Ryan Aldred Rotating Header Image

Day 3 – Club Med Charlevoix

Further negotiations with our children resulted in a wakeup time of 7:45 am, 15 minutes earlier than the day before. My wife and I can only hope this isn’t the start of a trend.

Back to the breakfast buffet for our usual delicious fare, again with a commanding view of the St. Lawrence. Huzzah! The rain had finally ended. Service also continued to be excellent – we’ve yet to have any difficulty finding seating or having our plates cleared away.

We then voyaged out of doors for the first time in 36 hours to attempt to locate a suitable hiking trail. And what a trail we found…

We thought this was picturesque – we had no idea what was to come. (Also – bonus points for a well-signed path.)

Forest art! Brilliant idea…

The path was a bit icy, but nothing we couldn’t manage – and I’m glad we went when we did, as Charlevoix is expecting a sudden drop in temperature that will transform the soft, melted snow into sheets of pure ice.

As it was, I had one heart-dropping moment where I slid within inches of tumbling over the edge. That was plenty.

But how can you complain with views like this?

We returned to Club Med a few hours later, somewhat damp and bruised but much improved from having the chance to stretch our legs and take in some fresh air.

My son had decided that he hadn’t been spending enough time with us, and so opted to join us for the rest of the day. Just kidding, he went to Passworld.

We hung out in the lobby then watched Zumba and the kids dance party for a bit, and we were off to lunch. There was a poutine bar this time, along with roast chicken. I opted for fresh bass with onion rings, followed by one of their ever-present hamburgers. I’d thought the patty might be a bit dry, but it was quite good.

Bass and onion rings. The fish at the buffet has been consistently good.

Vanilla torte and chocolate brownie. Looks better than it tastes.

I also had some sort of vanilla torte and a chocolate brownie, which weren’t fabulous. (Though I could have gone up and gotten some gelato if I was still hungry.) But I wasn’t, so I went off to get ready to play some Dungeons & Dragons.

My son and I have been playing D&D for a few months now, so we decided to see if we could run a quick one-shot sometime during the trip. Passworld was closed from 1 pm to 2 pm, so the timing was right. And… it went really well. We ran Temple of the Basilisk Cult by Arcane Library (link), and played some pre-made characters with my son and one of his friends. They enjoyed it, which is all that matters.

Meanwhile, my wife and daughter went to the pool to enjoy the hammocks (and steam room) once more until the Passworld crew arrived for Marco Polo. (An evolution from water polo the day before – I’m waiting for Water Marco Polo tomorrow, in which I expect the child will close their eyes and attempt to peg other children with a ball using only sound as clues.)

But I digress. With my son gone, my wife and daughter relocated to Le Chalet and I dropped off for a brief power nap.

After a refreshingly quiet interlude, back to the theatre, where I grabbed a distant high-top table in preparation of the latest round of aerial circus lessons – this time with giant suspended cubes! Errant barefoot children continued to leap from couch to couch but we were well out of the way for once.

We’d been eagerly checking the Le Massif website, awaiting news regarding tomorrow’s ski conditions. Then word came through – they will be open, but there is not a single run that goes all the way from the top to the bottom. So that’s interesting. It’s looking like this might be a ‘game day’ decision as we decide whether we’re willing to trudge 10 minutes between runs whilst lugging all our gear. Skiers should be fine but snowboarders may be in for quite the hike.

Meanwhile, I discovered my favourite made-up drink of the trip – the strawberry tequila slushy.

We stuck around for the first few sets of the live band, and then off to dinner. More lovely offerings tonight including calamari, pork stir fry, beef sous vide, and chicken pho. I had a cupcake for dessert as well as the gelato for once. It was delicious – heavy on the chocolate, and not too sweet.

Despite this being a buffet, many of the dishes – like this pork stirfry – are plated for you.

Chocolate gelato, heavy on the chocolate.

I then played a few rounds of table tennis with my son, ending with a 3-3 tie after six games. We hung out in the room for a few minutes, then off to the theatre for Challenge Night – which could be some kind of obstacle course or miniature Hunger Games, depending what you want to read into Club Med’s entirely ambiguous event notice.

Will there be an obstacle course, trivia or bloodsport? Yes!

Myself and our daughter stayed around for trivia, while my son and wife went to Le Chalet for some quiet reading time – which mainly involved my son raiding the buffet restaurant for second (third?) dinner.

We asked the kids how this scores on the list of family vacations, and so far it’s ranked behind Great Wolf Lodge. Our son puts it ahead of Tremblant because of kids’ club, and our daughter ranks it ahead of Tremblant… also because of kids’ club.

For us? The jury is still out. What Club Med does right, they do very right indeed – the buffets, the booze, the drinks, the continuous activities. But so many kids remain out of control, and it’s tough to separate the resort from the terrible weather we’ve been having. Today’s hike was a ray of sunshine in an otherwise drab start, but what about the rest of the week?

We’ll just have to wait and see.

Ready to check out the Club Med Charlevoix? Contact me at ryan.aldred@gmail.com for a friends and family invitation that will save $100 off the cost of your trip.

(Not available for Last Minute deals. Other limitations may apply.)