Club Med El Gouna
El Gouna, Egypt
Club Med El Gouna Rates and Deals
Club Med El Gouna Reviews
A fabulous stay Dec 01, 2009
I must say that I did not know at all what to expect when I booked my stay in El Gouna at the Club Med. Club Med is a former Belgian now French holiday resort chain.
The Club was started in 1950 by former Belgian water polo champion, Gérard Blitz. The first village opened on the Spanish island of Mallorca. The original villages were simple with members staying in unlit straw huts on a beachfront sharing communal washing facility.
Today each resort provides a list of services and activities in one single package. This includes lodging, food, use of facilities, sports activities, games, and shows. Many villages are now all-inclusive for alcohol and snacks.
Club Med staffs are called "GOs", or Gentils Organisateurs (Gracious/Nice Organizers). Clients are "GMs", or Gentils Membres (Gracious/Nice Guests/Members). The resort is known as a village. The resort manager is called the chef de village (Village Chief).
The special feature of Club Med is that the GOs and GMs play, dine, drink, and dance together every day and night. Outdoor buffet dining (usually on tables of eight, mixing GMs and GOs), daytime sport-playing and evening show with extensive audience participation are part of the holiday experience.
A particular institution is the communal dance or crazy signs led by the GOs at varying intervals during the day and evening (the frequency varies by village). The dance steps for each song are standard across the organization with some new ones introduced each year.
The evening shows, often requiring detailed choreography, are also standardized and include both new and established routines.
GOs are moved between villages and many work both winter and summer seasons. All GOs, regardless of their area of specialty (a sport or administrative function), are expected to regularly participate in both the show and "crazy signs". Their work is supplemented by locally-recruited support staff such as cleaners and cooks, known as "GEs" or Gentils Employés (Gracious/Nice Employees). The GOs also reside in the village.
Staying in a Club Med was very unlike any holiday I have done the last 10 year at least, and it is not that it was bad; not at all, it is just different. When I arrived I did not know anything about GO, GE and GM, I was a complete novice in the world of Club Med.
When we arrived we very greeted by only friendly young people; most of them named GO Gentile Organisateur. At the reception they had waited for us, so when we came we were greeted with cold drinks and were guided to the restaurant because it closed soon after. All of this was to me extremely organized and worked well.
The coming days we were spoiled from morning until late night, the service was extremely good. The food was of a very high quality and the variation was enormous. Every weekday had its own theme, French, Italian, oriental and so on. There were always a large number of choices of both cold and warm dishes.
In between meals there was always access to snacks or late breakfast, lunch and so on. The wines were always a local choice drinkable but not much more. The drinks were okay too but there was huge difference on the level of drinks amongst the different bartenders.
I enjoyed that nobody was forcing me to participate in crazy signs or anything, all these GO GM not something I enjoyed, but for a lot of people it seemed to be of much importance.
The staff was in general fantastic and super friendly, I was often wondering how they could continue to be so positive. We were often having lunch, dinner or drinks with many of them and I found in general that they made a fantastic job. Even the guy making the beds had a surplus to make towel animals as decorations on the bed every day.
The rooms were really great; I had a large room with two huge beds and a great bathroom. There was a flat screen TV on the wall with one English speaking channel. I had a large terrace with access to the Zen pool. The room was kept in dark red and white colours and I found everything working to my satisfaction. There was also a safe in the room and there were even and insurance included that cover up to 250 euro in cash.
Everybody that travels or stays at a club Med is automatically a member of the SOS insurance coverage and to give an example; my travel mate Barbara needed some medicine and she called the SOS service and two hours later the medicine was in her room.
Part of the Egypt in November 2009 travel blog
Part of the list Hotels that I for one or another reason stumbled in to.
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