Resort Review: Club Med Cefalu in Sicily in Italy
Words by Priya Joshi
The strains of the theme tune to the Godfather drift on the air against the setting sun. It could only be Sicily. But the Club Med luxury resort is a world away from the drama of the Italian mafia. Style, sophistication and wall-to-wall beautiful people are the order of the day as we are invited to experience everything the five star resort has to offer ahead of the official launch.
Club Med lies at the heart of the sleepy fishing town of Cefalu on the northern coast of Sicily beside the Tyrrhenian sea. With its sandy beaches, quaint old town and picture perfect views it’s a popular seaside holiday destination.
And with barely one month of rain a year, it’s the perfect destination for sun seekers.
In the afternoon heat of the Italian sun, we enter the decorative iron gates of the compound into an oasis of calm and serenity. Welcomed with a glass of champagne on arrival, the tone is already set as we assemble in the reception area, which resembles something like a VIP lounge. Style is the order of the day and everyone is dressed to impress, peering from behind designer shades, cocktails in hand.
The resort is set in a gated community and within the compound the guest accommodations comprise what appear from the outside to be deceptively small wooden pods set in luscious fauna. Lead down winding paths we step into the tardis-like apartment to discover plush modern suites, furnished with high end accessories in a bespoke bedroom adorned with large windows offering a panoramic view of the sea from your own patio.
The rooms are so luxurious that it’s tempting to while away the hours just relaxing from the comfort of your bed, but the lure of the sea and all that the resort has to offer is equally inviting. A notice at reception informs us that a cocktail reception is planned for this evening, and the dress code is stylish. Word is that British singer Pixie Lott and model Douglas Booth are among the invited VIPS. Indeed, Club Med is a magnet for all the beautiful people.
After a couple of hours of respite and a quick change we converge around the infinity pool to take in the incredible view of the ocean and the imposing La Rocca mountain, while sipping cocktails and partaking in small-talk with the invited guests. It’s a taste of the high life, the sort of decadence that you imagine A-list Hollywood stars are accustomed to, and never have you felt more like a celebrity.
Dinner tonight is a relaxed affair as the restaurant chefs serve up an array of gourmet dishes and desserts designed by renowned Michelin four-star chef Andrea Berton and all displayed for your delectation. While its slightly jarring to see model-esque women dressed in flowing gowns standing in line for dinner, to refer to it as a buffet, would be to diminish the high standard of the food and the personalised service.
Prime steaks are grilled while you wait, lobster is prepared on another counter, the freshest Italian pasta expertly served up for you and the decadent desserts – works of gastronomic art – are to be marvelled at before being devoured. We dine under the moonlight on a warm Italian evening, as guests become acquainted with one another over the lavish spread before retiring to their respective suites anticipating the excitement of the days to come.
Another day in Cefalu and there’s an opportunity to tour the entire compound. The exclusive Palazzo offers private accommodation for anyone eager to experience decadence of another order. A private bar, dining rooms and a lounge, its reminiscent of celebrity haunts like Soho House, except here the veranda offers the most picture-perfect views of the sea.
For the more committed there’s a fully equipped gym, daily yoga classes at sunrise and an array of sporting activities on land and sea. One of the key innovations of the Club Med resort is the electric surfboard, which attracts the sporty traveller. We bump into Pixie who tells us she can’t wait to have a go.
For the rest of us more intent on basking in the sun, there are no shortage of loungers to soak up the sun and cosy booths to curl up in while awaiting a cocktail to be delivered to you from the bar.
Another day, another unique dining experience and a taste of the entertainment that is laid on nightly for the guests. Tonight we are welcomed with a touch of Italian class and sophistication. An opera singer regales us with renditions of classical song, her voice spiralling into the sky set against the backdrop of the setting sun. Two dancers above the pool perform an hypnotic aerial display. Everything here is touched by beauty and bears the mark of style, sophistication and pure class.
The party really begins after dinner, when the house band take to the stage for an evening of pop tunes and retro disco classics that have everyone on their feet and dancing into the early hours with the advantage that at the end of the evening, it’s just a short walk back to your suite.
While everything you could possibly need could be found on the resort, there’s ample opportunity to step out of its confines and head into the local town. Along the quaint winding cobbled streets are all manner of charming artisan shops interspersed with the pre-requisite tourist shops selling all the usual holiday gifts – row upon row of jars filled with olives and authentic homemade pasta.
It’s a great opportunity to see the locals going about their day, from the fruit and veg seller hawking his produce from the back of a truck, to the fishermen carrying a barrow of freshly caught fish across from the harbour. A short walk down the winding alleys and you will come to Cefalu’s 12th century Norman cathedral, a dramatic edifice that is a focal point in the village and a necessary photo stop.
Having perused the local wares, a short walk leads you to the beach where the locals take a break to relax on the beach. School and work seem secondary and everyone is all about splashing in the ocean or catching some rays. Life here is leisurely to say the least. While the village is a short walk away, the resort provides a shuttle service that ferries guests to and from town throughout the day.
This evening the dress code is black tie and glamourous. Dressed in our finery we head to the pool to join the tuxedo wearing gents, and the women in their glamourous gowns, where the Palermo philharmonic Orchestra perform classic tunes as the sun sets.
As we listen, unaware of the time passing, night falls, and the rock is illuminated by moonlight and the stars. Almost entranced by the music and the moment and the feeling of serenity is overwhelming.
We are promised more surprises – a spectacular fountain and light show to the theme of ET and suddenly, there’s a carnival atmosphere as dancers dressed in eclectic outfits emerge on stilts and guests don masks for the masquerade ball.
The music is ramped up announcing the arrival of guest DJ Bob Sinclar and the party really starts. With a huge crowd now converging around the stage, and even joining the singers and Bob Sinclar, it’s a wonder no one fell in the pool, but this is not the kind of soiree for drunken louts.
Satiated by the delicate desserts handed out by women with bubblegum pink hair, and with yet more cocktails, the thousand or so guests are then led to a beach cave where the party continues through the night.
All partied out, on our last full day it’s the perfect time to unwind in the Zen spa with a selection of beauty treatments for some serious pampering, after which we escape to a quiet corner of the pool, cocktail in hand, feeling like all is good in the world.
It’s a party every night at Club Med Cefalu where the sun-soaked days are long and luxurious, the nights are spectacular and the views are breathtaking. Go prepared to party hard with the beautiful people and bask in all the beauty of Cefalu.
- All-inclusive water sport paradise with a wide variety of sports including the electric surf board
- Picture perfect views across the bay and luxury accommodation experience.
- Mouth watering cuisine, menu inspired by renowned Michelin star chef.
- Cuisine: Breakfast, lunch and Dinner
- Drinks: Open bar
- Sports: Sailing, electric surfing, snorkelling and more
- Entertainment: Day & Night entertainment
- WiFi: Free WiFi
Address: Localita Santa Lucia, 90015 Cefalù PA, Italy
Phone: 0044 8453 67 67 67