Travelogue: Trip to The French Alps with Club Med!

Travel bugs hit again! And this time, was planning a trip to the Alps. I have never really tried skiing so I wanted to learn how to ski and this was how this entire trip started. It wasn’t such a hush-hush affair this time cos somehow people around me became aware of my travel plans and anyway, with the restrictions relaxed, so many people are travelling these days. I decided on Club Med Alpe D’Huez cos they have in-resort activities so at least it won’t be so boring

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Hello Changi Airport! It was definitely a vast difference from my last trip to Korea. The airport was so freaking crowded, like pre-covid times #nojoke

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And a shot with the friend who was flying around the same time to Korea. Cos what are the chances of being at the airport at the same time at the same terminal

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We wanted to lounge together but cos of specific reasons, she couldn’t. So it was just me alone at SilverKris Lounge

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which was so freaking crowded, understandably cos of all the European/US flights departing at that time. I walked 2 rounds before I finally found a spare seat. And the lounge wasn’t small okay. So if you are at the lounge from 10-11pm, be prepared to wait

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What’s available for a bite

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The bar area which seemed pretty crowded as well

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so much that they had Singapore Sling/White Russian not available. Why!?

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I settled for SilverKris Sling instead, which was hmm :/

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The lounge finally got emptier at 12 midnight #peacefinally

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And I got something light instead since I was hungry enough (cos I didn’t have dinner) but I wanted to keep space for BTC supper! The dim sum is good though, definitely recommended if you want something light to have

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And soon it’s time to make my way to the gates. Our scheduled departure time was at 1.25am. The plane finally pulled away from the gate at 2.15am and the whole time I was wondering why the plane wasn’t moving. It turned out cleaning took a little longer which resulted in later boarding time, and cargo loading took a long time which resulted in the air traffic got cancelled and the plane had to request for a new one so we finally took off 1 hour later. And yes, the captain told us the entire story after the plane started moving

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No pre-departure drinks were served cos of covid. I’m not sure if you can request for one, but since you are in premium class, I guess anything is possible. lol

Well, supper got served pretty soon. And of cos, the famous garlic bread. The air steward didn’t bother asking me about the rest of the bread in his tray, which lol. Honestly, I thought the bread was okay. But it could have been better if it was served warm. So I was slightly disappointed. Also this was the soft version which you can taste the garlic more evidently

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Appetiser came in the form of smoked salmon which was okay I guess

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Sorry don’t have much description for it. I mean it’s okay lah but not something you would want for a second portion

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I really like SQ’s version of Singapore Sling, which some might not agree with. But it’s really one of my personal favourite πŸ™‚

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Book The Cook: Bar Chor Mee (Soup Version)

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Wanted something soupy for supper and hence, BCM. I’m glad the presentation improved cos the previous versions I saw were just questionable. lol

I guess everything would taste better if it was served hot. The soup was somewhere between lukewarm and the fried tik poh were less than ideal. I like the charred taste in the meatball though. Else, the BCM as a whole was pretty okay

And soon, it was lights-off

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Couldn’t sleep cos at some point, the plane was so warm I just woke up. Pulled up the shades and saw this πŸ™‚ I think the plane was somewhere over the Middle East (somewhere, but dunno where. lol)

And then it was catching some shut eye here and there as I forced myself to rest some more

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It was time for breakfast. The muesli was delicious and, I’m glad the croissant was served rather warm. So it was good! They came around for second portions but I wanted to keep space for my mains (else I would have another croissant πŸ˜€ )

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Book The Cook: Nasi Lemak

I think the best thing about this Nasi Lemak was the chilli. Super shiok, tasted like home. Didn’t like the chicken though, thought they should replace it with something else. The chicken tasted rather bland. And the ikan billi weren’t crispy enough so it was meh

And then I was about to doze off (cos of lack of sleep + food coma) but the stewardess came by and..

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πŸ™‚

(Duffy not included okay?)

Celebration in the sky, definitely something different and one to remember for. Thanks to the crew of SQ346, though the cake came close to landing and I was so stressed about finishing the cake and the champagne

The plane finally landed at 9.05am, 50 minutes past scheduled arrival. Immigration was pretty fast and smooth and soon I was out of the terminal

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Went over to Check-In 1 area which was just a short walk away cos I had another flight to catch to Geneva which check-in was a breeze as well

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First shop after I saw after exiting security clearance. lol. The collab collection was sold out there as well, just in case you wanna know

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Walked around abit but nothing caught my eye and the stuffs that friends wanted were not available either

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So I settled at the Senator Lounge, located nearer to the A gates for a good 3 hours

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which got pretty crowded at some point in time as well

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Drinks aplenty. Take your pick

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And coffee machines

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Breakfast selections

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So I decided to go for the Hot Breakfast

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which hmm, wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. lol. But okay, it didn’t taste that bad

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Soon it was time to make my way to the gate and there was a flicker of doubt that flashed across the staff’s face momentarily when she saw I was in the queue cos I was clearly a misfit with the group. lol. The friend asked why so judgy? Well, I looked like I just got out of bed, who can you blame?

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I had bad experiences with Swiss Air before but thankfully no drama this time round

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I missed the older planes with the valves. These days I couldn’t find it on the newer models and it gets so warm when you have long hours on the airplane

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It was a very quick flight to Geneva from Zurich. I felt like I was flying from SG to KL where the announcement of ‘Prepare for arrival’ came over so soon

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And then came a little hiccup at the airport cos I couldn’t find my driver which I had arranged previously with Club Med. I was walking up and down the airport but there was no one in sight. So I called the resort and they told me someone with a ‘Club Med’ sign will appear and there, a guy really appeared. I thought okay problem solved! But it turned out he’s a driver for another property and my driver was still not here. So he kindly helped me called the resort and after 5 minutes, he said I just had to wait and hopefully, the driver will appear soon. I was just thinking of back-up plans and well I even thought of staying a night at the nearest airport hotel if all else fails. 1 hour later, my driver finally appeared (thank goodness) and in my head, I thought there could be better communication from the resort. I mean he’s clearly late, and if he’s on the way, they could just tell me he’s on the way and would take roughly x minutes, rather than leaving me wondering if I’m going to be picked up or not. Tsk tsk

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Anyway that marked my 3 hour journey to Alpe D’Huez

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Which had some really windy routes uphill. I was so worried I would puke cos I get car sickness quite easily

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I was glad we were finally nearing when I spotted some signs of Alps

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And here we are at Club Med Alpe D’Huez, home to the next 5 nights

And the driver joked, saying it’s summer here cos it was only 2 degrees. Right.

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This is your room key, and also your key to the lockers. It’s bound to you 24/7 so you don’t have to worry about losing it

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And also your ski pass!

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And just some photos of the property

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A lot places for you to chill at

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A boutique shop if you didn’t bring enough clothes. Though I spied a ski coat retailing at EUR1500 and I gasped! lol

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A free-to-use coffee machine/water dispenser

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I love the key came in the form of bracelet for convenience, but I don’t love it so much when you needed to bend at a weird angle to tap the door room. Who came up with such a bright idea seriously?

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Anyway, view from the room πŸ™‚

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I got the Junior Family Room, so this is the extra room which was unused

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The main bedroom area

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A huge bathroom space

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with an extra vanity space on the opposite side

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Headed down to explore the rest of the property and this leads you to the mini club area (for kiddos)

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Ski rental area, and the path that leads you to ski in/ski out

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The Ski Pro shop where you collect your boots/skis/helmet from

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Terrace

Okay that’s all for now. I was completely exhausted from a 22-hour journey so all I wanted was to hide in my room..

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Hence, dinner came in the form of cup noodles and then I knocked out pretty soon after πŸ˜€

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Breakfast starts at at 7-10am daily so I found myself there at 7am sharp and it’s good cos the restaurant was pretty empty at that hour

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It’s a HUGE space

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though the breakfast menu was pretty much similar everyday. lol

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But the pastries were really worth a mention. They were pretty good

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I found myself at the ski rental shop pretty soon cos the communicated meeting time for ski classes was at 8.50am. Though it was mentioned in Easy Arrival that everything was supposed to be prepared for you, it didn’t happen for me. Anyway, the staff was pretty helpful in ensuring all my ski gears were taken care of

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And you find your own dedicated locker which was tagged to your room

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And. Drama happened. (I mean what’s holidays without a little bit of hiccups right? lol) So, I didn’t have any prior ski experiences and nobody told me ski lessons only began on Monday for beginners (Not communicated when booking the trip and not communicated when checking in). I only found out when I approached one of the instructors and he said there were no classes for me (cos it was already Thursday). The only options for me were to take private classes, and so I did eventually cos I mean, I really wanted to learn skiing. Sorry lah, I’m a first time skier. How would I know right? But yeah if you were thinking of learning skiing for the first time, make sure to check if the resorts offer beginner classes on which day. Honestly, Club Med really ain’t the most helpful. So I went to pay additional for private lesson which was gonna happen the afternoon later and since I had some time on hand, I went to explore the rest of the resort

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The swim area

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The jacuzzi located outside. Honestly it would be quite a challenge to run to the jacuzzi if the weather was in the negative

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The indoor pool definitely seemed more welcoming

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The theatre area where performances were held daily

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And the bar, where I found myself at most of the time. lol

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Mojito – wasn’t to my liking

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And I settled myself at another area

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With a Pina colada

Joke of the moment came when I left my mask (with my belongings) on the table to get another drink and when I came back, I was appalled to find that they cleared my mask. Whatever happened to ‘Masks are highly recommended’ in the resort?! Wah, I was very amused how they don’t walk the talk here. I mean the staffs do wear masks, though not properly at all times and it’s up to the guests if they do want to wear them or not (they don’t force it on you). I’m still amused now that I think about it

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Lunch service begins as 12pm daily so I found myself there soon enough

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And that’s poke of the day, which was rather delicious

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But the rest of the food was pretty meh. So I didn’t finish them

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Ended up at the bar again for an Espresso Martini which tasted like they downed an entire cup of espresso in it. For sure, you would feel awake after this

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Then it was time to make my way to the ski lockers for my lesson (finally) and I was all excited to begin my class with Dominic, my instructor for the day

Rates for private lessons: EUR91.50 for 1.5 hrs / EUR122 for 2hrs

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He brought me to the slopes after sorting out the beginners’ know-how and I had to say it was a lot of fun. And I felt like he really made full use of the time we had and tried to expose me to the various ski techniques. And also blessed to have some blue skies in sight πŸ™‚

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Definitely enjoyed myself a lot cos he was a really good instructor with lots of patience. On hindsight, I was glad I paid for private lessons cos all attention on me. lol. And I would highly recommend Dom if you were looking for someone to teach at beginners’ level

So after an exhausting ski activity, I went back to the room to shower and chill, before popping down to the theatre for..

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Pre-Dinner nibbles and drinks

Honestly, this was dinner for me already. lol. I couldn’t eat after that

There was supposed to be some show going on but somehow it didn’t happen. I mean, I’m not sure if it was supposed to start late or what but after 5 minutes, I gave up and went back to my room cos the old bones in me needed to retire for the night. lol

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And then it began to snow non-stop for the next few days. Everyday when I pulled the curtains, it was just varying degree of how snowy-white this scene was

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There, the same breakfast menu everyday. To be honest, some of the items were good. Like the crepes (add on the Nutella!) and the pastries/bread and the fried hash brown. Though I firmly believe at the end of the trip, I might stay away from bread for awhile. lol

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And it was back to prep for my 2nd private ski lesson cos I thought I needed more practice. Unfortunately Dominic wasn’t available so I was assigned to another instructor (Aknor?)

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This was the scene every morning when everyone got ready for their lesson. They gathered, and took off together

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Love all these inventions which made going upslope less tiring. lol

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My second class wasn’t enjoyable. First the weather wasn’t great and the instructor wasn’t as patient and I didn’t feel safe with him. The impression he gave was like, all he cared was chatting with other instructors that he met along the way. I mean, hello, you have a student here *waves* And there was not as much hand holding, like he didn’t even bother to help when I was struggling to move up the slopes. Perhaps that’s his way of teaching but sadly I don’t agree with his method. A ski lesson supposed to be fun right. I honestly didn’t have much fun. Worse was when we were heading back to Club Med, there was this terrain with steep slopes and curve (that was really not meant for beginners) which was covered in snow and he just let me go ahead of him. The result? I fell so hard and hurt my knee. And he went – you didn’t see the rocks there? I wanted to tell him, hello, you know I’m a beginner right? I only had 2 hours of skiing in my entire life and you expect me to navigate this like a pro?! 😦 Β At least, Dominic held my hand and stayed beside me the entire time to make sure I was navigating it right. So sighs, this concluded my very sad morning

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And so I cheered myself up with a Gin Fizz though my knee was still hurting quite badly

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Popped by the Gourmet Lounge for lunch since I couldn’t get the dinner slots. Reservations were required for dinner. Basically, gourmet lounge is a separate restaurant from their main restaurant that serves a more premium kind of food

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Which you get to choose a 3-course menu

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You choose the desserts first which was abit strange in my opinion. I mean, shouldn’t entrees come first? Anyway, you order the mains the last which they gave you a buzzer for

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Pan Fried Scallops with Asparagus, dressed up prettily, which was not bad lah

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Got the fruit tartlet and chocolate mousse for desserts which I must say was very good

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Beef Burger and Fries for Mains

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The patty was alright, cooked pretty nicely but the bread needed a little bit more effort

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Made my way back to the main Theatre area where live music was happening. They were pretty good but I was too tired to stay on to listen so I went back to the room and took a nap

And the said nap lasted me till dinner time. lol

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Poke of the Day!

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And grilled seafood on the menu

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I was impressed they made so much effort for their desserts

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Caught a show by the mini club that evening which I was pretty sure they don’t know what was happening

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But the audiences were more than sporty enough to cheer them on

And that concluded the day!

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Decided to take it slow and easy the next day (and a break from ski) so I went hunting for a nice place in the resort to take some photos

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Ended up at the jacuzzi area which lasted me an entire hour there. lol

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Before breaking for lunch. They serve different kinds of meat everyday (you have grilled lamb and stewed beef here) though I have to say their salad station was worth a mention too

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And the said dessert station, which I had never once tried

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cos everytime after I finished the mains, I didn’t have space to go on

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Basically, if I’m not in the room, this would be where you would find me. Infront of the bar with nibbles and drinks and live music in the background while I edit my photos/update my blog

It’s a very chill way to just spent the afternoon away and time passed faster than you realised

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The bartender decided to make his own creation for me – Gin based, it’s good

And then, it’s dinner time again!

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I love how much effort they took to dress up their counters. They just looked so colourful and inviting

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Sashimi on the menu this time round and I love the change in variation

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Also got myself some grilled octopus, which was really delicious

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Though I added some more items from the buffet line to make it more presentable

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Finally had my first dessert of the trip cos I really wanted to try one. Went for this chocolate fudge thingy which tasted abit too sweet for me cos of the caramel. I wouldn’t say I enjoyed this very much

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And then it’s back to the bar/theatre area cos they had some shows coming up that night. I found a quiet spot and had this Gin Fizz which I suspected they downed more Gin than ever cos the whole glass just tasted so neat. Ohmygosh

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And it’s a magic show for the kiddos!

Though the magician definitely looked more entertained than the audience. lol

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They decided to turn it up a notch by transforming the area into a dance floor, for the kiddos

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Moving on to the next performance which was created in-house, hmm, lets just say I couldn’t really appreciate it. lol

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They ended off with champagne pouring to conclude the night which the guests were all so excited about. Why? I had no idea too. I mean, it’s just champagne..

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Which they threw some fireworks to go along as well. I thought I was celebrating New Year you know. lol

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They must had this every week. I wondered how much fireworks were used

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So glad the sun decided to come back out, cos cloud + snow all day was just dark and gloomy

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And I took some time to go skiing cos last full day and it would be some time before I finally head back to the ski slopes once again

Since it was Sunday, the resort was pretty busy welcoming the new batch of guests (typically stays in the resort were Sunday to Sunday) so there were lots of activity going on, and I saw this..

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I was impressed I reached Class 1 after 2 hours of skiing when typically you need one week at least, So I was pretty proud of myself

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And they had a departure schedule for those departing which made it really clear cos so many guests were moving in/out at the same time

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And then after so many days of feasting, I decided I’m having salad for lunch instead. Cos it’s really non stop eating and drinking in the resort. Every time I head downstairs, I would see canapΓ©s and drinks. You would never go hungry here. lol

To be honest, their salad was quite delectable

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There was a welcome conference going on as well, which basically introduced who’s who or what in the resort

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While I just chilled around watching all the busy-ness that was going on. Asked for a glass of wine and I was shocked at the amount the bartender gave me. I told him, isn’t that a little too much (for a wine) and he laughed. I think the friend there thought I was drinking water.. So much that I brought the wine back up to my room to continue drinking it

Took the afternoon to head back to the slopes again which wasn’t the best choice cos the snow became so slushy cos of the sun so I didn’t stay out for very long, and tiredness got the better of me

So I went back to the room, showered and just nua-ed

Before it was time for dinner again!

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They called this fish soup, which honestly tasted more like seafood soup

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A huge pot! And they plated it like some fine dining, wiping off the stains too

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Rump Steak, which was.. too rare. lol

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A little bit too fishy in my opinion, and the fish had so much bones in them

Not the best choice I felt

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Finished it off with an gelato cone cos last dinner of the night. Yeah, they had an icecream section with many flavours to choose from too

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The night ended off with some games going on at the theatre after dinner which I didn’t stay for long. Cos the questions were too hard for me. lol I gave up

And that’s basically the end of the night and my clubmed stay for me since I checked out the next morning!

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ClubMed wasn’t anything I expected. I’ve heard rave reviews from people who visited ClubMed and had a really good time there, so this experience was really quite different. And the friend wanted to give me a surprise for my birthday, which apparently they screwed up (tsk). So, their communication really needed improvement. To be fair, the good reviews all came from visiting the Asia properties, so perhaps culture is slightly different. This ClubMed here was okay.. it wasn’t anything like OMG, I wanna go back there again! It wasn’t bad either, but probably just one visit is enough. Though I would love to give other properties a try as well

It was also my first ski experience. Though it was a pretty mixed experience, I thought skiing itself was really fun and I definitely would want to make it a repeat experience again. So that’s all for now, as I moved on to the second part of my holidays!

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