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Habitation Grande Anse 3.0

Deshaies, Basse-Terre Island, Guadeloupe

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • A 10-minute walk from Grand Anse beach
  • 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)
  • Free Wi-Fi

Cons

  • 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

Bottom Line

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.

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Scene

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. 

Location

About an hour from the airport, but less touristy and a 10-minute walk from a beach

Map of Habitation Grande Anse

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.

Rooms

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.

Features

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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Address

Ziotte, Deshaies 97126, Caribbean

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