Club Med Cancún: Why it's the people that make this resort so great

It's been nearly six months since my son Max and I had our very first Club Med experience yet he still wears his resort pass on his wrist to this day and we both still talk about the trip all the time. One thing we come back to again and again, is how much we loved all the new people we met and how they made us feel.

I had a pre-conceived notion of what a Club Med holiday would be like. I'm a child of the '80s and the resort's marketing back then made me feel like I'd be joining some over-excitable beach-cult forced to hang out with a bunch of other holidaymakers I didn't in fact hand-pick to join us. And look, I am not 'a joiner'.

But quite a few things have changed since the '80s, like my hair, my taste in music and my womb. Since becoming a parent, my idea of what makes the perfect holiday is entirely different. Enter stage left: Club Med.

From the moment we checked into Club Med Cancún we knew this was a different kind of resort. The staff each come with their own skillsets but all with one thing in common: to genuinely make our stay as fun as they could - for parents as well as the kids.

The resort organisers are called 'G.Os' and they're on hand for everything entertainment, whether it be to jump into the pool to join Max in his own version of pool-football or whether it's to give me an aim in life and teach me to try and shoot some arrows into an archery bullseye. Epic fail on that one.

From the kids' clubs to all the extra beach and sports activities, the G.Os were utterly charming, full of energy and life and genuinely stoked to be around the guests. Max is a slow-burn kind of kid and they recognised that from the get-go, easing him in each day with a restrained but warm welcome. And when he trotted out one day with a huge grin sporting his newly purchased Mexican Football kit they were so stoked he was treated like actual local royalty from there on in.

Kate and Max Rodger enjoy Club Med Cancún.
Max sporting his Mexican Football uniform; my unsuccessful attempt at being Katniss Everdeen; Max getting into the pétanque. Photo credit: Newshub.

The all-you-can eat Club Med buffet is the stuff of global legend and you don't need me to tell you how impressively a ten-year-old boy can maximize a buffet. So, it's proof how much Max loved the after-dinner entertainment that he would be rushing me through repeat trips back to the buffet so we could make our way downstairs and outside to get a good viewing seat for the evening show.

Each night there would be something different, each showcasing even more of those G.O skillsets. And I don't mean drunk karaoke kinda skills, I mean actual singers, some phenomenal dancers, acrobats, gymnasts.

Our final night - the White Party - was easily the highlight, it was just so uniquely joyous and unusually entertaining. The only way I can explain it is this: the grand finale was a drag-queen white witch with the most incredible singing voice for Whitney Houston's 'Greatest Love of All', but with a frightening witch-like twist punctuating the performance. It was just so randomly inventive and just so brilliant.

From parties to pétanque

One of the biggest giggles of my trip came courtesy of Max's lack of exposure to group activities.

  • Max: "Hey mum that woman started to dance on the beach now everyone in the water is joining in?
  • Me: "Well, my son, that's called aqua aerobics."

There were at least 30 people diving into the ocean each day to "join the woman dancing". I didn't give it a crack it was clear they were all loving it.

But when it came to beach activities there was one clear winner. On one very special day, a day to be etched into Max's memories for life, there was a foam party.

Club Med G.Os.
Club Med G.Os. Photo credit: supplied

I know what you're thinking, those wild Spring Break foam parties packed with drunk teenagers that you've seen on TikTok or reality shows. But this is Club Med, so this foam party was far more family-friendly, but honestly, it was still crazy.

Staff armed with hoses pumped foam and water into a fenced off sand-pool-pit crammed with kids young and old and honestly, Max was in heaven. I lost him countless times under the foam but he always managed to emerge eventually with a grin that didn't leave his face for weeks. I threw myself into the foam fray just to see what all the fuss was about and I confirm for the record, foam is FUN.

Club Med family foam party.
Max at the formative foam party. Photo credit: Newshub.

On our last day as we reluctantly went down for our final mango smoothie before heading to the airport, we sat down for a final natter with a couple of the guests we had befriended during our stay; this chat personified my new appreciation for the Club Med experience.

Sherrie and Greg were 60-plus siblings from a small town outside Toronto in Canada. And while the family foam party did not feature on their must-do holiday itinerary, the pool, tennis courts and golf course certainly had. Sherrie told me she'd been coming to Club Med Cancún for over 25 years and had seen a lot of change, met so many people, and kept coming back time and time again.

They both giggled conspiratorially when I asked them whether they'd be back next year.

 "If we don't turn up one year, they'll know we've died," said Greg.

And that pretty much summed it up.

Kate and Max travelled to Cancún and enjoyed their stay courtesy of Club Med