Resort life is easy. Everything is taken care of. Your only task is to relax and enjoy sun, sea, views and endless facilities. And pick up the tab when checking out.
Guadeloupe is a green butterfly island – or rather and archipelago of islands in the Lesser Antilles in Eastern Caribbean. Main island of Guadeloupe is shaped like a butterfly with two wings or to be more precise two separate islands connected with bridges: Grande-Terre on the Atlantic side and Basse-Terre on the Caribbean side. It is an overseas region and a department of France with some 400 000 people. Main income comes from tourism and agriculture of sugar cane and bananas.
As Guadeloupe is very French in all aspects, most people travelling to Guadeloupe are French too. It is a very popular destination for honeymooners, outdoor trekkers and beach lovers. Guadeloupe has some amazing natural white sand beaches. As the currents are strong, safer areas for example children are often marked in resort beaches. While Basse-Terre has a rougher volcanic scene, Grande-Terre is more flat with plains and rainforest hills and better beaches.
Why on earth would you book a resort when travelling around the world? Well, as it was our third stop of the whole journey, we just wanted to relax and rest in order to be able to enjoy other places better. We left home in the beginning of December after a loooong and quite a busy fall. We all needed to rest away the fall’s pressure and hectic months. And what would be a better place for that than a resort with a breathtaking beach, lots of sun light and big enough a pool for all of us to enjoy?!
Stayng in an isolated resort has some pros and cons. The resort we had chosen (Pierre Village & Vacances, near Sainte Anne in Grande-Terre, about 28 km from the airport), was really an isolated one. There was nothing outside the resort area except fields, rainforests, cows, bullies and wild roosters running around and apparently some holiday villas of maybe capitol Point-A-Pitre residents. Roads were quite narrow and if you go for a walk or run, people stare at you like you are the crasiest person alive… Apparently your workout should rather be done in an airconditioned resort gym and instead, rent a little French car to get around. Be careful if you do as accidents are unfortunately everyday incidents and taxis on the other hand are a bit expensive…).
Another thing a bit sad is that at least in our case there was quite a long way to the closest grocery store. The resort had a minimarket wth resort prices. I mean, high resort prices. The same with restaurants. If you book a room or one with a kitchenette, your only chance is to pay the ridiculous prices for very little selection. Otherwise you rent a car or walk and carry stuff several kilometers in +30 degrees.
Other option is to eat in the resort snack bars (only a few items on the menu) or you eat and pay quite much for the buffet table (20 euros for breakfast and 30 for dinner per adult). As we are now travellers with at least some budget-consciousness, we chose to fix all breakfast and some meals ourselves and eat out in the snack bars once a day. Not once did we have buffet. And have no regrets.
One more thing: even though you are in a very neat resort area, you are still in the tropics surrounded by wild rainforest. And that means you may get to experience some nasty sides too. Mosquitoes, tiny little ants that bite and go everywhere in your stuff if not in sealed plastic bags, giant frogs and other bigger bugs are there. Insect repellent is a necessity every day. As one of us got badly bit by an 8cm long poisonous myriapod in our bed (!) , we started spraying the floor and outdoor lower parts often. And we were on the second floor… Luckily it did not cause any serial damage, but scared the heck out of us one night!P
Despite the few cons the resort life has, it seemed as a perfect paradise for us. It was all we needed – turquoise ocean, white sand beach, palm trees, a huge clean pool, beautiful scenes. Our room was just perfect with a very comfortable terrace and outdoor kitchenette. Picture yourself sitting in a plus 27 evening listening to the ocean waves, birds, frogs and crickets concert and feeling the ocean breeze after a long day in the hot sun by the pool.
The resort being completely French didn’t bother us. Luckily we know the language to some extent, since personnel hardly spoke or even understood English. Instead, what made it even a better place for us to relax was the fact that even though we were there in December, the peak season was yet to come and the resort was actually very quiet – sometimes we even got the enormous pool all to ourselves!