48 hours in Guilin Club Med

MARISA CROUS IS EN­CHANTED BY A GRAND NEW RE­SORT IN SOUTH­ERN CHINA

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - TRAVEL - WORDS MARISA CROUS

a Pause in the red foyer of the twin-winged re­sort as a stel­lar win­dow view of in­fi­nite green lawns – hous­ing over a hun­dred unique sculp­tures – greets you along with sev­eral caves, ter­raced rice fields and the mist-en­veloped su­gar­loaf moun­tains that dot the area. Take a bus to the open-air Shan­shui Theatre in Yang­shuo, then sip lo­cal beer and snack on gin­ger brit­tle as you watch the world-renowned Im­pres­sion Liu San­jie Show, fea­tur­ing over 600 lo­cal artists, per­form­ing on a two-kilo­me­tre stage set on the Li River.The re­gion’s mys­ti­cal scenery helps to tell the story of the fa­mous folk hero­ine Liu San­jie’s messy love tri­an­gle. Cross a con­crete lily pad walk­way, slip off your shoes and in­dulge in a treat­ment in one of many pri­vate dou­ble-storey pam­per­ing rooms at the re­sort’s Com­fort Zone Spa. mere hour’s flight from bustling Hong Kong sits the all-new, allinclu­sive and serene Club Med Guilin.The set­ting is ro­man­tic yet un­der­stated, as the re­sort lies within the Yuzi Paradiza Sculp­ture Na­tional Park in the south of China; a per­fect mix of un­spoiled na­ture and con­tem­po­rary cool.

PAUSE HERE, RE­LAX THERE

Re­treat to the Zen area where you can at­tend daily yoga ses­sions or splash around in the vast in­door swim­ming pool, which of­fers spec­tac­u­lar views of Guilin’s lime­stone peaks.

SLEEP HERE, STAY THERE

Choose be­tween two ho­tels sep­a­rated by foot­paths, which are ideal for early-morn­ing or late-af­ter­noon strolls.The Court­yard Build­ing fea­tures a va­ri­ety of mod­ern club or deluxe rooms – with ei­ther moun­tain or gar­den views. All rooms have Wi-Fi ac­cess, room ser­vice and many have con­nect­ing rooms for fam­i­lies with chil­dren.The very luxe and grass-roofed Ho­tel of Mod­ern Art (HOMA) has 46 artist­de­signed gue­strooms, each show­cas­ing dif­fer­ent el­e­ments of lo­cal cul­ture.

SIP ON THIS, SNACK ON THAT

Head out­doors for a mem­o­rable break­fast set nearby a cas­cad­ing wa­ter­fall.The restau­rant’s pool area in front pro­vides the per­fect set­ting for lazy day pool-side loung­ing with cock­tail in hand. When you get peck­ish, visit the re­sort’s main eatery The Ate­lier, which of­fers an in­fi­nite mix of in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal dishes buf­fet-style, and has a chic bar for sun­down­ers. Pop into the cosy Lo­tus restau­rant at the HOMA for an in­ti­mate din­ner. Make your à la carte se­lec­tion from lo­cal Chi­nese spe­cial­ties or in­ter­na­tional epi­curean de­lights, while sip­ping on French wines or Chi­nese beers. Sam­ple Guilin spicy noo­dles from Noo­dle Bar in the Court­yard, which is open till late and of­fers a small menu of four re­gional dishes in­clud­ing spicy, veg­e­tar­ian, beef and chicken op­tions; then head over to the slightly retro Moon Bar’s quad for af­ter-din­ner drinks and stargaz­ing.

GET­TING THERE

Club Med has launched its ‘Dis­cov­ery Stopover’ prod­uct, which makes long-haul trav­el­ling less te­dious.Avail­able since 1 Novem­ber 2013, the of­fer­ing en­cour­ages guests to com­bine their Club Med hol­i­day with a few nights’ stay in an­other city. For ex­am­ple, guests trav­el­ling to Club Med Guilin will have the op­tion to ex­pe­ri­ence Hong Kong as part of the pack­age. Clubmed.co.za

Clock­wise from top Club Med Guilin; break­fast at The Ate­lier; the su­gar­loaf moun­tains; a blend of Guilin spicy noo­dles and lo­cal pro­duce; the ex­quis­ite ar­chi­tec­ture breathes con­tem­po­rary cool; the red foyer.

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