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    Mar 2015 · Richard Holmes

    Let’s be clear right upfront: Club Med is not for everyone. For those unfamiliar with the European resort chain that...

    Let’s be clear right upfront: Club Med is not for everyone. For those unfamiliar with the European resort chain that now stretches its happy-family tendrils from the French Alps to China to the Pacific, Club Med is all about being bigger and better. Big resorts and big personalities. And Club Med La Plantation d’Albion, on the west coast of Mauritius, is no exception.

    First off, the resort has over 400 rooms, so it’s far from an intimate escape. The rooms and suites are decorated in a colourful island style, although some are showing their age. Spread out over a 65,000-square-metre garden, the resort is enormous, with a golf cart ‘bus’ running a regular shuttle service. When the summer temperatures soar into the high 90s (40s Celsius), you’ll be glad for it.

    Luckily there are two pools – one for adults only – as well as a superb stretch of beach with wonderful waters for swimming. The well-equipped boathouse has kayaks and sailboats aplenty, with friendly instructors on hand to get you started. Note though that this is a public beach so you’ll be sharing it with plenty of locals.

    Club Med has long prided itself on its range of activities, and here you’ll find everything from archery to golf to a fully equipped trapeze rig. Around the pool, impromptu volleyball games and dance competitions spurred on by the young and energetic Gentils Organisateurs (GOs) keep your days packed with activities. So too for children, who can check in at the expansive kids’ club.

    A sense of energetic fun imbues the entire resort, but for some it may become tiresome. Endless group events, performances and themed parties may not suit travellers searching for quiet elegance. However, if you’re in the mood for round-the-clock entertainment, fancy dress parties and making innumerable new friends, chances are the shiny-happy Club Med brand is for you.

    If you’re looking for a more luxurious island idyll offering fine food and wine, then move along swiftly. The cavernous buffet restaurant feeds up to 1000 guests per sitting and the food, while varied, has its sights set firmly on quantity rather than quality. So too the wine and spirits included in your package, so set aside some spending money for a decent bottle of Pinot Grigio. The seafront a la carte restaurant La Phare offers a more upmarket option, but service and cuisine still leaves much to be desired.

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