As you will read below in the 'official' history of Club Med is that it is an extraordinary utopia born out of the vision of two men: Gilbert Trigano and Gérard Blitz. But what has made Club Med so special for all those who have visited it since 1950 ?
Apart from being the first 'all inclusive resort' on the planet, there must have been something else, something that made you want to go back year after year. People, anything they used to be but just people. Instead of being taken care of by a horde of Swiss-trained Maître D's you would eat, sleep and play with those wonderful people who worked there. Every day, All day. So after having spent a week or more in a hand-picked idyllic location with great new friends, no wonder you would just die to get back there .. or never leave (which some did).
They were (and are still) called G.O's (Gentil Organisateurs). They were the heart of the big family called Club Med. Yes, a family, because believe it or not (and I, GODJ, am a living proof of it), even though we came from all corners of the world, some of us (and we count in the tens of thousands) still keep in touch with each other.
Of course when a company has been around for over 60 years a lot of People have come and gone, but also have a lot of generations... 50's, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s they all had their VERY own way of experiencing Club Med. Having personally followed the Club since the early 70s I can say that it was very very different from what it is today. Unfortunately these memories are fading (fast). Many of our beloved G.Os have joined the Great Village In The Sky and taken all these memories with them.
I wanted to do something about it so I created a Village Timeline (every village on Club Med Planet has one, Punta Cana Timeline). It's basically a collection of all those pictures posted on Facebook (to start with) but each of them linked to the village, the year and the people who were there. With your help this will grow to be the largest Album Collection of long lost pictures of almost forgotten villages and will keep the Club Med Spirit (past, present and future) alive for all.
It's very easy: If you have pictures of Club Med worth sharing, log in with Facebook, go to My Planet - My pictures, you will see your Facebook Albums and pictures, click on the good ones and set which year and village it was. That's it, they will automatically appear on the Timeline.
Above all, Club Med is an extraordinary utopia born out of the vision of two men: Gilbert Trigano and Gérard Blitz. As the inventor of the ‘all-inclusive’ holiday concept, Club Med has been reinventing the alchemy of happiness since 1950.
Club Med: Creating happiness since 1950
« This idea gave birth to a sprit… our purpose in life is to be happy. The place to be happy is here. And the time to be happy is now. » These words of Gérard Blitz had a very special resonance in the post-war context. Freeing people from their day-to-day constraints in ways that enabled them to rediscover themselves, recharge their batteries and get back to basic pleasures: that was the genesis of Club Med.
As a true creator of happiness, Club Med invented a new form of shared experience and a unique style of holiday: all-inclusive holidays and resorts in the world’s most beautiful locations, where Gentil Membres (GM) or kind members, can recharge their personal batteries through contact with nature, sports and like-minded people, served by our Gentils Organisateurs (GO) or kind organisers.
Club Med has come a long way since its founders pitched some tents on a beach and offered cash-strapped, war reconstruction-weary Europeans the world's first all-inclusive vacation: 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, by concept, very simple with members staying in unlit straw huts on a beachfront, sharing communal washing facilities. Such villages have been replaced with modern blocks or huts with ensuite facilities.
2004: Club Med reinvents the concept
Faithful to its original vision, Club Med continued to drive innovation as part of constantly reinventing the alchemy of happiness. In 2004, the Group refocused its business on the upscale segment of the world tourism market to become the global specialist in friendly, upscale, multicultural all-inclusive holidays. A welcoming, generous style of luxury on a human scale. A luxury to be enjoyed together.
Club Med today
Club Med today operates a total of 71 Resorts, two-thirds of which are 4T and Luxury 5T Resorts. The range also includes cruising on the 5-mast Club Med 2 sailing ship, and inspired luxury tours with Circuits Découverte by Club Med. The latest opportunity from this continually innovative company is the chance to buy freehold Luxury Villas and Chalets alongside the Valmorel and La Plantation d’Albion resorts. Premium All Inclusive by Club Med boasts comfort levels at least equivalent to those offered by the grandest international hotels, as well as original design, fine dining, professional child care, a unique range of sports activities and prestigious partnerships for a unique spa experience. Focused on operating 5 Resorts in China by 2015 and introducing its ethos to more than 200,000 Chinese customers, the Group continues to pursue its successful strategy of upscale transition and internationalisation.