Article by HospitalityNet, 26 november 2019
Club Med, the global pioneer and leader of all-inclusive vacations, officially opened Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, its first-ever Exclusive Collection resort in the Americas, on Nov. 23, 2019. Nestled on an unspoiled beach in Miches, Dominican Republic, this 93-acre resort is the first major site to open within the region, offering guests all over the world the opportunity to explore a new land in a chic and intimate resort atmosphere.
Continuing Club Med’s legacy of pioneering new destinations (such as being the first resort company to open in Punta Cana, Cancun, and dozens of other now-popular destinations), Miches is already becoming a new hotspot for international travelers seeking new experiences and hospitality companies seeking new destinations. With a recently opened highway connecting Punta Cana to Miches directly, the tourism industry is expected to grow in the area substantially over the next few years, providing an economic boost to the area and new career opportunities for the residents.
Guests who checked in over the weekend had the opportunity to be the very first to experience the resort’s unique architecture and design, featuring a concept that seamlessly blends four boutique villages into one resort to create a truly customizable and personalized vacation experience.
In addition to its innovative boutique villages concept, Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda enacts an eco-chic concept that takes the surrounding region and environment into consideration from start to finish. The project was designed and executed to minimize its environmental footprint and the resort enacts a green-minded mentality in its everyday operations.
Exclusive Collection Resort
Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda is Club Med’s first full Exclusive Collection resort to open in the Americas, joining a selection of the brand’s most exclusive properties around the world. Exclusive Collection resorts are characterized by their premium accommodations, exceptional hospitality and personalized services, exclusively beautiful locations around the world, refined dining concepts and lounges, transformational experiences, and unique architecture and design elements.
The Four Boutique Villages
Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda introduces a new concept to the brand’s Exclusive Collection. To create a more personalized, customizable and intimate experience catered to each guest, the resort features four boutique villages (none of which are higher than two stories to blend into the surrounding foliage). Each of the four boutique villages presents its own unique environment, activities and accommodations. The villages include Archipelago, Caribbean Paradise, Emerald Jungle and Explorer Cove.
- Archipelago – The Archipelago boutique village features a sophisticated oceanfront sanctuary exclusively for adults. Archipelago is an area only accessible to those who stay in the boutique village, featuring 18 oceanfront suites, each with their own private pool. Guests who stay in this area also benefit from an outdoor shower, a direct infinity view from the bedroom, exclusive access to a private section of the beach, and a calm and intimate atmosphere.
- Caribbean Paradise – Caribbean Paradise is the alluring heart of the resort, full of lush tropical gardens and colorful surprises. Caribbean Paradise is home to 111 rooms, features a vivid and lively Caribbean ambiance, and is located at the heart of the village (within proximity to the main pool and the beach lounge). This village features two room types: Deluxe Rooms and Ocean View Junior Suites.
- Emerald Jungle – The Emerald Jungle boutique village is a relaxing eco-chic retreat where peace and wellness meet. The boutique village nestles 48 deluxe rooms and is part of Club Med’s adult-exclusive Zen Oasis concept. The area creates a calm and peaceful atmosphere, close to the Zen pool, fitness facilities, spa, and the wellness bar.
- Explorer Cove – Explorer Cove is the ultimate destination for a dynamic getaway that offers families a treasure trove of activities. Explorer Cove provides 158 family accommodations with large rooms, a playful atmosphere, and is close to the children’s clubs and sports facilities. This village features four room types: La Perla suites, Ocean View Family Junior Suites, Deluxe Family Rooms, and Deluxe Rooms.
- La Perla – an exclusive area featuring 16 oceanfront family suites and four oceanfront penthouse family suites with a rooftop terrace within Explorer Cove. This area provides special access to its own private family pool, family bar and beach cabanas.
Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda acts as the catalyst for Club Med’s new environment-friendly positioning. Devoting its design, activities and elements to the surrounding region, the resort pays homage to Miches’ ecological essence so guests who visit the resort can understand the natural beauty that first attracted many locals to the destination. The resort’s eco-chic concept is based on five core pillars: agriculture, immersion, waste management, energy and people.
Sustainability is at the heart of the resort with special programs and initiatives, including:
- No single-use plastics in the resort
- Locally sourced coffee and cacao products in the resort’s Coffee House, in partnership with local farmers
- Employee uniforms are created out of recycled plastic bottles (currently more than 200,000+ bottles have been recycled for this initiative)
- Programs have been implemented to provide more than 900 locals with language, vocational, and hospitality skill trainings
- Strict eco-friendly certifications from the best in the industry: BREEAM certification for the construction process, and Green Globe certification for the operations
- Solar panel project – an estimated 45,000 square feet of solar panels are being installed in the resort to generate renewable energy
- Programs to stimulate the local economy are underway via various farming development projects to increase the efficiency, quality and demand for local farmers
- In-resort plant nursery currently houses 30,000+ new plants, and more than 2,000 trees were preserved or re-planted during the construction process
- Responsible excursion program offers sustainable activities to highlight the region’s natural gems and culture
- Family environmental workshops offer interactive, fun and educational sessions for parents and children to learn about the environment together and participate in hands-on gardening activities
Gourmet Dining and Lounge Experience
Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda revealed an extensive and refined culinary and beverage program upon opening. Guests have access to four unique restaurants, four open-bar lounges, three wine cellars, a locally-sourced Coffee House and a Secret Chocolate Room.
The resort’s gastronomy is led by Executive Chef Thierry Van Rillaer. Trained at several Michelin two- and three-star restaurants in Brussels, Chef Van Rillaer oversees the resort’s menu, teams and operations of the resort’s four all-inclusive restaurants. His vision combines the best of local produce with his own unique savoir-faire.
Activities and Entertainment
At Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, guests enjoy more than 25 different sports and activities, including fitness classes, tennis, pickleball, archery, indoor climbing, circus activities (including the flying trapeze), kayaking, snorkeling, aqua fitness, team sports, dance classes, a guided running trail, and various yoga classes.
The wellness program at the resort includes a scenic Treetop Wellness Canopy and oceanfront platform, meditation classes and five different types of yoga classes: family yoga, gravity yoga, acro-yoga, aqua yoga and paddle yoga.
The resort hosts six distinct iconic active experiences that are a must-try: electric surfboarding, Hobie Eclipse (stand-up pedal board), treetop yoga class, family paddleboarding, a fitness trail, and horseback riding on the beach.
Aside from the activities, guests can take a dip in one of four pools: the main pool, the adult-exclusive natural Zen pool, the family pool, and the Mini Club pool for children.
After an active day, guests can book a self-pampering experience at the Cinq Mondes spa. The luxury spa features single and double treatment rooms, reflexology and relaxation areas, hydrotherapy treatments, hot and cold plunge baths, steam room, sauna and a beauty salon.
As the resort holds two family-focused boutique villages, the resort offers rich family programming. The full range of children’s clubs includes Baby Club Med (4 months to 23 months), Petit Club Med (2 years to 3 years), Mini Club Med (4 years to 10 years) and Club Med Passworld (11 years to 17 years). The resort also offers Pyjama Club, a babysitting service for those moments when parents want to have their own date night.
For additional fun, the resort is equipped with a Little Gardeners’ House (an interactive family-friendly gardening experience), a children’s Splash Park, a kid-focused zipline and ropes course, and sports activities for parents and children to participate in together.
Explore the Destination
With its unparalleled beaches and breathtaking sights, Miches is a truly hidden paradise with something for every member of the family. For those seeking to explore the undiscovered region of Miches, the resort offers a robust excursions program. Excursions allow guests to explore places like Laguna Limón, a stunning nature reserve; the 170-foot-high cascading Limón waterfall; Samaná Bay, featuring protected islands with native flora, wildlife, and a known site for whale watching; and Montaña Redonda, a “rounded mountain” with 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding flourishing landscape, known for its photo-famous swings.
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