Sign Up for Our Monthly Family Getaways Newsletter
I was roughly 30 feet above the ground, harnessed in safety lines and perched on a platform at Creactive by Cirque du Soleil — Club Med Punta Cana’s acrobatic playground — attempting to hang by my knees from a stationary bar.
Just mere minutes before, I was standing on terra firma, practicing the same physical feat. But now, I was swinging on a flying trapeze.
“First hand!” instructed the coach from behind me, grasping my harness tightly at my waist as I reached for the bar with my left hand. "Second hand!"
Leaning forward from the platform, now gripping the bar with both white-knuckled hands, I listened for his final command.
“Hop!” he yelled.
And just like that, I soared, hanging by my knees from the suspended bar and reaching behind me in a semi-coordinated effort toward an imaginary “catcher.” Within seconds, I was dismounting, being lowered to the net below and climbing clumsily down a ladder, my legs wobbly with adrenaline.
“You didn’t look scared up there,” said another coach, one of a cadre of “Gentil Circassien,” the acrobatic experts trained by both Cirque du Soleil and Club Med professionals to perform live shows and teach guests at Creactive.
A vacation concept launched in June 2015 at Club Med’s Dominican Republic location, the 37,500-square-foot acrobatic nirvana gives resort guests ages 4 and up a chance to “fly” on a double trapeze, as well as pursue more than 25 artistic and acrobatic endeavors.
From working with acrobungees, tightropes, juggling balls and aerial silks to hoops and trampolines, Creactive gives both kids and adults an opportunity to discover their inner circus performer. (Activities are organized by time slots and age groups.)
Featured in the resort’s all-inclusive offerings, Creactive embodies Club Med’s shift toward more family-friendly programming, according to Sabrina Cendral, vice president of marketing and digital for Club Med North America.
In the early 2000s, she says, Club Med’s family clients accounted for only about one-third of bookings; they now account for two-thirds.
“It’s definitely been a core direction in our strategy over the last 15 years,” she said.
A vacation’s active component has always been an essential part of Club Med’s DNA, Cendral says, but the goal in adding Creactive to the Punta Cana location was to fulfill guests’ — particularly millennials’ — craving for experiential travel. (Another Creactive location opened in 2017 at Club Med Opio en Provence in France.)
“I think it’s a really transformative experience, to be able to spend time and meet buddies of different cultures, and learn new skills that you didn’t even know you had, such as flying on a trapeze,” Cendral said.
Children of all ages can meet those “buddies” at age-appropriate kids’ clubs — all included in the price of a stay.
They include Mini Club Med (ages 4 to 10 years) and Club Med Passworld (ages 11 to 17).
Baby Club Med (4 to 23 months) and Petit Club Med (ages 2 to 3), are also available for an extra cost.
Club Med Passworld is where I dropped off my two boys one afternoon — allowing them to test out Creactive and swim in one of the resort’s many pools — while I enjoyed a beachside massage at Club Med Spa by L’Occitane.
But I much preferred time spent with my boys. We took a group dance lesson, learned salsa (and the Dominican Republic’s own bachata) and went to a midday pool party with balloons, beach balls and a floating bar that offered both child and adult beverages. We also learned Club Med’s signature, choreographed dance numbers.
“I think the draw for Club Med is just how easy everything is,” said Joseph Nunez, manager of public relations and partnerships for Club Med. “We have activities that are separated for adults or for children, and those they can also do together, such as Creactive.”
Families can also spend time playing tennis, learning to windsurf or maneuvering a kayak. Or, adults can drop off kids during the day and pursue their own activities, whether it be taking a fitness class or dipping into the adults-only Zen Oasis pool.
Ultimately, according to Nunez, the allure of Club Med is its all-inclusive model that offers guests a variety of on-site activities; quality food choices that include recently renovated Samana and Hispaniola restaurants and the new Indigo Beach Lounge; and plenty of entertainment.
The 631-room resort also provides several lodging options, from Deluxe Rooms separating adult and child bedrooms with a curtain to adults-only Zen Deluxe rooms at the Zen Oasis and ultra-exclusive suites at Tiara.
The DetailsClub Med Punta Cana www.clubmed.us