TRAVEL THERE: SAMANA, THE INTERNATIONAL BUFFET
I have no complaints about Club Med Food. I liked some things better than others, but there was not a thing available that was anything but good. Meals were delicious all day long, but dinner at Samana was something special.
Bon Jour & Bon Appetite
After our visit to Cielo, we’d stroll across the patios to Samana and climb the stairs. Just inside the doors we’d be greeted by a delightful lady we came to recognize by sight – even if we doubted she recognized us at all.
We’d tell her there were two of us and she’d find us a table. You could sit wherever you wanted, but we discovered we needed the hostess. One night we arrived and she wasn’t standing there, so we wandered around on our own. A bit later we came back to the door, happy to see her waiting, feeling quite silly for having tried to seat ourselves.
As soon as we had a table, a server would appear and offer us a beverage. Bill would get red wine and I would get white. Then we’d disappear off to the many, many buffet table. We didn’t stick to a particular order for our food. We’d wander about and pick the things that interested us most. I think the first night was by far the best, Beef Wellington, escargot, veal and much more.
Confession, I ate more cheese, morning, noon and night, than anyone probably ever should – but it was SO good. There’s a reason I don’t keep a variety of cheeses in my frig – I would eat them. Mozzerella, Blue, Gouda, Swiss, Emmantala, Tontine, Farmers, Feta, Brie – along with amazing breads, dried apricots, nuts and more. I ate enough that it should have been all I ate, but this was vacation, right?
The menu rotated every night. Around the central area,
- a huge section for appetizers, mostly fresh seafood and shellfish
- cheese and bread
- the next section would vary by evening. The section next to the bread would vary with the evening and then the desserts would begin.
- An inner circle would offer very international dishes, like tempura, sweetbreads, Mongolian bbq, schwarma, enchildas etc. etc. etc.
The back wall had
- a salad bar
- a pasta bar
- a section for grilled seafood
- then grilled meats and other entrees, like the Beef Wellington or Halibut Oscar
- one corner had a pizza oven offering fresh slices – very popular with the kids
- a section with Dominican foods.
In my youth I went with a group of my college friends to an all-inclusive resort – a Jack Tar Village on Grand Bahama. Eating was no problem. You couldn’t eat all the food they offered, but beverages were a whole ‘nother thing. The beverages were supposed to be included and you could usually manage to get one, but good luck getting refills. Thankfully, we discovered a rum factory nearby and dosed ourselves quite liberally with coconut rum, but could get little of anything beverage-wise from the staff. We also discovered the vending machines had beer. I didn’t have any of that, but I think our group had cleaned out every beer out of every vending machine before the week was over.
There was no stinginess with alcohol at Club Med. All throughout dinner the waitstaff kept our glasses filled – both the wine and the water. It wasn’t fine wine, but it was fine – if you know what I mean. The guest population of the resort was primarily French, if you remember, so I doubt Club Med could get by without the good stuff. I noticed that most people were drinking rose’, something that surprised me. I knew it was becoming a thing over here, but apparently the French like it, too.
After dinner there would usually be entertainment, so come back next week and enjoy the shows with us. I can’t sign off without another thank you to CTC Travel. Thanks so much, we loved Club Med.