Choosing a travel destination based on marital status makes sense in this time-poor world. If you are single and don't want to be, why not combine your annual leave with your quest for love? The nature of travel lends itself to whirlwind romance. Who hasn't fallen in love while on holiday, returning home with tears in their eyes, photos in their pockets and e-mail addresses tucked away for future use? Away from the constraints of your home city, travel allows you to reinvent yourself without excess baggage. The key is deciphering the difference between a fling and fully fledged love that survives thousands of air miles. When the invitation to Club Med's annual Rendezvous Party, a week-long singles-fest by the sea, arrived, I thought it was worth a look, if purely for entertainment value (though secretly I hoped to meet my Darcy). The location, Club Med Cherating, Malaysia, is the perfect destination for international romance. On the east coast of Malaysia, Cherating is almost equidistant from Europe, Australia and America; you are guaranteed a smorgasbord, and I'm not talking about the buffet at breakfast. The resort was booked solid for the event, with more than 200 singles primed to converge around the resort pool and cast their lines for love (I just hoped I didn't catch a groper). It seems that singles holidays are a serious and competitive business and no longer the domain of twentysomethings. The landscape of Cherating dictates romance: rocky outcrops separate three private beaches on the South China Sea, providing hideaways for lovers wanting to frolic entwined in the water. Thankfully there are beach showers to wash away those sandy moments. It's easy to find a spot in the 80 hectares of landscaped gardens for a bit of tete-a-tete, but beware the monkeys hiding in the trees. One amorous couple lost some essential items of clothing to these critters and had to impersonate Adam and Eve on the retreat to their room. Club Med resorts have been around since 1950 and are known for their all-inclusive, interactive holidays and Gallic appeal. The beauty of Club Med for those travelling alone is the interaction. Staff are called GOs, which stands for gentil organisateur, and guests are called GMs or gentil membre. GOs are encouraged to mingle with the GMs. You won't be alone unless you want to be, so for shy would-be lovers this is ideal because GOs will act as your go-between, a la Cyrano de Bergerac. An exclusive Rendezvous seven-day timetable filled with speed dating, Twister, karaoke, golf, roller-blading and makeovers, plus DJs with nightly themes for evening dress - from Hollywood to Crazy Hair - ensured inhibitions were lost. It's extremely difficult to be aloof when you're left leg is on red, your right hand is on yellow and you're twisted around a stranger. If that didn't work, cocktails were on hand, and lots of them. There is something liberating about being among a group of fellow singletons: no need to check the ring finger or look for signs of girlfriend makeovers in the male attire. Of course, there are certain rules and regulations one must adhere to in order to make the most of this highly charged arena. I watched some fellow revellers break a few of these during the week and it wasn't pretty. Do pace yourself. First in is not always best dressed. Peaking too early and focusing your attentions on one member of the opposite sex on the first night may mean you end up hiding from them the rest of the week. It's no fun spending your holiday behind dark glasses and closed doors when there are sun and sea to be had. Do relax. Everyone is there for the same purpose; you don't have to advertise your singleness and if you do, you will only look desperate and alienate those around you. It's not a competition, just a party. Don't travel in packs. It's not a great idea to take all your mates. A group of males bonding over beers and babes is intimidating to the average female. She'll fear she'll be talked about by your crew and won't go near you. Do have fun. Holiday romances by their very nature are transient. You may meet the person of your dreams; or you may meet Mr Right Now. Either way, you're on holiday. The average age of the crowd was more than 30, with an equal mixture of men and women, which meant everyone had a partner of the opposite gender at the Ceroc dancing (a fusion of jive and salsa). There's nothing more demoralising than being a girl playing the male dance partner, especially when you finally get to dance with a man - who leads? South Africa, France, Australia, New Zealand, England and Japan were well represented, and the mixture of cultures provided for some amusing eavesdropping as stereotypes took form. Australian women fell for French men, who complimented and caressed. Australian men fell for the cheap beer and English men went for the Australian women, who spoke their minds. I spotted a good number of attractive, eligible men but alas, no Darcy. That's the trouble with reading too many women's magazines: you get a shopping list of qualities stuck in your head, as if the male on offer is nothing more than prime meat in the butcher's and you're choosing which cut. Consequently, you miss out on what's in front of you. So I threw away my Darcy criteria, opened my eyes and found my own Le Petite Prince: a Frenchman (yes, it had to be done, it was Club Med after all) who flitted around me and praised me night after night until I gave in and swooned like Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind. Darcy would only have brooded in a corner. You can do that away from home - step out of your comfort zone and be inspired. No more Darcys for me: it's Napoleon, Depardieu, Casanova and Cocteau from now on. Until the next Rendezvous anyway. THE ESSENTIALS Where: 60 kilometres from Kuantan Airport on the east coast of Malaysia. How to get there: Malaysia Airlines flies from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur and offers connections to Kuantan Airport. Club Med transfers from Kuantan are included as part of the resort's all-inclusive packages. What to do: The Club Med Petite (two and three years old), Mini Club (four to 10) and Juniors (11 to 13) keep children occupied all day. Sailing and kayaking are available for adventurous older children. Tennis, petanque, rock climbing, yoga and volleyball are offered on site. Two restaurants (one poolside, one beachside) serve breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets; the bar provides nightly live bands and karaoke sessions. Health and beauty treatments take place in private spa bungalows. Regular excursions are available to the nearby night market; treks take walkers to Lake Chini and day-trips can be made to Kuala Lumpur. There is a turtle sanctuary on the next beach along from Club Med. Accommodation ranges from single rooms to family suites. Visit www.clubmed.com for a full price guide.