty of space to do that! It’s also good to note that they had (free) lifejackets all over the place as well, which was great for my little guy who’s still learning to swim.
- WATER ACTIVITIES. As I mentioned before the motorized water activities were extra, but you could take a kayak, stand up paddle board, or sailboat out any time you wanted! This area was complete with a sandy beach, extremely attentive staff, lifejackets, and lounge area studded with palm trees. Admittedly I loved just walking down, grabbing a SUP board, and paddling around for 20-30 minutes. Probably one of my favorite relaxation activities while we were there!
- OUTDOOR SPORTS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. Trapeze lessons, pickle ball, bocce ball, mini golf, tennis, soccer, basketball, sand volleyball, golf, and ping pong. You could take lessons, or just jump in and play – perfect for the down times when we wanted to enjoy something as a family!
- ENTERTAINMENT. Every night the staff would put on a show of some kind with different themes, there was live music outside of Slice (the main bar), games and books available to borrow, a large screen in the bar area to watch movies and/or sports (we watched Zootopia, Moana, and the World Cup).
- FITNESS. If you weren’t getting enough activity (or just love traditional workouts on vacation) they also have fitness classes in the cardio studio, as well as a gym with all the equipment you could ask for – treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, free weights, weight machines, yoga mats, Bosu balls, etc. They also have yoga, pilates, spin, bootcamps, water aerobics, and more as options for those who want to focus on vacation fitness. I only spent a little time doing some steady state cardio since I was hitting almost 10,000 steps by 10am every morning!
- ACCOMMODATIONS. Obviously this is included, but it’s important when traveling with kiddos that you know what you have access to. Because we had our two boys they made out the two couches into beds for them, while Nate and I shared a king-sized bed. My sister’s room was exactly the same; however, because they had my baby niece they were able to make the MASSIVE closet into a nursery of sorts. They got a pack and play, changing pad, and a stroller, all included! Our closets were huge with built in shelves, hangers, robes and slippers, and tons of storage. We also had a coffee/beverage area that they kept well stocked with bottled water, juice, La Croix, and soft drinks. The bathroom was split into two areas – one with the shower/tub (amazing water pressure by the way), toilet, and sink, and the other with just a sink and hair dryer. There was a giant floor-to-ceiling mirror, which was helpful. Finally, we had a great patio with lounge chairs, a table, and a great view of the marina.
Questions I had…
- What about laundry? Because we were flying Delta (no free bags) and were going to be there for a full week I wondered about the laundry situation. I knew we could get our laundry done for a fee, but they also had some laundry facilities in our building that were great for what we needed. We purchased detergent at La Boutique, the resort store, but if you think you’ll want to do laundry I’d recommend bringing your own detergent because it would be cheaper that way.
- Can I buy clothing, things I forgot, souvenirs, etc? La Boutique was the main store where they had clothing and souvenirs available, as well as a few medicine options (ibuprofen, antacids, afterbite for bug bites, bandaids, etc). They also had pool toys, a few snack options (not that anyone would need it, but still), laundry detergent, and more. You could put everything on your bill, which made it very easy to take care of the little things!
- Are you allowed to leave the resort? Yes! I know that sounds like a silly question, but I wondered if we could leave if there was something else close by we wanted to do. The answer is that it was very easy to come and go because, although it felt like a secluded private paradise, there’s a city just beyond the walls of the resort as well. We rented a car one day and went to Bathtub Reef Beach so the kids could experience the ocean as well. Not that you would really have any reason to really want to leave, but it was definitely an easy option to do on your own.
- Can I really trust my kids are safe and taken care of? I’m a pretty overprotective mom, and unapologetically so. I worry about my boys constantly, and can be kind of a pain in the butt about it – again, unapologetically so. Going into the week I wasn’t sure what childcare would be like, how my boys would take to it, and most importantly if they would be taken care of the way I wanted them to. I can say now that we had the best experience with the Mini Club Med leaders, and my boys still talk about how much fun they had. They ask constantly when we can go back, and I know there’s no way they would be so adamant if they didn’t have a blast!
- So then how does the childcare actually work? When we got in the first day we just stuck together as a family to explore the resort. The next morning we went and signed the boys up (and my little niece as well), left them with some dry clothes and sunscreen, and off they went to adventure all day long! For babies the process is a little different – they have requirements for the ratio of adults to kiddos – so you have to sign babies up ahead of time. As for older kiddos, though, you can drop them off, pick them up, drop them off again, as needed!
How much did it cost?
I want to be totally honest and open here: my parents gifted us this trip to celebrate their anniversary, so I don’t actually know how much it cost. I also never intended to blog about it until we had the best time and I had to share. However, I do know that they got a great deal during a “kids go free!” promotion, so it was definitely less than the normal cost. I would recommend checking out the deals and promotions they have by signing up for their email list, because you never know what you might come across!
Additionally, looking back I would recommend having a car in some way/shape/form. If our flights hadn’t been included then we likely would have driven (and I would have had to serve Benadryl-laced cookies to my husband and my children – kidding. Mostly), and it would have been nice to have had a car there rather than using Uber or renting. It’s not that big of a deal, but certainly something to keep in mind, especially if you’re in driving distance of the resort.
Should I make this my next family trip?
Well, it’s your call. If you want to have a blast and share a family experience that you’ll be talking about for years to come, then yes you should totally make this your next trip. If you like parenting in different locations, stressing about food, and spending more than you originally thought you would on a vacation? Then you should probably find somewhere else. But let’s be honest – you’re a smart cookie, and you know you should go!
As if I haven’t hammered it home yet, I can’t say enough great things about ClubMed Sandpiper Bay. Every staff member we came across made sure that we were well taken care of. There were fun things for everyone to do, great food to eat, great drinks to drink. Our children slept like rocks, and let’s be honest – mom and dad did, too. And we will most certainly be making the trip back!