A five-minute drive from the fishing village of Deshaies
Le Papillon restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Grand Large Suite and Bellevue Suite have spectacular views of the ocean and mountain promontories
Kitchenettes, AC, TV, safes, and laundry machines in the rooms
Small pets allowed (under five kilograms)
Traffic noise noticeable in some areas of the hotel
Noise from other rooms sometimes noticeable
An hour or more from the popular tourist spots of Grande-Terre
Steep roads up the hill can be slippery, especially after the daily showers
Breakfast not included
Wi-Fi limited to the lobby area
Rooms are on the small side and a bit sterile
This 51-room hotel, popular with French families and older couples, is cut into the tree-filled side of a hill near the ocean. It offers a range of
rooms -- from small and sterile with no views to speak of to a large hilltop suite with a spectacular view of the waves far below. Kids, however, will probably spend most of their time in the vaguely kidney-shaped pool just below the lobby verandah. Either way, you're dealing with the pros and cons of the
location -- you're an hour or more from most of the tourist attractions on
the other side of the island, but you also have fewer tourists to
share Grand Anse beach with (it's only a 10-minute walk away). If you're
looking for a boutique hotel with a less sterile feel, you may prefer
the nearby 16-room Caraib'Bay Hotel, which is just a tad farther from
the beach and crawling with kids at play. If this still isn't close enough to the beach for you, consider Langley Resort Hotel, which is right on top of Bas Vent beach.
A collection of hillside bungalows that
attracts both older European couples and families with children
Popular both with older French couples
on their own and younger French couples with children, this 51-room
hotel is a series of hillside bungalows lining the curvy paths of a
grassy, tree-lined slope that's close to, but not adjacent to, the beach.
Though there's a small terrace in front of reception, the action is at
the nearby pool, where middle-aged Europeans work on their tans, or
young children work on their underwater acrobatic routines. Besides
that, the biggest common area is the restaurant, which has balcony
areas with tables overlooking the surrounding woods, and a bar whose
corner doubles as a business center. Most of the guests seem to spend
most of their days at the nearby Grand Anse beach, which is easily
accessible via a sidewalk path and a road crossing, and gather in the
lobby terrace mostly to gather their group before venturing forth.
Some traffic noise from the road that snakes path is clearly audible
from various areas around the hotel.
About an hour from the airport, but less touristy and a 10-minute walk from a beach
If you need to jumpstart your beach
vacation immediately after landing, this hotel may seem like too much
effort -- you're likely to be jammed up in Pointe-a-Pitre highway
traffic and then following a series of twisty mountain roads before you get
here about an hour later. Those who prefer the less-trodden path may
find it worthwhile, though, as Basse-Terre isn't as touristy as
Grande-Terre, and the Grand Anse beach is only a 10-minute walk away,
accessible via a sidewalk and a single road crossing. Get in the car and drive for five or 10 minutes past that, and you're in the small but charming fishermen's village of Deshaies. Travelers who
came to Guadeloupe for cultural immersion or shopping may take issue with the fact that most tourist attractions are on the southern part
of Grande-Terre -- clear on the other side of the island.
Standard Rooms are basic and small, and
get a big boost from the included kitchenette, but the best views are
from the two rooms at the top of the hill, which gets a stunning vista of the ocean and the rooftops below.
Standard Rooms are clean but basic verging on sterile -- the bare white walls and white-tile floors seem more appropriate in a hospital than a home away from home -- though walls have occasional pops of color, thanks to
turquoise pillows and paintings of Guadeloupe villagers or Maasai
warriors. The wood ceilings in some units add some rustic charm. Standard Room bathrooms are basic but
efficient, with phone-booth-sized showers and just enough room to
turn around in. A big plus is the kitchenette, which gives guests a
lot more flexibility in planning their meals, even if the hotel
restaurant, Le Papillon, is technically open for business for all
three meals of the day (it remained unoccupied and unstaffed for an entire lunch period when we were there). Kitchenettes include a compact, four-burner stove, a small but not tiny sink and dish-drying area, and mini-fridge. All rooms come with small flat-screen TVs and wall-mounted AC.
If you've got the extra money to spend and
you've dreamt of a stunning ocean view, think about renting
one of the two rooms on the top of the hill, the Grand Large Studio or
the Bellevue Suite, which share a building with fantastic views of
the bay and surrounding mountain promontories that flank Grand Anse
beach. The Bellevue Suite is one of the property's top options, and includes a large living room and kitchen, larger bedroom areas, and a wide patio with a grand view of the ocean. This Grand Large Studio, which lies on the first floor of the same building as the Bellevue Suite, is similar to the Standard Room, except for the view and outdoor kitchen. But be wary of the walk up and down the hill road leading to the building -- it's steep and slippery, especially when wet, even in hiking shoes or bare feet, which may explain why even the management gets up there by truck.
The Four-Person Family Room (also called the Family Studio) differs mostly from the Standard Room in the fact that it adds in a small annex to the side of the living room (separated by a half, not a full, wall) with two kid-size beds stuffed into it. Big apartments -- either 60 square meters or 120 square meters -- are also available, and sleep up to five or seven, respectively. Room categories may be labeled differently by different booking engines and on the hotel website, so it's a good idea to get in touch with the hotel directly to get details on your room type. The traffic noise is clearly audible from at least some of the rooms in the hotel, as is the occasional screeching of chairs on others guest rooms' tile floors.
The hotel's little flourishes, like the
swinging love seat and the public grill, take backseat to Grand Anse beach, which is a short walk away.
The hotel offers little touches like a
grilling area and a swinging love seat. The biggest convenience
may be Le Papillon restaurant, which offers guests a chance to enjoy
meals without trekking back to the restaurants on the beach or having to drive those
mountain roads back to Pointe-a-Pitre or the other way to Deshaies. (The nearby Caraib'Bay doesn't have a restaurant; it does, on the other hand, offer free breakfast). Le Papillon offers a buffet breakfast and simple island lunches and dinners (expect items such as seafood and rice and fresh fruit). The hotel's biggest draw, however, may be the fact that it's the
closest hotel to the Grand Anse beach, only a 10-minute walk away,
meaning guests really only need a car to get to and from the hotel in
the first place. Located under the lobby, the pool is surrounded by palm trees, affording some of the people on the loungers a bit of shade. It's also shaped exactly like the Li'l Abnercomic-strip character Shmoo.
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