Spike Farrell enjoys the beauty of Club Med's La Pointe aux Canonniers on the north west coast of Mauritius.

Club Med has changed.

In the eighties and nineties, if you mentioned you were going to holiday at Club Med, you were met with raised eyebrows and people used to whisper about you in dark corners while giving you furtive glances.

But no more!        

In the old days, if you ventured into the pool bar at 11pm, you were confronted by gaggles of silly screaming people, drinking silly brightly coloured cocktails until they fell over and were carried moaning back to their rooms. Now if you go to the pool bar late at night, you are more that probably going to be run over by a pram! Yes, Club Med certainly has changed. It is far more a family resort now with top class club facilities for children from 4 to 17. Club Med La Pointe aux Canonniers on the north west coast of Mauritius made me feel relaxed and totally at home.  The staff go out of their way to ease you. The rooms are completely different from what I remember. In the past the rooms were so spartan, they gave Spartan a bad name. Nowadays you can choose from standard to deluxe rooms and suites. All rooms are comfortable and kitted out with all you could really need, including a flat screen TV with DSTV.

The restaurants are excellent, allowing a vast range for my wife who is a vegetarian. Some of the restaurants are on the beach with the most spectacular view of the ocean all the way to Port Louis. Pointe Aux Canonniers, set in roughly 9 hectares of garden which is the second most important botanical garden in the Indian Ocean after Pamplemousses Gardens because of the extraordinary number of different species growing there, and is positioned on what must be one of the finest beaches on the island. You can choose between the activity beach near the watersports jetty, or a quieter beach to the north, next to another hotel, Le Canonnier. On this beach you are guaranteed peace and quiet.

The watersports facilities are world class, with all the usual yachts, kayaks and water skiing. Other activities such as yacht cruising, scuba diving and other excursions are at extra cost, but can be easily arranged.

What a joy it is to be in such a well run resort.

One thing which changed from the "old days", is that you no longer pay for everything with brightly coloured plastic beads. This was the road to ruin as you never were quite sure how much everything cost, and there were quite a few heart attacks at check-out time. All is so much simpler now, you pay for everything at home before you go, a standard price for the entire trip, and you are issued with a ribbon bracelet you wear at all times for ID purposes and that's it. Everything is included, and it is quite possible that you won't touch your wallet for the entire stay. That's my kind of holiday, no nasty shocks when you leave.


When to go.

Mauritius is in the cyclone belt, the season is December to March, but you shouldn't be troubled for longer than 24 hours if one does arrive while you are there. Dry season is May to September. Generally, Mauritius is an all year round destination.