Club Med will open its only ski resort in North America this winter — and it’s all-inclusive
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The Club Med brand of all-inclusive resorts is best known for beachy vibes, above-par food, poolside entertainment, vivacious G.O.’s (the French brand’s lingo for its staff — short for Gentils Organisateurs) and activities like flying trapeze lessons included in your stay. And you’ll find Club Med properties across Mexico, the Caribbean and in the U.S. (did you know there’s even a Club Med Sandpiper in Florida?).
But when the Club Med Québec opens on Dec. 3, 2021, in Canada’s (moderately) mountainous Charlevoix region, between the St. Lawrence River and some of the region’s best ski terrain, it will bring something entirely new to the North American market: an all-inclusive ski vacation and stay that promises to give pricey destinations in Colorado, British Columbia and elsewhere in North America a serious run for their money.
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The all-inclusive ski concept is nothing new to Club Med. In addition to the forthcoming Canadian property, the brand has 13 all-inclusive ski and snow resorts across the Alps, with the bulk of them in France but outposts in Switzerland (Saint Moritz) and the Piedmont region of Italy, as well.
But the opening of the Club Med Québec will mark the brand’s first foray into the all-inclusive ski vacation sector in Canada, uncharted waters it will simultaneously be pioneering.
I had the chance to stay at the Club Med Val Thorens Sensations in the French Alps several years ago and became an instant convert to the all-inclusive ski experience thanks to the ease and savings of all meals and drinks being included — in addition to notoriously pricey extras like lessons and lift tickets. After all, ski vacations involve so many expensive moving parts — and that’s before you add children and their ski lessons, lift tickets and eating requirements into the mix along with your own.
I remember meeting a couple vacationing at the Club Med Val Thorens Sensations from Singapore who had several kids in tow and said they were having so much fun at the on-site kids and teens clubs, it was nearly impossible to get the kids to have any meals with their parents (the kids were nowhere to be seen — off having dinner elsewhere in the dining room with their new friends).
Wondering what to expect when the Club Med Québec opens this winter in Canada? Read on for an idea.
The 300-room property set on 300 acres in the Charlevoix region — an hour’s drive north of Quebec City International Airport — is currently showing prices on its website starting at $160 per adult, per night. That’s for late-ski season dates next year, between April 9 and April 16, 2022.
Standard rates at the resort will start from $355 per adult, per night, according to the website.
That might sound steep. But when you consider all that’s included in an all-inclusive ski vacation, it starts to feel like a real bargain — especially compared to notoriously pricey ski resorts in North America where walk-up lift tickets alone could easily run you close to $200 per person, per day. Aspen, we’re looking at you.
All stays at the ski-in/ski-out Club Med Québec include all meals and drinks, lift tickets to the ski domain at Le Massif de Charlevoix and group ski and snowboard lessons at no extra cost.
The resort’s kids club, for ages 4 to 17, is also included in the rates as well as their ski/snowboard lessons (price that one out in Colorado or Utah!), as well as all resort entertainment, Wi-Fi and tips for staff.
The only thing not included here for a ski vacation is your rental gear, which you can rent on-site.
When it comes to dining, the Club Med is known for having excellent food, and we have no reason to believe the Club Med Québec won’t live up to that reputation, situated in a demanding foodie region like Quebec as it is.
The resort’s three on-site restaurants, which include the brand’s signature food-hall style concept, will nod to the region’s and French mountain specialties with things like fondue and raclette (look for that at the family restaurant called Terroir & Co.) as well as local Québec cheeses, charcuterie, maple taffy and other traditional foods (count on plenty of international fare, too).
With an open bar included in the all-inclusive rates, your apres-ski bar tab (as well as any others) essentially gets wiped from your ski vacation “extra expenses.”
Other apres activities on property include relaxing at the Club Med Spa by Sothys, with a sauna and terrace with a hot tub overlooking the Charlevoix region (treatments cost extra).
For non-skiers, other wintertime activities at the property that are included in the all-inclusive rates are snowshoeing, nordic walking and ice skating. You can pay extra to do things like dog sledding and snowmobile tours
And this property isn’t just for visiting during winter, either.
The Club Med Québec will be the brand’s first mountain resort to stay open for all four seasons (it’s also Club Med’s first ski resort with water views), with included spring, summer and fall activities, such as guided hikes, mountain biking and circus school.
From early spring to fall, whale-watching tours on the St. Lawrence River are available, too, for an extra fee. And the region is particularly beautiful during the autumn months when it becomes a hotspot for leaf-peeping.
Having already experienced how well Club Med does the all-inclusive ski vacation at several European properties, we’re ready and excited for this opening, which was previously scheduled to happen in 2020. The all-inclusive ski concept promises to be a game-changer for the North American market — and if anyone knows how to do it already, it’s Club Med.
Featured photo courtesy of Club Med Quebec.
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