The Scoop on Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe is an overseas French territory much like it’s sister island Martinique. However, Guadeloupe is clearly the ugly twin and cannot be held in the same breath as the much nicer, classier and safer Martinique. Guadeloupe is not without some virtues of course but I have to admit after being in Martinique and having a blast, I was hoping for a little more of the same in Guadeloupe but that was not to be. It’s no wonder why Guadeloupe is the forgotten Caribbean island, often skipped by cruises and only visited by off the beaten track tourists and of course the French.

As soon as you arrive in the airport at Pointe-a-Pitre, the capital city, you notice the difference between the islands. While I hate to hold Guadeloupe up to the high standards of Martinique, I cannot help it because of so many imperial similarities. The city itself is a dump and very dirty and trafficky. It looks mostly like a Central American capital like Tegucigalpa or something like that and feels unsafe although I don’t really think it is. As you drive out toward Gosier and Saint Anne where the nice beaches and areas are; you pass through shanty type towns and you are shocked that the French actually govern this place and they let it get this way. I have been to all of the other French Caribbean territories and they are all very nice including French Guyana.

Finally, I arrived at my hotel which was called the Pierre Vacances and it was very nice. It is a French style family resort which I wasn’t expecting-that’s what happend when you just randomly book something on hotels.com. However, it made for a lot of entertainment from just watching the French interract and dance, etc.

The place was actually really nice with two huge pools and a great French style bar serving the coldest Corsaire beer on the island I was told. While the Guadeloupe Creole food was excellent, the pizza left much to be desired. I generally hate staying at resorts unless there are no other viable options and that’s how I felt about Guadeloupe. I felt like I got the best experience driving around the island and just relaxing in comfort at a French resort. The rest of the island didn’t really present too much as far as I could see. It’s true I only had a day on the island which I am sure could be more thoroughly explored-but I am happy sitting on Saint Martin relaxing on the beach right now instead.

Comments

  1. Funny. I can confirm your feelings as I was there (and quickly out a day and a half later) back in 2002. When I read your previous post from Martinque excited about going there, I thought immediately that this next post was not going to be as positive…HA.

  2. I agree with you both about the two islands. Guadeloupe is a third world island and is strangely out of place in the French Caribbean. It seems more like an African Island or something off Central America as Lee mentioned.

  3. Hello Lee,
    Great blog on your trip to Guadeloupe!
    I’ve seen that you’ve mentioned the resort you stayed at, and just to be that little bit helpful, it is called the

    Sainte Anne Holiday Village

    Do you have a direct email? I’d love to hear more about your trip!
    Thanks,
    Laura

  4. Hi Laura, I got your email and will shoot you some thoughts when I get a chance when I get back to the States in a few weeks.

  5. Hi Lee,
    Thanks for your speedy reply!
    If you don’t have time to complete an entry from scratch, the post above is more than informative…
    Just been reading your other entries, I’m so jealous!
    A great read nonetheless
    Very best wishes,
    Laura

  6. If people are looking for smaller boutique style hotels away from the resorts, they could consider St Francois or Deshaies in my opinion.

  7. Lee,
    I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs, and gotten some great ideas. So that a for that. But I don’t think you do not do justice to Guadeloupe. I’ve visited most Caribbean islands and Guadeloupe is one of my favourites. Spent over two weeks there. Next time try to get a little further away from Pointe a Pitre which I agree has little to keep your interest. The hike up the highest peak in the southern Caribbean and Les Saintes islands are worthy destinations. Culturally, I found Guadeloupe far more interesting than most over crowded Caribbean islands.

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