When I told people of my plans to travel to Guadeloupe, I mostly got one response back; “That’s so cool! Where is that?”
The butterfly-shaped island is located in the Caribbean between Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda. Unlike some other Caribbean destinations, Guadeloupe’s tourism is a little bit more nature inspired- five stars hotels are simply not an option here.
For my visit, we selected La Creole Beach Hotel + Spa, which seemed to be one of the nicer hotel options available as well as one of the most centrally located, only a 20 minute drive away from the airport.
Since we had a car, we were pleased to find ample parking in a lot in front of the hotel, though sometimes we would really have to hunt for a spot if the nearby casino was having a busy night.
There was some confusion on our arrival as our third guest didn’t seem to be loaded into the system, but we were able to pay the difference in price without an issue and received a voucher for a tasty welcome drink while we waited for our room to be ready. Keep in mind the 4pm check in time.
We booked a Standard Room which was pretty basic, with two frankly worn out double beds, a Juliette balcony, and a mini fridge. The bathroom seemed relatively modern, though we did have to flush a roach down the shower drain and had a tiny lizard visitor stop by- it’s the Caribbean, it would be weirder if there weren’t surprise guests. Although I’m not a fan of Juliette balconies, we did have a pretty nice view of the quiet back lawn of the hotel with the ocean peeking through the greenery. At any other hotel, they’d call this an “ocean view” and charge extra for the privilege.
I really enjoyed the beach at this property, though I know the protected cove might not be to everyone’s taste. The grassy area behind the pools extend into a thin strip of white sand that juts out from the hotel, curved into a C-shape. Jetties protect the beach from two sides, and part of the island make up a significant portion of the last so the waves are always very gentle and there’s not much of a current. The water seemed to be waist deep until visitors moved past the protective jetty, where they were able to get a more natural ocean experience while I was happy to hang out in what was more or less a natural swimming pool.
The beach was lined with comfortable recliners, though not a lot of shade, and bright pink pool towels were available for loan at La Kaz Notik. Make sure you keep an eye on your towel- you’re charged a 10€ fee if it’s not returned!
Although I spent more time at the beach, the pools always looked incredibly refreshing after a long day of exploring. Though the website claims there are three pools, to my eye, it was more like one big pool with small embankments to separate them. Still, it was a nice big pool that never seemed to have too many people in it and lounge chairs lined the surrounding deck space. The pool does have wait service, though I never tried it out.
Food and Drink
La Creole has two restaurants, a beachside snack bar and a bar on its premises.
When we visited, the fancier Le Zawag was closed- though given its exclusively seafood based menu, I wasn’t too broken up over it. This is where you’d want to go for typically Creole dishes.
La Route des Epices is the main restaurant of the resort, serving a world cuisine dinner buffet. There is one set price of 40€ per person, which frankly I thought was way too much. We ate here on our first night since we were too tired to find another option and once was definitely enough for me. The breakfast buffet that is also served here, on the other hand, is excellent and well worth making sure to booking a room with breakfast included. I really enjoyed the variety of breakfast items and the fresh squeezed juices while looking out over the pool and beach area.
Aside from eating our breakfast at La Route, I spent the most time at the colorful Yureli Beach Bar, which offered a variety of snacks and drinks both alcoholic and otherwise. We ordered a drink special for 7€ and I have absolutely no idea what was in it, but I know it was delicious. There food options are lighter fare, mostly pizzas and paninis, but it was nice to have a lunch option on the property.
La Rhumerie Bar is one of the first things guests see when they enter the hotel- the open concept lobby opens up into seating areas that are mostly claimed by the bar. I posted up here to work on a new blog during my stay and I loved the relaxed and tropical atmosphere of the space
Although I was excited to try out the spa, I was disappointed to find that I was unable to make the available appointment options work with our schedule. If the spa is a must, I’d recommend seeing if it is possible to book in advance or otherwise have more flexible travel plans.
Speaking of travel plans, the hotel concierge was an absolutely lifesaver for us. We’d chosen to visit Guadeloupe on a whim and a few instagram posts, so while we knew there was a lot to do and see, we didn’t know exactly what and where to go. Our very patient concierge sat with us for almost 45 minutes, pointing things out on maps and offering different suggestions for us. We had to actively choose to have a rest day at the resort, otherwise we’d have been out and about for our entire visit!
The small on-site shop was popular for last minute souvenirs, but definitely one of the most expensive places around.
While I wasn’t blown away by my room, I really liked the rest of the resort. I thought that everything seemed really clean and modern and there were several social areas in which to lounge around. The property itself is gorgeous to look at and I enjoyed watching the resort cats and chickens running around.
The hotel is walking distance from a popular casino and several local restaurants, which made walking at night feel relatively safe.
Although we seemed to be the only English speaking guests on the resort, most staff seemed willing, if not slightly alarmed, to flex their varying English vocabularies. Service was a little lukewarm- we had to make several requests for enough towels for the three of us, but I’m not typically a very needy guest so I didn’t run into this issue often. This language barrier made it close to impossible to befriend other resort-goers, but we were out of the hotel for so much of the day that it was really a non issue.
I’d stay here again in a heartbeat! The beautiful pool and beach area coupled with the fabulous location makes it a no brainer for anyone visiting the island.
It is important to note that, being a French territory, and with the vast majority of tourists being French, English may be a little hard to come by- even within the hotel. When speaking to staff members, I’d often have to combine my distant high school French with Google translate and the occasional “Language Charades” to get my point across- and still not be certain that we were on the same page (ask me how many tries it took until I gave up on getting a lactose-free cappuccino).
With that being said, as travelers- and especially as English speaking travelers- it behooves us to put a little effort it: it’s not an English speaking country and our monolingualism can’t always be catered too!